Citi Prestige Card Fourth Night Free Hotel Benefit Details

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I’ve written extensively about the Citi Prestige® Card, a card that comes with a lot of perks, including the following:

  • A $250 annual airline credit
  • The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
  • A $100 Global Entry fee credit
  • A great points earnings structure
  • No foreign transaction fees

However, one perk I’ve overlooked until now is the complimentary fourth night free benefit at hotels, which the Citi Prestige® Card also offers. When I first read about the benefit I assumed it was a gimmick, as many cards have hotel benefits and “free night” perks associated with them.

Citi-Prestige-Card-Hotel-Benefit

But the more I study this benefit, the more I realize that this might just be the most valuable perk of the card.

Citi Prestige® Card Fourth Night Free Benefit Basics

Here are the basic details of the fourth night free offer:

  • To take advantage of this benefit you have to call a Citi Prestige Concierge, who can help you with making your reservation (your booking will ultimately be made by Carlson Wagonlit Travel)
  • When you make your booking, the fourth night of your stay will be free (as I’ll explain below, this is potentially very different than getting 25% off the stay)
  • The cost of the stay will be equal to or less than the best flexible rate available directly with the hotel
  • You’ll earn full points and stay credits for these stays — this is like booking with a travel agent directly and not like booking with a discount agency or consolidator
  • You’ll be charged for the entire stay at check-out, and then will receive a statement credit for the cost of the fourth night of the stay
  • You can use this benefit as often as you’d like, though it’s limited to the primary card member

Citi Prestige® Card Fourth Night Free Benefit: The Good

There are a few things which make this benefit especially awesome.

First of all, the fourth night of your stay is refunded, as opposed to the average nightly rate for one night. This is an important distinction, and can be hugely beneficial in markets where the nightly rate is highly dependent upon the day of the week.

While this is an extreme example, take a look at the rate I pulled up for the Delano Las Vegas for a couple of weeks from now. The nightly rate for the first three nights is $249, while the nightly rate for the fourth night is $899. That means the fourth night is more expensive than the first three nights combined, and that’s what would be refunded. That’s an amazing perk.

Delano-Rates

As I said above, you also earn full points and stay credits with your preferred loyalty program for stays booked using the fourth night free benefit. Also, keep in mind that since the cost of the fourth night is refunded to your credit card as a statement credit, you’ll still earn full points and stay credits for all four nights.

In other words, if your fourth night was somehow refunded at check-out, you’d probably otherwise only get stay credits for the first three nights. And you otherwise certainly wouldn’t earn points with your hotel loyalty program for the refunded fourth night.

Lastly, the fourth night free this applies even at luxury and non-chain hotels. If you’re a luxury hotel junkie, this is hugely valuable. This is an opportunity to get the fourth night free at all properties of Four Seasons, Aman, Ritz-Carlton, Taj, etc. Getting a “no strings attached” fourth night free at all those properties is something no other card offers, as far as I know.

Amankila
Get a fourth night free at Amankila in Bali

Citi Prestige® Card Fourth Night Free Benefit: The Bad

The downsides of the fourth night free benefit are what you’d expect:

  • You have to pay for your hotel stay with the Citi Prestige® Card, so if there’s another card that would give you a higher return, you can’t use that in conjunction with this benefit; that being said, you can’t go that wrong using this card to pay for hotels, given that you earn 3x points
  • You can’t book corporate rates, advance purchase rates, AAA/senior rates, etc., in conjunction with the fourth night free perk, so in some cases the savings won’t actually be ~25% over what you’d otherwise pay

Put another way, take the below rates at the Andaz West Hollywood.

Hyatt-Rate

The AAA rate is ~10% lower than the best available rate. Then I purchased Hyatt gift cards for 10% off last year, which I could use in conjunction with that rate. And I used the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express for the purchase, which earned me 5% cash back plus one Starpoint per dollar spent. So in that case I’d just about break even using that perk vs. the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit.

Citi Prestige® Card Fourth Night Free Benefit Terms

Here are the full terms of the fourth night free benefit:

INTERNATIONAL COMPLIMENTARY NIGHT HOTELS AND RESORTS PROGRAM TERMS AND CONDITIONS

You will enjoy a complimentary fourth night with no black-out dates, when you book four consecutive nights at any hotel booked by a personal travel advisor designated by Mastercard (the “designated travel advisor” is Carlson Wagonlit Travel). Bookings made through other methods such as, travel agents, websites or directly with a hotel will not qualify.

To receive your complimentary night (via a statement credit) you must:

  • Make a reservation for a minimum, consecutive four-night stay by contacting the Citi Prestige Concierge, to book directly with a designated travel advisor
  • Fully pay for your stay with a Citi Prestige Card

Receive one complimentary night (room rate for the fourth night and applicable taxes only) for any consecutive four-night hotel stay booked directly with a Mastercard designated travel advisor. Hotel imposed fees and incidental guest charges are the Cardmember’s responsibility. The value of the complimentary night will be the actual rate, as provided by the designated travel advisor, on that fourth night of the reservation, even if the rate is different from the rate on other nights. Cardmember will be charged the total cost of the stay at checkout and will receive a credit to the credit card statement for the cost of the fourth night (and the applicable taxes). If the cardmember books a special “pre-paid” rate this may require upfront payment in full, at time of booking. Payment in full is defined as pre-payment for the total of all four consecutive nights. 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 will be equal to or lower than the lowest publicly-available fare at the hotel’s official website. The benefit can only be used by the primary account cardholder.

Citi Prestige® Card Fourth Night Free Bottom Line

At first I assumed this benefit was a gimmick, though the more I’ve looked at it, the more valuable it seems. Because of how the benefit is structured, there are instances where you’ll come out way more than 25% ahead, while there are instances where you’ll come out way less than 25% ahead.

But it’s a great option to have, especially since it also works at non-chain hotels. If you’re someone that frequently stays at luxury hotels, you can easily save thousands of dollars a year with this benefit.

I don’t know of another credit card which offers such an awesome, no strings attached free night benefit just for having the card.

How valuable do you find the fourth night free perk on the Citi Prestige® Card?

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Comments

  1. I applied for the Prestige card a week or so ago and recently got it in the mail. What I haven’t seen pointed out is just how annoying it is to use in practice. For whatever reason they have put the magnetic strip on the front of the card (and made it dark like the rest of the card) and the chip on the back. As such, any time you use it you have to have a conversation with the clerk about how to properly run it. Adds time and aggravation to the process.

  2. I just got this card, and called yesterday to get rates on rooms in Barcelona next month. The Citi Concierge folks take down your info (dates, location, etc) and then call hotels on your behalf and come back to you with a quote for rates.
    I gave them a list of several hotels I am interested in (and that I’ve already checked out publicly available rates for). I should get the Citi pricing back later today – I’m interested to see how they compare!

  3. @Jake: I would avoid using it at an all-inclusive as you can often get good rates combined with cash back and/or coupon codes through OTAs with those, at least down in the Caribbean.

    Example: Last year I went to the Fiesta Americana Condesa in Cancun. Spent $600 all-in on 3 nights that were going for about $930 normally on a variety of sites. Venere had a 20% off sale that included the property (~$740 after coupon), plus I used a 10% coupon code ($666) that was combinable with 10% cash back off the final price or about $600.

    It’s good to have in your arsenal, but definitely check around on pricing, especially if you are looking at a property that allows discounts from OTA sales/coupons.

  4. Are there actually any valuable award chart sweet spots with any of Citi’s transfer partners besides Singapore?

  5. What about Wifi? When I look up SPG properties it says you can purchase Hi Speed Wifi, but if you book directly thru SPG you get Wifi free. Most hotel chains are going to this model. If you book thru this third party do those benefits still apply (specially since your getting points/credit for the stay), with or without status? I ask because this can be a ‘hidden’ fee that can me $15/day or more at some places.

  6. @Chris

    1.6 cents per point on AA/US Air tickets purchased outright – so you get miles/segments and no black out dates. For me I do a lot of $250 flights, that would not cost 15000 points instead of AA/US 25000 points (although i wouldn’t use AA points on a short flight like this anyway).

  7. @ Tony — That’s a great point. Keep in mind only some chains require you to book directly through them to get free wifi. And even within those chains, there are many hotels which now just give free wifi to everyone. So technically this wouldn’t qualify as booking directly with the hotel, for those purposes. And if you have status, you should get free wifi anyway.

  8. @ Chris — As noted above, I think 1.6 cents per point towards travel on American/US Airways is going to be the best value. That being said, I think Air France FlyingBlue is also a pretty valuable program (in addition to Singapore KrisFlyer, as you note). Others have sweet spots, though none that are that great, in my opinion.

  9. “The benefit can only be used by the primary account cardholder.”

    Can we book for someone else by adding their name to the reservation?

  10. I don’t know Luck. I will be interested to hear what others report. Some years ago, I got burned by Citi with the TY Premier (much different card back then). One of the key benefits was a free domestic companion ticket with purchase of a regular ticket, but you had to book through Citi’s Spirit Travel. The first year I had the card, it wasn’t too terribly difficult to actually use the benefit. Sure, you had to call them, and give dates, etc, but it worked, but shortly after the first year, Spirit would ALWAYS tell me it wasn’t available. This is a very inventive card though.

  11. This could potentially be a boon for reimbursed business travel, as your receipts would still show the full payment and you would get a statement credit.
    It wouldn’t make you rich, but it’s a way to stay a bit ahead of the game.

  12. Just got my card delivered yesterday 😀 It seems like everyone thinks something different about this benefit as it relates towards elite credit. I emailed Hyatt GP yesterday (since HGP Diamond is the only status I really have to work to keep). I asked specifically about this Carlson Wagonlit thing, and they replied this morning that stays booked through them do not earn elite credit. Per the email: “I regret to inform you that hotel booking done through Carlson Wagonlit Travel, are not eligible for Hyatt Gold Passport points. You may book through our website http://www.hyatt.com. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.”

    As I type this I realize they didn’t actually answer the question I asked. I asked about elite status credit, not points earning; but since they’re saying you won’t earn points, I would take that to mean you also don’t earn status credits…

  13. @ Garrett — I wouldn’t read too much into what they’re saying. The “standard” response is that travel booked through anything other than Hyatt directly isn’t eligible for points accrual. Carlson Wagonlit also does corporate travel, etc., and those rates are virtually always eligible for points accrual.

  14. Has anyone had any direct experience with using this at an Aman? I’m actually heading to one in a couple months and would love to use this!

    FDW

  15. @Lucky sounds good. I mean, either way it’s not a deal-breaker for me. It was suggested by someone that I test book a stay using this benefit (refundable), and then give Hyatt a ring to see if the stay qualifies. Maybe I’ll give that a try this afternoon.

    Have you personally used the benefit and had the stay credit?

  16. @ Garrett — Literally just applied for the card a couple of days ago, so anxiously looking forward to trying it out. 🙂

  17. @ Lucky (and others) – How quickly did you receive the new card (assuming you’ve received it already)? Citi rep was a little confused on whether or not they overnighted it (like they did the Exec AA cards last year) or not. Would love to take this on an upcoming trip to help with min spend. Thx!

  18. @Garrett

    To clarify my previous comment, the Frequent Miler used the 4th night free benefit on the Citi Prestige card and still earned Gold Passport points and elite night credits.

  19. @Jerome Zagala Thanks for that. It’s worth a try. The worst case isn’t even bad…lol. Appreciate the info.

    @LindaK I applied and was instantly approved last Thursday about an hour after Ben posted the offer. I called and asked them to expedite, which they said they would not do. They overnighted a pin number and some details of my card that I got Monday. I received the card yesterday FedEx Standard Overnight.

    Re: the card delivery–I feel like them overnighting the card is something they should embrace and make known. Instead, you just get the standard “7-10 business days for delivery” speech…then it just shows up early. Meh.

  20. …and i’m sure because someone will ask–the pin is for cash withdrawals. It’s not chip+pin (wish it was).

    Also, as expected the packet that arrived was SUCH a presentation. I would have been disappointed if it was just a plain envelope, but you can’t help but feel bad taking the one little piece of plastic out and throwing the rest in the garbage.

  21. @Garrett – Thank you for confirming shipment details. I would expect rapid overnight delivery for a card with an annual fee this high. Wish they’d be more polished about it like Amex Plat, rather than the canned answer of “we can’t expedite” and causing confusion and/or annoyance. Curious to see if this card’s presentation beats the Ritz-Carlton card. That was very impressive (and very heavy!).

  22. What if I book two rooms at a hotel for the same four nights, whether they be in the same reservation or in two different reservations? Would I get reimbursed for the 4th night of each room?

  23. If you read carefully through the T&Cs, you’ll notice they specifically say that back-to-back stays are ineligible for multiple free 4th nights. So in my case, where we typically book 8-10 nights at a time for personal travel, the “rebate” would really only be 10%-12%. That said, if it is an expensive enough hotel, that could easily pay for the annual fee.

  24. The other thing I wonder about is what if I reserve 2 rooms in one reservation. Do I get a free 4th night on both rooms or only one of them? Not clear to me based on the T&Cs.

  25. Again, please be careful to note that the Prestige concierge/rep that I spoke with said that this benefit may not extend to hotel bookings for 2016 and beyond.

  26. Lucky,

    1. Can you use the upgrade certificates that come with the Ritz Carlton card with this 4th night benefit, plus get the normal points/night credit?

    2. Would you still be able to get Hilton points/stay credit with this benefit? Their terms and conditions are a bit vague and mention that some travel agency rates and third party bookings aren’t eligible.

    wholesale/tour operator packages; contracted crew rates; travel agency discount rates, packages exclusively for casino player card holders; Team Member Travel rates, Hilton Family Travel Rates; stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs, Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement; complimentary or barter rooms; Reward Stays (as defined herein); NET Group rates; Series Group or IT Group rates; contracted Entertainment or Encore rates; third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and “opaque” channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase

  27. So if I am planning a trip that will span 12 nights; can I stay at 3 different hotels and get credited for 3, 4th nights? Even if I am in the same city for all 12 nights?

  28. Lucky, I’ve applied the 4th night free benefit on Advance Purchase Rates on at least 3 occasions in the past few months. No problem at all.
    My understanding is that the Citi Prestige concierge (through Carlson Wagonlit) can book for you any rate that’s available on the hotel’s website.

  29. I had 3 pretty poor results from trying to use this:

    1) Tried to book a Tel Aviv boutique hotel, said they can’t book such a place

    2) Inquired about Botswana safari lodges, said can’t

    3) Requested any traditional style hotel in Kyoto and was given only one option that was not traditional

    So I think it’s probably great for standard chain hotels, but not so much for the types of places I like to stay in

  30. @ Lee —

    1) You can earn points, but I’m not sure in practice if you could use the upgrade certificate, sorry.
    2) In practice, yes.

  31. @ LindaK — For what it’s worth, I was approved Monday afternoon and mine arrived Wednesday morning.

  32. As I indicated in the first comment above, I just got the Prestige card, and gave the Concierge service a call to check out hotels for an upcoming trip to Barcelona. I asked them to give me pricing on 5 hotels that I had researched beforehand: W, Hotel Arts (Ritz), Le Meridien, Tryp Apolo, and Alexandra (Doubletree).
    For all the hotels, the rates that Citi came back with were astronomically high, at least 2X what I found at the same properties on various publicly available websites.
    So, be warned – do your homework and cross-check your prices before booking. That 4th night free may end up costing you money!

  33. So it is called the “International Complimentary Night Hotels and Resorts Program” does this mean only international hotel stays get the 4th night free and not US-domestic hotels?

  34. @ ARod — Nope, it’s valid both within the US and outside the US. I think “international” is intended to include everywhere.

  35. Does the 4th night free booking only involve paid nights for the first 3 or can you tie in award nights with points for those first 3 nights also?

  36. Hi Ben/Lucky
    Please be aware that earlier this week according to my sources The Citi Prestige 4th night free now extends to AAA and military rates.
    I think we can all agree this will me good news for many!
    The one thing to note and may be of importance/ interest only the state tax is refunded on the 4th night free.The city and occupancy taxes must be paid on the 4th night free
    Not a biggie IMO but still something to consider
    Cheers
    777 Global Mile Hound
    Hyatt Gold Passport Ambassador
    Flyertalk.com

  37. An Air China Panda Pleasure 😉
    I booked my first 4 night stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue at the AAA rate shortly after I posted here today
    A Prestige Concierge manager also said it occurred only in the last week (days ago)
    What’s may be even more interesting to note is the AAA rate wouldn’t book through their internal central system so they booked it directly at Hyatt.com and gave me a reference number for the booking.
    They also couldn’t book it without my AAA number and demanded it before confirming
    I am sure you are more than aware both the Hyatt and Hilton sites insist on the actual membership number when making a booking.

    Keep up on all your great coverage.
    I believe I speak for many when I say how valuable and relevant your content and updates are on the
    vast majority of topics you write about.

    Cheers
    777 Global Mile Hound
    Hyatt Gold Passport Ambassador
    @ Flyertalk.com

  38. So lets see if I got this right? to stay 12 nites, I stay at courtyard in Bangkok for 4 nites and get the 4th nite free, but in order to repeat this I would need to leave the courtyard and rebook into another Marriott property for 4 nites then again check out and rebook into another Marriott or could i go back to the courtyard sense I checked out 4 nites ago. Or would it be allowable to stay 4 nights at a courtyard and check out and come back a day later and repeat the 4 nites promotion.?

  39. @ tom m — You could do four nights at Hotel A, four nights at Hotel B, four nights at Hotel A. You just need at least one night before returning the same hotel again.

  40. Lucky, would this work at all-inclusive properties? I’m planning a stay at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun and a 4th night free sounds better than just staying and paying for 3 nights.

    Thanks!

  41. @ David W — I believe it would, though you’ll want to phone them up to double check.

  42. Hey Lucky — have you heard anything about using the Mastercard Travel Services rates for the 4th night free? I had a bad conversation with a rep who actually tried to act like she didn’t know what it was… and she’s a representative of Mastercard?? Very confused and annoyed.

  43. Have been trying to book with Citi travel using their points and they are very limited so it has made me wary of this card…………

  44. @ JustSaying — Hmmm, haven’t had bad experience with their travel booking yet, but even so, what about transferring to Singapore KrisFlyer? That’s a heck of a program, even if you don’t intend to fly Singapore.

  45. Lucky – cannot decide on the value of paying Euros 1791 in total (despite having the 4th night as complimentary – each night is Euro 597) for staying at the Westin Europa and Regina in Venice versus using 80,000 SPG points.. your thoughts ?

    Andrew

  46. @ Andrew F — That’s a toughie, I’d say it’s pretty close to the breakeven point for what I value Starpoints. If you can do a fifth night I might just redeem points and do the fifth night free, as that clearly tips value in favor of a redemption.

  47. Lucky – I just got approved for the Prestige card. If I stayed 3 nights in a standard room at hotel A, and then under the same reservation I upgrade to a suite on the 4th night, would that upgraded 4th night suite be credited to my account (free)?

  48. @ Mr & @ Ben 🙂
    I had a long talk with management @ Citi Prestige Concierge
    As an elite member one can be upgraded to a suite at any point during their stay provided nothing changes or gets modified with the original revenue reservation they book for you
    Meaning room and tax or the amount of occupants doesn’t change at all as to the original booking on your itinerary from Carlson Wagonlit when charged at checkout

    This conversation came up as I had a Hyatt Hotel upgrade the booking to a suite prior to arrival which cause a temporary price increase in their system
    The travel agent called me back saying that my booking had changed and I wouldn’t be entitled to the 4th night free
    Hyatt restored the original rate plan within less than 24 hours of the upgrade and the problem was indeed solved.Unfortunately the Carlson Wagonlit agent kept scolding me as the one who changed the booking when I didn’t and repeatedly said I was ineligible for the benefit 🙁 sigh

    Bottom line all 4 nights revenue nights must be consecutive at the same hotel
    One cannot mix rate plans on the same booking
    And must be what is agreed upon at time of booking on original itinerary some example
    AAA/Advance purchase best avail rate etc or one will need to get re booked should anything change on the booking including occupancy changes.Not sure how they enforce occupancy on the booking but that’s what they said!When in doubt call back and notate record or re book if changes occur

    Cheers
    777 Global Mile Hound
    Hyatt Gold Passport Ambassador
    @ Flyertalk.com

  49. It said “book through citi travel advisor”. Does that mean I can’t book directly on a hotel website like in Starwood.com?

  50. @ Caroline — Correct, you have to book through the Citi Prestige concierge to take advantage of this benefit.

  51. Can someone confirm they still get nights and points from SPG with this card? Or does booking through citi mean I have to sacrifice my accrual in stays/points.

  52. Has anyone tried stacking this yet? I notice a lot of resorts this winter offering 5th night free deals – would be ecstatic if I could get the 4th and 5th nights of a winter getaway for free.

  53. Ben,

    Is the 4th night free just for International destinations as the name of the program implies?? Or does it work domestically as well?

    Thanks

    Adam

  54. Can you stack the mastercard world elite hotel benefits with the 4th night? ie complementary room upgrades, late checkout, etc.?

  55. I was able to book Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando using my diamond status to get the lower rate. Just told them what to use. Then called Hyatt to upgrade that reservation to a suite. Also. Citi is reimbursing the resort fee that is included. Love this benefit.

  56. Lucky, do they ever manage to book you on discounted rates, say the non-refundable rates, but still with 4th night free benefit? Thanks

  57. If you have to cancel the reservation, do you have to do it via the conceirge OR you just call the hotel / login to hotel webiste and cancel ?

  58. If my company already uses Carlson Wagonlit can I keep making my reservations through my usual reps and get the 4th night free benefit?

  59. Anyone have an idea when best to call the concierge to actually reach a human? I’m in Thailand and using Skype to call the 855-217-7197 number and have been on hold (listening to the WORST “smooth jazz”) for over an hour and 20 minutes. I have a feeling they don’t work 24/7.

  60. Ben, when you get a chance, can you give us a detailed review on United 787-9 business class? It just launched a direct flight from SFO to my hometown Hangzhou, and I would love to get your professional take on that product! Thanks!!

  61. Got my card this week. Save $342 on the
    4th night free at the iInterconinental San Juan
    Puerto Rico. With Platinum Ambassador
    Status was upgraded to suite. Will save
    $1000 on my stay. Will earn 4000 thank you points , plus another 7000 IHG points.
    This the best credit card I ever had. The
    Package that come with the card is very impressive.

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