Is Agoda Safe And Legit?

*Disclaimer: I’ve personally used Agoda to book accommodation around the world. I’ve had many positive experiences using the site (especially through their daily deals page). I wrote this guide to help other travelers, but of course I can’t guarantee that you’ll have a positive experience as well. I hope you find this guide helpful!

Agoda is a popular place to book travel accommodation online.

Still, many users share concerns regarding Agoda’s safety, reliability and trustworthiness – whether its regarding booking, payment security or the stay itself.

In this guide, we’ll cover safety and reliability on Agoda.

After providing a brief background of Agoda as a company, I’ll cover three common reliability concerns users share, how Agoda enforces its policies, three common safety concerns, and tips on how to avoid potential issues when finding and booking a place on Agoda.


*Agoda provides a wide selection of steeply-discounted hotel rooms. To see today’s deals on hotels in any destination, click here.

Why Agoda Is A Legit Site

Agoda is one of many travel websites owned by Booking Holdings Inc.

Booking Holdings (called Priceline Inc. from 1998-2014, The Priceline Group Inc. from 2014-18) owns booking, priceline, kayak, cheapflights and rentalcars, among others. It’s been publicly traded since 1999 and is one of the world’s largest travel companies (consistently on the Fortune 500 list). Booking Holdings generated $15 billion in revenue in 2019.

Agoda is one of Booking’s largest assets and one of the first it ever acquired (purchased in 2007). Since then, Agoda built its reputation as the place to find discounts on a range of accommodation options. Over the years, Agoda added money-saving features like AgodaCash, AgodaVIP and Promo Codes to improve customer experience and showcase its best deals.

With this proven track record, Agoda is clearly a legit company. As of 2021, Agoda employs over 4,000 people across 30 countries. Its website and mobile app are available in 39 languages.


*To see today’s deals on hotels in any destination, click here.

How Reliable Is Agoda?

So Agoda is legit, but what about reliability concerns on the customer’s end?

Common reliability concerns include:

  • Hosts not receiving Agoda’s reservation notice
  • Overbooking (Agoda or host over-selling a room)
  • Hosts not accepting an Agoda booking as valid

Reliability Concern #1:

Hosts Not Receiving Agoda’s Reservation Notice

Agoda sends a confirmation email to guests and hosts when reservations are made.

As a guest, you can access every booking you’ve made inside your Agoda account. Your host can access their bookings from within their own account. Agoda also sends a reminder email to you and your host a few days prior to check-in.

Reliability Concern #2:

Overbooking (Over-Selling Rooms)

The listings you see on Agoda are based on what hosts report as available.

Overbooking can occur if a host forgets to notify Agoda that a room is no longer available, then Agoda unknowingly sells that room. However, hosts typically sync their inventory across all platforms, meaning room availability is updated in real time – so overbooking rarely occurs. If you’re told that your room was overbooked after arriving to a property, notify Agoda.


Reliability Concern #3:

Hosts Not Accepting An Agoda Booking

Listings can only be sold on Agoda with their host’s permission.

If your host doesn’t accept your Agoda reservation upon arrival, even after you’ve presented identification (passport for foreign nationals) and proof of booking, report the situation to Agoda immediately.

How Agoda Enforces Its Policies

Agoda mediates issues between guests and hosts.

Hosts agree to Agoda’s Policy page conditions when publishing listings. Guests agree to these conditions and their host’s policies when booking.

If a host is at fault for something, such as unfairly cancelling a guest’s booking or publishing a listing with misleading photos or description, Agoda penalizes that host according to its policies. If a guest is at fault, Agoda penalizes that guest based on the policy they agreed to when booking.

To learn more about cancellations and refunds on Agoda, click here.

*To see today’s deals on hotels in any destination, click here.


Is It Safe To Book With Agoda?

So, Agoda is a legit company that enforces its policies on hosts and guests, but what about safety concerns from the guest’s perspective?

Common customer safety concerns include:

  1. Payment Safety (card details, personal information)
  2. Guest Safety At The Property
  3. Booking Scams And Fraud

Safety Concern #1:

Payment Safety (Card Details, Personal Information)

Nobody wants to worry about the security of their credit card details during an online transaction. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about this on Agoda.

Agoda operates through the merchant model and agency model.

Through the merchant model, the guest pays Agoda for their booking, then Agoda forwards the host a percentage of that guest’s payment. Agoda charges the guest’s credit card directly, without passing the card’s details onto the host.

Through the agency model, Agoda acts as a broker between the guest and host. Rather than charging the guest directly, Agoda collects and passes the guest’s card details onto their host, who then charges the full payment total. The host pays Agoda a percentage of their guest’s total.

To learn more about how payments work on Agoda, click here.


Concern #2:

Guest Safety At The Property

Safety can be a concern whether you’re at a resort or guesthouse.

If you’re new to Agoda and want to be safe while booking, I recommend sticking to listings with many reviews (30+) and an outstanding review rating (8.5+). Also, read the listing’s full description and customer reviews from the past 6 months.

Agoda doesn’t dissuade hosts from listing in any particular geographical areas. So if neighborhood safety is a concern to you, research local neighborhoods before booking. You can filter by neighborhood and proximity to attractions by using “Location” below the search bar.

If you ever feel unsafe at a property, you can contact Agoda.


Concern #3:

Booking Scams And Fraud

Agoda has systems in place to prevent booking scams and fraud.

These systems are designed to protect vulnerable customers. One example is, Agoda holds onto a host’s first payout for 30 days after their first guest checks out. Payment is only delivered if the booking went smoothly.

Hosts must provide documentation and photos proving their association to the property they list (before it’s approved). Agoda reserves the right to ban any host, no matter how many positive reviews they’ve accumulated.

How To Avoid Potential Issues When Booking On Agoda

There’s always the potential for an unforeseen issue to occur when booking online rather than in-person or through a recommendation. With countless transactions and properties joining Agoda daily, and travel accommodation being a highly competitive industry, it’s easy to understand why.

Still, there are simple measures we can take to minimize the risk of a negative occurrence while traveling. Here are some tips to follow when booking on Agoda:

When searching for a listing:

  • Establish your destination, dates and budget prior to searching
  • Use Agoda’s search filters to narrow results based on your criteria

Only consider listings with:

  • Recent, positive reviews from satisfied guests
  • Clear photos showing the room and property entrance

Selecting a room and finalizing your booking:

  • You’ll notice many appealing rooms on Agoda, but some are remotely located. Make sure you book near where you’ll spend time after arriving. All listings have an interactive map that display its distance to local landmarks.
  • Read the listing’s full description. Make sure its amenities fit what you want, whether that’s breakfast, laundry or parking. A full description shows that the host put effort into creating their listing.
  • Read the cancellation policy and double-check the price prior to booking.
  • Your Booking Confirmation email should arrive within 10 minutes from when you make the reservation.

*To see today’s deals on hotels in any destination, click here.


Hopefully you found this guide helpful.

We covered Agoda’s background as a company, three reliability concerns many users share, how Agoda enforces its policies, three safety concerns, and how to avoid potential issues when searching for and booking a place on Agoda.

To learn more about Agoda, explore our other guides below.

Enjoy your travels!

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