Meet the Mattress Runners!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Kalboz, Dec 10, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    An interesting article about the practice used by some of us ... I did my first mattress run back in December 2009 to get the Hyatt Platinum and in January 2010 for the Diamond staying at the OCHR which was undergoing renovations at the time and hence a doable rate.

    When/where was your first mattress run?
     
    tondoleo, Sweet Willie and Newscience like this.
  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

    Messages:
    14,694
    Likes Received:
    45,079
    Status Points:
    16,475
    Thanks for sharing, Kalboz! This is a great NYTimes article, and (of course) Milepoint co-founder Tommy Danielson is featured prominently! ;) I wish the end-of-year "mattress runners" every success! :)

    As for myself, I can't imagine a "mattress run", for the simple reason that my employment manages to have me stay at too many differently-owned hotels around the world. I try mightily to belong to the various hotel loyalty groups to obtain those hotel points, but especially with the tendency to have me stay in a non-branded hotel every so often, accumulating status points for premier treatment by a hotel chain is just a "bridge too far". But, I'll gladly console myself with airline status...;)
     
    tondoleo and Kalboz like this.
  3. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    Yea yea ... I posted the article on Tommy's FB page, but I am sure he is flying somewhere in Scandinavia! :D

    BTW, that HROC was my first and only mattress run, if we don't count the 4-nights 2-stays to meet the IHG Big Win Challenge. Other than that I earn stays as needed/planned travel.

    Our main man Gary blogged about this same subject this morning mentioning the NYT article: Do Hotel “Mattress Runs” Make Any Sense?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
    tondoleo likes this.
  4. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    I have done a mattress run when I am only one or two nights away from achieving the next level. It makes sense to me then because of the bonus points. Usually, though, I am so far away from the next level it would be worthless to do a mattress run. Since I do not travel for business, it is difficult to achieve anything other than the lowest status.
     
    tondoleo and Kalboz like this.
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Not worth it if you're paying your own way. The math simply doesn't work.
     
    tondoleo and Kalboz like this.
  6. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    When I decided to keep Kimpton Inner Circle status after matching in January of this year. I have MR'ed in Seattle 5 times this year. Staying in all three Kimptons twice. There will be 4th Kimpton to visit this coming year. Fortunately they are all in walking distance.

    I respectfully disagree with Seth since by managing the Kimpton stays I accumulate a number of free nights that can be leveraged for more expensive properties.

    The bottom line it works for me. My friends in the cities I stay at appreciate the bottles of wine Kimpton provides me.
     
    Newscience and Kalboz like this.
  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    How much did you spend for each of your paid nights? What were your other options in that area?
     
    iolaire, Kalboz and tondoleo like this.
  8. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    My first one was at the DoubleTree near Logan Circle in DC. Got some ridiculous rate (it was around $40 or something), and so decided to snag it.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  9. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I averaged $ 190.00. The other hotels in the area that appealed to me due to my status (Fairmont, Hilton, IHG, or SPG--all CC or MP status grants) were the same price or more. I did stay at the Fairmont Olympic when they had a stay 3, pay 2 deal through FHR.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    And what if you ignored the status? Plenty of hotels offer free wifi and breakfast to all guests. What other benefits were you realizing from the status and at what cost? Did you consider a cash-back booking portal or other points-earning option instead? Being able to save 10-15% on $190/night is a sizable amount to pay for elite status benefits IMO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
    Kalboz and tondoleo like this.
  11. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I will experiment with your suggestion to ignore hotel status on a few trips over the coming year and will report back.
     
    iolaire, Wandering Aramean and Kalboz like this.
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I don't think that status is necessarily "bad" inherently but I do believe that many people miscalculate the costs associated with the "free" benefits they see status as providing. This is especially relevant when the expenses are not reimbursed.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  13. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    I disagree. If I can spend $50-100 for one or two stays to stack up the points more quickly, then I can afford the trip to the high-priced area. I pay in cheaper areas so that I have points in the expensive areas. I've done the math and it works for me.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  14. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If you are spending $50-100 for only one or two stays then odds are you don't have top-tier status and the other benefits which are described in the associated article. If you have specific targets and can leverage bonuses and such to earn points that's great but that usually doesn't require elite status in the hotel programs.

    And even that doesn't always work. I thought about the IHG Big Win a lot this year and ended up ignoring it. The costs to get the "cheap" stays were not nearly low enough for the bevy of points I would have realized to be sufficiently valuable.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  15. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    Yeah, I might well not "chase" status if the majority of my annual stays (>75%) weren't reimbursed.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  16. domdigs

    domdigs Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    20
    Like tondeleo, I stay at Kimpton to earn Inner Circle status which gives a room upgrade which comes in handy when traveling with my 2 dogs, Kimpton is the only "chain" I know of that doesn't charge a pet fee, some may argue it's built into the room price but the rates have always been been great, especially in SF.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kalboz likes this.
  17. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Silver Member

    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    257
    Status Points:
    450
    My first "mattress run" (never heard that term before today) was about 15 years ago. I had been an HHonors Lifetime Gold member, but realized that I would almost make Diamond. We did a quick trip to New Orleans, and one to New York, and got the necessary Base Points. I forget what that was, back then, but have been Diamond for years now, and usually end up with more Base Points, by a factor of at least 2x. This year, I see that I will finish with 320K Base Points - too bad that I can't book a few of those, just in case there is less travel next year!

    Thanks for the article - and the "term."
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  18. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    Im considering an IHG mattress run if I can get my promos to stack again. A 1 night stay banked me over 35k IHG points. Enough for 6 nights at my local Candlewood Suites. I know that better resorts will cost more, but what a return. The AAA rate at my local Candlewood Suites is $59. If I can manage to get even 1/2 of the points I earned from my last stay, it will be worth it.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  19. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    How often do you stay at a "local" hotel? Why??
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  20. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    I used that more as an example. There are the same tier hotels in other locations that we visit.

    But there are examples of when we would stay at a local hotel, or book nights there.

    -We do not live near family, and now that our daughter has moved into her own room, we no longer have an extra bedroom. When we have company, I like to put them up in a local hotel if I have the points.
    -In April 2011, we had a severe tornado outbreak in our area. This was before I really started to travel. But, my half of town was out of power for 8 days. The north and west side regained power several days after the event. Had I had the points, I would have loved to be able to stay at a local hotel with my family. Although the length of the outage was excessive in this example, there are times where power is out for several days in areas of town due to storms.
    -Our immediate family is about 12 hours away by car, but they are pretty spread out, with some along the way, with others grouped together, which would make flying and renting a car pricey. However, our kids (son is 2 and daughter is 1) cannot ride in the car for that long at one time. We usually have to stop a night on the way up and stop a night on the way down. This will be get better as they get older, but for now, its kinda what we have to do.
     
  21. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Gogo dropped causing double post. See below.
     
  22. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    I think he may have just been using it as an example, but there are reasons one would do this. I've stayed at a local hotel a couple of times in the last couple of months following late-running social occasions - gala + drinks with friends after, theater + late dinner, etc. I'm certainly not thrilled by a 45 minute drive home following such occasions.

    There are also plenty who might grab an airport hotel before a 5am departure or similar.

    Some people may need/want to accomodate more guests than their residence holds.

    There are likely some illicit reasons.

    I would imagine there are plenty I haven't thought of as well.

    In short, there are lots of reasons.
     
    vickers likes this.
  23. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Yeah...I suppose. But seems a strange metric to me to use for RoI on mattress runs.

    And, as I've noted before, selectively taking advantage of promos to score large volumes of points at a favorable rate is quite different from a leisure traveler paying for extra stays just to make hotel status tiers. The latter is what I think is truly bonkers.
     
  24. ella
    Original Member

    ella Silver Member

    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    602
    Status Points:
    620
    That's what I like about Milepoint. There are a diversity of opinions on any given topic. Leisure travelers like the "free" upgrades and perks as much as the business traveler. Free in quotes because we all pay for them one way or another. And if I can do that by staying at a low end hotel in that chain to achieve the next tier, then I'll do it. But I don't do multiple nights - I will only do it if I am one or two (at the most) away from that next tier. As I said before, the math works for me.
     
    Wandering Aramean likes this.
  25. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,221
    Likes Received:
    61,767
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Indeed. Many miss that part of the math.

    How do you get to only needing one or two nights to make the tier status if your stays are for leisure travel? Are you otherwise directing stays during the year to collect on the "free" benefits? Do you consider the dollars spent each night on those stays as part of the cost of the status?
     

Share This Page