An article by GenX @ http://www.GenXGenYGenZ.com
If you are a follower of my mine, you will know that my eldest daughter is crazy over K-Pop ever since she was in high school. She’s now in her final year of Uni but still spend most of her time glued to her iPad watching Korean Dramas and K-Pop Videos.
When the iPad Mini was first introduced many years ago, my mum got herself one. And with the iPad Mini, my mum could watch Korean dramas anywhere in the house! I tell you, Apple did the right thing by introducing the iPad Mini as it is much lighter and the ladies can carry it with them everywhere they go as it can easily fit into a handbag! Besides watching korean dramas, my mum uses her iPad Mini to play games and she takes tons of photos with it. My mum also brings her iPad with her when we are having dinner with friends as she can show off her photos.
My eldest daughter has always wanted to go to South Korea. But, I on the other hand have no interest in going there again. You see, I have been to Seoul and Jeju Island many years ago, it was a FREE short holiday complimentary from one of my ex-bosses where we flew there on Business Class and stayed at 5 Star hotels.
Then last week, out of the blue, my mum said she wanted to take my two daughters to Seoul. I agreed with her suggestion as my eldest daughter will be graduating by end of this year and is expected to start work next year. Therefore, I thought it would be good for my daughters to spend some quality time with their grandmother. So, the most suitable time for them to go to Seoul is sometime in end of September as both my daughters will be on their school break.
AirAsia was having a Sale, and I noted the cheapest return ticket cost less than RM900. So, I told my eldest daughter to book the return tickets BUT I ended up paying about RM4,600 (for my mum, wifey and 2 daughters – RM1,150 per pax) because the cheap ticket time is at odd hours. My eldest daughter wanted to arrive in Seoul early in the morning instead of in the evening (the cheaper ticket).
With the tickets purchased, the next thing was to book the hotel rooms.
If you have visited my CREDIT CARD PROMOTIONS PAGE, you will note that the following discounts were mentioned:
- Agoda – up to 7% discount with Maybank credit cards.
- Expedia – 10% discount with Maybank American Express cards.
Usually I book my hotel rooms with Agoda and get 7% discount with my Maybank AMEX Reserve to earn 5X Treats Points and pay in Ringgit Malaysia. However, since we can get 10% discount with Expedia, I thought I’d check them out. So, I went and read the terms and conditions for the 10% discount and to my dismay, it’s for Stay Period until end of June 2016 only. Since the girls are going to Seoul in September, this means that the promotion is not applicable in my case.
Oh, before I forget, a nice guy messaged me and informed that he too got 7% discount with Agoda Maybank using his Maybank 2 Gold Cards American Express.
However, what I noticed was that Expedia’s advertised price was cheaper than Agoda’s. I shall now present my findings:
AGODA (agoda.com/maybank) VERSUS EXPEDIA (expedia.com.my)
Below is an image showing the advertised price at Agoda and Expedia for the same Superior Double Room at Lotte Hotel Seoul Main Wing with the same check in (19 Sep 2016) and check out (20 Sep 2016) dates:
As you can observe from above, Expedia’s advertised price is RM125 cheaper than Agoda’s. That’s about 13.5% difference. WOW! Expedia is really freaking good, 13% cheaper than Agoda, unbelievable, right?
Below are more examples for different hotels:
As you can see from above, for the Hotel Skypark Myeongdong III, Agoda’s advertised price of RM390 for Standard Twin room is just slightly higher by 3.7% compared to Expedia’s advertised price of RM376.
However, for the Lotte Hotel and Sejong Hotel, Expedia’s advertised price is so much cheaper, i.e. by more than 13% compared to Agoda’s advertised price. Therefore, even if I were to get 7% discount with Agoda using my Maybank AMEX, I would think that Expedia should still be cheaper right?
So, I told my daughter to sign up with Expedia and book the rooms at Sejong Hotel. After she signed up and when through the process of booking the rooms and just before paying, she highlighted to me that the final price is higher because Expedia then only imposed taxes!!!
The following image shows that the room price ended up to be RM451.42 (versus the RM373 advertised price) for the same dates used in the above examples.
Wait, what was Agoda’s advertised price? It’s RM425. Most of the time when I book with Agoda, I remember that the prices advertised have included taxes. Therefore, with 7% discount using my Maybank AMEX Reserve, I should end up paying less. Well,the image below will show you that by using my AMEX Reserve and booking the Sejong Hotel room with agoda.com/maybank, I do end up paying less (RM400.25) compared to if I were to book with Expedia (RM451.42)!!!
From this exercise I have learned that Expedia’s advertised prices DO NOT INCLUDE TAXES unlike Agoda where their advertised prices are inclusive of taxes (most of the time) and we can get a further discount with the right credit cards.
It is always best that we compare the FINAL CHECK OUT PRICE between different online hotel booking sites and not just rely on the advertised price.
And by me using the fabulous Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX Reserve, I am entitled to 7% discount with agoda.com/maybank and best of all I will earn 1 Enrich Mile for every RM0.954 spent on booking my rooms online.
Want to Fly Business Class for FREE? Well, click here and read my article A Little Bit Of this and A Little Bit Of That – Volume II, Chapter I and see for yourself how the fabulous Maybank 2 Cards Premier AMEX RESERVE and/or Visa Infinite “gave” me RM70,464.50 “equivalent cash” to go purchase 5 FREE return Business Class tickets Kuala Lumpur/London for my wife, 3 children and me! I tell you, the Maybank 2 Cards Premier are the only credit cards in the world that will earn us equivalent cash back of more than 10% for any type of transactions on any given day of the year!
Another Credit Card Tutorial by GenX