Lately I have been frequenting Booking.com and Agoda mobile apps because of my upcoming trips. Both mobile apps as well as their web versions are awesome to use. I first started using Booking.com last year but have only thought of considering Agoda lately at the suggestion of a friend. Here’s what I think about Booking.com and Agoda mobile apps:
1 – I like hotel stay prices to be displayed as the final amount I would be paying. In this regard, Booking.com would take the most points. With Agoda, I would only see the partial price and the breakdown of the price would be seen a few pages later.
2 – When it comes to newsletter subscription headings, I noticed I would tend to ignore and delete Booking.com e-mails on hotel deals because they don’t usually come off as a “call to action” kind of heading. They generally are about the hotel deals of a specific city you were last recorded browsing using your account. Agoda, on the other hand, has headings about a specific discount. I often find myself clicking through the Agoda e-mails because of the tempting deals. The headings draw me in to check out how I can get the 10% discount as promised within a limited time period.
3 – I recently booked via Agoda at one hotel three times within a week and two times out of those I had to do cancellations. Luckily it was the same room and it was still available for the same dates. When I click on Bookings, there isn’t really much you can change from there even though, for example, the special requests drop down menu and the submit button are still active. This seems to me as somewhat rigid. When I initially booked the room, I set it to pay later and had only 1 card saved. When I wanted to change the card under the saved payment method within the booking itself, the system won’t let me do it. Overall, there is not much change you can do within the booking itself. I had to e-mail customer support regarding the availability of changing the payment method once I’ve made my decision to pay for the booking. After almost two days, I got the reply that changing the payment method was not possible and that I had to re-book. How cumbersome. When I cancelled, I received an e-mail confirmation and it had an invitation to take a survey and leave a feedback regarding the said booking. I certainly hope they take my suggestion seriously to be flexible with making changes to a booking within the particular reservation itself.
4 – What really attracted me to Booking.com in the first place was the fact that they enable the “pay at the hotel” feature in most reservations. Although free cancellations can also be found in Agoda reservations, there’s a catch called prepayment. Because things sometimes get shitty between GCash (the main card I use) and PayPal instant withdrawal transfers, I cannot always guarantee I can do an automatic prepayment using my GCash MasterCard when PayPal and GCash delay my funds for all the sluggish reasons just because they can.
5 – Both Booking.com and Agoda mobile apps load pretty quickly.
6 – I use AirAsia and Tiger Air as alternatives to Cebu Pacific. AirAsia and Tiger Air sometimes have special hotel deals when you book with them and I have been able to apply these discounted rates because of their affiliated promos with Booking.com. Agoda offers Point Max where you can choose to earn miles for a particular booking. It’s not retroactive as you would have to determine your rewards program first. Only when you come to the select rooms section will you be able to view deals like how many miles you can earn with your already chosen rewards program if you book a particular room.
7 – I have compared rates between Booking.com and Agoda with the accommodations I frequent and Booking.com always has the higher discount rates. As someone who has a Frequent Traveller badge next to my avatar, I get awesome Genius secret deals.