A few months ago, I booked a hotel stay using the Citi’s Prestige Card to try out the fourth night free benefit. In short, Citi reimburses you for the 4th night of the hotel’s costs if you are a Citi Prestige cardholder and you book 4 or more consecutive nights through Citi’s Concierge Service. I booked a stay at the Intercontinental Fuzhou.
Waiting for reimbursement
The booking process with Citi’s Concierge Service was pleasant, and I got a confirmation email after the call detailing the expected reimbursement rates. Everything seemed to be working as it should.
Of course, to complete the process, I had to make sure that I actually got reimbursed after my stay. I simply hoped that it would be a seamless, automatic process.
I have to admit that when my charges posted to my credit card (which includes room service and other charges), I wasn’t feeling very optimistic about the “automatic” part of the equation.
Frankly, I was expecting an “Intercontinental Hotel” charge. While the charge is correctly classified into the hotel category, I was a little wary. I thought, “How do I explain to Citi that this is the same hotel that I asked the Citi Concierge to book for me?”
The charge posted in the June statement. The July statement came and went with no signs of the rebate. I decided to write in and inquire how Citi would associate the mismatched hotel name to the 4th night free benefit. I promptly got a response from a rep who simply reminded me that the rebate would be credited within 2 billing periods.
The representative was right. I decided to sit tight and wait it out.
My August statement closed recently, and lo and behold, I am happy to report to that the rebate came through! It came through automatically; no manual intervention necessary.
I hadn’t been optimistic about the “automatic” part, so I’m glad it worked out on its own!
Upcoming Changes to Citi Prestige’s Benefits
I’ve been holding onto the Citi Prestige for the second year now, and I’ve been quite happy with it despite the high annual fees. Since I travel quite a bit, the travel benefits far outweighed the costs. I particularly value the Admirals Club access, the priority pass membership, and the 4th night free benefit.
However, there are some changes coming to Citi Prestige that will go into effect in July 2017.
These changes include:
– Removal of the Admiral Club lounge access benefit. I will miss this benefit quite a bit!
– 4th night free benefit calculation: Calculation will be based on the average nightly rate and excludes taxes. Minimal impact; I find that costs tend to average out, anyway.
– Removal of the golf benefit. Zero impact. As a non-golfer, I’m happy with the occasional round of mini-golf as it is.
Granted, it’s a negative change whenever benefits are removed and not replaced. In spite of these changes, I still think the card offers quite a bit of value (i.e. $250 airline credit per calendar year, the priority pass membership, 4th night free benefit, etc). For some people – especially for frequent fliers – the value from these benefits are more than enough to make the card worth keeping.