Citi

And Citi Just RUINED 4th Night Free on Prestige :(

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Yes, that deserves a HUGE frown face in the title. 

Earlier today I posted about the fine print in the Citi Prestige changes.

But according to a new post by Doctor of Credit, I missed one major thing. Actually, I saw it and didn’t process the implications.

y own Citi Prestige card

Here is the language from the fine print in question:

Cardmembers will enjoy a complimentary fourth night with no black-out dates (“Fourth Night”), when booking at least four consecutive nights at any hotel only through Thankyou.com or by phone at 1-800-ThankYou (powered by Connexions) or the Citi Prestige Concierge (the “Citi Prestige Concierge” is Aspire Lifestyles) and subject to additional requirements stated below. Beginning 09/01/19, Citi Prestige Concierge will no longer be available for Fourth Night bookings and bookings must be made either online at ThankYou.com or by phone at 1-800-ThankYou in order to be eligible for the Fourth Night benefit.

When I read this early this morning, I took it to mean that it was a simple change to the number to call.

But it’s FAR more ominous. And if this is the case, which it appears to be, it 100% ruins the card for me.

The change appears to mean that 1-800-ThankYou will simply make the booking the same way as you would online. Meaning it’s a Third Party booking.

Right now, a call to the concierge means a booking that is considered “direct.” It is post-paid, earns ALL hotel status benefits and hotel loyalty points. You even earn that on the free 4th night since the hotel is paid for all 4 nights.

But a pre-paid/third party booking means that you would NOT earn in-hotel benefits from your hotel chain status and you will NOT earn points from your stay.

For me, I need ALL of my stays to count. I don’t earn so many hotel nights a year that each one I do pay for doesn’t matter. For example, next year I will need at least 25 actual nights at Marriott to requalify for Platinum (on top of  the 15 nights for holding a credit card and, let’s assume, one meeting for 10 more nights).

On top of that, I do not spend so much effort earning that status so I can show up for 4 nights and be treated like I have leprosy.  And that is how hotel chains in the last several years have begun treating people in on third-party rates.

For the “average” casual guest, this may not matter. But the target audience of this card is a frequent traveler. And that is exactly who WILL CARE about this.

I really hope that between now and September 2019, Citi considers walking back this change. I suspect they saw this as a way to save money without fulling considering what a MASSIVE effect it would have on the usefulness of this card.

What impact does this have on your excitement for this card? Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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