PSA: Using Citi Prestige 4th Night Free? You’ll Have To Pre-Pay

I’ve been using the Citi Prestige credit card’s 4th Night Free Benefit for years now. This perk has saved me thousands — yes thousands — of dollars each and every year. Hearing that the unlimited use of this benefit was being severely restricted may qualify as the worst credit card news (for me anyway) of the year. However, along with the restricted use of this perk to two times only per year, I also noticed a big change on the payment options for these free night stays.

Using 4th Night Free Benefit? Pay Attention To How You Pay

Often we miss the fine print, and in this case the fine print is what we need to be aware of. I noticed something interesting when looking at the differences between using the Concierge and Thankyou.com.

There are two ways to book and receive your 4th Night Free benefit: through the Citi Prestige Concierge or through Thankyou.com. The rules and restrictions have one key difference. Here’s what you need to know.

4th Night Free Payment: Booking With Concierge

When booking through the Concierge, you can choose to pre-pay for your stay or pay when you check-out.

4th Night Free Payment: Booking With ThankYou.com

When booking through Thankyou.com, you can pay for your stay with cash, redeem Citi ThankYou Points, or use a combination of ThankYou points and your credit card. HOWEVER, you must pre-pay for your reservation.

I’m not a fan of prepaying reservations and never prepay. For this reason, unless I was using the all points option for my hotel stay, I would never use ThankYou.com to book my 4th Night Free hotel stay.

Please note: As of September 1, 2019, when booking your 4th night free benefit, you MUST either use ThankYou.com or book by calling 1-800-thankyou.

I still have a few more trips booked before the 4th night free restriction starts where I’ll be using the 4th night free hotel benefit. Even though some of the original benefits of the credit card are gone, the value of Citi ThankYou Points has dropped, and even the rebate on the 4th night isn’t nearly as good as it used to be, the Citi Prestige Credit Card is still useful and saves me plenty of money. Do your own research before choosing whether to book through the portal or the concierge and run the numbers.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure, though, that I’m not the only one who will be re-thinking how they’ll use their card. Now more than ever, I need to make sure I maximize the 4th night free benefit my Prestige card still offers. No matter which booking option you choose, make sure you know the current rules!