🏨 What is a mattress run?

Plus, we'll talk about... Disney and throw in a few interesting aviation stats.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes and 2 seconds

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Hey, friends! Welcome back to Daily Drop, the chocolate chips to your popcorn. And if you’re not indulging in that combo… I can’t help you.

Here’s what I’ve got for you today:

🏨 What is a mattress run?

Earlier this week, I vaguely referenced that I’m performing a “mattress run” right now.

A “mattress run” is when you book a hotel stay that you don’t really need because the value you get from it outweighs the cost of it.

Now, there are MANY ways this can work out in your favor, and I’ll explain a few of them today.

A mattress graphic with arms and legs that looks like it's running

The easiest way to start is to give you an example from a couple of weeks ago when I stayed at the Hyatt Place in Makassar for six nights.

Here is a screenshot from my Hyatt app of the points I earned from this stay:

Example of Hyatt stay booking points earned

As you can see, I earned about 6,000 Hyatt points from $141 of spend.

The reason I booked this hotel is because of the following:

  • As a brand new hotel, it offers 500 bonus points per night (read more about that promo here)

  • Since I had a “2k Next Stay award” as a milestone reward, I knew I’d earn 2,000 points by staying here

Since I used the [[ chase-sapphire-reserve.name ]] to pay for the stay, I also earned 423 points, which are transferrable to Hyatt.

So, in total, the 6,345 points I earned are worth about $152 compared to the cash expense of $141.

Boom. Mattress run.

But there’s more value here than just the points earned…

Since I earned six Hyatt elite nights, I also reached a Hyatt Milestone Reward for the 30-night mark, earning me a Category 1-4 Free Night Award, which I needed ASAP to use at a specific property.

Hyatt's 30-night milestone rewards

Every program has opportunities to perform mattress runs like this.

For example, I was in Bali recently and needed to do a mattress run with Marriott.

You see, I was eyeing a luxurious stay at the brand-new Luxury Collection property on Labuan Bajo, which costs 161,000 points for a 5-night stay.

New Marriott luxury property in Labuan Bajo

Since they have overwater villas (yes, these exist outside of the Maldives), I wanted to apply five Marriott Nightly Upgrade Awards.

The only issue?

I was at 49 Marriott elite nights for the year, and the upgrade awards are a benefit that is unlocked at 50 nights.

Marriott elite nights summary

Since I was in Bali, I could book a property for just 5,500 Marriott points per night.

By doing a mattress run there for just one night, I triggered the 50-night benefit, unlocked five Nightly Upgrade Awards, and could then apply them to the stay.

In this case, I “paid” 5,500 Marriott points to unlock the possibility of being upgraded to an overwater villa for five nights… not a bad tradeoff.

Example of a Marriott property for 5,500 points per night

Now I know what you’re thinking…

Mike, this seems really cool. You’re amazing, and I love you. But what if we aren’t in Southeast Asia with all of these cheap properties? How can we mattress run?

Thankfully, there are some GREAT ways to perform mattress runs right at home in the U.S.

For example, if you like Hyatt Globalist Status and want to keep it every year, you can book this hotel in Las Vegas for just $68 per night.

Hotel in Las Vegas for $28 (for Globalists)

If you have Globalist status already, the resort fees are waived, bringing the cash cost down to just… wait for it… $28 per night.

So… theoretically… you could mattress run 60 nights here every year for a total of just $1,680, earning you Globalist status.

If you use the [[ chase-sapphire-reserve.casual-card-name ]] to pay for those nights, you’ll earn a total of 9.5x points per dollar:

You’ll also hit the following Hyatt Milestones and corresponding awards:

  • 20 nights: “2k Next Stay” award

  • 30 nights: Category 1-4 Free Night and “2k Next Stay” award

  • 40 nights: 5,000 bonus points

  • 50 nights: 5,000 bonus points

  • 60 nights: Category 1-7 Free Night

Hyatt's 60-night milestone rewards

Since those free nights are worth up to 18,000 points and 35,000 points, respectively, our total potential earnings from this mattress run are worth 82,960 points, along with some other intangible value (like the suite upgrade awards you also get at 60 nights).

With a conservative value of 2 cents each, these points are worth $1,660 in total against a cash cost of $1,680.

As long as you value Globalist status at more than $20 per year (which you definitely do), this is a very successful mattress run.

Meme

A handful of stays with free breakfast and a few nice suite upgrades every year would far outweigh that net $20 cost…

Of course, this is extreme (though you’d be surprised how many people do things like this).

Assuming you spend a decent number of nights at Hyatt every year, you can think of mattress runs like this as a way to “fill the gap” if you need to rack up some elite nights toward the end of the year.

Anyway, I hope this illustrates the concept of mattress runs and gives you some ideas of how you might be able to use them.

✈️ Fun airline industry stats

Who doesn’t love some good ol’ interesting stats, eh? Especially when it involves the current state of U.S. airlines 😏

Thanks to StatsPanda for generating these super cool graphics. Check out the top airlines that carried the most passengers in 2023 👇

Graph showing popular US airlines with Southwest at the top

I know a lot of you love Southwest, but dang… 171.8 MILLION? It shows.

How about airline incidents in the past decade? 😬 It looks like both Boeing and Airbus have been pretty low and very similar (per one million departures!).

A blue and red graph showing incident reports for Boeing and Airbus

…which is great to see despite the whole “Alaska Airlines’ door flying off mid-flight” incident from a few months ago.

Buuuut what about airlines that are on time??

A graph showing different airlines with Delta at the top

Good job, Delta! 👏 And Southwest still isn’t half bad being in the middle of the pack.

I do find it hilarious (and not surprising at all) that Air Canada is dead-ass last on the list though.

Anyway, I saw these stats and charts and just thought they were interesting enough to share here with some other fellow travel nerds. Hope you enjoyed them 🤗

Look… I’m someone who would rather put out a grill fire with my face than use points and miles to travel to Disney World…

But we have tons of Disney fans in the audience, and finding ways to do Disney on the cheap can be extremely challenging, to say the least.

So, in this week’s YouTube video, Brendan travels to Disney to show you how to use points and miles to save money and make this experience more accessible!

YouTube Thumbnail (Disney)

That’s all for today, friends! Wow, this was a fun newsletter, eh? Hopefully these tips provide value for a variety of different travel styles and interests.

But since I’ve kept you for a while now, I’ll leave it there.

See you tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

7.5695° S, 110.8250° E