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My absolute favorite credit card perk is the 4th Night Free benefit you get with the Citi Prestige card, which you can use at pretty much any hotel. As of September, I had already gotten $1,150 in value out of this benefit (from three stays), and since then I’ve used it many more times. It’s changed the way I travel (in that I now aim to stay exactly four nights at each hotel), and since I’m essentially getting an additional 25% discount on every four-night trip, I’ve been able to stay at nicer properties without spending any more.
I’m also paying cash for more stays than I have in the past, opting to save my points for shorter trips or pricier dates, instead. I’ve told every frequent traveler I know about Citi Prestige — 4th Night Free really is that good of a perk. It used to be the best-kept secret in the biz, and now that the secret’s out, booking a stay requires a bit more patience than it once did (in that you now have to wait an extra 24 hours to receive rate quotes), but it’s still worth the effort, especially for pricier hotels.
Since I’m now a Hyatt Diamond member after last week’s status match, I’m even more excited about 4th Night Free, given that you can pair your Citi-booked stays with the confirmed suite upgrades Hyatt awards to Diamond members. I’ve only been Diamond for a few days, but I already have four stays booked in 2016 — I’m not taking this status for granted, and I’m going to do everything I can to avoid losing it after my match expires in February of 2017. That means I’ll need to stay a total of 50 nights in 2016, but with four suite upgrades (each good for up to seven nights) and four more on the way, choosing Hyatt over other brands is not a difficult sell.
So, how do you pair confirmed suite upgrades with Hyatt stays booked through Citi Prestige? It’s actually pretty straightforward, though it does require a bit of patience (and probably 20-30 minutes of additional work vs. booking directly with Hyatt). Here’s how to do it, step by step:
- Confirm suite availability on Hyatt’s website and note the base room name and rate type you’d like to book.
- Call Citi Prestige at 1-877-288-2484 and ask to speak to a travel advisor or email citiprestigeconciergeUS@tengroup.com with the property name, dates, number of guests and the rate you’d like to book.
- Wait 24-48 hours to receive rate quotes then call Citi back to provide your Prestige card info and book the reservation (be sure to provide your Hyatt Gold Passport number to the agent).
- Check the reservations in your Hyatt Gold Passport and call Hyatt to apply suite upgrades once Citi books your stay.
As you can see above, I’ve already redeemed three of my four suite upgrades expiring in February. I’ll get another set of four before the expiration date listed above, and those will be valid through February 28, 2017. While you may not be able to apply suite upgrades to certain rates booked through travel agents, as long as the rate you book through Citi Prestige matches one of the rates you see on Hyatt’s site, you should be good to go. I had no problem with the three prepaid rates I booked.
The other great thing about Hyatt’s confirmed upgrades is that you can apply them to Points + Cash awards, which can now be booked online. Note that you’ll still need to call Hyatt to apply the upgrades, though. While you can’t pair 4th Night Free with a Points + Cash booking, you should be able to mix and match booking types and still use only one suite upgrade per seven consecutive nights. So you could book four nights through Citi, then redeem Points + Cash for the three remaining shoulder nights, and apply one upgrade to all seven nights. Or you can keep things simple and book seven consecutive nights using Points + Cash (availability permitting).
If you don’t have enough points to complete a booking, don’t forget that you can transfer instantly from Ultimate Rewards. For example, the 50,000-point bonus offer currently available after spending $4,000 in the first three months with Chase Sapphire Preferred Card would get you nearly seven nights in a Park Suite at the Category 4 Park Hyatt Siem Reap, when paired with a suite upgrade and $100 in cash per night. That’s pretty hard to beat!
Know before you go.
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