The Citi Prestige 4th Night Free benefit has changed – here’s your new strategy

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One of the most unique credit card benefits available is the The 4th Night Free Benefit, which gives cardholders the option to receive their 4th night free on select hotel stays.

In 2019, Citi announced a handful of changes to its , including more flexible travel credit, increased annual fees, and changes to the 4th night free benefit.

Effective September 1, 2019, Citi implemented two major changes to the The 4th Night Free Benefit: A limit on the number of times you can use the benefit and an update on how you can book qualifying stays.

Prior to September 1, 2019, cardholders could use the 4th night free benefit as often as they wanted. For frequent travelers, having no cap on this benefit could easily translate into thousands of dollars in savings per year. However, Citi has significantly reduced this benefit: As of September 1, 2019, the 4th night free benefit of the card is limited to two uses per year.

Another major change to the 4th night free benefit is how you can book qualifying stays. As of September 1, 2019, to be eligible for the 4th Night Free Benefit, all qualifying hotel stays must be prepaid in advance and booked through Citi’s ThankYou.com website or by calling Citi at 1-800-THANKYOU.

Prior to September 1, 2019, cardholders were able to book qualifying hotel stays through the Citi Prestige Concierge, which allowed them to enjoy the 4th night free while paying for the hotel directly at checkout. This was of significant value as it allowed cardholders to take advantage of the 4th night free benefit while receiving the value of the reservation (through the concierge) and paying (after stay) directly with hotels, including including earning points directly with the hotel and benefiting from the benefits of hotel status.

With the updated 4th night free benefit now in place, cardholders will have to choose between having their hotel status honored (including upgrades and receiving nights to requalify for hotel status). Elite hotel) or receive the benefit of the 4th night free. While hotel status is not an issue, the requirement that hotel stays be prepaid will make it difficult for some travelers to take advantage of the benefit.

That said, if you’re a cardholder who isn’t concerned about hotel status or points and can afford to pay for your hotel stay in advance, it makes sense to take advantage the 4th night free benefit for hotels available for reservation through Merci.com or 1-800-THANKYOU. In order to justify the annual fee, you will also need to be careful to maximize the benefit of the 4th night free. Ideally, you’ll use the benefit on two of your most expensive trips during the year. You may also want to consider using the benefit on hotel stays when you must (or choose) to stay at a hotel chain that is not your primary chain of choice (where points and status would be. important to you).

Overall, updates to the The 4th night free benefit represents a significant loss in value compared to the card’s more unique benefit. You should reassess whether the ceiling on stays and the limits over which reservations are eligible justify the annual card fee, even with a new policy in place.

Information relating to the was collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.

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