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TPG reader David sent me a message on Facebook to ask about hotel elite status:

“I’m four nights away from earning IHG Platinum Elite status. I have no stays planned for the rest of the year; is it worth paying for four nights that I don’t need just to reach Platinum Elite?”

Elite benefits can be lucrative enough that, in some cases, it’s worth paying for flights or hotel rooms solely to boost your status. Earlier this year, TPG Intern Kevin Song went on a 72-hour mileage run to requalify for AAdvantage Executive Platinum status and came away with more than 140,000 redeemable AAdvantage miles in the process. The same idea can be applied to hotels, where mattress runs can be used to increase your total number of elite nights or stays. However, while mattress runs are a helpful strategy in general, I’d advise David not to pursue one in this case.

For starters, IHG Platinum Elite status is pretty unimpressive. You’ll get basic benefits like late check-out and dedicated customer service, but the main benefits above Gold status are room upgrades and a 50% bonus on base points. That falls short of other mid-level elite status like Hilton HHonors Gold, which offers complimentary breakfast at full-service properties. IHG Platinum Elite feels more like a lower-tier status, and I don’t think you’d get enough value out of it to justify the cost of four nights in a hotel room you don’t plan to use.

There’s an even simpler reason why mattress running isn’t worthwhile in this scenario: Instead of qualifying for Platinum Elite by spending 40 nights or earning 40,000 points with IHG, you can get it automatically as a benefit of the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. Even better, you can get a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, plus an annual free night on your account anniversary. That easily offsets the $49 annual fee and saves you the hassle of tracking down an inexpensive IHG property in your area.

Get Platinum Elite status the easy way — as a benefit of the IHG Rewards credit card.

IHG made an effort to step up its elite program by adding the new top-tier Spire Elite status earlier this year. However, I don’t think that compares to other top-tier status like Hyatt Diamond and SPG Platinum. Unless you often stay at the more upscale brands like Intercontinental or Crowne Plaza (where upgrades could make a meaningful difference in your hotel experience), I don’t think it’s worth the effort to earn IHG Rewards status the hard way.

For more on mattress runs, mileage runs and elite status, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
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Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.