For those of you not familiar with “mattress runs,” they’re not as dirty as they sound. A mattress run is when you stay in a hotel for the sole purpose of collecting hotel points and/or accumulating hotel status. It’s the hotel equivalent of a mileage run, whereby you fly for the sole purpose of accumulating airline miles and/or airline status.
I live in hotels full time, so I shouldn’t really have a need to do a mattress run as such. In other words, I need somewhere to stay anyway, and therefore shouldn’t be making hotel stays solely for the purpose of earning points.
Except I’m doing exactly that tonight. I booked a hotel I don’t plan on spending the night at… because it’s worth it for the points.
As many of you may be aware, Starwood has some extremely generous stackable promotions at the moment:
- 9,000 bonus Starpoints if you stay at nine Starwood brands in 2015
- 2,500 bonus Starpoints when you use SPG Keyless and pay with an Amex
- 2,015 bonus Starpoints when you stay at any SPG property in December
- Starwood’s global “Stay For More” promotion
But with just a week left in the year I’m realizing I won’t have the opportunity to stay at a ninth Starwood brand this year. I’m leaving the country over the weekend for the rest of the year, and the place I’m going to doesn’t have any Element, Four Points, or Design Hotels properties (which are the brands I need to stay at to earn the 9,000 bonus Starpoints).
So I got a bit creative. I booked the Element Miami Airport for tonight, which was ~$136 including tax.
As luck would have it, this is also an SPG Keyless property, so for that stay I’ll earn 11,500 bonus Starpoints (9,000 bonus Starpoints for having stayed at nine brands this year, plus 2,500 bonus Starpoints for using SPG Keyless). Altogether I’ll be earning over 12,000 Starpoints, which is about one cent per Starpoint — that’s a deal.
The catch is that I can’t actually make it to Miami tonight (after all, I want to spend Christmas with my family). But thanks to SPG Keyless I can already check-in and get my room assigned, and then tomorrow when I get to Miami I can go to the hotel so I will have technically used the room.
Since I have guaranteed 4PM check-out, I can just head there in the early afternoon. No “tricks” needed, as I’ll be within all the rules of the program, so it won’t be a phantom stay (hotels don’t issue you points for phantom stays, meaning if you make a booking and don’t actually check-in you can’t earn points).
As much as it kills me to book a hotel room and not actually use it, I couldn’t turn down ~12,000 Starpoints for ~$136, given that I won’t be anywhere for the rest of the year which has a property that would make me eligible for the bonus.
Anyone else doing a mattress run to maximize this year’s SPG bonuses? Am I crazy for what I’m doing?