The best 4th Night Free finds


Last week I challenged readers to beat my best 4th Night finds.  The idea was to find hotels and dates in which the 4th night of a stay was astronomically more expensive than the first three nights.  Why?  Because one of the Citi Prestige card’s benefits is a rebate of the 4th night price for a multi-night hotel booking.  Since Citi rebates the actual price of the 4th night rather than simply offering a 25% rebate, I figured that there must be situations where this would lead to extraordinary savings.

Good news for Citi

While there are amazing deals to be had, there is good news for Citibank:

  • These deals are hard to find.  The opportunities tend to be event specific: nights leading up to a big event are often normally priced, then prices surge upwards as the event nears.  But we don’t see that trend at all hotels or for all events.  Far from it.
  • Many of these “deals” aren’t really deals.  If a person wasn’t planning to attend the event in question, then they often wouldn’t really be saving any money over going some other time when the rates were lower across the board.  Sure, they may earn more hotel points but usually the value of those points wouldn’t be so high that it would make sense to alter travel plans for them.
  • Opportunities are location/date specific, and often quite inconvenient.  The chance that a person’s travel plans will directly coincide with these opportunities has got to be very small.  For example, if you’re planning to attend the SuperBowl on Feb 7, 2016, would you really want to check into an area hotel on Feb 1 and checkout on Feb 5 (since the prices skyrocket on the 4th)?  Where would you stay on the 5th, 6th, and 7th?

Overall, Citibank will have to pay outsized for outsized benefits to the few people who luck into these deals (or expend a huge amount of effort in seeking them out), but I expect that most people will find them too hard to find, not much of a deal compared to alternatives, and too inconvenient as well.

Plus, there’s no guarantee that they’re even bookable.  Readers used the cwtvacations website to find hotel rates.  Rates found there are likely to be the same that you’ll be quoted when using the 4th Night Free benefit, but you might not be that lucky.  One reader wrote:

…Just off the phone w/ concierge. Not all the rates in : cwtvacations : are what will be found in the Citi Prestige. I was specifically told that “special vacation rates” will most likely NOT be in CP..

So, using cwtvacations to see what you *could* save can be an exercise in futility and angst, as when actually booking, you may not get those rates. In short, use it as a GUIDE, not as a rule of what you may receive for pricing.

In my case, as I reported earlier, I was able to verify two great 4th Night deals with the Citi Concierge, but others may not be as lucky.

Reader finds

I previously reported finding a deal for a Hampton Inn in Daytona Beach in which the 4th Night was almost 50% of the 4 night total.  And, even better, I found a Candlewood Suites in Louisville where the 4th night made up 60% of the total.  Not surprisingly, a number of readers found deals that were just as good or better.  Here were the top reader finds:

Hotel Event Total Price 4th Night Price % of Total Avg Per Night Price after rebate
Hotel Valley Park, San Jose Super Bowl $1588 $1200 76% $97
Holiday Inn Augusta-Gordon Highway Masters $997 $700 70% $74
Marianis Santa Clara Super Bowl $1507 $1000 66% $127
Flamingo Las Vegas CES $643 $425 66% $55
Marriott Cincinnati All-Star Game $2016 $1299 64% $179
Planet Hollywood Las Vegas New Years Eve $812 $499 61% $78
JW Marriott Cannes Palais Stephanie Cannes Film Festival $1703 $1039 61% $166
Comfort Inn Suites Green Bay NFL Game $690 $400 58% $72
Tryp by Wyndham NYC New Years Eve $3106 $1699 55% $352
Vdara Deluxe Suite Las Vegas CES $1292 $674 52% $155
Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino Xmas Holidays $1232 $641 52% $148

In the prior post I promised to give $100 e-gift cards to the top 5 entries.  However, I decided to award gift cards to all 6 people who found deals where the 4th night was 60% or more of the total.  Congratulations go to Steve, Adam, PDXDealsGuy, Matt, Bruce, and Mark!

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