Book Your Citi Fourth Night Free Stays Before September 1
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Back in January when changes to the Citi Prestige® Card fourth night free benefit were announced, the effective date of the changes — September 1, 2019 — seemed a long time away. But, if you’ve kept your Citi Prestige through the subsequent removal of most travel and shopping protections, here’s what you need to know as September 1 draws near. The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Fourth Night Free Changes
As of September 1, the Citi Prestige® Card complimentary fourth night benefit:
- Can only be redeemed two times per card account per calendar year
- Must be booked online at Thankyou.com or by phone at 1-800-ThankYou (powered by Connexions) — bookings made through the Citi Prestige Concierge (powered by Aspire Lifestyles) will no longer be eligible for the fourth night free benefit
- Requires pre-payment for your reservation at the time of booking with your Citi Prestige Card, a redemption of ThankYou Points or a combination of ThankYou Points and your Citi Prestige Card
- Savings will be applied at the time of booking based on the average nightly rate of your stay (excluding taxes and fees)
Citi says only bookings made on or after September 1, 2019, will count toward the 2019 cap. No official guidance has been provided as to whether booking made before September 1, 2019 will count toward the 2020 cap.
What To Do Before September 1
If you have stays of four nights or longer planned for the remainder of 2019, you’ll want get these stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge before September 1. There’s no cap on the number of fourth night free stays you can book before September 1 for the remainder of 2019.
Citi specifically says fourth night free booking made before September 1, 2019, will not count toward your 2019 cap — but doesn’t specify whether they’ll count toward the 2020 cap. Regardless, you’ll likely want to book two fourth night free stays for 2020 with the Citi Prestige Concierge before September 1 if you’re able to plan any trips for 2020 at this point.
In fact, you may want to book as many fourth night free stays for 2020 as possible with the Citi Prestige Concierge before September 1. Concierge agents have told at least one cardholder that the fourth night free credit will be provided for all bookings made through the concierge before September 1, including bookings for 2020 — so it’s possible you can still get a lot of fourth night free credits in 2020 if you get your bookings in now.
Statement credits for fourth night free stays booked through the Citi Prestige Concierge before September 1, 2019, should post within two billing cycles of each stay. So, check your statements after each stay to ensure the credits post properly.
How To Book With The Citi Prestige Concierge
You have two main options when booking with the Citi Prestige Concierge: you can call Aspire Lifestyles (Citi’s concierge service) at 561-922-0158 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. In either case, you’ll need to provide the name of your hotel, dates of your stay, number of guests, room type, the rate you’d like to book, the last four digits of your Prestige card and any loyalty program numbers you’d like the agent to add to your reservation.
But remember, you’ll only get a fourth night free for booking with the concierge before September 1, 2019.
What To Do Starting September 1
Starting September 1, you’ll need to consider whether booking a fourth night free through the Citi ThankYou portal makes sense. I recently considered How Valuable Is The Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free When Booking Luxury Hotels Though Citi ThankYou — and I published a guide yesterday that does the same for mid-tier hotels. In short, the take-away is that you won’t necessarily get the best value when booking through the Citi ThankYou portal.
Especially if you don’t get good value from booking fourth night free stays through the Citi ThankYou portal, you may find yourself questioning whether to keep your Citi Prestige card. Obviously, you’ll want to keep the card through any fourth night free stays you’ve made though the concierge. But then, you should ask yourself: Am I getting enough value from the Citi Prestige to justify the annual fee?
The annual fee is $495 for most cardholders ($350 for Citigold clients) and the $250 travel credit makes the annual fee effectively $245 ($100 for Citigold clients). The Prestige still has some useful benefits, including cell phone protection, extended warranty protection and purchase protection. But, assuming you keep the Prestige solely for its 5x earning on dining, you’d need to spend $2,883 per year on dining — or $1,177 per year if you’re a Citigold client — in order to earn enough points to offset the effective annual fee. Many of us do that — but if you’re looking for a new card for travel purchases, check out these guides:
- Battle of the Premium Travel Rewards Cards: Which Is the Best?
- Best Travel Credit Cards
- The Best Credit Cards for Airfare Purchases
- The Best Credit Cards for Booking Hotels
How To Still Get A Free Night
- IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card cardholders get every fourth night free on award stays of four nights or longer at IHG hotels
- Hilton provides a fifth night free on standard award stays of five nights or longer to all Hilton guests with Hilton Honors elite status
- Marriott provides a fifth night free on award stays — but note that once off-peak, standard and peak award pricing are implemented on September 14, you’ll only get the cheapest night free (not necessarily the fifth night)
- Some American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts properties offer a third, fourth or fifth night free
My advice: get any concierge bookings you want in now. The concierge is likely to become very busy the closer we get to September, so start early and be patient when making bookings. I would not wait until August 31 to make bookings, as this will best case lead to long waits and worst case lead to you not getting the bookings you want completed. I speak from experience making bookings the night before the last major fourth night free change was implemented: start now.
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