Update: It seems like this is an error on Citi’s website, as they’ve confirmed there are no plans for such changes as of now. The fourth night free benefit can be used multiple times per year, and the below reference to the Citi Prestige Card “overview” has been there for months. See my updated post for more details.
You know the saying: “when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
That’s how I’ve long felt about the Citi Prestige Card, which is the hottest all around credit card, in my opinion. It offers a fantastic sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within the first three months.
But the sign-up bonus is only a secondary reason to get the Citi Prestige Card. The real reason to get it is because of the long term perks the card offers, which more than offset the $450 annual fee.
The card offers a $250 annual airline credit, which can be used for any purchase directly with an airline. If you spend at least $250 per year with airlines (which I think almost everyone reading this does), that lowers your real “out of pocket” with the card to $200 per year.
Other than the above, what do you get for $200?
- Access to American Admirals Clubs
- A fourth night free hotel benefit
- The most comprehensive Priority Pass membership offered by any card
- A $100 Global Entry fee credit
The single most valuable perk of the Citi Prestige Card is fourth night free hotel benefit, which I’ve gotten so much value from. In the first year alone, I’ve saved over a thousand dollars on hotels using this perk.
While there are a few programs which offer fourth night free hotel benefits, I don’t know of any which do it as “no strings attached” as the ones offered on this card. You can book any publicly available rate at thousands of hotels around the world (virtually all chain hotels are included, and even many independent hotels) and they’ll refund you for the cost of the fourth night.
You earn points and stay credits with your preferred program as you usually would, so it’s like booking directly with the hotel. See this post for more details on how the booking process works, and everything you need to know, though suffice to say that it’s an awesome benefit.
I used my fourth night free benefit at the St. Regis Bali
While the card is valuable all around, this is the perk which truly will give you outsized value. And as I’ve said from the beginning, I can’t imagine it’ll stick around in its current form forever. Citi is subsidizing this benefit, as the hotels have nothing to do with this benefit — Citi is retroactively refunding the cost of the fourth night, unbeknownst to the hotel.
While the terms & conditions of the Citi Prestige Card haven’t been updated to reflect any changes to this benefit, reader Ben pointed out that the “Compare Cards” page on Citi’s website has the following verbiage regarding this benefit (bolding mine):
Enjoy a $250 air travel credit each year, complimentary access to American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges, plus hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select, and an annual worldwide 4th night stay at any hotel property
“An annual 4th night stay” suggests the benefit can be used once per year, which is different than the current policy, where there’s no limit.
Now, it’s entirely possible that this is a typo due to departments not communicating correctly. At the same time, I’ve long said the benefit is too good to be true, and if they were to make a change, I’d say the above policy is the most reasonable change they could make.
You should still be able to book multiple fourth night free stays with the Citi Prestige Card, so if you don’t have the card yet, it’s another reason to pick it up. And if you already have the Citi Prestige Card and are considering using this benefit, perhaps make your bookings sooner rather than later.
Mark this as “developing,” as it’ll be interesting to see whether this restriction is applied at any point, or if it’s just poor phrasing on the part of Citi on one page of the internet.
The Citi Prestige Card is such a well rounded card, as it offers a great sign-up bonus, great return on everyday spend, and great perks. Those are the three things I look for in a card, and the Prestige checks all the boxes, and then some.
Right now the card offers outsized value, so if you haven’t yet applied you really should consider doing so. Even if the fourth night free benefit were limited to one stay per year, I’d still say the card offers incredible value.
Do you think the fourth night free benefit on the Citi Prestige Card will be restricted to once annually?