The Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free Benefit Is Now Bookable Online

As we learned about earlier in the month, the Citi Prestige Card got some new benefits as of yesterday. My single favorite benefit of this card is that it offers a fourth night free on hotel bookings, and Citi has made two changes to this benefit:

  • The fourth night free benefit is now bookable online, and you’ll be refunded the cost of the fourth night at the time of check-out
  • You’re now able to redeem ThankYou points towards a fourth night free booking at the rate of one cent per point

Well, this new functionality is now live, so let’s take a look at how it works.

How to make a Citi fourth night free booking online

To make a Citi Prestige fourth night free booking online, visit the Citi ThankYou travel center, and log into your Citi Prestige account. Then click on the “Hotels” section, and enter your destination and desired check-in and check-out date. For the purposes of this example I’ll look at a hotel in Tampa for September 12-16.

On the next page you should see a lot of hotel options. The fourth night free benefit can be used at virtually any hotel, so in Tampa there are 325+ options. You can filter your options either by hotel name, star rating, etc.

Let’s look at the Le Meridien Tampa as an example. As you’ll see, when you search you’ll automatically see that it says “Complimentary 4th Night Eligible.”

You should see both refundable and non-refundable rates for all kinds of room options. The catch is that you won’t see any member only rates, AAA rates, etc. Let’s take a look at the cheapest non-refundable rate, which is a king accessible room. The regular rate would be $224.47 per night. However, you’ll see that with the fourth night free the total would be $696.72 (that represents three nights at the rate of $224.47 per night, plus the taxes on the fourth night).

Then on the next page you’ll have the option of paying at least partly with points. You can use however many points you’d like, at the rate of one cent per point. So rather than paying $696.72, I could pay $596.72 plus 10,000 ThankYou points. Personally this absolutely isn’t something I’d do — ThankYou points are worth more than a penny each, so don’t use them this way, in my opinion.

Just to compare this to Starwood’s site, this is roughly the same as the rate they’re charging for those nights, as the total comes out to ~$225.88 per night. So it’s actually ever so marginally less expensive through Citi.

Will you earn points for your online fourth night free booking?

Citi claims that you’ll earn points and elite benefits for fourth night free bookings, regardless of whether they’re made by phone or online. While I can confirm that phone bookings have always received these perks, I’m surprised to hear it will work online as well. So while that’s their official stance, I’d like to see some data points before I can be 100% sure.

Why I don’t see myself making Citi Prestige fourth night free bookings online

I appreciate that Citi has added the functionality to make these bookings online, but I don’t see myself using this feature much. If you’re looking for a pre-paid rate, hotels almost always publish cheaper “member only” rates directly, and those can still be booked by phone with the Citi Prestige concierge. Similarly, if you’re looking at a flexible rate, there are often AAA or other rates available that are a better deal than just the standard flexible rate.

So I’ll absolutely continue to get a lot of value out of the fourth night free benefit, but not in the form of online bookings, or by redeeming points for a penny each towards the cost of a booking.

Bottom line

The good news is that the process of making a fourth night free booking online is super easy, and you’ll apparently even earn points and elite credits on these stays. The bad news is that you’re often losing some value by doing so, since you’re limited in the rates you can book online. As long as Citi doesn’t change the fourth night free benefit available by phone, I’m a happy camper.

Comments

  1. It seems to me that the site is quite clunky. Maybe it’s opening jitters but some hotels wouldn’t load rooms when clicked. In addition it’s quite slow and the inventory. Doesn’t seem to be complete (looking in SIN I didn’t see a ton of suites on offer that are available via the hotel website). Hopefully things will get a it faster as smoother.

    Fdw

  2. I imagine it’s running on similar terms to a corporate portal? Mine is similarly clunky and incomplete usually but I do get all my benefits at the hotel as a proper TA booking, not an OTA

  3. Interesting – yesterday it was permitting me to apply TYP at the 1.25 CPP level when I was doing a few dummy bookings after thew new tool came online…

  4. So, Lucky are you saying that you get better rates booking via some other option? You state that you will continue to get a lot of value from the benefit just not in the form of this online booking method. How are you booking the rooms? I have never used this benefit because I could never figure it out.

    Thanks

  5. @Jaosn – If you call Citi to make the booking, they can give you AAA, corporate or other “member only” rates, just like you would see on a hotel’s website.

    So, usually on sites like Citi’s new website here, they only give you the “standard” rate, if you book via the hotel’s website they’ll offer these member rates. If you call to make the booking, Citi can offer these to you also which will be cheaper than via this website.

  6. @duke- It does allow bookings at the 1.25 typ/$ level. Ben may want to edit to reflect that. Still too expensive without offering
    more refundable rates online.

  7. Just tried to use use the portal to book a stay but it’s not showing the discount offers the hotel has, ended up calling Citi Concerige to make the reservation in order to get it done. Gave my feedback that the portal is not showing the discount stay that she’s seeing on her end, not sure will that help to improve the portal search even though I doubt it will..

  8. I was happy to learn about on-line booking but with the limitations on rates it’s back to the phones for me. It really does take a long time to book simple reservations. I am pleased to hear that bookings can be made by e-mail. Can someone tell me how one does that?

  9. @Joyful–Lucky has an entirely separate step-by-step blog post on this. If you search the archives, you’ll hit pay dirt.

  10. @Joyful keep in mind that they might not book it immediately though. I tried the email route and was told they will try to book it by a certain date which was almost a week away. I didn’t want to wait that long and leave it to chance for the rate to increase so I called them and have them the case ID provided from that email response. Didn’t take as long since the rep had the info from the case but still takes more time than booking it online yourself.

    I wonder. Since the 4th night benefit is not from the hotel side, does that mean it won’t reflect the credit on my hotel receipt? So major difference with booking online is that I’ll see the credit faster on my Citi account but not anywhere on the hotel bill?

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