Here’s an offer for everyone who has a card that earns ThankYou Points from Citi. It doesn’t require you even having a Citi credit card. If you’re staying at any hotel for two days, or more, you can save $50 off your bill. Depending on your situation, this can save you some serious money.
I (along with many others) received an email from Citi ThankYou Rewards this morning with the subject line:
Get $50 off any hotel stay when you book via the ThankYou(R) Travel Center.
I just used the ThankYou Travel Center to book a hotel for us in Knoxville so I’m somewhat familiar with how it works. Most people use it as the way to make a reservation for hotels, airlines and rental cars using ThankYou Points for payment. What most people don’t know is you don’t even need to use a single ThankYou point to make a booking.
That’s where this promotion gets interesting. Check out the payment types eligible for bookings:
If you use your ThankYou points, you’ll save $50 worth of points. If you use a participating Citi credit or DEBIT card or a combination of both you’ll have $50 taken off the bill. To access the offer, you need to have a Citi account that gives you access to the ThankYou Travel Center. I’d imagine that includes Citi checking accounts with debit cards which also earn ThankYou points.
A huge benefit with this offer is that while you need to make your reservations by April 30th, you can book any hotel available on the Citi Travel Center website to 330 days in the future.
I was just checking prices for the Candlewood Suites New Braunfels for our Schlitterbahn trip. Since weekday stays tend to be relatively inexpensive, using flexible points (like ThankYou points) often is a better deal than using IHG points. For this stay reward nights are 20,000 IHG points each.
For two nights with an AAA discount, including tax, the room would be $223.74.
Here’s the same room on the Citi ThankYou Travel Center, after applying the discount code CITI50
If I’d want to pay cash with a Citi card, the two nights would be $167.75. If I use ThankYou points, I’d need 13,420 ThankYou Points (since I get 1.25 cents per point with my ThankYou Premier card for bookings through the ThankYou Travel Center).
The downside of this offer
The major disadvantages of booking through the ThankYou Travel Center is that bookings made through their website are considered by the hotels, airlines and rental car companies to be like they were made by a travel agency, or an OTA. Many loyalty programs, particularly those of hotels, don’t give any points for bookings made through OTAs. They also don’t have to provide any of the perks for having status.
In this case, that would mean I’d be giving up earning points for this booking. Stays at Candlewood Suites earn 5 points per dollar, so for those $200 I’d be losing out on earning 1,000 points. I could buy those points for 0.5 cents each, so that’s $5 in value lost.
What about my elite recognition as a platinum member with IHG? There’s not much they do for Platinum guests at a Candlewood Suites. Internet is free for all hotel guests and there’s no hotel bar or restaurant. In a three story, 83 room hotel I don’t think there’s much difference no matter which room you get.
Depending on which hotel you’re staying at, not getting these perks could make a huge difference. If you’d be losing out on a club level upgrade with an early check in and late check out plus not having to pay $20 a day for internet access, it might not be worth saving the $50 booking through Citi. Your Mileage May Vary.
Are there any other ways to take advantage of this promo?
I’m sure there are. It was just announced on Wednesday and I’ve already seen people trying to figure out how to maximize its value.
- Can you combine this with the Citi Prestige Fourth Night Free benefit?
- What Citi cards can this be used with?
- What’s the cheapest room this will work with?
I leave it to people like Nick at Frequent Miler who already found a hotel where he could stay for two nights and pay $0.80. Miles to Memories was one of the first to write about this so I’d check the comments on their websites to see how people are trying to stretch the savings as far as possible,
Here’s the official details of the promo from the email I received:
Offer Details: $50 off your total hotel booking of two or more consecutive room nights booked on the ThankYou Travel Center. All hotels available on the travel rewards site are eligible, subject to availability of desired dates and room type. Reservations can be booked up to 330 days in advance. Must enter promo code CITI50 at checkout. Discount may be applied to multiple hotel reservations placed in one order. Program Terms and Conditions apply. This promotion ends at 11:59 PM EST on 4/30/18.
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