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In my opinion, the single most valuable credit card benefit is the 4th Night Free perk with Citi Prestige — when you book your hotel stay through a Citi concierge, you’ll receive a statement credit for the actual cost of the fourth night, including taxes. And every hotel I’ve ever wanted to book has been included, from incredibly pricey Aman resorts to all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean.

While this benefit is changing on July 23 (at which point you’ll receive a rebate equal to the average nightly rate, with taxes excluded), it’s still tremendously valuable. I might be a fairly unique case since I’ve booked several properties to review for the site, but to date I’ve received a whopping $9,500 in statement credits from this benefit, so it’s safe to say I’m a pretty big fan. I signed up for the card in 2015, and I’ve paid the $450 annual fee twice, so my net is $8,600, before you factor in the $250 in airfare credits I’ve received in 2015, 2016 and 2017 ($750 total), plus 3x points on hotels and air travel — I’ve even earned points on the amount issued as a 4th Night Free credit.

Besides the fact that you can only book 4th Night Free stays over the phone, my only other concern with this credit is the amount of time it takes to process. Now, I’ve received every credit I’ve been entitled to, but the processing time tends to vary, and usually takes about two months — either from the time you booked (prepaid stays) or from the checkout date (refundable stays).

Well, it looks like Citi’s acted on that feedback — I just received the following email for a nonrefundable stay I booked on Wednesday. In my handy 4th Night Free tracker spreadsheet, I had May 1 marked down as the date to expect a credit, but it looks like I won’t have to wait nearly that long anymore. Both the email notification and speedy processing represent major improvements, in my opinion

While this might not seem like a big deal to someone who hasn’t used this benefit, knowing when to expect a substantial statement credit offers a huge advantage, especially if you’re expecting a $1,000+ rebate, or you’re just about to pay your bill.

This improved communication makes Citi Prestige and the 4th Night Free credit even more of a no-brainer for me. Going forward, I’m more likely to book stays using this perk (and for four nights at a time), knowing that the credits are posting more quickly, and with a heads-up email as well.

Featured image of the Park Hyatt Maldives, which TPG visited while taking advantage of Citi’s 4th Night Free benefit last December.

What’s the biggest rebate you’ve gotten from 4th Night Free?

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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