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I’ve written quite a bit about the Citi Prestige Card. I’d argue is the all around hottest card out there right now, between the sign-up bonus, perks, and return on everyday spend.
The card has a $450 annual fee, though has so many benefits which more than justify the annual fee, in my opinion. Among other things, these include:
- A sign-up bonus of 40,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months — those points can be transferred to one of their airline transfer partners, or redeemed for revenue flights on any airline
- A $250 annual airline credit
- A fourth night free hotel benefit
- The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
- A $100 Global Entry fee credit
Now is an especially good time to apply for the Citi Prestige Card, given that you can earn $250 in airline credits twice in a matter of months if you apply soon.
The single benefit on this card I’ve gotten the most value out of has been the fourth night free hotel benefit, and I’ve had some recent experiences with this perk which I wanted to share, due to the unique circumstances.
Citi Prestige Card fourth night free basics
While there are a few cards out there which advertise free night hotel benefits, almost all of them come with all kinds of asterisks, in my opinion. The Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit is the real deal, assuming you know how to use it.
Rather than recapping everything here, I’ll start by simply linking to the posts I’ve written about this benefit so far:
- Citi Prestige Card Fourth Night Free Hotel Benefit Details
- My Experience Using The Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free Benefit
- Is The Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free Hotel Benefit A Gimmick?
- Which Hotels Are Eligible For Citi Prestige 4th Night Free Hotel Benefit?
- How Quickly Does The Citi Prestige Fourth Night Credit Post?
- More Citi Prestige Card 4th Night Free Data Points
- Don’t Forget About Citi Prestige 4th Night Free Benefit
But to summarize the perk, you can get a fourth night free on most published rates at any hotel belonging to the Carlson Wagonlit network (which includes a vast majority of major chain hotels, along with many independent hotels).
I’ve made two recent bookings using the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit which I figured were worth writing about, since they involved special circumstances.
Using fourth night free benefit on a pre-paid rate
Up until recently I only ever used the fourth night free benefit either on the flexible/best available rate or on a AAA rate. That’s simply because I typically prefer the flexibility of having a refundable rate.
Generally speaking you’re allowed to use just about any publicly available rate for the fourth night free benefit.
I booked a pre-paid rate of 263GBP (~$400) per night, with the fourth night free thanks to the Citi Prestige Card.
It’s worth noting that since it was a pre-paid rate, the charge for the stay actually hit my credit card almost instantly. I find it’s about 50/50 on pre-paid rates, as some hotels will only charge you at check-in, while others charge you in advance.
The great news about being charged in advance is that my fourth night free refund already hit my card way before my stay even occurs. In this instance the fourth night free rebate hit my card just a bit over two weeks after the transaction was processed, which is quicker than normal, in my experience.
All-in-all, I certainly can’t complain about paying ~$300 per night for a decent hotel in London while earning a ton of points and probably scoring a suite upgrade.
Using fourth night free benefit on a specialty rate
I’ve always wanted to stay at the St. Regis Bali, though as a Category 7 hotel it would cost a minimum of 30,000 Starpoints per night. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so that’s a “cost” of $660 for that redemption, by my valuation.
Meanwhile the paid rate at this hotel using a “Hot Escapes” rate was $453. I’d rather not pay $453 per night for a hotel, though ultimately I’d rather pay that than 30,000 Starpoints.
That being said, with the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit I could get the fourth night free even on a Hot Escapes rate, which is ordinarily only available directly through spg.com. With a fourth night free, it’s like I’m paying ~$340 per night, which is a rate I’m quite happy with.
Now, it’s worth noting that when I phoned up the Citi Prestige Concierge and they connected me to Carlson Wagonlit, at first they only saw the flexible rate of $575 per night, since that’s what showed in their system. However, I asked the associate to check spg.com, and once she did she confirmed she saw the rate and was able to book it.
In many cases the Carlson Wagonlit agents are actually just making the booking directly on the hotel’s website and adding their IATA number to the reservation.
But it’s pretty awesome that in almost all cases the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit works even on specialty/promotional rates, as long as they’re available directly with the hotel as well.
The fourth night free hotel benefit on the Prestige Card has been such an incredible benefit, and has saved me over $2,000 already. Even without the fourth night free hotel benefit I consider the Citi Prestige Card to be well worth the annual fee, so this is only the icing on the cake.
What has been your experience with using the free fourth night hotel benefit?