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Update: Beginning July 23, 2017, the 4th night free perk will refund the average cost of a 4-night stay, NOT including taxes.
For folks who book paid hotel stays often, the 4th night free benefit could be even more valuable than the $800 in airfare you can earn with the card through July 23, 2017!
I’ll show you how to get your free night. And how you’ll earn 2X Citi ThankYou points for that night!
How Does the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free Work?
Link: Citi Prestige
Citi Prestige cardholders can get their last night free on a paid, 4-night hotel stay. And it can be at any hotel that can be booked by Citi Concierge. This includes major hotel chains and independent hotels.
Here’s how to book your stay and get your 4th night free!
Step 1 – Do Your Research
If you know which hotels and dates you’re interested in, 1st search hotel websites to find
The Citi Prestige terms and conditions say:
Rates provided will be equal to or lower than the lowest publicly-available fare at the hotel’s official website.
So it’s good to have the rate information before you call Citi, to ensure you’re getting the best available (or better) rate!
That said, folks on FlyerTalk confirm getting the same rate or even cheaper than booking through the hotel website.
Step 2 – Call Citi Prestige
Call Citi Prestige customer service at 877-288-2484. They’ll connect you to the Citi Prestige Concierge. Ask to book a hotel stay using the 4th night free benefit.
They’ll ask you for your dates of travel, budget, and where you want to stay (you can ask for specific hotels if you wish).
Step 3 – Book Your Stay
If you’re happy with the hotel and rate offered, book your stay with them using your Citi Prestige card.
You may only have to pay a deposit at this time (and pay the balance at the hotel, also using your Citi Prestige card). But for prepaid, non-refundable rates you’ll be asked to pay for the whole stay upfront.
You must pay for all 4 nights using your Citi Prestige card. Then, you’ll receive a statement credit for your last night (room rate and taxes) within 1 to 2 billing cycles after you complete your stay.
Step 4 – Check Your Hotel Reservation
You should get hotel points, stay credits, and elite status perks for bookings made through this program. That’s because you’re booking the hotels through a travel agent at their own rack rates (and not through a discount online travel agency like Orbitz or Expedia).
But if you’ve booked at a chain hotel, you should sign-in to your hotel reward program account and double-check that they’ve added your account number to your reservation.
Step 5 – Watch for Your Statement Credit
Citi says you’ll get a statement credit 1 to 2 billing cycles after you complete your stay. And it’s for the actual value (including taxes) of your 4th night.
Because of this, try to book stays where the last night is the most expensive!
Are There Restrictions?
While there are no black-out dates when you book your hotel stay through Citi Prestige, keep in mind:
- The stay must be booked by calling Citi Prestige Customer Service at 877-288-2484
- Your 4-night stay must be consecutive nights
- You can NOT book 2 “back-to-back” 4-night reservations at the same hotel and get the credit twice – you’ll only earn 1 free night (but I’ll tell you about a workaround later!)
- There are no restrictions on the number of times you use this benefit, but only the primary cardholder is eligible
- Your stay must be fully paid with your Citi Prestige card
- To cancel your reservation, you must call Citi and NOT the hotel (and cancellation policies based on your rate will apply)
- You can book any room or room type, as long as the travel agent can access it (so upgraded rooms, suites etc. all count!).
How to Make the Most of This Benefit
1. Make Your Last Night the Most Expensive
You’ll get the most value out of this perk by booking a stay where your 4th night is the most expensive. That’s because you’ll get a statement credit for the actual cost of that night!
So you’re not limited to saving 25% (1 night free / 4 nights total). If the last night of your stay is the most expensive, you’ll save even more! (And if it’s the cheapest, your average savings will be less).
Often hotels will have more expensive rates on certain nights, like weekends or during special events. So if you can plan your stays to end at those times, you’ll get the best deal.
2. Book 2 Different Hotels
Citi will NOT let you book an 8 consecutive night stay and get the credit for 2 nights.
But if you have a long stay coming up, there are a couple of options:
- Book 4 consecutive nights at 1 hotel, then another 4 nights at a different, nearby hotel
- Book 4 consecutive nights at 1 hotel, stay elsewhere for 1 night, then book another 4 nights at the 1st hotel
Either way, you’ll get the statement credit for the last night of each 4-night booking. That could be a huge savings!
3. Business Travelers Could Do Very Well!
If you travel for business, pay for hotels with your own cards, then get paid back by your employer, you could make a profit
That’s because usually, folks are reimbursed based on the amount of the hotel receipt. And when you book through this program, your receipt will show the full cost of the 4-night stay.
Later, you’ll receive the free night as a statement credit on your personal credit card bill. 🙂
4. You’ll Still Earn 2X Citi ThankYou Points for Your Free Night!
Here’s another great bonus! You’ll earn 3 points per $1 you spend on hotels (including booked through travel agents) with the Citi Prestige.
Initially, you’ll earn 3X points for all 4 nights of your stay. But when the statement credit comes through, folks on FlyerTalk report that they’ll debit ThankYou points from your account at a rate of 1X.
So in effect, you’re getting 2X points for the cost of your last night, even though it’s free! That’s a great deal!
5. This Should Stack With Other Hotel Promotions
Because you’ll earn points and stay credits, you can stack this deal with other hotel promotions.
For example, you should still earn 3X Club Carlson points through Club Carlson’s Triple Points promotion. That’s worth 60 points per $1 you spend!
Who Should NOT Use This Perk?
Most folks who book 4-night stays will get the best discount with this deal.
If you’re not concerned about earning points & stay credits, or getting elite status perks, or if you’re booking an independent hotel without a loyalty program, you might still consider shopping around for a better discount.
However, because big hotel chains have best rate guarantees, you’re unlikely to find a substantially lower rate at other sites. And even if you do, the discount you get probably will NOT equal the ~25% savings you’ll earn by booking with Citi Prestige.
Example: Radisson Martinique on Broadway, New York
The last night of this booking is the most expensive, at ~$347 before tax (~$394 including tax).
If you booked this stay through the Citi Prestige program, you’d only spend ~$942 (~$1,336 room cost – ~$394 last night cost). Saving ~$394 on a 4-night stay is a fantastic discount!
AND you’d earn:
- ~3,614 Citi ThankYou points (~$1,336 room cost x 3 points per $1 you spend = 4,008 points – ~394 points for last night refund)
- ~26,720 Club Carlson points (~$1,336 room cost x 20 points per $1 you spend)
I checked Orbitz and Hotels.com for the same prepaid room at the same hotel and dates. Each had almost identical rates.
With Orbitz, you’d also earn:
- ~$40 in Orbitz Orbucks points (their award currency)
- Credit card points (depending on the credit card you use)
- NO hotel points & stay credits and no guarantees on elite status perks
Hotels.com is similar, except instead of earning Orbitz Orbucks points, you’d earn 4 credits toward the 10 nights required to earn a free night in their rewards program. That’s not nearly as good a deal.
Keep in mind that you can sometimes earn additional cash back by going through an online portal (check Evreward for the best deals) or using a coupon. But it would have to add up to ~25% back to compete with the Citi Prestige perk!
As always, do the math to decide which way will save you the most money!
But What About Prestige’s Annual Fee?
The Citi Prestige has a $450 annual fee which is NOT waived for the 1st year.
This card is already a great deal for the $800 in paid airline tickets and $250 per year in airline fee credits (including airfare) you’ll get with the card. And the ability to transfer Citi ThankYou points to airline and hotel partners like Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Hilton.
Using the 4th night free benefit even once, you could potentially earn back the annual fee.
This is a card for folks who will make use of the perks! It’s NOT a card to meet the minimum spending on, then stick in a sock drawer. Used correctly, you’ll get far more than $450 in value, even without the sign-up bonus.
The Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit is an excellent perk and can save folks lots of money on paid hotel stays. You’ll get a statement credit for the cost of your last night when you book your stay with a Citi Prestige card. But you have to call Citi at 877-288-2484 to book!
The booking process is a little cumbersome and takes some time, but the discount you get is almost always worth it. Especially if the last night of your stay is the most expensive!
There are no black-out dates and you can use this perk as often as you want.