How to earn Avios booking hotels via Agoda – and is it worth it?

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Agoda is one of the lesser known British Airways Executive Club hotel partners, of which you can see the full list here.

Agoda is a hotels.com-style hotel booking website, originally focused on Asia.  It was acquired by Priceline and is now a sister company to booking.com.

In 2016, Agoda started to offer frequent flyer miles with every hotel booking you make via a new service called PointsMAX.

Whilst various airlines are part of PointsMAX, I am just focusing on British Airways here.  There is a dedicated BA Executive Club booking link which is here.

How Agoda PointsMAX works

The Agoda / Avios website seems pretty straight forward:  you enter your destination, travel dates and number of beds required.

There is one really odd quirk though.  When you book, you can voluntarily pay more for your room to earn additional Avios with it.

This is both a little odd and obviously not hugely appealing.  Here is an example.

2nd February 2019 in Madrid for 2 adults, Silken Puerta hotel

  • €116 and earns 279 Avios, or
  • €122 and earns 850 Avios

Note that these are identical rooms.  You are being asked to pay €6 extra for just under 600 extra Avios, which is OK but not great.

If you book this hotel without using the British Airways / Agoda micro-site, the cost remains at €116.  In this case, the 279 Avios are ‘free’ to the extent that a non-Avios customer will pay the same and earn no rewards.

Here is another example on the same night at the Hotel Indigo Madrid:

  • €158 and earns 378 Avios
  • €173 (identical room) and earns 1,150 Avios

Paying €173 is a particularly bad deal as you are paying €15 for under 800 Avios.

Something else to remember

Remember that any room booked via Agoda PointsMAX will NOT earn hotel loyalty points from the hotel itself as it will be treated as a third-party booking.  That is not an issue with independent hotels or chains where you have no status or do not collect their points.

I think you’ll struggle to get much value from Agoda PointsMAX but if you want to have a play around the British Airways landing page is here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Please be aware that booking via Agoda pay later is a risk.

    I made a booking for a lodge in SA and used the pay later option as the exchange rate was strengthening significantly at the time of booking.

    By the time of payment, GBP/ZAR had strengthened around 20%, but due to Agoda using ‘their own exchange rates’ the total payment price had increased by 10% from the original booking. After a long complaint they ‘agreed to let me have the booking at the total figure at the price on the date of booking’, but even so with the weakening of the ZAR it should have been 20% cheaper.

    I appreciate they may wish to make some money out of exchange rate fluctuations but the swing between actual rate change and amount charged is scandalous.

    I’m reluctant to push this any further in case they cancel the booking.. not a situation I want to be in when arriving there!

    • Lady London says:

      Thanks for the warning. It’s one reason why on all hotel sites I always search and book in the local currency. I do not wish to be bound by the ‘uk pound estimated price’ at booking that hotel sites like to default to showing me. I always agree local price which is what the small print of each site says is all they guarantee. Same for car hire bookings. I always book at the local currency price.

      Usually if you prepay even in UK pounds you avoid this trap. But how many of us always want to prepay all our hotel and car hire bookings? So I always search and book in the local currency to avoid such shenanigans by hotels and websites.

    • even if the currency doesn’t change, Agoda will rip you off with their “pay later” option.

      I booked a place to stay in the next day – and they added around 10% to the exchange rate.

      do NOT use the pay later option.

  2. Benylin says:

    One thing I hate about Agoda is they don’t quote with taxes until checkout page. It is quite easy to get 10% off Agoda codes as well fyi, usually as a click through from Google hotels, hang around on the website and a “instant 10% off” coupon will appear.

    One recommendation for those of you book cheap hotels is booking.com refer a friend program. They give £15 to you, £15 to your friend, so £30. You can self refer 😉 you get paid out after stay. It has made a lot of my £40-70 hotel bookings in Asia seem a lot cheaper.

    • the_real_a says:

      You can search inclusive of tax – you need to select the option to include the tax in the settings.

  3. Just out of interest, was this for your Cancun trip and what hotel did you end up booking? Any suggestions for good hotels and points of interest? I have a trip planned in a few months time. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Yes,

      I cancelled my booking at Marriott Cancun Resort due to resort fees plus no Elite benefits like breakfast being a Gold Member.
      I have booked a 4* hotel on Amex Travel with complimentary breakfast (you will find it when you search)

      For sight seeing, I would recommend going via Amex Travel (if you have £200 off £600 spend offer on Platinum or less generous £50 off £200 spend on any other Amex) and book Cancun Pass: https://www.smartdestinations.com/cancun/_d_Cun-p1.html?pass=Cun_Prod_Go
      Note there are two alternatives days or number of attractions

      you may also want to browse Viator website to get some idea, if you want to book an excursion not covered by Cancun Explorer Pass or goCancun card.

  4. Memesweeper says:

    Agoda uses the Priceline inventory I think, so a nice alternative to the Expedia family. I found their coverage in Asia a few years back to be excellent. A few extra points is nice too. I’d definitely use them again. Thanks to the commentators here for the warnings about ‘pay later’ and ‘taxes’ — good to know. My gripe is the search for families/multi room is poor compared to hotels.com.

  5. Andreas says:

    Yes, should be mentioned that you can also get 6 avios per €/£ spent on Agoda when clicking from avios.com or IB Plus store, so even in Rob’s 1st example above that would get you close to 1,000 avios for a 1 night stay which isn’t too bad!

  6. AndyGWP says:

    Amex Travel usually has a note when you book (top of the “hotel policies” page) saying bookings through them are classed as third party and benefits may not be recognised by the hotel, so (I think) your only choice with your Marriott Gold, is to get your number added to the booking and see what happens

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