Is Agoda legit and safe to use?
If you are planning a vacation then you might have come across Agoda, you might be concerned it is not legitimate.
We all want to save some cash on our flights and hotels when going away and it is easy to get sucked in by the promises of the best deals. But, using websites that might save you money could also end up in tragedy with false bookings and lots more.
Agoda is definitely a legit website that is owned by a large online travel company called Booking Holdings.
Agoda is an online travel agency based out of Singapore that was funded in 2005. It has grown substantially over the years and they now have offices all over the world and more than 5,000 employees.
On the Agoda website, you can book a hotel room, private apartment, hostel, villa, flights, car rentals, and your airport transfers. Agoda offers the best price guarantee for their bookings meaning you should save a little cash.
But, how does Agoda make money?
Once you book with Agoda, they are in charge of all your booking details as you have created a contract between yourself and Agoda. Agoda then acts as a middleman, creating a contract between Agoda and the airline, taking some commission for the booking in the middle.
This is how all online travel agencies make their money, but the catch is that you have an Agoda reservation with no direct bookings to the airline/accommodation. This can make it very hard to change any of your dates.
The best way to use Agoda is as a search engine and price comparison in my eyes. Agoda collects a lot of information about hotels and flights and offers the best price, so it is a great way to ensure you have the best deal possible.
The first step is to search for what you are looking for, whether it is a flight to NYC or a hotel in Vietnam. Check out the results and find the quote that suits you best, whether it is a hotel, apartment, car, or flight.
The next step is to check the price of the Agoda quote if you were to book directly with the airline/hotel/car company etc.
If the price difference is negligible, always make direct bookings with the airline/hotel as they are easier to change and even more reliable.
If you are saving a ton of money on Agoda, then choose Agoda to make the booking.
If you are making the booking online through Agoda, you will just need to fill out some extra details such as choosing your room preference and adding your email address.
After this, you will need to make a payment, and then you will receive a confirmation email with your booking information.
You can do the entire process without making an account or you can sign up at any point during the process.
Yes, Agoda is a legitimate company that is safe to use to book accommodation, flights, car hire, and airport transfers.
It is owned by one of the biggest travel companies in the world called Booking Holdings which also owns kayak.com, booking.com, priceline.com, cheapflights.com, and rentalcars.com, plus many more.
Agoda is famous for its hotel deals as you can generally find the same hotel on Agoda for a better deal, but how do they accomplish this?
By being a part of the giant company that is Booking Holdings, Agoda has a lot of purchasing power and it can pretty much guarantee the sale of a hotel room or absorb the cost if it is not sold.
Agoda buys rooms from hotels in bulk at the best price. This guarantees a certain amount of rooms are sold by the hotels so they are covered and allows Agoda to give out amazing deals to their customers too.
Agoda then uses a special algorithm to price their bulk-bought hotels to their customers, ensuring they make a profit but are also offering the best deal in town.
Yes, Agoda is reliable when it comes to finding and booking a hotel for the best price. They show you the best deals and allow you to make a booking directly on their websites within minutes.
The only issues that can arise are
These issues come down to the contract, which is between you and Agoda instead of being directly with the provider.
These issues are not specifically the fault of Agoda, it is unfortunately just the way the online travel world works.
Generally speaking, Agoda Customer Service has positive reviews. You can find a wealth of information on their website, use the live chat portal to ask questions or call their 24/7 customer service team.
Most people find the team quick to respond and helpful in solving your issue. However, some people have experienced slow customer service and unhelpful responses.
It is always worth remembering that Agoda is the middleman. This means it can be hard for them to fix issues between you and the reservation provider. They are better at helping when they are at fault or can offer you the best advice for managing the situation.
Agoda has a pretty fair cancellation and refund policy and you can read it in detail here if you like.
Basically, every booking you make with Agoda has its own cancellation policy. It might say “Free Cancellation Before March 20th” or “Non-refundable booking.”
If you make a cancellation before the free cancellation date, you will receive a full refund for your entire booking. Cancel after and you will be charged a fee of a minimum of one night.
When it comes to refunds, so long as you request them properly, you will get the money in your bank within 10 days of the request. This includes shortening your stay at any accommodation.
Yes, all your personal details and card information are safe on Agoda as they use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt all these sensitive details.
This technology makes this information very safe so you do not need to worry when using Agoda.
Generally speaking, you will be safe at any property you end up booking through Agoda, but it is impossible for Agoda to guarantee this as they do not own any of the properties.
The best way to guarantee your safety is to look at the guest reviews for all the properties and book one you feel comfortable with.
Agoda does everything it can to ensure that there are no scams or fraud on its site. Their main point of control is money, as Agoda takes it from you and then gives it to the provider.
If anyone tries to create a scam or be fraudulent, then Agoda has ways of ensuring the booker or the provider are made whole.
For example, they have some issues with people booking all their hotels and then canceling within the “Free Cancellation” policy, which skews their room availability. There is nothing they can do about this but if the guest does a no show, they will still charge the credit card company and get the provider the money.
If a provider has just signed up, they will not pay the provider until 30 days after the booking to ensure the booking went smoothly. So if the provider wants to earn, they have to deliver a good service.
If we take a look at Agoda on Trustpilot.com we can see that around 79% of their reviews are 4 or 5-star reviews. This looks pretty good for Agoda but why is their Trustpilot rating so low at 1.6 stars out of 5?
Trustpilot also takes into account reviews over time and weighs the most recent reviews more heavily than old reviews when it comes to providing their Trustpilot rating. This is great for us consumers as we can see how companies change and are behaving currently.
Currently, it is clear Agoda has some issues as their rating is so low. The negative reviews on Trustpilot are in relation to hotel rooms not being booked, no refunds for cancellations due to bed bugs, bookings being made for the wrong room types, and lots more.
If we take a look at Agoda on sitejabber.com then we see a similar story to that on Trustpilot. As you can see, on sitejabber.com one can select the timeframe of reviews left which is super handy.
In the last year, 95% of reviews left on this site about Agoda are only 1 star, with customers experiencing similar issues as I mentioned on Trustpilot.
Something’s not quite working right at Agoda as they have the ability to provide an incredible service to their customers as they used to.
Step one in finding a good accommodation provider is to look at the photos in detail. Make sure there are enough photos and they show all of the accommodation offerings such as the shower, bed, and toilet.
Then read the reviews. Hotels only show great things by choice on Agoda, the truth will be in the reviews. Make sure the accommodation has at least 100 reviews and a rating of over 9.
If the reviews and photos are good and the accommodation provides everything you want, you can move on to the next phase.
Every property has its own cancellation policies and these are directly related to whether you can get a refund.
Read the policies so you know what you are signing up for and are happy with them. I would always recommend booking accommodation with a Free Cancellation date instead of a Non-Refundable booking.
Book your accommodation using the pay at the hotel option as this means that you do not have to try and get your money back if your plans change, as you have not paid Agoda anything.
Make sure the confirmation email has all the correct booking details on it including dates, room type, and more.
Now call the provider you booked with and ask them to confirm your booking. Check everything including dates, room type, and more. Ask the hotel to email you their confirmation so that you have proof just in case.
There are lots of similar sites to Agoda where you can book hotels, flights, car rentals, and more online.
In fact, two of the most similar sites to Agoda are booking.com and kayak.com, both of which are owned by the same company which also owns Agoda, Booking Holdings.
The other mega travel company to look out for which offers a similar service to Agoda and Booking Holdings as a whole is Expedia which also owns Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, eBookers, and CheapTickets.
No, Agoda is not ATOL protected. ATOL protection provides protection to travelers if their travel operator stops operating before their trip or while they are on it. The traveler can then continue their vacation, be flown home, or claim their money back.
No, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings, not Expedia.
Agoda is owned by Booking Holdings, which also owns priceline.com RentalCars.com, OpenTable and Kayak.
Generally speaking, Agoda makes between 10 to 30% on bookings made using their website.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!