Agoda has been around in the Asian OTA (online travel agent) space for years and years now. It was acquired by Priceline and is now a sister company to booking.com. I’ve used it on a handful of occasions and it’s reliable and reputable despite what people say online.
In 2016 Agoda launched PointsMax, an expansion into new markets – its addition allows holiday-goers to earn airline frequent flyer miles through hotel bookings – although this concept is nothing new as Pointshound, Kaligo and Rocketmiles (which ironically, is also owned by Priceline!) have been offering such rewards for a while now.
It differs from traditional establishments which hotel points and elite night credits through stayin in their hotels.
How Does it work
The number of miles earned is tied to the price of the hotel itself and the airline partner you choose. For instance, it is possible to see different earning rates between AAdvantage, BAEC Avios and Malaysian Enrich.
Although it doesn’t always work out to beneficial, it important to remember that you are likely to pay a higher price for your room as Agoda is effectively selling you the miles. Plus if you read the small print too…
“The rates for PointsMAX bookings may be different from regular bookings at the same conditions”Agoda PointsMAX Terms and Conditions
Is Agoda PointsMAX better than going direct
This answer is twofold, firstly is if you can afford it and second is if the hotel chain gives you the choice.
In terms of price, going to the hotel direct is usually the better option, especially when you consider the additional rewards with your loyalty to one hotelier. However usually large hotel chains are not cheap, or if they are, the hotel at the cheap price are not where you want the hotel to be. But if you can afford the likes of the Hiton’s, Marriott’s and Starwood’s, then this isn’t too much of a big issue.
The second factor is choice. The advantage of using Agoda is that its already has a large variety of properties in the worldwide so you are going to have a good amount of choice. In addition, any points you earn through PointsMAX can be stacked with those that you earn through your credit card so you could be earning miles at a very cheap rate.
How easy is it to use
All members can use PointsMax provided they have an account with Agoda and have linked their frequent flyer program up prior to booking.
Note – you can load up multiple frequent flyer accounts and pick between them as you wish – useful if you have a different card for your Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam account for instance.
Keep in mind that you cannot link someone else’s frequent flyer number to your PointsMAX reservation. The name on your Agoda account has to match the one linked to your frequent flyer account.
Important notes for PointsMAX bookings
- Only the lead guest can earn points. The name on the partner programme membership must match the name on the reservation
- The rates for PointsMAX bookings can often be higher than ordinary rates. Someone has to pay for those points, and it will most likely be you;
- The Agoda price guarantee does not apply to PointsMAX bookings;
- PointsMAX bookings cannot be adjusted either online or via phone. To amend your reservations, you will need to cancel (subject to the cancellation conditions of the reservation) and re-book. Cancelled reservations and no show will not earn points, even if you’ve had to pay for your stay;
- Watch out for PointsMAX bookings that offer a higher fixed points earn rate for a room. These rates are often far more expensive than ordinary rates;
- Only reward points or miles can be collected, not status points or points;
- PointsMAX booking rates cannot be broken down into a room rate and points component.