Short story time. =)

I love to travel. I try to do so at least twice a year, be it short getaways to a beach resort or a gorge-ourselves-silly trip to hospitable Taiwan. Most of the time, accommodation takes up a significant portion of my budget. Interestingly, accommodation is also one aspect of travelling where there is huge savings to be made, if you know where to look.

My wife and I have been spending our spare time planning for a trip to Sydney, Australia and we had our eyes on a hotel located just beside Sydney’s Central Railway Station. Good location typically means a not-so-good price. Checked out the hotel’s official website and it’s gonna cost us S$478 nett for our 2-nights stay. Pfft.

Hotel Price Aggregator

What to do? Time to be a keyboard/mouse warrior.

First, fired up my favourite hotel price aggregators such as Trivago and Hotels Combined. Well well, not bad at all! Cheapest 3rd party booking site is only charging a total of S$399 nett for the same 2-nights stay – instant S$79 savings. Keching!

Problem is, I’m not that familiar with this 3rd party hotel booking site and online reviews highlighted a couple of bad experiences. Agoda, on the other hand, is charging S$414 and is much more established with a Singapore office. Also, my Citi PremierMiles Credit Card promotion gets bonus miles per dollar spent at Agoda. Hmm, a little problem of paying an extra S$15.

How to get the best of both world? I made use of Agoda’s Best Price Guarantee which many people don’t give a damn about :

If you have reserved a hotel room through Agoda and then show us that you could book the same room for the same dates at a lower rate that is viewable and bookable on another website, we will either match that rate or beat it.

Basically, what I did was to make screenshots of what I would pay ($399) at this 3rd party website first, and then I proceed to made a booking at Agoda, paying $414. Then, I submitted a claim for Agoda to match the lower rate.

Your claim meets all our Best Price Guarantee (BPG) terms and conditions and we’re pleased to honour the claim. The lowered rate applies to this particular booking only. The original rate applies in the event of cancellation or amendment. Full details of your refund will be sent to you separately.

Woohoo! Mission accomplished. Successfully made a booking with Agoda at the lowest rate possible, saving S$79 in the process. Earned another 5.2 miles per dollar spent, which is roughly about S$21 worth of cash rebates. The internet is a wonderful tool. Originally, we would have paid S$478 but now, we have ended up saving S$100 in the process.

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A huge thank you to all who have taken part in the giveaway contest! I will be selecting the lucky winner, who will be contacted via email. For the rest of you guys and girls who did not win anything, you are already enrolled into this year end’s giveaway as well as all future giveaways if you have subscribed to the mailing list. Why wait?

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