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Citi Prestige 4th night free hotel benefit July 2017 - August 2019

Citi Prestige 4th night free hotel benefit July 2017 - August 2019

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Old Jan 9, 19, 7:10 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: SanDiego1K
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This is a continuation of the original discussion HERE.

Book online at thankyou.com or by phone at 1-877-288-2484 7/24.

Starting September 1, 2019 the complimentary 4th night benefit can be used up to two times per calendar year. Bookings made prior to September 1, 2019, will not count toward your two-stay cap for 2019. Starting September 1, 2019 bookings for the 4th night benefit must be made exclusively by visiting thankyou.com or calling 1 800 THANKYOU. Citi Concierge will no longer handle new 4th night benefit bookings but will continue to support bookings made prior to September 1, 2019. To utilize your benefit through our online travel site, and/or have the option to use your ThankYou points, please visit thankyou.com, select travel in the top menu bar, select hotels, choose hotel designated as “Complimentary 4th Night Eligible”, book at least 4 nights, see savings at checkout.
Starting for reservations made on or after July 23, 2017, this benefit will give you the average nightly rate on stays of 4+ nights, and will NOT include taxes.

Reimbursement times vary but seem to have improved in 2017, now about 2 weeks is most common. See this thread
for details.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 5:51 pm
  #916  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by noahsi View Post
All makes sense. Has anyone had a difficult time cancelling a reservation made via connexions that is prepaid but refundable?
Nope.
Last month, I saw the rates or cheaper rooms pop up for 2 stays I had (for the exact same dates), so I just canceled my original bookings and rebooked right after. Credit for the cancelled bookings showed up within a day or two. Just make sure to cancel first, or else thankyou will say you're not eligible for 4NF cz you're already using it for the same dates.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 9:36 pm
  #917  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: bay area, ca
Programs: UA plat, spg plat, aa plat, marriott plat
Posts: 3,204
Better check if you're really even getting close to fourth night "free"

As the benefit changes and booking on "thankyou" site eliminates elite benefits here are some interesting observations - in anticipation of new system I checked 2 hotels on the ty site vs Bonvoy site:

1 First hotel alleged $94 savings was actually $30 (compare total charged on Bonvoy vs total charged on ty AFTER 4th night credit)
2 Second hotel alleged $155 savings was actually $60 (same as above)

So for giving up free breakfast, free wine, etc. possible upgrade for 4 nights - I can save $60?

So ty increases the price, decrease the benefits (no elite benefits if you book with ty) and actually save you 30% of what they claim to be saving! I'm pretty sure they are making more than this on the commission for the 4 nights.

BTW - last summer I booked a non chain hotel and it was cheaper booking directly or using agoda (or such) than booking with the 4th night credit - that is I paid LESS paying for the full 4 nights then I would have paid with 4th night credit - allegedly getting 1 night "free"!

Be careful out there - scams are all around us -----
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Old Jul 23, 19, 5:58 am
  #918  
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Be careful out there - scams are all around us -----
While I am not happy about the changes and the reduced benefits - scam it is not. One need to understand the limitations of the program and compare apples to apples.

Thankyou points portal will pull the none refundable and refundable rates - it would not pull any discount rate (such as a Member rate, AAA, or any special code) - but until September the concierge can book those. I never had a problem having the concierge booking a special rates, which matched exactly the rates on Marriott.com (note: you still cannot book a special package that cost more than the regular rate). Yes, it will be going away soon - but it is still available.

You can get cheaper rates on 3rd sites - but if you got a cheaper rate on the hotel own website, the concierge can book those prices for you (until September).

Yes, the upcoming change is bad. But even with the limitations of the new system, if they fit your stay profile, you can still come ahead.

On another note - over the last week I've made two reservations using the Concierge (via e-mail - one I had to call because the rate changed, the other was done within 10 minutes of sending the e-mail), for stays in late 2020 and early 2021. So it can still be done (and if the hotel has dates open in 2021 you can even do it that far into the future, without it being counted toward the new limit).
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Last edited by MD/DC Flyer; Jul 24, 19 at 5:24 am Reason: Typo correction
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Old Jul 24, 19, 2:17 am
  #919  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: bay area, ca
Programs: UA plat, spg plat, aa plat, marriott plat
Posts: 3,204
Maybe scam is too strong, but when I compare the rates ty is offering (non chain no benefits) and the difference with their credit turns out to be 30% of the 4th night cost (without taxes) rather than 100% (for some hotels not true for every one) it seems dishonest to me.

I am aware of the "special" rates (which again are going away), but the examples I gave of losing benefits for $15/night was b/c ty rates were higher than what the concierge would book without any special discounts - so we are losing more than it appears on the surface

Just a caution - if you care about the cost it pays to check and just not assume that ty is really giving you the "free" night cost you might expect.

Originally Posted by MD/DC Flyer View Post
While I am not happy about the changes and the reduced benefits - scam it is not. One need to understand the limitations of the program and compare apples to apples.

Thankyou points portal will pull the none refundable and refundable rates - it would not pull any discount rate (such as a Meyerbeer rate, AAA, or any special code) - but until September the concierge can book those. I never had a problem having the concierge booking a special rates, which matched exactly the rates on Marriott.com (note: you still cannot book a special package that cost more than the regular rate). Yes, it will be going away soon - but it is still available.




You can get cheaper rates on 3rd sites - but if you got a cheaper rate on the hotel own website, the concierge can book those prices for you (until September).

Yes, the upcoming change is bad. But even with the limitations of the new system, if they fit your stay profile, you can still come ahead.

On another note - over the last week I've made two reservations using the Concierge (via e-mail - one I had to call because the rate changed, the other was done within 10 minutes of sending the e-mail), for stays in late 2020 and early 2021. So it can still be done (and if the hotel has dates open in 2021 you can even do it that far into the future, without it being counted toward the new limit).
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Old Jul 24, 19, 2:26 am
  #920  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,909
Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Maybe scam is too strong, but when I compare the rates ty is offering (non chain no benefits) and the difference with their credit turns out to be 30% of the 4th night cost (without taxes) rather than 100% (for some hotels not true for every one) it seems dishonest to me.
Cause you are doing it wrong. Why would you ever book through the TY website?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 6:35 am
  #921  
mia
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
.... Why would you ever book through the TY website?
That will be the only way to use the Fourth Night Free benefit come September.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 10:17 am
  #922  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Western US
Programs: Costco Executive Member, Amazon Optimus Prime
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
As the benefit changes and booking on "thankyou" site eliminates elite benefits here are some interesting observations - in anticipation of new system I checked 2 hotels on the ty site vs Bonvoy site:

1 First hotel alleged $94 savings was actually $30 (compare total charged on Bonvoy vs total charged on ty AFTER 4th night credit)
2 Second hotel alleged $155 savings was actually $60 (same as above)

So for giving up free breakfast, free wine, etc. possible upgrade for 4 nights - I can save $60?

So ty increases the price, decrease the benefits (no elite benefits if you book with ty) and actually save you 30% of what they claim to be saving! I'm pretty sure they are making more than this on the commission for the 4 nights.

BTW - last summer I booked a non chain hotel and it was cheaper booking directly or using agoda (or such) than booking with the 4th night credit - that is I paid LESS paying for the full 4 nights then I would have paid with 4th night credit - allegedly getting 1 night "free"!

Be careful out there - scams are all around us -----
Thanks for reminding everyone about those concerns, but those are all well known with the TYP portal.

One other issue, which matters to me just as much, is how limited their selection can be.

Especially since the 4NF benefit basically will (post Sep) need to be on hotels that sell prepaid. (sort of like hotels.com GC usage).

The benefit is being heavily diluted. We'll see what renewal / retention offers are like and reevaluate. It's not an expensive card (net) but its differentiating features are narrowing.

=====

Separately to the poster above who mentioned making concierge bookings in 2020 etc - why do you think those will not count towards the 2 night usage going forward? that seems unlikely to me. i also suspect that there will be difficulty with getting those credits if anything actually goes wrong. Our usage of 4NF is generally 3 times a year (over peak school holiday periods) and I would estimate that a 1/3 of those have problems or extensive delays in getting the credit. (My last one paid for in Oct 2018, didn't arrive til March 2019). I don't think there will be much customer support for this after Sep, especially for glitchy bookings/stays
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:16 am
  #923  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,909
Originally Posted by mia View Post
That will be the only way to use the Fourth Night Free benefit come September.
And it is September now??
It is like limiting yourself to 2 bookings.
Or, for flying related analogies, calling a phone agent to book a mistake flight deal?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:25 am
  #924  
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Originally Posted by akr1970akr View Post
Separately to the poster above who mentioned making concierge bookings in 2020 etc - why do you think those will not count towards the 2 night usage going forward? that seems unlikely to me. i also suspect that there will be difficulty with getting those credits if anything actually goes wrong. Our usage of 4NF is generally 3 times a year (over peak school holiday periods) and I would estimate that a 1/3 of those have problems or extensive delays in getting the credit. (My last one paid for in Oct 2018, didn't arrive til March 2019). I don't think there will be much customer support for this after Sep, especially for glitchy bookings/stays
Because that is what Citi states (https://information.citi.com/prestige/intro):
Only bookings made on or after September 1, 2019, will count toward the 2019 cap.
That is very much attached to the way they are implementing the limitations (i.e., through the Thankyou Points portal - which has not way of knowing and counting how many reservations you had through the concierge).

There will be some customer support, although I guess in limited form after September because booking can go for more than a year out. I suspect it would be hard to reach and hard to resolve issues - but I doubt it will go away completely. The concierge provide many other (mostly useless) services apart from booking the 4th night free one, and that function remains. I've made my far in the future booking with the full intention to track the price and change the booking when the price drops. But now I'm not limited to the portal offering. I wonder if they will resist doing that, but I think there is a good case that they act as the travel agent and should be able to service the reservations.

As for timing - I just got a recent stay post within the same billing cycle by being proactive and sending in the invoice.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:31 am
  #925  
mia
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
And it is September now??
....
We do not need to wait until September to discuss booking through thankyou.com
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Old Jul 24, 19, 12:00 pm
  #926  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,909
Originally Posted by mia View Post
We do not need to wait until September to discuss booking through thankyou.com
The poster was complaining about the uselessness of the 4nf, and apparently only knew (booked) through the online portal.
Not talking about the future, as far as I know.

But that is fine. Let the people think this is a useless benefit
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Old Jul 24, 19, 3:48 pm
  #927  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by noahsi View Post
... Has anyone had a difficult time cancelling a reservation made via connexions that is prepaid but refundable?
No problem for me. Online cancellation for a reservation in Maputo. Full refund posted within a few days.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 4:43 pm
  #928  
 
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Originally Posted by jcsimard View Post
No problem for me. Online cancellation for a reservation in Maputo. Full refund posted within a few days.
is it points or cash booking?
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Old Jul 24, 19, 6:40 pm
  #929  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: bay area, ca
Programs: UA plat, spg plat, aa plat, marriott plat
Posts: 3,204
Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
The poster was complaining about the uselessness of the 4nf, and apparently only knew (booked) through the online portal.
Not talking about the future, as far as I know.

But that is fine. Let the people think this is a useless benefit
Absolutely NOT. I have ONLY booked through concierge (except once - with about 50 bookings) and was simply looking to see how bad it would be in Sept (partly b/c I have to decide whether to continue to pay for the new increased fee/decreased benefits) and I discovered disparities I thought should be pointed out (and as others have said were apparently well know but not so much to me b/c I generally booked concierge b/c elite benefits)
In addition (I and others) have to consider whether losing the travel benefits (delayed flights, trip cancellation, medical evacuation, etc) make this even a contender compared to cc that still offer these benefits with a lower annual fee (at least for now).
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Old Jul 25, 19, 6:05 am
  #930  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by yugi View Post
is it points or cash booking?
Cash booking charged and refunded to Citi Prestige for 4 nights.

Last edited by jcsimard; Jul 25, 19 at 6:41 am
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