Complete Guide to Citi Prestige 4th Night Free

Last updated 7/24/2017

Prestige 4th Night Free

The Citi Prestige card has many excellent benefits. One benefit is a complimentary 4th night with a minimum 4-consecutive night booking at any hotel.

Prestige 4th Night Free

Citi advertises the benefit as follows:

Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com or the Citi Prestige Concierge (based on your average night stay, exclusive of taxes and fees).

Citi lists the following eligibility requirements:

  • Only one complimentary night is eligible per each stay. A stay is consecutive nights booked and stayed on one reservation and does not include back-to back stays. Back-to back stays are stays at the same hotel booked on two reservations (as an example, you book four nights at a hotel on one reservation for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and book another four nights on another reservation for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. In this situation, you would only be eligible for one complimentary night for the 8 night stay).
  • Rates provided by Citi Prestige® Concierge and at Thankyou.com may vary.
  • Group reservations, or other reservations consisting of multiple rooms, only one room will qualify for one complimentary night.
  • Packaged rates, such as air and hotel, hotel and car rental do not qualify for this benefit.
  • Hotel imposed fees and incidental guest charges are the Cardmember’s responsibility.
  • Bookings made through other methods such as, travel agents, websites or directly with a hotel will not qualify.

Book Online or via Concierge?

4th Night Free reservations can be booked online through the ThankYou.com website or via phone or email through the Citi Prestige Concierge.  Each has pluses and minuses but for most situations I highly recommend going through the Concierge:

Online: The primary advantage to booking online is that it’s relatively quick and easy.  Other advantages: You can see for yourself all of the available hotels and room options within a chosen hotel; you can pay with points; and you’ll only be charged the 75% rate. There is no need to wait for the 4th night reimbursement.   There are serious disadvantages though:

  • You can’t apply additional discounts.  You can’t get AAA rates, government or military rates, hotel promotional rates (unless they are available on ThankYou.com), etc.
  • You won’t earn hotel loyalty points for your stay.
  • Your elite status (if any) most likely won’t be recognized.
  • Your receipt will show only the discounted price (this is an issue if you intend to expense the entire 4 nights)

Citi Prestige Concierge: You can book through the Citi Prestige Concierge either by phone or by email (details below).  I find email to be the best option.  The great thing about going through the Concierge is that you can ask them to apply discount codes, hotel promotional codes, etc.  Also, we know from experience that reservations booked this way do earn elite credits and points when staying at chain hotels.  And, upon checkout, you’ll receive the full folio for all four nights.  This can be used for business expense reimbursements, for example.

Advice: In my opinion it’s almost always better to book via the Citi Prestige Concierge.  Booking via email is very easy (see below for instructions).

Pay with Points or Credit Card?

With the new online booking option, it is now possible to pay with points at the time of booking.  The problem is that you’ll only get 1 cent per point value when points are used this way and you won’t earn credit card rewards.  If you still want to use points this way, I recommend paying with your credit card and then later redeeming points for 1 cent each to offset the statement charges.  This way you’ll earn credit card rewards and get to use your points to cover those charges.  In general, though, you’re better off using Prestige points for 1.25 cents per point towards airfare.  Or, better yet, transfer points to select airline programs when you know you can get a high value reward flight.

One exception: If you have both the Prestige and Premier card and your points are pooled together, then you will be able to use points to book a 4th Night Free reservation at a value of 1.25 cents per point.  In other words you’ll get both the Prestige card’s 4th Night Free and the Premier card’s 1.25 cents per point value towards hotel awards.  That’s not bad.

Advice: Don’t pay with points unless you have both the Prestige and Premier card and you have pooled the points together.

Stack with Hotel Free Night Promotions?

Hotels often offer their own 3rd Night Free or 4th Night Free promotions.  The Prestige 4th Night Free benefit does stack with these offers.  Unfortunately, though, you won’t get two nights free.  Instead, the hotel’s deal will be treated as a discount that applies before calculating the Prestige 4th Night Free benefit.  For example, let’s say a hotel charges $300 per night and they have a 3rd Night Free promo.  In that case, the total hotel charge for four nights would be $900 ($300 for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th night).  Next, the Prestige benefit would be an additional 25% discount or rebate.  25% of $900 = $225.  Your final cost, then, would be $900 – $225 = $675, or $168.75 per night.  That’s approximately a 44% discount off the original $300 rate.

Sometimes hotel promotions show up in the Citi ThankYou hotel search results, but sometimes they do not.  Book through the Citi Concierge if a promotion does not display online.

Booking the 4th Night Free – Step by Step

  1. Call the Citi Concierge at 1-561-922-0158.  Concierge services are now handled by Aspire Lifestyles. Tell them that you would like to use your Prestige card’s 4th Night Free benefit.
  2. Ask them to check AAA, AARP, and/or government rates (whatever you qualify for).  They may not offer to check these for you automatically.  Sometimes these rates will be much lower than the best available rate otherwise.
  3. Add your hotel loyalty number to the reservation.  If you’re booking a stay with a hotel that’s part of a loyalty program, the travel agent can add your number to the reservation.  You should earn both points and stay credits for the stay.  If you forget to add your number at the time of booking, you can use your confirmation code and contact the hotel chain directly to add your number to the reservation.

How to book via the Citi Prestige Concierge

When booking through the Citi Prestige Concierge, you can book via phone or email.

Book via email

Email “concierge@yourconciergecenter.com” with the following information:

  • The hotel you want
  • The exact room type you want
  • Any discount codes you want applied and that you qualify for (e.g. AAA, government rate, etc.)
  • Check-in and check-out dates. For clarity I’d also write the number of nights
    (e.g. “Check in on July 7 for 4 nights, check out on July 11”)
  • The number of people that will be in the room.  In some locations you may be better off booking for just two people even if you intend to have more.  After booking, contact the hotel directly to see if they can accommodate additional guests.
  • Your loyalty program number for the hotel chain, if any
  • The last four digits of your Citi Prestige credit card

Book via phone

  1. Call the Citi Concierge at 1-561-922-0158. Tell them that you would like to use your Prestige card’s 4th Night Free benefit.
  2. Ask them to check AAA, AARP, and/or government rates (whatever you qualify for).  They may not offer to check these for you automatically.  Sometimes these rates will be much lower than the best available rate otherwise.
  3. Add your hotel loyalty number to the reservation.  If you’re booking a stay with a hotel that’s part of a loyalty program, the travel agent can add your number to the reservation.  You should earn both points and stay credits for the stay.  If you forget to add your number at the time of booking, you can use your confirmation code and contact the hotel chain directly to add your number to the reservation.

How to Book Online

If you’d prefer to book your stay online, then do the following:

  1. Log in to your Citibank account
  2. Click to view “My Points Summary
  3. Click Hotels under the Travel menu
  4. Search for your hotel

 

Q & A

  • How do I know which hotels are available and at what price?  Use the online hotel search function to find hotels and prices. If a hotel isn’t listed it still may be available through the Citi Prestige Concierge. Email to ask.
  • Will I earn hotel loyalty points and elite credits for a stay booked this way?  When booking through the Citi Concierge, the answer is yes (as long as you add your hotel loyalty number to the reservation).  If you book online you most likely will not earn hotel points, elite credits, or elite recognition.
  • How do I know how much of a rebate I’ll get?  You will get back the average room rate for your reservation, not including taxes.
  • Are taxes and fees for the fourth night also rebated?  No.
  • Do I have to pay for the stay with my Prestige card?  Citi says yes.  In one experiment, though, I earned the rebate without paying with my Prestige card (details here).  To be safe, though, I definitely recommend paying with the Prestige card.
  • What discounts can be applied at the time of booking?  People have reported success with many different discounts including AAA, government rates, and even hotel specific promo codes (such as 3rd night or 5th night free!).  Ask the travel concierge to apply any discounts you’re aware of.
  • What discounts are excluded? Conference rates are excluded.
  • What hotels are excluded? Any hotel that requires a credit card authorization form cannot be booked through Citi Prestige (see this post for details).

Comments

  1. New card member here, I had a trip to Ascuncion Paraguay, and was staying 11 nights. Decided to book two hotels (via the Thank You website) and get the 4th night free benefit twice. The first hotel was an independent that I have no loyalty standing with. Everything worked fine, pre-paid so just paid for incidentals when I left.

    The second hotel was the Sheraton where I am a Platinum member. First the reservation never showed up on my account even though I had added my loyalty number on my profile on the Thank You site. Second the lady said because my reservation was booked through “Expedia” I wasn’t eligible to earn points. This is kind of a big deal, as a Platinum member with over 75 nights I typically earn 4 pts per dollar. This was a $1100+ booking so I lost over 5K points there as well.

    I am not sure if this is typical, but I thought the rates came directly off of the SPG site. If not, then this card is not gonna be staying in my wallet past this first year. The booking itself was ~$20 more than the hotel website which was fine cause I was going to get $155 back. Also it says on the website Fourth Night Free applied on my reservation, that kind of scared me. Did it mean it already deducted the fourth night from the bill and the price I paid was the full price minus the fourth night? If so then I was screwed because the two hotels were charging me very close to the price for all four nights on the hotel website.

    Any way, I travel 120 – 200 nights a year usually 2 or 3 weeks at a time internationally. This card could be a huge boon to me if it works like described in this article. If I lose out on points then it is useless to me and I will cut it up and cancel it after this year.

    Next trip I will try the concierge and talk them through the booking, not going to use the Thank You site again.

    • I would definitely recommend you call the concierge for bookings at locations where you’re going to earn points/care about status (like the Sheraton).

      I believe Citi has said you will earn points if booked online, but I was always skeptical and your experience has confirmed that skepticism.

      I found the card extremely useful for the fourth-night-free benefit and considering the amount of travel you do, it could prove extremely valuable to you; but just if you book via phone.

      In my experience, when you call in, they are making your booking via the hotel’s website (I can generally tell because the order of what they’re doing and saying matches the online booking process I’m used to).

      Good luck with the program in future.

      • I just now was doing my expense report, and anyone who plans on paying full price and expensing that should not use the Thankyou portal. You get a terrible receipt that says 4th Night Free applied all over it and shows the Thank You Points as well.

        Also they build that into the price, so even though I could have booked cheaper on SPG website (it was ~$20 more for one hotel and ~$7 more for the other). The portal supposedly gave me the 4th night free built into the cost I paid up front. So I will not be getting a statement credit and I wound up paying more for my (4 nights w/ 4th night free) than if I just booked straight 4 nights on the hotel website.

        I will give it one more shot, but this card is not impressing me so far.

  2. Does the rebate get posted as statement credit?

    Also, I just got my card and want to book a trip in November. I haven’t hit the 7.5k minimum yet in 3 months but will by November. Does that mean I shouldn’t book until then?

    Thanks in advance!

  3. Do you know if booking the rates that include breakfast or parking as a package is included in the 4th night free? or is it strictly for room rates only? I am currently looking at a holiday inn which has all 3 options.

    • This varies by hotel and how they code their room rates. You should call the Prestige Concierge and ask about the specific hotel and dates you’re looking for and they can look at the rooms and rates available.

  4. I keep getting messages from the Concierge that they do no book hotels, you have to go through Thank You (I have prestige and premier and want to use my points and get the 25% discount plus 4th night free). It shows up in the portal but the room type I want isn’t available there.

  5. Yes, same thing, they transfer me to the Thank You number and then thank you just quotes what is available on the portal. Very frustrating.

      • Yep – the response, “Unfortunately the concierge service does not work with Thank You points at all. To book a 4th Night stay with Thank You points, you will need to call Thank You/Connexions Travel at 1-866-951-9927. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

        Maybe it only works if you are going to pay and not book with points?

    • Yes, you are supposed to pay with the Prestige card. I had some luck in getting reimbursed even when paying with other cards, but Citi sometimes investigates to make sure their card was used so I don’t recommend risking it!

  6. My question is similar to one above:
    I am looking to book a 7-night stay at an InterContinental property.
    My plan was to go 1st 4 nights via Prestige “4th night free” program, do 2 of the additional nights on IHG points and the other night on my annual IHG free night certificate.
    Would that work? Am I missing a potential problem/hiccup?
    I assume I can just make separate reservation(s) for the IHG points nights and free night certificate after I do the Prestige concierge booking, then have the hotel link them once I am there, correct?

    • Sure, that looks like it would work. The only potential problem is if you book a different room type (for example, if you book a suite through the Prestige concierge and then your IHG points nights are a standard room — in that case, they could make you move rooms). Otherwise, assuming you’re booking the same room types, it should be no issue to link up the reservations when you arrive — you may just have to get your key reprogrammed a couple of times. I’ve never been forced to actually check out and move rooms in that type of situation.

    • Well, you don’t use this benefit with other “sites” — it just comes down to whether or not the hotel is bookable by the concierge. The answer is “probably”. But you’ll book through the Prestige concierge, not the Leading Hotels or Small Luxury Hotels sites. If you’re asking whether or not those programs will recognize your loyalty benefits when you book through Citi, I don’t have experience with those two. However, generally speaking, if you book via the Prestige concierge (in this case, you’re paying for 4 nights on your Prestige card and being reimbursed 1/4 the average nightly cost before taxes & fees), you’ll get your loyalty benefits. If you book online with Thank You points, you won’t. I would expect that to hold true with those two programs.

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