Skip to content

4 reasons why I'm not mattress running right now

Feb. 18, 2021
4 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We're nearly two months into the new year, and many points and miles enthusiasts are already "mattress running."

In pre-pandemic times, mattress running, or staying at a hotel simply to earn or boost elite status, was something to consider in November or December, right at the end of the annual qualification period.

Yet, some travelers are checking in to week-long stays now, 10 months before the end of the year, to maximize the lucrative limited-time promotions offered by Hyatt and Marriott. Both chains are awarding double elite-qualifying nights for stays from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28 and from Feb. 16 through April 27, respectively.

Combined with Hyatt's reduced elite thresholds, it takes just 15 paid or award nights to qualify for top-tier Globalist status right now.

After multiple years as a World of Hyatt Globalist, I'm tempted by the idea of mattress running. But, here are four reasons why I'm not.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Hotel chains may extend current promotions

Throughout the pandemic, we've seen countless limited-time hotel promotions offering bonus points, elite-status fast-track offers and more. Instead of letting the promos expire, many chains have extended these bonuses for months at a time.

Case in point: Hyatt's Bonus Journeys offer. The Chicago-based chain launched the promo on Oct. 1, 2020 for stays through Jan. 4, 2021. At the end of November, Hyatt unveiled reduced elite-status thresholds for 2021 and extended the Bonus Journeys promotion through Feb. 28, 2021.

With just about ten days left in February — and travel still down significantly compared to pre-pandemic highs — it stands to reason that Hyatt will either extend the promo or launch a new one.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

And with the competitive pressure of Marriott offering double elite nights through April, my money’s on Hyatt extending. There’s no guarantee, of course. But if it indeed gets extended, then why mattress run now — the odds are that I’ll be traveling much more later in the year.

Related: 19 promotions that will make your next hotel stay more rewarding

Travel could restart in the second half of the year

As the vaccine rollout ramps up, travel industry executives are predicting that the recovery will begin in the second half of 2021.

Since I plan to travel once vaccinated, I'm patiently waiting to build my immunity, instead of spending hundreds of dollars at my local Hyatt House right now.

After all, mattress running in February implies that you don't expect to organically hit the (reduced) elite qualifying criteria later in the year.

Some travelers are heading to Hyatt Places to boost elite status (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

Elite status might be extended again

If the vaccine rollout doesn't go as planned, then travel will likely remain depressed through the end of the year. Hotel chains might then consider extending elite status another year, making a mid-February mattress run worthless.

If status isn't extended, I'd prefer to splurge on a suite or other elite-like perks (many of which are included with premium credit cards) on a stay-by-stay basis, instead of gunning for status now.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy makes it easier to earn elite status and redeem points in 2021

The promotions could get even better

No one can predict the future. But the odds of travel returning to pre-pandemic highs in the coming months are minimal.

To get heads in beds, I'm confident hotels will continue doubling down on promotions.

Marriott's final global promotion of 2020 ended on Nov. 10 and offered bonus points on stays. The chain welcomed 2021 with a much more lucrative offer — double points and elite nights on all stays of two nights or longer.

While it might be tempting to mattress run now, recent history has shown that the promos are only getting better – and I’m hedging my bets it will happen again.

Bottom line

Despite the appeal, I'm not mattress running right now.

Without a better sense of what the future of travel holds, I'm saving the cash and waiting to see how many nights I hit organically in the coming months. Plus, I could always boost my elite status later in the year using the World of Hyatt Credit Card (a great way to rack up qualifying nights).

I'll still maximize the available promotions on upcoming trips, like United's New York-JFK inaugural, but I'm not going out of my way to stay at a hotel simply to boost my elite status.

Featured image by Springhill Suites Zion (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023