In April 2017, I did my first-ever “mattress run.” As experienced points and miles enthusiasts know, a “mattress run” is when a guest checks into a hotel, often with no intent of staying the night, in order to generate an outsized return in a hotel rewards program.
The impetus for my mattress run stemmed from needing a hotel night in downtown Chicago about 2 months later, on a mid-week night when rates were unusually high and availability in the area seemed to be limited. I originally made a placeholder reservation at the Palmer House Hilton, but it was quite expensive. Checking around some more, I found what appeared to be good availability at the Wyndham Grand, including availability for a points night for 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a room that would otherwise cost at least $279 per night with the best available discounted rate using AARP, plus taxes.
At the time, I had never paid much attention to the Wyndham Rewards program, but I had an account with a few thousand points as a result of a random one-night stay some years earlier.
About the same time I was looking at options to acquire Wyndham Rewards points for our Chicago visit, I received an email with a promotional offer for 10,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a one-night stay:
The promotion could not have been better-timed. Looking around for local options, I found a nearby Super 8 with a lowest rate of $50.39 for a weekend one-night stay ($56.94 all-in, with taxes):
Under the Wyndham Rewards program, the minimum earning for a one-night stay is 1,000 points, meaning that I should receive a total of 11,000 WR points for my stay – the regular 1,000 points, plus 10,000 points from the motion. This would get me 73% of the way to the 15,000 points needed for a free night at the Wyndham Grand Chicago that would save me about $300. I already had a little over 4,000 points, so the numbers worked out perfectly for me to reach a total of 15,000 for the free night.
All in all, I paid $57 for approximately $219 of “value” (73% of the $300 night at Wyndham Grand Chicago) for my mattress run. Not bad.
My check-in and “stay” experience at the Super 8 Plano was … interesting. I’ve post a complete, somewhat tongue-in-cheek “review” of the Super 8 Plano separately.