First, I don’t normally do mattress runs or mileage runs. The only running I do, is after my kids, when they are trying to kill each other! What is a mattress run, you ask? It’s when you check into a hotel, only to earn points or status. Even though you have no desire to be there in the first place. Some just come, check in any go home immediately. Sounds convoluted? That’s because it is.
Which is why I don’t do this stuff. My time is worth something. But this one is different. A couple of weeks ago I came across an IHG promo, called IHG Big Win, that runs through December 31st . I pretty much ignored it, it just sounded too complicated. I dismissed it as a marketing gimmick, which of course , it is. You have to stay so many times, on certain days, at certain chains. And than you will get a big points payout, maybe. If everything goes right.
So I moved on, as I always do, when I see stuff like that. But then I came across a post at Pointchaser blog, that changed my mind completely. It actually isn’t all that complicated at all. I value IHG points at 0.5 cent each for family, mostly because of their PointBreaks program. That means I would be willing to pay 250 dollars for 50000 points, which is how much the promo gives.
In the post the writer claimed, that she found several cheap options around the country. For 4 separate hotel stays the grand total would come to 217 dollars to get qualified, below 250 ! Yeah, but you have to be there, right ? That’s the most interesting part. Ariana said , that you should be able to check-in over the phone, without actually being present at the hotel. I have never actually heard of that, but she said she had great success with that strategy.
I am not advocating, that you do that. There is always a chance of something going wrong. And actually my advice is, try to make little vacations out of it, rather than just pure mattress runs. Perhaps visit some relatives as a family. I actually had a reservation at Marriott in December for 2 nights. Instead I will switch to IHG hotel and do 2 separate reservations for that trip. I had a reward stay , coming up at a Holiday Inn already. So I just changed it to a paid one.
So between those two , I will only be short 1 night hotel stay to qualify for 50000 points. I might do a mattress run for that (over the phone), or perhaps do a short getaway for me and my husband. Any couple could use those. Here is a link with all the details, since I think Ariana already did a fantastic job explaining it. No need to repeat it again. This excellent blog is geared more toward single traveler, but families can benefit from it as well. Link to Pointchaser IHG post
Photo credit goes to lexiyoga.com