Originally created by Microsoft, Expedia is one of the biggest and most successful online travel sites in the world. Being based in North America means it’s one of, it not the strongest in this market when it comes to hotel accommodation. These days Expedia is owned by Expedia Group, which also includes sites such as Travelocity and Orbitz – in fact you will find that these are almost the same site, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
|With Booking Holdings (parent of Booking.com) as their parent, it should come as no surprise that Agoda delivers a smooth and reliable experience when it comes to booking hotels. Agoda is originally created in Singapore, which means that they are very strong in South-east Asian markets, as well as Asia in general. Whilst they might not be a household name to Americans and Europeans, they are in fact the largest OTA in several Asian countries and have a strong reputation.|
|Expedia's hotel reservation system is a mature product with considerable options. They offer both prepaid and pay-at-hotel options depending on the hotel with their pay-at-hotel offering currently being marketed as “Reserve now, pay later”. Besides hotels and resorts, they claim to offer access to more than 1 million apartments and alternatives accommodations. With the current COVID-19 situation, they also offer information on cleaning practices at the property. As with most of the major travel sites they offer a large range of rooms with free cancellation, as well as some which are fully-refundable. They also have a map where you can see the nearby attractions in the city, although the map itself is fairly basic. Expedia offers quite a lot of information about extra charges that other sites often don’t, including valet parking fees, Wi-Fi fees, pet fees, parking fees and even the deposit you must leave when checking in. Generally speaking, Expedia has fairly high quality hotel reviews and allows you to filter by type of traveler. Unfortunately though they don’t let you filter by room type which some of the competitors offer. You also can’t sort by the worst reviews first which a lot of people want to read. For those with accessibility issues, Expedia offers quite a lot of information like whether each of the public facilities are wheelchair friendly – this information is lacking from almost all competitor sites. When searching, the top search results are usually marked with an “Ad” label and might not necessarily be relevant to your search results so it’s important to keep this in mind. One great feature of Expedia is that is on the search page every image is an image carousel allowing you to compare hotels better without having to click through to every one. One of the best things about booking on Expedia is that each room only shows one price, and then users can add things like breakfast, free cancellation, or change to a “pay-later” type booking by adding extra money. Overall this makes for a much more pleasant booking experience than other sites which often list 5 -10 prices for the same room, each with slightly different options. Generally speaking we find Expedia’s approach to fees relatively transparent, for example cancellation policies and penalties are prominent, and also feature on the checkout page right before you make the booking as a final reminder. Searching on Expedia is a very smooth experience. Besides searching by city, you can also search by country, state/province, airport, train station, attraction, area, or even metro station. The search results are also delivered fast, unlike some other sites.||Like most of its competitors, Agoda offers both prepaid and pay-at-hotel options when booking. They also have an Agoda Secret Deals program, where you can book hotels at heavily discounted prices, however the name of the hotel won't be revealed until after you book. One way that they differ from some other competitors is that they let you add options like breakfast as you book, rather than asking you to select the conditions when choosing your room. The quality of their hotel reviews is not bad, however there are a significant amount in languages other than English, which won't be particularly helpful if you're not a native English speaker. When we tested their search functionality we got a lot of mixed results. For example at first we didn’t think that it supported searching by state/province, however it turns out they do but the results typically only show up if you search for something else – odd. Like its parent company Booking.com, Agoda offers a best price guarantee where they will refund the difference if you see a cheaper price on another site. As with all these guarantees, make sure you read the fine print carefully as they’ll only match the price when the booking meets certain conditions. We love Agoda’s search results page. There’s lots of images of each hotel on the page, and you can hover your cursor over them to see an enlarged version. This makes it so much easier to compare hotels without having to go into every one individually. If the COVID-19 pandemic has got you worried, Agoda has lots of useful information about what each hotel is doing on in individual level, for example whether or not they provide masks. You can check both Agoda’s own reviews as well as Booking.com’s reviews on the site, and for Agoda’s own reviews you can filter by room type to see more relevant reviews – something that Booking.com doesn’t offer. Unfortunately, Agoda doesn’t include the hotel replies, even for the Booking.com reviews. Agoda also offers video content for some top-selling hotels, and when we say video content what we actually mean is a slideshow of some of the better images, combined with some user reviews. It’s quite nice, although I don’t think it would make me any more likely to book the hotel. They’ve got a cool map feature where you can see the nearby attractions and shops as points on the map, but unfortunately it doesn’t really show enough information to actually be useful. Agoda also offer price alert functionality so you can keep informed if there’s a price drop. This feature is slowly becoming more common across online travel sites, but a lot still aren’t offering it. One thing that we really like about Agoda is that rather than just saying “Breakfast”, they give detailed information about what kind of breakfast is on offer. Similarly they give detailed information about the restaurants available at the hotel. Once thing we hate is on the payment page there’s a “Holding this price for 5 minutes” countdown, which can be extended by pressing the button. These kinds of pressure selling tactics are typically fake and leave a bad taste in user’s mouths.|
|Pricing & Fees||Pricing & Fees|
|From a random sample test, we found that Expedia's pricing wasn't particularly impressive. Having said that, the pricing is still relatively in line with other players, in fact Expedia actually had the cheapest prices on a few hotels. In addition you need to remember that Expedia's home market is North America, so it stands to reason that they should be one of the first sites to check out if you're travelling in the United States or Canada.||As with the other major competitors, Agoda do not charge any kind of booking fee or credit card fee for bookings. The only exception is for Pay-at-hotel bookings, where the hotel may charge a credit card fee – the same as other competitors. From our own independent testing, we found Agoda’s pricing to be excellent, rating number 2 overall in our comparisons. While this was a comparison of properties worldwide, it is overall evident that Agoda’s best pricing can be found in Asia. Being associated with Booking.com however also gives them access to some strong pricing in Europe and the Americas.|
|Expedia without a doubt has the best availability for hotels in North America. From our own tests though we found that they are not always as good in Europe and Asian markets, so it's going to depend on what exactly you are looking for.||From our own internal testing, availability on Agoda is excellent. It excels in South-east Asia and Asia in generally due to its own brand, and has strong coverage in Europe and the Americas, probable due to its relationship with Booking.com.|
|Expedia is available on desktop and mobile browser, as well as a mobile app on both Android and iOS. In addition, Expedia is available almost worldwide, which means they support over 35 languages.||Hotels are Agoda’s main product, so as expected they are available through their iOS and Android mobile apps, their mobile website and their desktop website. Hotels can be booked in around 39 languages, so Agoda ranks very highly in this regard.|
|Payment Methods||Payment Methods|
Expedia don't charge any extra booking fees or credit card fees, which is in line with most of the other major players. As they offer both prepaid and pay-at-hotel booking options, it might be worth taking this info consideration when you're booking. In terms of payment method, they accept all the major credit cards including American Express, Visa and Mastercard. In addition to that they accept Paypal. They don't however accept Google Pay or Apple pay.
Besides Visa, Mastercard and American Express, Agoda also accepts a multiple other minor credit and debit cards including JCB, UnionPay, Discover and Diners. Besides cards, they also accept Paypal, as well as AfterPay for bookings in AUD. Overall, it has an above average number of payment methods, and a very smooth payment experience.
|As one of the earliest players in the online travel industry, Expedia has a well-established reputation. While their booking experience is generally considered quite good, they are not particularly well regarded for customer service. In particular, they are known for very long waiting times on the phone. Their mobile apps rate reasonably in the respective app stores, however the scores aren't as good as some of the leading players.||Agoda has quite a good reputation when it comes to hotels, so we wouldn’t hesitate to book a hotel through them. Their Trust Score on TrustPilot is 3.9/5.0 at the time of writing which isn’t fantastic, but it’s also not too bad for a OTA going through COVID-19. As always, carefully check that the conditions of your room are before booking, particularly the cancellation policies.|
|Customer Service||Customer Service|
|Expedia provides a number of toll-free phone numbers which can be called from varies countries around the world. They also offer a chatbot which can complete a number of simple actions like checking or cancelling your booking without having to talk to a real person. Although they might not be known for answering the phone quickly, unlike some competitors they don’t charge extra any money for service, which means that when a hotel offers free cancellation, even if you speak to a customer service representative it won’t cost you a cent. For the record, you don’t need to speak to anyone to cancel a booking, this can be done directly through the website.||Agoda offers telephone support (via local phone numbers), online chat via their app as well as email support. However they don’t make most of these options easy to find – usually you’ll have to click a “Show more options” link in the help section. When booking a hotel with Agoda, all three options appear to be available, whereas they aren’t when you book flights with them.|
|Expedia is always a site worth checking. While they are not known for their customer service, they have excellent available, paricularly in North America, and offer solid prices. In addition, they're been around for more than 20 years, so you can trust that they'll still be tomorrow.||Overall, we consider that Agoda is definitely worth checking out no matter in the world you want to book a hotel. Considering they seems to share a lot of hotel inventory with Booking.com, and that we found their prices to in fact be better than Booking.com, we highly recommend you compare prices here first before booking elsewhere.|