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One of the most valuable cards available is Citi Prestige, thanks in no small part to the card’s 4th Night Free benefit. Today, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig explains just how rewarding that perk can be.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Citi Prestige card. It carries a $450 annual fee, which, while no small amount to pay, is entirely insignificant when you consider how much value you can get in each billing year.
For example, I just signed up for the card in April 2015, so I’ve only paid $450 once. In that period, I’ve received the following credits (most from taking advantage of the card’s phenomenal 4th Night Free benefit):
- $250.00 – Air Travel Credit (for a United flight booking)
- $231.26 – 4th Night Free Rebate (The Reefs in Bermuda)
- $155.42 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Sheraton Athlone in Ireland)
- $761.21 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Sheraton Maui)
- $667.52 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Park Hyatt Paris)
- $307.57 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Park Hyatt Siem Reap)
- $244.36 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Park Hyatt Hamburg)
- $153.66 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Grand Hyatt Cannes)
- $358.80 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Andaz London)
- $498.22 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda)
- $1,490.00 – 4th Night Free Rebate (Amanpulo in the Philippines)
That adds up to $5,118.02. That’s a return of 1,137% on my $450 investment. And I’ve already booked three stays for my 2016 membership year, but since the next $450 fee will hit before each travel date, I’m not factoring those in above. Note that your rebate will post 1-2 billing cycles after the charge hits your account — if you booked a prepaid rate, your credit will appear 1-2 cycles after your card is charged. Otherwise, expect to see it 1-2 billing cycles after you check out. Of all these stays, I’ve never had a credit not post automatically, or for an amount different than what had been provided at booking.
Note that this total doesn’t account for all of the other perks, such as the 50,000 ThankYou points you’ll receive after spending $3,000 within the first three months when you sign up for Citi Prestige; free Admirals Club visits and Priority Pass lounge access perks (I’ve only used this once); three free rounds of golf; a $100 Global Entry fee credit; and all of the points I earned (at 3x) for the hotels I booked above. With all of those perks factored in as well, I’ve easily gotten $6,000 in value from this card in the first year (and I still have three months left to go).
But the focus of this post is that $1,490 4th Night Free rebate you see above. That’s for a single night, which means I’ve booked a very expensive hotel. It’s a big splurge on an upcoming trip to Asia — I’ve always wanted to stay at an Aman hotel, and the higher-end properties in Palawan are already quite pricey, so with the Citi Prestige credit to factor in, I decided to take the plunge. That rate also includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for two, which is also covered by Citi on our fourth (and final) night. The credit effectively brings my per-night cost to $1,117.50, including tax — 4th Night Free credits cover all taxes, but exclude gratuities and resort fees.
This also served as a bit of an experiment — we already knew Citi’s 4th Night Free credit was very generous, but are there any limits to that generosity? It seems that there are not. As long as a hotel can accept Citi’s travel agency’s travel agent number, the Carlson Wagonlit agent you speak to should be willing and able to book you a 4th Night Free stay, even if that means calling the hotel directly to book, as they did for Amanpulo. I typically book standard AAA rates, but I’ve also successfully booked special sale fares or member-only rates through Citi. All of these bookings are eligible to earn hotel credits, and you can even pair them with elite perks, such as Hyatt’s Diamond suite upgrades.
Overall, I’d say Citi Prestige 4th Night Free is the single most valuable credit card benefit out there. While you can get a lot of value out of any premium credit card, depending on how you use it, Prestige keeps giving and giving and then giving some more.
What’s the best 4th Night Free credit you’ve received? 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.