Agoda.com currency question

Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 01:11 AM
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Agoda.com currency question

I used Agoda for a few of my Japan 2012 hotel bookings and was happy with the rates and rooms we booked. The process was straightforward, I liked how clear the room types and rates were, and the free cancellation on many room types was a big bonus.

I'm booking for another trip now, and trying to work out which currency it's best to pay in to avoid Agoda doing the currency conversion rather than my bank.

So far I've paid in US dollars, as I had it in my head they were a US-owned business and that the native currency, to them, would therefore be US$.

Is that right? I can't seem to figure out how to check.

I am booking for Japan and can easily work out how to pay in Japanese Yen, US Dollars or GBP Sterling (my own currency) but finding which currency Agoda natively work in is not proving so easy.

Can anyone help?

Thanks
Kavey is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 08:26 AM
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First off, Agoda is owned by Priceline, a US company, but Agoda itself is based in Bangkok, with offices in Singapore. Their internal pricing database seems to be kept in US Dollars. If you're really concerned about this - and it's never seemed significant to me - I would check the rates in US Dollars AND the local currency of the destination, then book in whichever currency gives you the best rate.

A general rule of thumb is to always charge things in the local currency to get the bank exchange rate rather than the vendor's inflated one.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 08:37 AM
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Kavey-I've been looking at hotels for our trip and I have found that the rates on booking.com are usually comparable to agoda's (in most instances) and you do not pay (in yen or by credit card) until you check into the hotel.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 10:25 AM
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Michael,
It can be significant - if I accept the option to be charged in a different currency, that leaves Agoda to do the conversion according to their exchange rates. Banks often beat these by a small percentage, so for a booking of several nights, it can make a difference. So far I've always kept the charge in US dollars, allowing my bank to convert. But wanted to confirm that US dollars is indeed the native currency that Agoda work in. Your information seems to suggest that is the case, thanks.

Shelley, I think Agoda and Booking.com are owned by same parent now (Priceline, as Michael says) so makes sense that rates are comparable. Don't they need a deposit or anything to guarantee the booking? Makes me nervous not to pay anything at all until arrival...?

Thanks both, much appreciated.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 02:18 PM
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I'm always happy that Agoda quotes a set price in Dollars, and you can pay right then instead of hoping rates dont change before I get there. On occasion, I'll do the converting to see if Agoda is the best deal, and usually it is. To do this, I go to the hotel's web site, check their rates and convert that to US Dollars. Then go to Agoda, and see what their rate is in Dollars vs, say, Rupees. Using any forex site, you can tell the best price, then add on any conversion rates you CC might charge.

If the price difference is significant, you'll know how to book, but keep in mind that conversion rates may change if you don't pay until you stay.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2013, 08:34 PM
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You should look at the final cost to you. One major few is the exchange fee charged by your credit card when charging a foreign currency, which can be anywhere between zero and three percent.
rkkwan is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2013, 12:11 AM
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Icuy, because I'm based in UK, my native currency is GBP£ so I'm going to be converting either way. But at least if I pay in Agoda's home currency, they won't be doing it for me, my bank will.

RKK, have a credit card which charges no conversion fee.

Thanks folks, your help much appreciated and will look at Booking.com too.

Kavey is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2013, 02:11 AM
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Sorry, I didn't know you were UK!
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by leaving Agoda to convert the rate for you. It's been a while since I had them charge anything but Dollars, but as I recall they ask you which currency you want them to process the charge in when it's different from the currency of the card. Perhaps they've changed that. Anyone know?
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Oh, and yes, Booking.com and Agoda are both owned by Priceline, but they operate independently. I've found that the total cost on Booking.com is usually more than Agoda, when tax and service is added in.
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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Yes, they ask you which currency -- but their core cost/ price is held in one currency (which is now confirmed, as above, as being dollars). When they show the £ price, for example, they're converting their dollar price to £ for me according to their internal conversion rate. I believe in most cases, I'll do better by accepting the charge in their base currency ($) and allowing my bank to convert it to £ for me at its conversion rate.
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