Update: A reader reports—and our limited research agrees—that Disney hotels are seeing limited availability through ThankYou.com. We’ve seen limited to no availability on stays of four nights or longer.
While the Citi Prestige is a good card all-around, it is one perk that really makes it stand out: 4th Night Free. One of our first posts on this blog was about getting $2000 of value out of our Citi Prestige the first day we had it, in part from using 4th Night Free. Here's how you can do the same!
The Citi Prestige
We have a full review of the Citi Prestige, but here's the short version. The Citi Prestige is a premium credit card with a $495 annual fee, a $250 annual travel credit, and a host of other perks, including "4th Night Free."
Using Citi Prestige 4th Night Free
Beginning 2019, 4th Night Free is limited to two uses each year—so use them wisely!
There are two ways cardholders can use the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free benefit. First, you can book online, through the ThankYou.com portal. This method is easier, and you’ll get your 4th Night Free benefit as soon as you book. Alternatively, you can book by calling the Citi Concierge at 561-922-0158. This is more time consuming, and you’ll have to wait to get the 4th Night Free credit, but it can be cheaper than booking online.
Booking 4th Night Free Via the Citi Concierge
Booking 4th Night Free via the Citi Concierge is a more time-involved process, but it can save you. You’ll need to call the concierge at 561-922-0158. There may be waits, and we’ve had the concierge make mistakes on occasion (they were promptly corrected). But the upside is that you might wind up saving money. Unlike booking online, you won’t receive the 4th Night Free benefit until a few weeks after you complete you stay (you’ll typically only pay a deposit upfront).
If you’re a Citi Prestige cardholder, there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least place a call to the concierge before booking stays of four nights or longer.
The biggest upside of this method is that you may be able to get access to discounts not available through the Citi ThankYou portal online. These include public discounts—like the “Gift of Magic” room discount—and more restrictive discounts—like annual passholder room discounts. The operative word here is “may”, as there are always scattered reports of different outcomes.
Booking 4th Night Free Online
Booking 4th Night Free Bookings on ThankYou.com is easy. First, login to the Citi ThankYou portal at ThankYou.com
Use the site like you would Booking.com or Hotels.com, searching for your intended location and dates. For Walt Disney World stays, we’ll typically search for hotels near Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, or Bay Lake Florida. You can also narrow results by including “Disney” in your preferred hotel name.
As of December 2018, we’re still seeing a wide range of Disney results, including value, moderate, and deluxe resorts. Some hotel names have “package” at the end, but you will still see room-only rates when you click through.
You’ll see a variety of rooms offered. The righthand side lists prices in a confusing “points + cash” format. The “Average/Night” amount listed is without 4th Night Free. The “Total” amount listed is with the 4th Night Free benefit applied.
Once you click book the room, you’ll have the option to choose to use points, and you’ll then be taken to put in the standard details needed to book a hotel. You’ll pay the entire amount upfront, with the 4th Night Free already discounted.
There are a few things to remember about booking 4th Night Free this way. First, you might not see all the room rates available through Disney directly or that you’d have access to calling the Citi Concierge.
Second, 4th Night Free applies to pre-tax rates, which is why it won’t just be 25% off the bottom line. The cardholder must be the primary person named on the reservation, and you cannot get 4th Night Free for concurrent reservations or consecutive reservations at the same hotel.
Citi ThankYou vs. Disney Directly
You should always compare the prices on Citi to prices you find on other sites. You might be surprised either way. For example, you might think there's no way Citi can beat a special offer like the "Gift of Magic" room offer. But it turns out they can. Here's a sample booking at Caribbean Beach:
When you book directly through Disney...
You'll pay $969.77 booking without the special offer (yes, Disney let's you do this).
You'll pay $832.75 booking with the Gift of Magic Room Offer. That's about 14% savings.
When you book through Citi using 4th Night Free, though...
You'll pay $666.42. That's 20% lower than the Gift of Magic rate and 31% off the Standard Rate. Even when Disney has a deal going on, you'll still save $166.33, over $40 per night!
And remember—you may be able to get that Gift of Magic rate and 4th Night Free if you call the Citi Concierge to book, rather than booking online.
Combine 4th Night free With A Split Stay For Huge Savings
Remember, 4th Night Free won't help you if you're staying only three or fewer nights. Your savings are also relatively smaller if you stay five, six, or seven nights because (again) the discount is 25% of your first four nights.
If you're staying eight nights you do not get 25% off twice, even if you make two separate bookings. However, at Disney World you can easily change hotels, so if you break up an eight-night stay into two four-night stays at different hotels, you can use 4th Night Free twice on each four-night stay. Split stays at Disney World are super easy (and a great way to experience different resorts). For more, check out Method to the Magic's video on split stays.
We did this back in January, when we split nine nights between Animal Kingdom Lodge (Club Level) and Beach Club. All we had to do was bring our bags down to bell services at Animal Kingdom Lodge and ask them to send them to Beach Club. When we arrived at Beach Club later that day, we had automatically checked in through My Disney Experience, had our Magic Bands ready to go, and just gave bell services our room number!
Final Thoughts on 4th Night Free at Disney
4th Night Free is a more versatile perk than it looks at first, especially for Disney visits. For example, 4th Night Free can be a good way to fit a resort day into your plans. This will add magic to your trip with no additional cost (well, depending on how you spend the resort day).
Then there's the time we used 4th Night Free to rearrange our dates and save on our flights. We added a night to the beginning of our trip and booked a late flight out instead of the more expensive flight the next morning that we had planned to take. We saved $116 on flights being able to fly in at night.
All Your Other Disney World Planning Questions Answered
Don't be overwhelmed by Disney World planning! Take a second to check out our most important content and you'll not only be an expert, but you'll save big $$$ along the way.
Just starting out? Check out our Walt Disney World planning guide! If you're still picking dates, we've got everything you need to know about Disney crowd calendars. For picking your hotel, check out our Walt Disney World hotels guide.
When it comes time to book, we've got you covered with posts on how to book cheap flights, how to get the best deal on your Disney hotel, and where to find discount Disney World tickets. And of course everyone wants to know whether or not they should get a Disney World dining plan!
Don't forget to master your Disney World FastPass+ strategy a few months in advance. We'll keep you out of long lines so you can maximize the magical time in the parks! We've got park-specific guides as well: Magic Kingdom FastPass, Epcot FastPass, Animal Kingdom FastPass, and Hollywood Studios FastPass.
Know what to ride with our guides to: Magic Kingdom rides, Hollywood Studios rides, Epcot rides, and Animal Kingdom rides! Plus learn about the water parks with our guide to Blizzard Beach and our guide to Typhoon Lagoon!
Finally, before you head out, be sure to check out our to-the-point packing list, 10 essentials you forget to pack for every Disney trip. And if you're interested in saving, there's no better list than our 53 Ways to Save on your Disney trip from start to finish.