Get TWO Free Nights Per Hotel Stay With The Citi Prestige Card

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I’d argue the single most well rounded credit card is the Citi Prestige Card, thanks to its excellent sign-up bonus, great return on everyday spend, and almost too-good-to-be-true perks. The single most valuable perk of this card is the fourth night free hotel benefit, which I’ve written about extensively.

In addition to the 40,000 point sign-up bonus upon completing minimum spend, the card offers:

While several credit cards offer “free” hotel night benefits, they almost always come with a bunch of terms. In the case of the Citi Prestige Card, the perk is as “no strings attached” as it gets. You can use the perk for virtually any publicly available rate.

I use it all the time for stays with Hyatt and Starwood, where I’ll book a pre-paid or AAA rate using the Citi Prestige Card benefit, and then the fourth night is reimbursed after the stay. Perhaps best of all, as far as the hotel is concerned you paid for all four nights (since the refund happens behind the scenes and directly to your credit card), so you even earn hotel points, stay credits, etc., for the “free night.”

Citi-Prestige-4th-Night-Free

In January Citi made changes to their concierge service, which has actually simplified the booking process and make the perk even more valuable, in my opinion.

I’ve covered the fourth night free benefit in great detail, though I learned something new about it the other day, which I suspect some of you will find valuable.

I’ve often been asked whether the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free perk can be used in conjunction with a fourth night free offer from the hotel directly. I’ve always said the answer is “no,” and while that’s still the case, there is a way to score two free nights on a Citi Prestige Card booking.

Let me explain.

How to score two free nights on one stay with the Citi Prestige Card

A friend made me aware of this a while back, though I didn’t have a chance to test it out until today.

Basically my friend explained that he booked a hotel which was offering a fifth night free directly, and he was able to combine that with a fourth night free offer through the Citi Prestige Card. As he explained it, as long as the first four nights show the full rate, you can combine it with the fourth night free.

I was skeptical, so decided to test it out myself.

I noticed that the Four Seasons Punta Mita is offering a fifth night free promotion (there’s also a third night free promotion, but remember that we want the full rate to display for the first four nights, or else we can’t use the Citi Prestige Card perk).

Four-Seasons-Fifth-Night-Free

When you look at the cost of a stay, you’ll see that while the front-end shows an average nightly rate of $520, the back-end reservations system shows a rate of $650 per night for the first four nights, and then a rate of $0 for the last night. That’s the key to making this work.

Four-Seasons-Fifth-Night-Free-1

So I called the Citi Prestige Card concierge on two occasions to verify, and both times the agents agreed — the above is eligible for the fourth night free benefit.

In other words, if booking the above with the Citi Prestige Card, you’d be refunded for the total cost of the fourth night. Including the 29% tax and service charge that comes out to $838.50.

So the fourth and fifth night would be completely free, and the total after the refund would be $2,515.50.

I clarified this in both instances and said “just to clarify, I can combine the fourth night free offered by Citi with the fifth night free offered by Four Seasons?”

One agent responded “as far as Citi is concerned, as long as the fourth night cost is full price, that’s what will be reimbursed. They don’t care what you get directly from the hotel after that.”

Four-Seasons-Punta-Mita
Four Seasons Punta Mita

Here’s the cherry on top. The company which handles the Citi Prestige Card concierge, Aspire Lifestyles Concierge, is a Four Seasons Preferred Partner. That means you’ll get the following perks when booking with them:

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Food and beverage credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites and villas)

Circumstances under which this won’t work

Just for the sake of research, I decided to inquire about a similar offer for a five night stay at the St. Regis Punta Mita. The St. Regis Punta Mita has a fourth night free offer.

Fourth-Night-Free-Citi

My initial assumption was that this wouldn’t work, given that you can’t combine two fourth night free offers. After all, both Starwood and Citi would be taking off the cost of that fourth night.

However, when I looked at the rate description, I noticed that the discount was actually averaged into the cost of the five nights. In other words, the normal rate is $625 per night, though with the fourth night free, the rate was averaged down to $500 per night.

Fourth-Night-Free-Citi-1

Since the fourth night rate wasn’t $0, I figured there was some hope.

While the agent saw the rate, he said it wouldn’t work, even though there’s the same rate for all five nights. His explanation?

“When the reconciliation team goes to verify this booking, they’ll see that the fourth night is free from the rate description, and they won’t be okay with that.” So I suspect some agents might be willing to book it since there is a cost associated with the fourth night in practice, but in theory it shouldn’t be allowed. Like I said, both of the (competent) agents I got denied that request.

St-Regis-Punta-Mita
St. Regis Punta Mita

Bottom line

The Citi Prestige Card fourth night free hotel benefit is incredible, and I get emails and comments all the time from readers talking about how delighted they are by it. Most assume there are a bunch of “catches,” and then are delighted when they actually go to book.

While this only works under certain circumstances (where the first four nights are charged at the normal rate), the ability to basically get two free nights on a five night stay is awesome. You just have to find hotels which have a fifth night free, where the first four nights show the standard cost. This is pretty common at Four Seasons, and perhaps there are other hotels out there as well.

This is a huge win for those who like to book luxury hotels, especially since Aspire Lifestyles is a Four Seasons Preferred Partner.

Unfortunately this doesn’t work when a hotel is offering a third or fourth night free, however.

Have you ever combined the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free perk with another promotion to maximize your stay?

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Comments

  1. Where does it say in the T&C that all 4 nights have to be paid? It would seem that the 3rd night free offer should apply as well.

    This is what I read:

    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.”

  2. @ chesterwilson — It’s covered in this part:
    “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.”

    The key is that the Mastercard designated travel advisor won’t book that, just as they can’t book certain hotels.

  3. Can you please confirm that you get the Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits as well as the 4th night free benefit. I seem to remember reading somewhat that they can book you through the Preferred Partner program but you did not get the 4th night free. Perhaps that was with the old vendor and things have changed for the better. Would be great if it really works as you described.

  4. Fourth night free benefit doesn’t cover resort charges. So it seems like you should expect to pay 2580.5 in this example.

  5. Can you confirm something I feel was implied but not explicitly stated?

    Does the risk end when the concierge physically *books* the reservation (and confirms for you over the phone that you are getting a refund for the 4th night)?

    Or is the risk that you might be able to get a concierge to book the reservation, but then after you have completed the stay the refund to your card is declined based on the interpretation of the “4th Night”?

    I’ve been considering this card for a while now and this could be a big factor in pushing me over the edge, but I want to be sure I understand the mechanics correctly. Either way thanks for the great post – very informative!

  6. Ben, I was succesful using Spg code Z3H (buy 2 nights, get the third one free), and instructing the concierge to use the code for a 4 night reservation. Both my 3rd and 4rd night were free for a 50% discount.

  7. @ oleg — Hmmm, I know the fourth night free benefit doesn’t cover resort fees, but I believe it does cover built in fees and surcharges. In other words, that 10% service charge is approached the same as a tax, as far as I know. For example, I’ve used the benefit at the St. Regis Bali which also has a 10% service charge and 11% tax, and my fourth night refund was the cost of the night plus 21%. So I do believe this is treated differently than a fixed amount resort fee.

  8. I had a different experience. I booked four seasons Mexico City with citi. Four seasons offering third night free and citi said it will work with the prestige 4th night refund. I received a confirmation email as well.

  9. @ Jeff — Once the concierge books you receive a confirmation stating how much the refund will be for. I’ve never heard of them backtracking on that. It’s a fantastic card, and I’d highly recommend it!

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  10. @ Ricardo — Thanks for the report! Seems to depend on the agent you get then. Appreciate the datapoint!

  11. Hi Lucky, very interesting post. I’m looking at a Four Seasons property right now that is offering the third night free. If I stay 4 nights, the breakdown shows that while 4th night is charged at the 3rd night is free. Would I be able to use the Prestige to get the 4th night credited back thus essentially paying for only 2 nights?

  12. @ MEOW — If you end up trying, please report back on your experience. According to some other comments, seems like it might be possible. 🙂

  13. I just booked at the mandarin oriental las vegas. The hotel had third night free. The citi concierge had to as a couple of questions and put me on hold. However I was able to book the 4th night free as there was a charge for that fourth night. I will be staying 4 nights at an upgraded room for just about $600. Not bad for the nicest hotel in lv.

  14. I used this benefit with Starwood’s 3rd Night Free promotion several times this winter. No issues. The hotel put $0 in the third night, and Citi refunded the 4th night. One of the credits took 2 months to show up but I love this benefit.

  15. I booked the St. Regis Singapore for six nights on a third-night-free rate, and ended up getting six nights for the price of three with the Prestige program covering the fourth night and the hotel rate covering the fifth and sixth nights. I had to specifically request the promo rate from the concierge on the phone, but he was perfectly happy to make it happen.

  16. It all depends on how the hotels quote out the fourth night… this comes into play more with places that offer third night free. For instance, I looked at the Nizuc and they were offerring a couple different third night free promos… some of them when you try to book 4 nights will quote the 4th night as the free night… I found a promo that quoted the third night free during the booking process and called and had Citi book that promo specifically. In addition, I used a similar process at the MO Marrakech who was also running a third night free promo also. Finally, Amanyara runs a fifth night free promo that I was able to get Citi to book… the best news to come out of this is that they are a FSPP and the benefits are combinable with the fourth night free promo… I had thought that they had specifically said that they were not combinable….

    FDW

  17. I have successfully been reimbursed for my 4th night on reservations with 3rd night free promos, including Four Seasons and SPG (using Z3H/Z3R). I have also had success booking SPG rates that offered a 4th night free, but only if the 4th night discount was averaged across the other night’s rates. If the 4th night shows up as $0 to the Aspire agent, then they cannot apply the benefit.

    I also use Z6H/Z6R with SPG properties which is a pay 4 get 2 free rate. I’ve successfully used this with Prestige 4th night free, you end up paying for 3 nights and then get the last 3 nights free. I never usually stay all 6 nights but use the rate to rack up night credits.

    I’ve probably booked 10 of these different rates and never had an agent question it, but YMMV.

  18. I think the rules here are actually pretty simple: Citi will pay for the fourth night if (A) the stay is four nights or longer, (B) the agent is able to see a rate greater than $0 for the fourth night, and (C) the promotion doesn’t say “fourth night free” (which can be a YMMV situation with the reconciliation team). I have had no issues getting the fourth night comped whenever those criteria are met.

    The interesting thing is that I’ve had bookings where the hotel has a promotion that looks like a fourth night free offer, but where the rate rules actually say something like if you stay four or more nights, one night (not necessarily the fourth) will be free. In those cases, I’ve had success booking a five-night stay where Citi paid the fourth night and the hotel covered the fifth. Bottom line: read the rate rules carefully!

  19. How does this work with Mom-n-pop hotels? I generally avoid overpriced chain properties when I travel and book whatever decent hotel has lowest price on kayak or trivago. Does the Citi concierge see the same prices, and has access to same properties?

  20. Ben – Does this benefit work on Points & Cash stays at either Hyatt or SPG properties?

  21. @ atxtravel — They do have access to some, but not all, independent hotels. You’ll want to call to see if they have access to the hotel you’re looking at.

  22. @lucky-

    I am hoping you can clarify.

    You wrote in a previous post “First of all, the fourth night of your stay is refunded, as opposed to the average nightly rate for one night.”

    But in this post you wrote:

    “In other words, if booking the above with the Citi Prestige Card, you’d be refunded for the total cost of the fourth night. For the first four nights the average nightly rate including the 29% tax and service charge is $838.50, so that would be the amount refunded by Citi.”

    So has the fourth night benefit changed to an average of the four nights’ rate or actually the fourth night’s rate?

  23. @atxtravel

    Apparently it’s hit or miss. I called up to ask about how it all works and if I could book hostels and the agent said if they can find it thru whatever they use to search, then your good to go. Not all hostels from hostel world/hostelbookers show up in searches on kayak/agoda/etc but a lot do.

    So basically, I did some research for places in Singapore and have a short list, I’m gonna call soon and see which they can book. I’ve confirmed they do show up on kayak.

  24. @ laptoptravel — Sorry, I didn’t phrase that clearly. The amount of the fourth night is refunded, and not the average amount. I just phrased it that way because I had to do the math backwards (I took the total of the four nights and divided it by four, given that the rate was the same each night). Will update the post to make it clearer. Thanks.

  25. Thanks for the update everyone. I’m not even talking about hostels necessarily, but for example a lot of non-chain hotels in Asia (and Europe) participate in one or two booking sites (like hotels.com) but often not all of them.

    It’s a little unsettling when trying to book hotels semi-last minute due to ever evolving travel plans. The other concern is what price they’re seeing. I remember doing this via the portal used by Citi TYP, Chase UR a few times and their prices were wildly exaggerated very often, compared to one of the mainstream hotel sites.

  26. @ atxtravel — In the case of the Citi concierge, they’ll pulling space directly from the GDS, so the rate should be the same you see on the hotel’s website. If it’s not, they can even book for you through the hotel’s website to get that rate. That’s why this benefit is so valuable. It’s not some inflated rate.

  27. That’s good to know, so they’re flexible and not just relying on their own booking portal.

  28. @Lucky – I can confirm the Citi 4th Night Free benefit works well with a Hotel’s 3rd night free as well. I have taken opportunity of this benefit at least twice over the past 8 months. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale was giving this benefit last Christmas time for $127 per night.

  29. There was another blogger who used the Hotel’s 3rd night free benefit and Citi’s 4th night free multiple times to do a status run and also get the promo points. Not sure who it was

  30. A warning about “website rates.” I was trying to book the Amsterdam Andaz a few months ago. I’d been watching the rates carefully (they changed more or less daily). When a good rate popped up (on the Hyatt site), I called Citi concierge. The agent saw the rate and started booking it. When she got to the end, the rate had jumped up over 40%. I said I didn’t want it at that rate, and that I had a screenshot of the earlier price. So did she! (I have no clue if that’s SOP or not.) The agent was as mad as I was, so she said she was going to call Hyatt and “get to the bottom” of this, then she’d email me.

    Long, long story short: she never emailed, I got billed at higher rate (but didn’t use room), spent hours on hold with Aspire (ONE awful hold song in a loop?! Really? ), and am now in my 2nd round of appeals with Citi. No ruling yet on 2nd appeal, but I am currently NOT a fan of this program. So, beware of price changes and take screen shots of what you’re booking. (Not that it’s worked for me–yet.)

  31. I recently tried to book a small boutique hotel in Mexico (5 rooms). The agent told me as long as they can confirm it is a hotel I could get the 4th night free. The hotel did not participate in any online reservation system. She found the website to confirm it is a hotel. She then called the hotel and could not reach the owner who does reservations. I had been communicating with the owner via email and there was only one room left so I did not want to waste time doing the booking. The Aspire agent told me if I could reach the owner quicker to make the reservation and then email her the confirmation and she would enter it in her system for the 4th night free. We eventually got it worked out and I received a confirmation with the amount of the 4th night fee refund. Since I paid in full up front she told me she would set it up so that I would receive my reimbursement now within 1-2 billing cycles rather than waiting until my actual stay in Dec. Just got my first bill since and no refund. I will wait until next bill (cycle 2) and if no refund call. I will report back.

    So yes, you can book a small hotel as long as they can verify it really is a hotel. Also interesting how I was allowed to book the reservation myself and then they took care of their end for 4th night free benefit.

  32. Mbh – I had a problem getting my reimbursement earlier this year. I made my reservation with the old vendor and Aspire had just taken over and could not get it resolved. Probably fell through the crack during transition and Aspire was very arrogant as to when they would ever get it resolved. I finally contacted Citibank on Twitter. They were responsive but really could not do anything but connect me up with an Aspire rep and go through my story with them. They would give commitments but never get back to me. I finally got feed up and had the Twitter rep connect me with someone in the President’s office. Within a week my refund was credited to my account. Sorry I don’t have his number any longer or I would share. I would DM Citiback and as them directly to connect you to that department as you are fed up communicating with Aspire. Good luck.

  33. Thanks Ben. Glad to hear we can now get both FS benefits. I stay at Four Seasons often and will try next time I make a reservation to book through Citi for the 4th night free. Previously if I had to pick one the Partner benefits worked better for me than the 4th free night.

  34. Thanks, Fran! Current communication is all with Citi, but they really don’t seem to get it. They spent a month waiting for Hyatt to respond while I kept telling them that it had nothing to do with the hotel, but was entirely the fault of Aspire. Not sure they even read my appeal.
    : (

  35. This is really good info, thanks to all! Is anyone aware of a website or other source to more quickly find which hotels in a given city for specific dates, have a third night free or fifth night free offer available?

  36. I have to stay at a Sheraton for approx 40 days in the summer. Would the citi prestige give me 10 nights free or do I have to book them as separate stays? Is it every 4th night free?
    Or do you recommend I get the Starwood Amex and use that instead and earn SPG points instead? Thanks, still new to all this so any advice is much appreciated.

  37. If not those cards, is there another card you recommend for this extended stay? It’s a lot out of pocket so want to maximize. Thanks.

  38. Last fall, I stayed at the fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico – I booked a third-night-free rate, (the official receipt had $0 for the third night) and citi refunded the entire cost of the 4th night.

    Essentially, my out of pocket cost was 2 nights.

    This was back when CWT was the travel agent, so the policy may have changed since then.

  39. Sorry to hijack the thread but on a different subject, has anyone successfully received the forth night credit back even if you didn’t use the citi card? hard to beat 3x TY points which can be redeemed for 1.6c per point on AA flights but I have bunch of Hyatt giftcards I bought for over 25% off in come cases. I’m sure they can easily check if the charge was posted on the card if they want to but I wonder if they actually bothers to check that…

  40. @lucky, your incessant pumping of this card worked- I applied (through your link of course) and was approved tonight! All kidding aside, thanks for the informative posts, I can’t wait to use some of the amazing benefits on this card. Hopefully I’ll still get the $350 annual fee after I’m forced to downgrade my CitiGold account due to the new funding requirements.

  41. About a month ago I booked 4 nights at the four seasons Chicago for August. I’m paying for 2 nights 3rd is free from hotel and citi is giving me the 4th for free. Plus they got me free breakfast for 2 each day and $100 room credit, a room category upgrade and free basic internet. The extras were from aspire and not included in the 4 seasons rate on the website.

  42. In April I stayed 4 consecutive nights at the Park Hyatt Vendome by stacking two Hyatt award certificates for Night #1 & #2; transferred Chase UR points to Hyatt and booked Night #3 for 30k points; and used the Citi booking service to gain the 4th night free benefit (I paid for my 4th night upon checkout on my Citi Prestige card). Despite being very skeptical, the rep who handled my booking reassured me this would work work. She spoke to a Hyatt booking agent who helped to complete my reservation. Directly after the reservation was made, I received the confirmation email from Citi Concierge telling me how much the 4th night refund would be, which is what I ended up paying (~$800usd). My first billing cycle closed May 13 and nothing has been credited yet, but I’ve read that it is usually two billing cycles. I’ll report back in a few weeks.

  43. @Stacey Parks yes I used it at Amanyara combined with the Seasons of discovery promo. 5th nt free; food inclusive.

    Fdw

  44. I will be staying in Honolulu, six nights is Oct 2016. Has anyone been successful paying for 4 nights and getting two free from the Hotel, and using Citi card for the 4 night free. In effect paying for only for 3 nights.

    if yes which Hotel and code use.

    Thnaks

  45. to get this benefit you have to book with the concierge , or designated travel advisor – who might th edesignated travel advisors be? You cannot just book on starwood website using the prestige card and get reimbursed ?

  46. @ Jon M — That’s correct, you have to book by calling the concierge. The concierges are through Aspire Lifestyle.

  47. Any idea whether it would work on an all-inclusive resort rate? Staying more than 5 nights so there will be 4 nights paid.

  48. @Lucky or anyone else have any luck with Bora Bora and the 4th night free? I just called and they told me that it couldn’t be used in Bora Bora.

  49. @Lucky Regarding your statement “I believe it does cover built in fees and surcharges. In other words, that 10% service charge is approached the same as a tax, as far as I know.” are you basing it simply on your experience of getting the service charge refunded every time? Or do you have additional information to support this?

    Citi Concierge just told me this:

    “You are correct – service charges are considered separate from tax or room costs, and are not covered under the complimentary Fourth Night credit.

    I apologize that your initial confirmation email included incorrect information, and will follow up with our quality team to ensure this does not happen again. Thank you for bringing it to our attention – we very much want to provide outstanding service for all of our valued Prestige cardholders.”

    While it’s only ~$14 just wondering if I’m getting accurate information.

  50. @Lucky, I just made a Four Seasons reservation with the Citi concierge (Aspire) and had to choose between the 4th night free benefit and the Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. I was explicitly told that if I wanted the Preferred Partner benefits, I would not have the 4th night free. She quoted me two different totals: one with the 4th night free, and one where all 4 nights were included but I also got the Preferred Partner benefits. Maybe their rules on this have changed over the last few months?

  51. I’ve booked Four Seasons Bahrain Bay via Aspire Concierge for four nights in November. They confirmed 3rd night free (hotel promo), and that Citi Prestige card would refund 4th night as per the plan. Regarding the extra perks for Aspire being a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, the rep said she was “fairly sure” I’d get them at check-in): — breakfast; food & beverge $100 credit, one category upgrade, etc. Of these breakfast is by far the most important to me. However, I’m somewhat “skittish” about the “implied” benefits being denied by the hotel at check in. Should I go back to Aspire and ask them to confirm the perks in the booking confirmation?
    Cordially,

    P. E. Smith
    Alkmaar, The Netherlands

  52. Ben, wondering if you have any intel on if booking a Four Seasons through the Citi online portal would get you the Preferred Partner benefits? Or if you’d still have to call in and ask for that specifically.

  53. I just booked a Four Seasons reservation and they tell me they ceased being a partner with them about I year ago.

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