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Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
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All those friends who love to laugh at your $450 a year credit card won’t be chuckling any longer. Nope, not when they find out that your last trip was longer, better and cheaper than theirs – all thanks to that expensive “love to hate” piece of plastic in your pocket. We recently put one credit card benefit to the test, and the result: more than $1000 in savings on a single vacation. Imagine what you could do with a year’s worth of travel?

a bedroom with a bed and a mirrorWe’re Talking About The Citi Prestige 4th Free Benefit, Which Applies To Every Hotel You Book, All Year Long…

A key benefit if the Citi Prestige card, which charges a hefty $450 annual fee, is the 4th night free benefit. Regardless of the room price, on an unlimited number of stays- you get the room rate for the 4th night of any stay comped. Yeah that’s right – you could make your annual fee back in a single 4 night booking.

a bridge over water with a building and a bridgeHere’s A Practical Example In Action For A Random Trip…

Let’s take Langham in Sydney, Australia. Rooms are about $350 a night, and there’s no argument that it’s a steep price – but it’s awesome. Using the 4th night free benefit, you’d save roughly $350 on a four night stay, dropping the room rate down to more like $262 a night. Solid! On this specific trip, we’ll have 14 days of hotel stays, so this will be used 3x, for a savings over $1000. Best part? You can book any hotel – directly online at the Citi website, with the savings built in.

a bedroom with a staircase and a bedThe Key Here: Do This Over And Over Again, All Year…

The Citi Prestige card comes with airport VIP lounge access for cardmember and at least one guest, and also offers a $250 travel credit – good for any travel purchase. Basically, your net loss on the annual fee is only $200 after the travel credit kicks in, assuming you value airport lounge access and the 75,000 point sign up bonus (worth at least $750) at zero (which you should not). If you then use the 4th night free benefit over and over, you can come out with multiple $1000’s in savings over the course of the year…

a group of tables on a beachIs It For You?  That Totally Depends On Your Travel Patterns…

If you only stay 2-3 nights max in the same place on your travels – this benefit is useless. If however, you find yourself staying 4+ nights a couple times a year, for business or pleasure, this is an incredibly overlooked opportunity to save. And yes, you could theoretically book two back to back “four night” stays to pay for 6 nights on an 8 night stay, though it’s been rumored you may need to use two separate hotels (worth trying). Clever eh?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Cool article, I enjoy your site. One thing to note is that if you do 4 nights back to back, they *must* be at different hotels. Otherwise the Prestige concierge will mark it as one stay.

  2. This might be true for business travelers (read bloggers).
    For us “regular ones” Citi Prestige is a long shot after all the other changes.
    I try to pay for our leisure travel with points/miles.
    However, I got $50 statement’s credit for 7 months (if I spend $1500) and decided to keep the card for another year (for other sinister reasons). Then we’ll see.

  3. I love this card. If you stay in cheap hotels you don’t need it. But, if you travel a bit you can make a bundle on it. Stay at good hotels, enjoy a bit of luxury at 25% off. If you take the Marriot challenge and stack platinum status on top of this, you get some great deals.

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