By booking strategically, you can get great value out of the popular 4th night free benefit – even with the new two-use-per-year limit.
On Sept. 1, 2019, the Citi Prestige card debuted the latest of its changes slated for 2019 – a two-use-per-year limit on the renowned fourth night free perk. Now, Prestige cardholders can enjoy a fourth night free on any hotel booking only twice per year.
Additionally, cardholders can no longer book their fourth night free through the Citi Prestige Concierge. Instead, all fourth night free bookings must be made through the ThankYou portal, either by phone or online.
Despite new limitations, the fourth night free benefit is still one of the most lucrative credit card perks out there. If you shop carefully, you can rack up substantial savings on hotel stays. Read on to learn more about the perk and how to use it.
Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit: Things to know
What is the 4th night free benefit?
Citi Prestige cardholders who take advantage of the fourth night free perk can enjoy highly discounted hotel visits. For any hotel booking of four nights or more, you can receive a discount equal to the average nightly rate of your stay (excluding taxes and fees). Effective Sept. 1, 2019, this perk can only be used twice per year.
How the 4th night free perk works
The fourth night free offer is only applicable to hotel stays four nights or longer. You only get one fourth night free per stay, so eight-night stays won’t earn you two nights free. In the same vein, group bookings or bookings with more than one room still only get the discount applied to one room, for one night.
When you book a fourth night free, you’ll have to pay the bill in full up front. For longer stays at nicer hotels, this could be a pretty hefty charge. Booking a fourth night free also works like booking directly with the hotel, so you can’t match rates advertised on travel sites like Expedia or Priceline.
How to book a 4th night free
Unfortunately, Citi recently restricted fourth night free bookings to the ThankYou portal, preventing cardholders from booking their stays through the Citi Prestige Concierge. This is a big drawback for deal hunters, as booking through the concierge was a way to stack discounts and preserve elite status benefits.
Nevertheless, booking through the ThankYou portal, whether you do so online or by phone, is incredibly straightforward. Plus, you can apply ThankYou points to cover some of the cost of your stay.
Booking through the ThankYou portal
Booking your hotel stay with a fourth night free offer with ThankYou is very simple. You can easily search for hotels on the Citi ThankYou travel portal based on your travel dates and destination and filter down to properties eligible for the fourth night free perk. You can also call 1-800-ThankYou to book by phone.
Once you make your selection, you have the option to pay for your stay using your Citi Prestige card, ThankYou points or a combination of the two. Your discount will be applied immediately at checkout when you pay in full for your stay.
The biggest downside to booking through the ThankYou portal is that you won’t be able to apply your hotel loyalty membership. For most hotels, you also won’t be able to receive your elite status perks – including late checkouts or free breakfast. Since you are limited to rates available on the ThankYou Travel Portal, you can’t utilize any additional promotions, such as AAA or military discounts.
How to get the most value out of your 4th night free
To get the most value out of your fourth night free benefit, follow a few simple rules.
Plan your trips for the year in advance
Make a plan of the trips you are hoping to take in the coming year. While you might not be able to predict all travel beforehand, you can get a good idea of which hotel stays will cost you the most money. Then, you can use your two fourth nights free to get the most possible value.
Whenever possible, pay with your Citi Prestige card instead of ThankYou points
Use your Citi Prestige card to earn 3 points per dollar on your hotel purchase. That way, when you’ve used both of your allotted fourth night free benefits for the year, you have more rewards set aside to book other travel.
Even with new limitations, the fourth night free benefit on the Citi Prestige card gets users incredible savings on their hotel stays. By planning your trips in advance, you can ensure you are getting the best value out of the perk.