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Often, credit card issuers offer many benefits that you won’t see listed in a brief card overview page. Today, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig shares his experience when he left his beloved Citi Prestige card home during a recent trip to Hawaii.
Like TPG, I never leave home without my usual selection of travel rewards cards. My go-to is typically the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and now that foreign transaction fees are waived, I’ve been charging Starwood stays to my Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. But as of the last few months, I’ve had a new favorite in my wallet: Citi Prestige.
So far I’ve gotten $2,250 in value from the card (more on that in a future post), so I was more than a bit bummed when I couldn’t find my Prestige card when packing for my trip to Hawaii, especially considering that I had booked a (relatively pricey) AAA rate for a suite at the Sheraton Maui using Citi’s 4th Night Free benefit, which requires that I settle the bill to my Prestige card.
I had also left the card behind during a trip to Ireland where I had booked the Sheraton Athlone using 4th Night Free, but fortunately the hotel was able to pull up the account from my reservation and charge expenses there even though I didn’t have the physical card on hand.
With more money on the line this time, though, I gave Citi a ring and explained the situation. A few minutes later I had a tracking number and confirmation that my card would arrive the next day at my hotel, some 5,000 miles from its origin in Florida. There was no charge at all, and the agent ordered Priority Overnight shipping from FedEx without me even making that request.
When I checked into the Sheraton Maui, they let me know my package had arrived. I came back later to pick up the envelope with my card, headed up to the hotel’s free cocktail hour (with incredible views of Kaanapali beach) and activated my replacement Prestige card. The process was painless as can be. While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.
While Citi announced some negative changes to this card back in July — including a lower sign-up bonus, the elimination of Admirals Club access and the end of the free rounds of golf benefit — one of its most valuable perks still remains, which is the 4th Night Free perk. This benefit alone can save you thousands of dollars a year if you use it to its full advantage.