Surprise, Surprise, I May Be Mattress Running for SPG Platinum Status

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I really thought my hardcore mattress running days were behind me. With shifting travel patterns and Hyatt moving to elite qualification on nights instead of being able to qualify on stays or nights, we just seemed to be beyond the days of checking into a hotel just for the stay credit. While that was fun at times, overall I was not sad in the slightest that the mattress running phase of my life was probably over as it always felt like a strange use of time and money, even when the math clearly worked in favor of going for it.

 

All that to say, I very unexpectedly find myself in a situation where I am very strongly considering a SPG mattress run. Yes, SPG. A program that I love, but have had very few stays with this year. In fact, my account is currently sitting at a grand total of four elite qualifying stays on the year, and two of those came from having the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card.

It takes 25 stays in a calendar year to earn Platinum status and it is already mid-October, so what could possibly possess me to be considering something so ludicrous when I am so far from the goal? Allow me to explain…

Going from 4 to 25 Needed Stays

I have 4 of the needed 25 stays as of today, but a week from now I will have 9. This is thanks to three upcoming SPG stays, two of which will count as double under the targeted double elite status credit promo that runs through December 15, 2017. Sadly award stays don’t count double per the terms of the promo.

Now, 9 stays is still a far cry from the necessary 25, but when you factor the double elite promo into things, I will be just 8 qualifying stays away from the prize of Platinum status. Of course, 8 isn’t a terribly small number either, but I could easily shift a couple of planned stays to SPG and drop that number to about six. That still isn’t close enough to really get me terribly motivated by itself, but there are a few other factors at play that have me thinking I probably have to do this.

Getting Big Value from Elite Status in 2018

Elite status is only worth what you get out of it, and from late December 2017 until late February 2019, when this status would expire, I already have four family trips booked at SPG resorts, with several of the stays being five nights long. These destinations include Westin Whistler, Vail Cascade, Westin Grand Cayman, and Aspen Snowmass. All of those are pricey locations where the included breakfast for two you get with Platinum status would be very, very useful. The shot at a space-available suite upgrade doesn’t hurt either, though can’t be counted on. It is also very possible we will have a few other SPG stays in that timeframe.

Counting down to the Westin Grand Cayman

Keeping in mind that SPG Platinum status matches to Marriott Platinum status, we would get some extra perks at Marriotts along the way until early 2019. If I wasn’t already planning to hit United Silver status the old-fashioned way, then the status domino game would get even more interesting as Marriott Platinum status also gets you United Silver status. That said, this is a decent fallback plan in case one of my planned trips on United through the end of the year falls through.

Saving 20% on SPG Stays Thanks to Amex

To tip the scales even further towards going for this, four of my Amex cards have an Amex Offer that gives me a $60 statement credit when I spent $300+ on room rates and charges at SPG properties in the United States through 1/31/18. It doesn’t say the $300+ has to be in one transaction, so presumably, this could work to save me about 20% on my final costs at the SPG hotels both on my mattress run stays and my actual needed planned stays this fall.

There is also a SPG bonus points promotion running through January 15, 2018, that awards 1,000 bonus points per stay at St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels and 500 bonus Starpoints per stay at Aloft, Element, Four Points hotels. This is on top of that regular SPG points you earn for stays and the points you would earn by paying for the stays with a rewards-earning credit card. This promo also awards 10,000 bonus SPG points if you hit 25 nights during the promo period of September 12, 2017 – January 15, 2018, but that won’t impact me at all as I would only have less than half of that total. Assuming I earn an average of 1,000 SPG points per mattress run stay, those points are worth more than $20 to us towards future travel, which helps offset the costs a bit.

What About Mobile Check-Ins?

The final deciding factor in the plan may be whether mobile keyless check-ins count for the purposes of earning stay credit if you happen to check-in virtually and then for some reason never physically make it to the hotel. There are lots of individual SPG properties and SPG brands such as Aloft and Element that now allow for mobile check-in and even keyless door access if you have the SPG app. Since I’ve been out of the mattress running world for a while, I really don’t know if this does or doesn’t work reliably in earning stay credits from home, though if you know I’d love to be brought up to date. There is a SPG property close enough to my house that I could make this work the old-fashioned way by physically checking in, but that property as a Westin will cost more than some other SPG properties out there.

Our nearby Westin is nice, but pricey

As you can probably tell, I really don’t want to do this as I don’t love the concept of mattress runs. However, I’m kind of thinking that it really makes much more sense to do it than not do it, given the double stay promo and how many SPG nights we already have planned in late 2017 – early 2019.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have been in a similar situation!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

Comments

  1. I’m going on an SPG mattress run tomorrow for status! Four Points Queretaro and a couple of the Monterrey, Mexico properties are reliably about $50 per night. And I was targeted for the double-credit offer on stays between now and December 18. And I can get credit for three rooms per night. So, I’m going to do 3 nights (at different hotels) X 3 rooms and get 18 stay credits and get SPG Platinum for about $500 all-in. And I’ll get 4500 SPG points bonus to go with the 1500 regular points I’d earn. And I’ll get 1500 UR for spending with my CSR.

    You should do it. You can get very cheap flights to MEX (2-hour drive to Queretaro) or MTY from Houston.

    The other good SPG mattress runs in the western hemisphere are in Colombia, by the way.

    • If you don’t mind, hollar back when the 2x stay credits post for the 3x rooms. I know it should work, I just would love to know for sure. That will cut down on the hassle big time. I don’t think I am going to add a flight to do this, but there are already relatively cheap SPG hotels here and in Kansas where we are headed in November. Now, if we could know for sure if mobile check-ins work then…

      • So, my plan did indeed work. I did 3 rooms X 3 hotels X (double-stay promo) = 18 stay credits = SPG Platinum, all for under $500, plus I actually enjoyed my time in Mexico. It was a good little trip, because I also had the 5000 United points offer when renting with Hertz, and I used that twice on $1 rentals (still have to pay Mexican liability insurance of $11 per day, but still), so I even earned back some of the points I used to fly down there.

        The only difficulty was that SPG had trouble booking all three rooms in my name in each hotel. They could only put two rooms in my name and had to use my middle name for the third room. At one of the hotels, that meant that my SPG number didn’t stay attached properly, and I initially didn’t get credit for that room, though of course they fixed it when I emailed them about it.

  2. I just ended up doing this myself in preparation for a week stay in Hawaii with no other top tier status this year. I just wish I had received the amex offer a few days earlier. I completed 9 stays (18 credits) in 3 weeks by booking 3 rooms each weekend at shabby Sheraton on an $88 AARP rate (i did join AARP for this… worth all $12). I did have to drive the 30 miles to get to the hotel each weekend, and would love to know if the keyless checkin would work in the future. I had zero issues with the credits posting with 3 rooms per night, along with the 1000/stay bonuses from the current promotion.

    On a side note, I noticed that the AARP rate doesnt seem to be a search option on the site/app anymore, it now just says “senior rate” and you have to search through a different page. This change must have happened in the last two weeks but I couldn’t find any info about it.

  3. I started my mattress running when they offered the promo and had only 3 nights with spg and 42 with Marriott
    I saw that’s 11 stays with spg while Marriott would be 33 nights and I really like platinum status with both but the kicker was 1,000 bonus points per stay and if your platinum already you get another 500 so each stay using 100.00 as a reference would get me 1,800 points
    im in Chicago this weekend and ill be mattress running at 4 different spg ( westin and Sheridan suites )
    with these stays ill be at 21 and just 2 more
    You coming to Chicago?

  4. No SPG mattress runs for me. I’m determined to get Marriott Lifetime Platinum so all my stays have been with Marriott. I want to make sure that I get my status before the programs are combined because who knows what the new criteria will be then.

    Enjoy your mattress run 🙂

  5. I’m debating what to do with regards to SPG. I’m sitting at 38 nights for the year, but have nothing planned at all as most of my travel for 2017 is done. However I am also suffering from FOMO with regards to the merger of Marriott and SPG and what will happen to lifetime status. I’m 36 nights away from LT Gold and will imagine I will be kicking myself if that gets matched to LT Gold in Marriott. However, the downer for me is living in the Bay Area there is no such thing as a cheap stay to be had. Guess I need to run the numbers, but I’m also 12/25 for the 10k bonus. So many decisions to be made.

  6. Since it seems like you are liking your flights on Delta, another bonus to your mattress run is the crossover bonus with Delta, including complimentary upgrades.

  7. I am going for Platinum since I needed 13 stays so with the targeted promo that equals 7 stays. Probably is it is very hard to find SPG properties in smaller towns where they would be cheaper. I am in Santa Barbara, CA next week and they don’t have a SPG property. I am in England now and other than London no SPG properties at all. It will be a stretch but I will get to 25 stays.

  8. Their fool promotion offered me (lifetime SPG Platinum) double elite-qualifying stays, which of course mean nothing to me. Their Marketing/IT department are fools. Had they offered me double toward this year’s 50 nights (for some semi-usable confirmed suite upgrades), I’d have thrown all my stays immediately to SPG, but with 20 nights to go, I’m resigned to not making it this year. So I’m staying where it’s most convenient FOR ME since I’m also soured on Hyatt. Unbelievable: Hiltons, a Langham and just the occasional SPG.

    • @SST – Be happy they offered you something! Every promotion SPG has had this year, I didn’t qualify for! I’m getting tired of seeing, “Unfortunately, you are not eligible for this specific promotion.”

  9. household has 5 spg accounts that each either has the spg personal or biz cc, but none got this special offer; only 1k pts per stay, lame…

  10. I am mattress running for Hyatt. I’ve kind of turned it into a game – where else new can we go? So far I’ve used c&p for Niagara Falls and Chicago – no real reason to go there, but we had great long weekends. Also have a 5 night stay booked downtown in my hometown over Thanksgiving. Figured we can see the tree lighting, go shopping on Black Friday and just get away. We are headed to Europe next year and I have the Park Hyatt Milan and Park Hyatt Mallorca booked. Hoping to use suite upgrades!

  11. Hello MommyPoints!
    You mentioned that th platinum breakfast is for 2 people and I remember for multiple occasions you used the benefit to have breakfast as a family of 4. My question is that is SPG Platinum covers only 2 people’ breakfast?
    I am thinking of doing the platinum challenge but it sucks if the benefit only covers 2 people.

    • Yes, but kids under a certain age are sometimes free or at least a reduced price. We have had it work for all of us with SPG, though we have also had to pay for a kid or two. It just depends.

      • Thanks for the reply. It’s really good to know that SPG Platinum has worked well for your family. As a traveling family, it is nice to get free breakfast and possible room upgrade. I was a Hyatt Diamond and it was great in that they gave us free breakfast/room service for all of the guests.

        • Yes, Hyatt is top dog in that category. Our SPG Platinum experience is a few years old now, but hopefully, I’ll hit it again in a month or two and will have some new updated first-hand info!

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