How To Easily Make Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free Bookings By Email

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My single favorite benefit offered by any credit card is the fourth night free on the Citi Prestige Card. This benefit has literally saved me thousands of dollars. For example, in my first year of card membership, the benefit saved me over $2,000.

What’s great is that when you use the fourth night free benefit you still earn points with your hotel loyalty program like you usually would. Furthermore, while some free night benefits are highly restrictive, this one can be used on any publicly available paid rate. That means you can use it on a pre-paid rate, AAA rate, etc.

Furthermore, the cost of the fourth night is reimbursed on the back end, meaning that you earn hotel points for the cost of the entire stay, rather than just the cost of the first three nights.

Andaz-West-Hollywood-Hotel-29

The process of using the fourth night free benefit is reasonably straightforward. You call up the Citi Prestige concierge, and the call typically takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Ultimately that’s a small price to pay for the fourth night free.

I’d love to see them add online bookings for this benefit, though I realize why that can be a challenge, especially given that you have access to all kinds of promotional rates with this offer. In many cases the concierges aren’t booking through their system, but rather directly through a hotel’s website. So it’s understandable that they don’t have an online interface where you can make these bookings directly.

However, one thing I wasn’t aware of is that you can actually reserve a Citi Prestige Card fourth night free booking by email. And the process is really, really, really easy. Just send an email to concierge@yourconciergecenter.com with the following information (and to make sure you avoid back-and-forth, be as specific as you can):

  • The hotel
  • The exact room type
  • The dates
  • The number of people in the room
  • Your loyalty program number
  • The last four digits of your credit card
  • To avoid back-and-forth, address any concerns upfront (“I realize the reservation is pre-paid,” “I realize there’s a resort fee of $___ per night,” etc.)

The Points Guy wrote about how Citi seems to be providing the fourth night free refund faster than in the past, and kluever commented on how you can actually use this benefit by email.  So I figured I’d give it a try.

I just made a Citi Prestige fourth night free booking by email, and it couldn’t have been easier. I sent a one paragraph email with the basics about my stay, and about two hours later received a confirmation for my reservation. There was no back and forth, and they even correctly added my loyalty program number to the reservation.

Citi-Prestige-Email

As you can see, the email even confirms how much I’ll be reimbursed for the fourth night.

This is awesome, and from now on I’ll exclusively be making these bookings by email rather than by phone.

Keep in mind that while the Citi Prestige Card has a $450 annual fee, it offers all kinds of perks to help offset it. On the most basic level, the card offers a $250 annual airline credit, which can be used towards any airfare purchase. So the way I view it, the “out of pocket” on this card is $200 per year, without even factoring in any of the other benefits.

Have you made a Citi Prestige booking by email? If so, what was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. Any idea how this benefit works for Citi? Last year they reimbursed me for over $2000 in fourth night fees.

  2. Can this only be used for publicly available rates? I have access to employee rates with some brands (I work for a management company). If I provide my “corporate rate code” would they still be able to book? This could be very handy for stays at brands we manage.

  3. I made a couple of bookings by email, and all went very smoothly. The first booking I did was via phone, and from there on, I would simply reply to th1st email confirmation from Citi (deleting the old info ) and adding the new booking requirements.

    Worth mentioning that its only the 4th night free per booking. So if you book 8 nights, you pay for 7 nights. However you can book as many 4th night frees so long as they are in different hotels and at differing dates.

  4. @ dmodemd — I just shared my name and last four of my card. If you’ve made a booking with them before, that should be enough, as they have you in their system.

  5. @ Don — Ultimately it’s costing them money, though likely not quite as much as you’d think. They’re getting at least a 10% commission on virtually all bookings, which helps offset it. But of course the benefit is still costing them quite a bit, especially for those who use it a lot.

  6. @Lucky @DavisFLSt8 – I have used a number of non-public rates with Citi Prestige’s 4th night free booking before, including both corporate and conference rates. I just share the relevant details (e.g. corporate code or conference website) and they are happy to book it for me. On the other hand, they have refused to book ‘package’ deals at hotels for me, for example they have told me that they cannot book a hotel room with breakfast included when there’s a hotel room without breakfast included available for sale.

    I first used email to book a hotel using Citi Prestige in November 2016. The first time I emailed them, and then followed up with a call referencing the email. Nowadays I just do it all by email. They have all my details (membership numbers, credit card, email address etc) so all I need to do is give them room type, people in room, rate information, hotel and dates.

  7. After my first booking with Citi in spring of 2016, I’ve been doing all my rez via email. Easy peasy. Got back around $2500 last year. This year already looking at >$2000. I love my Prestige.

  8. When I recently visited South Africa, a small boutique hotel owner told me that all the booking agencies get 20-25% commission, which is the sole reason Citi wants you to call their concierge service before booking directly from a hotel web site.
    It is nice that Citi cards are passing on the savings to the consumers and stand out from the competition.

  9. This is good to know.

    I’ve rarely had a booking with the Citi concierge that didn’t have a hiccup.

    Latest booking was made with Citi so I could then call Hyatt to apply a diamond suite upgrade for a future stay; Citi didn’t add my Hyatt Gold Passport (I just can’t type out the new name) number, so the reservation wasn’t viewable in the Hyatt app.

    Called Citi back and they told me that they had the number on file from previous bookings and that there should not be a problem. I told them that the confirmation email from them didn’t include the HGP number, and that I couldn’t find the reservation online. They put me on hold so they could call Hyatt. Next day, still no reservation on hyatt.com.

    Called Hyatt, and they said the HGP number was never provided, and Hyatt fixed it. I then realized that with the reservation number, it’s just simpler to call Hyatt and have them fix it the right way, and not to bother calling Citi again.

    I’ll try the email route next time I have a reservation, as maybe that will make the process less cumbersome(?).

  10. What’s their typical response time? I ask because sometimes inventory runs low, and I’d hate to miss out on a booking if they take too long to process the email.

  11. The speed at which they posted the rebate was a huge downside for me. Amex is so quick with their travel rebates. I would have kept the card if they made it easier to track. I felt like I was spending way to much time keeping track of which ones had been refunded.

  12. I would agree that they seem to have speeded up the credit posting quite a bit. We used the 4th night benefit for a stay in Los Cabo in February and we received the room credit within 10 days. Previously it took at least a month and a half. Makes the benefit even better.

    Will definitely save this info for the next time I book. Sounds much more convenient that hanging on phone with the rep.

  13. Thanks, this is awesome and I will have to try soon as I don’t like to spend time on the phone. I’m already “up” $750 since Jan 1 and with work travel it will only get larger.

  14. I’ve tried making email bookings 5 times for 5 different trips and every time I’ve ended up having to call them and do it over the phone because I waited 3 days and they never got back to me. Absolutely love the benefit but I’ve never had a good experience with the Concierge from a quick and painless perspective.

  15. Just tried this and it worked out great – sent the email with all the info recommended and 30 minutes later got the confirmation email from Hyatt with no need for followup emails from the concierge. Way better than spending the 15-20 minutes on the phone with them!

  16. Email replies, correctness/completeness of bookings (include children, HGP#, etc.), and length of time for reimbursement are all consistently inconsistent.

  17. I had a really interesting experience with them yesterday. I know there’s been a lot of discussion in the past about what hotels they cover and don’t cover, so when I called in, I was concerned that they wouldn’t cover a tiny hotel (10 rooms) in Italy that doesn’t appear on most booking engines. The concierge, who was extremely polite, asked if they have a website — they can cover *any* hotel that has a website. He said the only limitation is if they require a certain type of card authorization, that’s the only case where they don’t have a fourth night free benefit.

    (Of course, the hotel doesn’t have an online booking engine and the front desk is only open 4 hours a day, so the reservation isn’t officially booked yet. But we’re getting close after some phone tag!)

    Overall, I’ve been really happy not just with the benefit, but with the very polite service they’ve offered as well.

  18. I once waited 4 months for a reimbursement from Citi. My last stay posted the 4th night refund in 5 days from checkout. Huge improvement.

  19. I was just about to use a new Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book a 3 night stay for an upcoming mini-vacation at a really expensive B&B…. and then realized that I could get an additional day of vacation for free by using the Prestige card. Woohoo!

    Only problem is that I plan to cancel the card, and the annual fee will be due on the same statement as the stay. Hopefully I get the 4th night credit on that statement, so I can pay off everything but the annual fee, then cancel the card.

  20. Can I book for a family member or should I be one of the guests?
    If I have to book for a family member, how do I make it work with the 4th night free?

  21. Cardholder must stay. Tried to book for my wife once and told no unless I stayed as well.

  22. Does this email work for non-US-issues Prestige cards as well? Especially curious about Singapore-issued cards.
    Thanks

  23. It’s not just publicly available rates. I’m staying at the Four Seasons Maui for a wedding and they were able to book me in the wedding block ($450 vs full price of $819 a night!) with the fourth night free, all I had to do was provide the phone number for booking and the names of the couple.

    Regarding rates with breakfast, I’ve had them book me rates with breakfast before (sometimes for less than the publicly available breakfast rate) even when there was a breakfast-free rate available

    And regarding booking by email, I’ve had mixed success. Sometimes they’re quick to answer and complete the booking (if you’ve made a booking with them before they already have your info) and others they never respond.

    Overall, fantastic benefit. Don’t be afraid to ask them to match rates or use codes! Worst they can say is no, but it’s mostly worked for me.

  24. I’ve tried two email bookings and they did not go smoothly at all. Experience #1 – I mentioned in my email that it was for one person. Got a response back asking how many people. Repeated that it was one. then got another email more or less asking me to call in to confirm if I want to book.

    Experience #2 – Emailed my booking request. Just got an email back saying they are researching it and will get back to me in 72 hours.

  25. Have you had any issues with responses? Emailed a couple days ago but still haven’t heard anything… :-/

  26. When I make a booking through the Citi Prestige Conciergew that is attached to my Starwood or Marriott account (and I assume Hyatt or Hilton too) they seem to update my account with their email address: VENDOR@ASPIRELIFESTYLES.COM

    That means that the electronic receipts do not reach me. This is an annoyance because I rely on these e-receipts for accounting purposes.

    I also feel this is a violation of my privacy because they have never once informed me that you will be doing this.

    Do they require that you receive the hotel invoice/folio in order to process the reimbursement? I don’t think so.

    I really wish they didn’t do this

  27. Just a comment on how “easy” the e-mail booking process really is (not): My first two experiences with this benefit were both via e-mail late last year, and both ended very badly. I got e-mail responses to both requests stating that they would confirm my reservation within 72 hours, yet never heard back from them after that. Then, to make matters worse, the hotels I was looking at both either filled up or hiked their prices within two days, so not only did I not benefit from the 4th night free offer, but I also ended up having to stay at unfamiliar hotels instead of the ones that I really wanted to stay at.

    On the other hand, after that, I’ve booked five hotel stays by calling the Citi concierge on the phone, and have only had positive experiences with that. Each time, I spoke to a cordial employee who competently made my bookings once I let them know the hotel name and location and other pertinent information. Three of those reservations have already been reimbursed, while the other two, just booked today, were for the coming two weeks.

    Based on my experience, I would highly recommend calling in, even if you’re likely to spend 10-20 minutes on the phone per booking. Like another poster said, small price to pay for getting the 4th night free. (By the way, when I called Citi to complain after my two negative experiences trying to book by e-mail, the first customer service person was helpful and gave me some points to make up for the inconvenience, but the representative that I spoke to during my second call was not helpful at all, and their supervisor was really quite rude and unsympathetic, which really soured my opinion of Citi customer service, vis-a-vis what I’m used to from Chase and American Express.)

  28. Confirming that corporate rates can be applied. I just gave my company’s SET # (SN) for a Starwood hotel over the phone to the Citi Prestige Concierge, and they were able to apply it (I verified that it was the correct rate).

  29. Agreed Jay, their customer service has treated me very poorly as well. Right there with Comcast. That’s what makes me reluctant to sign up for Citi.

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