The Great Wall of China at Mutianyu Ancient Wonder World Heritage Site Hiking

How We Saved $1,439 in 2016 With Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit

The “4th Night Free” benefit from the Citi Prestige card is our single most valuable credit card perk. Even if you don’t travel as much as we do, it’s worth considering whether adding the Prestige card to your wallet – even solely for this benefit – may be worth it for you.

Here’s how it works: Pick virtually any hotel in the world, book at least a four-night stay through the Citi Prestige concierge, stay at the hotel and pay with your Prestige card, and get a statement credit within a few billing periods.

That’s it. And, perhaps best of all, there are no limits to the number of bookings and credits you can get!

citi prestige card optimization

During 2016, we received $1,439 worth of credits as a result of the 4th Night Free benefit! Here are the hotels and credits:

  • The Westgate Hotel, San Diego, California, USA – $286
  • Chateau Cordeillan-Bages, Pauillac, France – $378
  • The Rubens Hotel, London, England – $325
  • The Regent, Beijing, China – $176
  • JW Marriott at Tomorrow Square, Shanghai, China – $274

Tower Bridge London England United Kingdom Great Britain Thames River

Citi recently made a few changes to how the credit for the 4th night is going to be calculated (along with changes to other benefits of the card, discussed here). For stays booked before July 23, 2017, the 4th night credit will be based on the actual price of the 4th night and will include taxes. This calculation is obviously more beneficial for stays where the nightly rate for the 4th night is more expensive than the other nights. Therefore, all else equal, if you had flexibility as to dates, you could “game” the system by intentionally booking a stay where the rate for the 4th night was higher than the other nights (or nightly average) in order to get a large 4th Night Free credit.

Well, Citi is changing the way it calculates 4th Night Free credits for stays booked after July 23, 2017. For such stays, Citi will calculate the credit as the average nightly rate for the four-night stay, and it is no longer including a credit for the associated taxes. Except for losing the credit for taxes (which can be substantial depending upon your destination), the new calculation for average nightly rate seems fair enough. Now, the actual nightly rate for the 4th night is just a factor in the average.

View of Pudong from The Bund at Night Shanghai Skyline China Modern Architecture Bright Lights

As for the actual booking process, you were previously forced to call the Citi Prestige concierge in order to make a 4th Night Free booking. This process often took over 45 minutes. Recently, though, Citi has revised the process, and we have had success simply emailing the details of the booking to the concierge. Below is an example of an email:

Hello,
I would like to make a 4th night free hotel booking for Lima, Peru.  Please see the below details:
Hotel: JW Marriott Hotel Lima
Room Type: Prime Ocean View – King Bed
Rate Type: Member Rate (1,409.10 USD total)
Dates: xx/xx/17-xx/xx/17 (4 nights)
Guests: 2
Marriott Rewards #: xxxxxxxx
Last 4 digits of Prestige credit card: xxxx

After the concierge books the stay, you will receive a confirmation email from Citi (along with any other confirmation directly from the hotel) with the details, including the amount of the 4th Night Free credit to be applied after your stay. It’s a good idea to keep this email for future reference. One of the added benefits, as you can see from the above email example, you can add your loyalty program to hotel stays and earn additional points, miles, and perks from that loyalty program

As you can see, this is a wonderful and lucrative benefit. For us, this single benefit is worth keeping the Citi Prestige card in our wallet.

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