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Agoda.com currency exchange during booking and payment.

I used Agoda.com to book a hotel in Spain. There was a huge savings over booking direct which I always try to do. But one thing to watch out for is the currency exchange conversion in the Agoda website and their app. You will be charged a 5% rate fee unless you comply with 2 conditions:

1. The displayed currency on the website or app must match the currency of the hotel e.g Euros. The website and app will default to the currency where your computer is located e.g. for me in Canada. So everytime you open website or app you have to go up to top of the page to reset the currency. Just understand that what is displayed/what they say you will pay and what you actually pay are two different things.

2. When you go book and provide the credit card, you also have to manually set the credit card charge currency to match the displayed currency (and hotel currency), i.e. Euros again. It always defaults to your usual credit card currency, in my case Canadian. This is similar to the "dynamic currency conversion" issue which is commonly discussed here.

If you fail to meet either of those 2 conditions, Agoda will do a currency conversion and add 5% when it comes time to pay (which is usually much later than when you booked.

FYI, if you have a US issued credit card, you may be immune from the 5%. When you enter your credit card number, they will ask you who is the issuer of your card, which is unusual. IMO, the safer bet is to follow those 2 conditions.

It is all in the fine print, but most people probably miss it and figure the higher final credit card bill weeks or months later was due to the credit card and changing foreign exchange rates. I was able to cancel and rebook to avoid the extra currency fee by following the 2 conditions in the second booking.

FYI, I had read on some forums that if you have paid (which may be due, say, on November 11) and then cancel the booking (which you can freely do, say, by November 13), you get stuck with "Agoda cash" as a refund which can only be used with Agoda bookings. When I telephoned Agoda, they told me that Agoda cash is just an option, you can demand refund to your credit card. Hopefully, I won't have to find out if this is true or not.

Another FYI, Agoda.com (as are Kayak.com, Priceline.com, Booking.com, OpenTable, CheapFlights and others) is a subsidiary of Booking Holdings. So, Agoda is not a small obscure company.

Posted by
8657 posts

I believe the answer was in the OP's second sentence.
"There was a huge savings over booking direct which I always try to do"

Posted by
1265 posts

Agoda booking saved €200 over course of stay.