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My Citi Prestige credit card hasn’t really seen the light of day all that much recently. Most of my spending in the categories in which the Citi Prestige offers bonuses has been going on my Chase Sapphire Reserve and my Amex Platinum cards so the Prestige card has been frozen out.
Last week, however, the Park Hyatt offers I wrote about reminded me of one of the major reasons I liked the Citi Prestige card in the first place – the 4th Night Free benefit – and they also reminded me to write a post explaining why one of the two ways you can book the 4th night free benefit is a lot better than the other.
Citi Prestige 4th Night Free Booking Options
When the Citi Prestige card first came out the only way to book the 4th night free benefit was to call up the Citi Concierge service who would then put the cardholder in touch with Carlson Wagonlit (the travel agency employed by Citi to run the benefit) and their agents would then arrange the booking. The process could be drawn out and it wasn’t exactly efficient.
In January 2016 things improved – the Citi Concierge desk gained the ability to do the hotel bookings so the extra step of dealing with a travel agent was removed – and earlier this year (2017) cardholders were finally allowed to book hotels and the 4th night free online.
Now cardholders have a choice.
You can either book through the Citi Concierge (via email or phone) or book online via ThankYou.com.
One of those options is a lot better than the other and it may not be the one you’re expecting.
Booking online may be the easiest way to go but booking through the Citi Concierge service is by far and away the best way to book….and this is why:
ThankYou.com is considered an agent by the hotel loyalty programs while, for some reason, the Citi Concierge service is not. This means that booking online will see cardholders miss out on the following:
- Elite status benefits
- Hotel points
- Credit towards hotel status
Booking through the Citi Concierge service preserves all of the above.
In addition, ThankYou.com doesn’t allow cardholders to book special rates (like AAA or AARP) and it doesn’t allow cardholders to apply discount codes either.
If you head over to ThankYou.com these are all options you’ll see when you go to book a property:
Notice how there’s no option to enter a discount code and no checkboxes to select any of the usual special rates.
While booking online precludes the use of discount codes and special rates, The Citi Concierge service will happily search for any rates you ask them to search for and will happily use discount codes too.
Booking online is definitely simpler and it’s what I choose to do if I’m booking an independent property or a property at which I don’t hold any meaningful status…but for all other bookings I use the Citi Concierge service.
How To Use The Citi Concierge Service
You can call or email the Citi Concierge service – if I need a booking rushed through I call up and ask the concierge to expedite the booking otherwise I prefer to email.
Citi Concierge phone number: 1-561-922-0158
Citi Concierge email: [email protected]
Whether you call or email, the concierge will need the following information:
- The property you wish to book (be specific as some locations have very similar sounding hotels)
- The dates you wish to stay
- The room category you wish to book
- The number of beds you require in the room (1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Twins etc..)
- The special rate you wish to use (if any)
- The names to go on the reservation (one of them has to e the primary cardholder)
- Your loyalty program ID number
- The last 4 digits from your Citi Prestige card
I use AAA rates a lot as they’re often the cheapest option, I like using various hotel promotions that come along (like the Park Hyatt offers I mentioned earlier) and I like to make the most of my hotel statuses whenever I can – all of these require the Citi Concierge service so I’m very grateful we don’t have to book online.
Booking online is definitely simpler and it’s what I choose to do if I’m booking an independent property or a property at which I don’t hold any meaningful status…but for all my other bookings the Citi Concierge service offers far more value.