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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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?