Disclaimers: Some of the offers in this post may not be valid at the time you are reading this.
The first day we had the Citi Prestige, we squeezed a net value of $2025.09 out of it planning a Disney World Vacation. Here’s how we did it, and how you can too!
The Citi Prestige 4th Night free Benefit [Updated October 20, 2017]
The Citi Prestige is our favorite card for our Disney World vacations for one simple reason—4th night free. The Prestige’s 4th night free benefit is exactly what it sounds like: on hotel stays of 4 or more nights, you get 25% off the first four nights. For those who have a Citi Presitge card, it works like this:
1. Sign in to thankyou.com—Citi's online rewards portal, and click "Hotels" under "Travel"
2. Search for "walt disney world." It works best if you click the suggestion "Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL, US)."
3. Filter by "Disney"
4. Pick your Disney hotel
5. Choose your room
There's no great way to get a picture of the next page in full without running the risk of confusing people, but the room selection page will show you a list of available room rates. You'll need to scroll down to make sure you see all available rates!
6. Choose How Many Points to Use and Pay With your Citi Prestige
Because you're booking through a third-party, your rates don't look exactly like Disney's rates. To that end, it is vital that you check existing deals at WaltDisneyWorld.com to make sure you can't beat the price Citi offers. In this case, the $1,169.91 is 21% lower than the $1,475.73 that the Disney site quotes me for the same stay with the Gift of Magic deal applied! Why 21% and not 25%? No idea! That 4% probably just has to do with rates, taxes, fees, commissions, and anything else associated with a third-party booking.
You can’t use 4th night free on trips of fewer than 4 nights, nor can you use it twice in one trip by staying eight days. Disney World, however, is particularly good for the one way you can use 4th night free twice - by changing hotels.
Using the 4th Night Free Benefit at Disney World—Twice
Because of how the holidays worked out this year, we decided a nine-night stay in Disney World was in order. We were already set to run the Dopey Challenge, so adding New Year’s Eve to our trip wasn’t a hard decision since it would wind up only costing us one extra day of PTO (if that). The money was a bit of a challenge, though. We were adding four nights to a planned five-night trip.
The original five nights at Beach Club were going to cost $3,011.65. Our first thought was just to add four nights to that stay—but it turned out there was a better way. Four nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge—which we wanted to try since we’ve never stayed there before—came out to $2,502.02. Choosing separate hotels wasn’t just a matter of trying something new, though, it was our key to maximizing the value of the Citi Prestige.
By booking at two hotels, we got to use the Citi Prestige’s 4th night free benefit on each stay. That meant a savings of $639.93 on the Beach Club stay and $520.50 on the AKL stay. That’s awesome, as it is already $1,160.43 in savings! The Prestige also has a $250 annual airfare credit, though. Since I had just signed up for the card, I hadn’t used that credit yet—so we’re up to $1,410.43 in savings. Okay, since I got the card for the purpose of booking this trip, we’ve got to take out the $450 annual fee for the card, so we’re down to only $960.43. Where is the rest of this $2025.09 coming from?
Signup Bonus Points from Spending
Points. The signup bonus for the Prestige was 50,000 ThankYou points for $3000 in spend—easily met by my hotel reservations. Using The Point Guy’s point valuations, those 50,000 points are worth $800. If you don't trust point valuation, those 50,000 points are worth $800 on American Airlines flights regardless. I also get 3x points for the price of the hotel stays, which is another 16,541 points or $264.66. Adding it all up:
$639.93 (one night Animal Kingdom Lodge)
+$520.50 (one night Beach Club)
+$250.00 (airfare credit)
-$450.00 (annual fee)
+$1064.66 (points from signup bonus and spending)
By signing up for and using the Citi Prestige to book nine nights at two Disney resorts, I took a hotel stay that could have cost $5,513.67 and wound up spending (net) only $3,488.58. That’s a savings of $2,025.09 or 37% of the total cost. That’s like having three free nights!
How You Can save thousands on your Walt disney world stay too
The Citi Prestige doesn't currently have a signup bonus [October 20, 2017], so you'll want to wait until a new one pops up. Recently, they were offering 75,000 points, which is huge! The Citi Concierge has, to the best of what I can tell, access to all 25 Disney World hotels, so this should work on any planned stay of 4 nights or longer. What's more, I've had success with the concierge finding discounted rates at other hotels. I've never tried Disney, but if the concierge can see an advertised discounted rate, you're in for even greater savings.