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The fourth night free on the Citi Prestige Card is my single favorite benefit offered by any credit card. This benefit has saved me thousands of dollars. For example, in my first year of card membership, the benefit saved me over $2,000, and it has saved me even more since then.
About a month ago I discovered that these fourth night free bookings could actually be made by email, with the Citi Prestige’s concierge. Previously I always called, which was a time consuming process. It was still totally worth it, but if I can help it, I’ll avoid spending 30 minutes on the phone.
When I wrote about my positive experience making a fourth night free booking by email, some commented that they didn’t have as stellar of an experience. I wasn’t sure if I just got lucky or what, but I figured I’d report back on my second experience of making a Citi Prestige Card fourth night free booking by email.
Ford wanted to plan a birthday trip to Hawaii. I’ve been to Hawaii maybe three times in my life, so I was open to the idea, even though it’s not a place I’d ever ask to go. I’ve never been to Hawaii with Ford, so I imagine just by going with him I’ll enjoy it more than in the past. I figured this would be the a good opportunity to check out the Andaz Maui, as well as a couple of other properties.
We decided to book four nights at the Andaz, so I made the booking by email. Since others reported frustration with the Citi Prestige concierge by email, I figured I’d share the email I sent:
I was hoping I could make a booking using the Citi Prestige fourth night free benefit. Here’s the info:
Hotel: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Last four digits of credit card:
World of Hyatt loyalty program number:
Please let me know if you need any further information. It could be great if you could lock this in.
20 minutes after sending the email I received an automated message saying that they were working on my request, and that it would be 24-48 hours. However, six hours later I received an email confirmation with all the information, the amount of my fourth night refund, and the reservation also showed up in my World of Hyatt account. I should also note that this all happened on a Friday, so it wasn’t even during normal business hours.
The Andaz Maui is known for playing games with availability (both free night availability and confirmed suite upgrade availability), so there wasn’t free night award availability for my dates.
However, I probably wouldn’t have used points anyway. The hotel is a Category 6 property, meaning a free night would cost 25,000 points, or a Points + Cash booking would cost 12,500 points plus $150.
The paid AAA rate (which is why I included my AAA number in the above email) is $393 before taxes and fees.
The all-in cost for four nights is $1,945.46. However, as a Globalist member I don’t have to pay the resort fee, which is $166.64. That brings down the four night cost to $1,778.82.
Then I’ll be refunded $444, meaning the total out of pocket will be ~$1,335. For that I’ll earn:
- ~4,500 Citi ThankYou points (triple points on hotel spend by paying with the Citi Prestige Card)
- 10,000+ World of Hyatt points (6.5 points per dollar spent on the ~$1572 of pre-tax room spend — you earn points even on the reimbursed fourth night, since Hyatt doesn’t even know you’re getting that)
So I’m earning 15,000+ points (without a promotion), which I value at ~$225, bringing down the out of pocket to ~$1,100, or ~$275 per night.
I consider that to be a better deal than outright redeeming Hyatt points, and even a better deal than a Points + Cash booking (I value those at ~1.5 cents each).
I’m continuing to get tons of value out of the Citi Prestige Card fourth night free benefit. It’s tough to beat getting a fourth night free on just about any publicly available rate, especially since it’s reimbursed on the back-end. That means you still earn points and elite credit for all four nights. I’m also still impressed by how good their service is by email.