(EXPIRED) Mattress Running Marriott (Book Off-Peak Awards)

Sorry, this deal is no longer available. Do you want to be alerted about new deals as they’re published? Click here to subscribe to Frequent Miler's Instant Posts by email.
Mattress Running Marriott Update: The Marriott deal offering most properties at off-peak pricing is back.  Book by December 14th for stays through February 28, 2021.

Are you close to earning Marriott Platinum or Titanium status?  Many people are very close, even if they didn’t stay in Marriott hotels at all this year because Marriott added bonus elite nights to many accounts.  I covered this topic in-depth previously here: Marriott Bonvoy: 7 nights to Platinum. What to do?

Relaxing on our balcony at the Inn at Bay Harbor. Thanks to having Marriott Platinum status or above (I had Titanium status at the time), on this stay we were upgraded to a full lake-view room and enjoyed free table-service breakfast every day.

Now, there’s an opportunity to earn Marriott elite nights cheaply through mattress running (checking into hotels to earn elite nights even if you don’t want to stay).  To get in on this opportunity, you have to be in the right place at the right time, and you must book your stay by October 15th December 14th.

The key to earning Marriott elite nights cheaply right now is by taking advantage of a new Marriott promotion: Free nights for “up to 33% less.”  Through the end of November, most Marriott hotels are priced off-peak for award stays — as long as you book by Thursday October 15th December 14th.  This means that category 1 hotels which cost 7,500 points standard will cost only 5,000 points per night.  And, of course, you can take advantage of Marriott’s 5th Night Free Awards (Stay for 5, Pay for 4).  In other words, those with access to a category 1 Marriott, can book 5 nights for only 20,000 points for a total cost of only 4,000 points per night.  Some have found category 1 properties for even less when available with PointSaver rates.  When a category 1 property is available off-peak and PointSaver, it costs only 4,000 points per night or 3,200 points per night on a 5 night award stay.

Finding Category 1

The above map shows Marriott category 1 hotels in the United States.  You can find a live version of this map by going to Marriott’s Hotel Search page and then filtering to category 1.

There are currently 43 category 1 Marriott hotels in the United States with a whopping 18 in Texas:

To find category 1 hotels, go to Marriott’s Hotel Search page and then filter to category 1.

Booking Category 1

Once you find a category 1 hotel of interest, the next trick is to find free night availability.  One option is to do a flexible date search like this:

The problem with this approach is that Marriott’s technology often fails.  Often, the above search incorrectly results in “Not Available for Check-in” as shown below:

I believe that Marriott’s website frequently gets confused by its own browser cookies.  After switching to a fresh browser, I got correct results by running the exact same search as above:

Book a 5 night stay (or a multiple of 5 nights) in order to get the best value thanks to get 1 out of every 5 nights for free:

Is mattress running Marriott worth it?

Don’t even consider doing this to earn Marriott Silver or Gold status.  Platinum or Titanium status is where the action is at.  Here’s a summary of the key benefits you get with each status level:

Elite Status Level Requirements Per Year Key Benefits
Silver Elite 10 Nights Late checkout, 10% point bonus
Gold Elite 25 Nights 2PM late checkout; 25% point bonus; welcome gift (points only); room upgrade; enhanced internet
Platinum Elite 50 Nights 4PM late checkout; 50% point bonus; welcome gift w/ breakfast option; room upgrade includes suites; lounge access; Choice benefit (such as 5 suite night awards) when you achieve 50 nights.
Titanium Elite 75 Nights All of the above, plus: 75% point bonus; United Silver Premier status via RewardsPlus; Ritz-Carlton suite upgrades; Additional Choice Benefit (such as 40K free night certificate) when you achieve 75 nights.
Ambassador Elite 100 Nights + $20K Spend All of the above, plus: Ambassador Service (dedicated Marriott agent); Your24 (Choose the 24 hours of your stay. For example, choose to check in at 9am after an overnight flight).

50 Night Platinum status means getting free breakfast at most Marriott hotels, a chance of a suite upgrade, and more.  75 Night Titanium status adds free United Silver status, a Choice Benefit of a free 40K night, and more.  For those within 5 days of Platinum or Titanium status, I think that most people will find that it’s well worth spending 20K points to get to that level.  Even if you’re 10 nights away from the next level, it may be worth pursuing, especially if you think you’re likely to stay at some nice Marriott hotels next year where you’d get good benefits from your status.  Unfortunately, not all Marriott brands offer elite perks so it’s a good idea to do your homework ahead of time.  For example, I’ll frequently Google a hotel along with the words “platinum status” to see what others have reported as perks for their stays.

Up to 30 additional nights

Having a Marriott consumer credit card gives you 15 elite nights each year automatically.  Similarly, having a Marriott business credit card gives you another 15 elite nights each year.  In other words, you can get 30 elite nights each year just by having two credit cards.  Note though that having more than one consumer card or more than one business card does not help.

Important: Marriott imposes strict rules as to who is eligible for each credit card. Before applying for a new card, please see this post: Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?

Consumer cards available for new signups

If you don’t already have a Marriott consumer card, you can sign up for any one of these to get 15 elite nights added to your account:

Card Offer
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
5 Free Nights up to 50K points each
5 Free Night Certificates each valid for a night up to 50K points after $5K in purchases in the first 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details).

See Also: Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?

Recent better offer: This matches the best offer we've ever seen on this card.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
75K points
75K points after $3K in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$450 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: 100K + 1 free night award after $5K spend in 3 months [Expired 5/18/22]

Business card available for new signups

If you don’t already have a Marriott business card, you can sign up for this card to get 15 elite nights added to your account:

Card Offer
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
75K points
75K points after $3K of eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$125 Annual Fee

Mattress Running Marriott Q&A

Q: What are elite nights?

With many hotel chains, you can earn elite status by acquiring a number of elite qualifying nights each year. For example, Marriott requires earning 50 elite nights per year to achieve Platinum Elite status, or 75 elite nights for Titanium status.  Once you reach a status level, status last for the remainder of the current calendar year, all of the next year, and through February of the year after that.

Q: When mattress running Marriott, do I have to physically go to the hotel to check in?

Usually yes.  Most mattress runs involve physically checking into the hotel.  That said, if you’re lucky you may be able to find a hotel manager willing to process your check-in remotely.  If so, you may have to fax them a photo of your ID and credit card.

Q: Should I speak with a hotel manager about my plans?

Yes!  If you don’t speak with a hotel manager, they may find your room unoccupied and check you out early. If you’re not planning to actually stay at the hotel, then I think it’s critical to explain to hotel management what you want to accomplish and why.

Q: Do I have to physically go to the hotel to check out?

No.  You can check out with the Marriott app or you can simply ignore it and the hotel will automatically check you out.

Q: Does the free night on 5th Night Free awards earn an elite night?


Q: Do I have to book directly with Marriott to earn elite nights?

Usually, yes.  Stays booked through 3rd party online travel agencies (Expedia, Hotels.com, etc.) or through rewards portals (such as Chase Ultimate Rewards) do not earn points or elite nights for those stays.  There are exceptions.  For example, stays booked through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts do earn points and elite nights.

More Marriott Info

For more info about Marriott Bonvoy, please see our Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide, which includes the following sections:

0 0 votes
Post Rating

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I understand the deadline to have the mattress run nights booked is 12/14/20. Do the stay dates have to be made in calendar year 2020?

[…] Mattress Running Marriott (Book Off-Peak Awards) (Book by 12/14/20 for stays through 2/28/21) […]

[…] Meanwhile, Marriott tries to keep up and it is…laughably weak and sad: Book Marriott Bonvoy Hotels For Fewer Points With New “Off Peak” Offer. Well, I guess if you are into Marriott: Mattress Running Marriott (Book Off-Peak Awards). […]


Hi, I’m 7 nights away from Platinum. I believe I can check-in and get a virtual key via the Marriott app (at least in Canada) as I’ve been offered this for previous stays. I was thinking of booking a room for 7 days in another part of the country using points, am I right in assuming I’d never have to go to the hotel? I could check in/out via the app?


Thanks Greg. Housekeeping is suspended at the moment in most hotels I’ve stayed in here so I’m not sure how they’d find out but yes, honestly is likely the best policy.


I am currently at 31 nights with gold. Is it wirth it for me to get platinum by doing 20 nights you think?

Eric Bricker

Is there any good way to search for a point saver rate? I am looking for a point saver rate at a category 2 anywhere in Michigan. Closest category 1 to me is about 5-6 hours.


I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I’ve tried two browsers incognito mode, clearing cookies on regular Chrome page, and still getting “nothing available” for every date in Dec. I was so frustrated I started checking out all hotels at all cat levels and got no avail for all. Any clue why? I have to be signed in to use points, right? Thanks for all your tips!


I have four seven night category 1-4 expiring in January. If anyone wants a deal on this, please post your email and I will contact you and may workout a deal. You can put your reward number and get elite night credit for yourself. I am a life time titanium. So mattress run is not needed for me.

Billy Bob

You can always call them and ask them to extend them.


Any idea if Marriott does soft landings from Titanium to Platinum?


Hi Greg. Great post. I need 5 nights just like many of the others. What are your thoughts on simply using mobile check in for an out of state mattress run?


I’m looking at taking advantage of this for achieving Platinum status. I have 45 elite nights as of today with no further hotel stays planned for this year. However, there are no nearby Cat 1 Marriott hotels, but there is a Cat 2 hotel within driving distance. It’s not worth doing this in November (gaining only a little over one year of Platinum status for 40,000 points), but I can arrange a stay from 27 Dec – 1 Jan to get effectively 2 years of Platinum status for 50k points. Greg, please confirm that this will work (per your podcast yesterday) and more fully explain the issues that might occur by checking out on 1 Jan. Specifically, please provide data points or documentation that a 1 Jan 2021 checkout will still count as a 2020 stay. Thanks.

Mac C

I called Marriott today. They said that due to the pandemic, they are extending my current Platinum to Dec 31, 2021 and that I have the entire of next year to add to this year’s nights to attain Platinum again, and onwards to Titanium. Which means that these 2 years are really only going to count as 1 year – so I could not earn 2 years of Platinum towards Lifetime. They also said that the website has had issues, hence may not show the number of years of status.


No Cat 1 in my state. Can I book out of state and have a friend check-in & actually stay there? I don’t know if it’ll count


I am Gold currently. I have 44 elite nights and currently have a 5 night stay booked on points for 20,000 points. Trying to decide if I should book the last night on cash or points. Cash rate is $46/$54 (pre/post tax) and I would receive 17,500 points from promos and 472 points (10.25 pts/$) from the stay. Or I could pay with points for 5,000 points. Which would you do?


At 45 nights, if I knew a place I could check in over the phone I would book five award nights at a Cat 1 in a heartbeat. But I’m not going to drive a couple hours for this deal.

Boo Boo Bear

I may have to try this via remote check in. In California we have a single Cat 1 and they have Point Savers rates for all of October and most of November. 5-night stay with points would only be 16000 + nominal fee. Do you think most managers know about mattress running and will accommodate me without physically checking in? It could be even less since I’d earn 2500 from the current promo if “stayed” next week.


The 2500 points promotion is only available on Paid Stay.


@Boo Boo Bear, Did you get this to work? I live too far north in California and would like to do a 1-week mattress run. I am wondering if I should ask the hotel if they mind or if there is any way to check in remotely.

Billy Chen

Unrelated, but still pertaining to status: Is the Marriott Lifetime Status section missing any details for anyone? I don’t currently have lifetime status but, on the website, it’s only showing my lifetime nights and not showing the years of status. I was Gold/Plat for a few years through credit cards through Marriott/Ritz cards. I do remember seeing it count in the past though..

Same thing on the app – I only see lifetime nights. Interestingly, I do see “Points” under the “Lifetime Status” section and it’s showing 0. Not sure what that is though.. didn’t think they counted points towards lifetime status

Last edited 1 year ago by Billy Chen

In the App. Go to your Account tab and swipe left. You’ll see lifetime totals there. Not sure where to find it on the website.


I’m at 67 nights this year (mainly due to 15 nights credited due to my Bonvoy Brilliant Visa card and the match Marriott gave me due to my lifetime Titanium status (granted me half the 75 nights I was credited due to my status). Basically that got me to 50 nights this year and I locked up the suite upgrades which I plan to use on an international trip in 2021.

I’ve already booked 8 nights over November and December (1 award certificate and 7 nights paid) since I would like to add the extra free night certificate. 3 of these are in November when the discounted award stays are offered so I am now going back to see if it makes sense to cancel the paid nights and book as award stays since either give me 3 nights credit toward 75 this year. Only other factor is I have an Amex Platinum offer for $75 off when I spend $250 at Marriott so that not only reduces the price I’ll pay for the 3 nights (total is only $275) but changes the calculation on value I would receive for the awards. Good problem to have though.

Derrick Tennant

I am 4 nights from titanium. So award nights count towards that? Thank you


Yes. I booked an award stay earlier this year. All nights counted. As I was Platinum last year and sit at 49 total nights for this year, I’m wondering if I should even bother booking even just one night though since platinum status was already extended.


My wife and I each have 43 elite nights now. We have 10 nights scheduled for early 2021, but they are at domestic Residence Inns for 40k points per night or less where we get free bfast anyway.
Our current Marriott travel tends to be at domestic Residence Inns, although we are eyeing Costa Rica Punts Islita Hotel when Covid recedes and a room upgrade would really help. Does a Mattress run make sense for our travel style?


Per your advice, some TripAdvisor hotel reviews say that upgrades are available for Platinums at the Florida Residence Inns we are going to in January.

There are Marriott PointSaver awards that bring Cat 1 net down to only 24,000 points for 7 elite nights. That’s only $2,400 spend at gas station with Chase Marriott card so I think I will go for Platinum. Having both Personal and Business cards really helped.

Great article!

Billy Bob

The question left unanswered is:

What is the exit strategy for Covid-19?

Australia for instance is completely locked down and they are seeing only 20-25 new cases per day. How much lower does the daily rate have to go before even a partial opening up? What must change and how can it change before hotels can operate normally?

I like status for the upgrades, lounge access, and free breakfast.

However, one possible consideration is that draconian lockdowns are delaying the whole Covid-19 drama, possibly by decades. South Korea, for instance, requires a 14-day quarantine to the limited few who are allowed in. Their daily rates are low and they have a very strict contact-tracing regimen in place. However, Marriott’s hotels in Seoul have cancelled the buffet breakfast and the lounges are closed. In other places I’ve been there was no suite upgrade because those rooms are closed — all due to Covid-19.

What’s the point of chasing status when it gets you nothing? The lockdowns are so harsh that there can be no exit strategy. In Korea’s case, the slow trickle of infections guarantees many decades’ of new cases. If everything is mandated as shut down even with those low numbers, then nothing can change and people must ask: why even bother trying to secure status for 2021 and 2022?

Last edited 1 year ago by Billy Bob

Once there is a vaccine things will change – trust me. Also, viruses typically weaken over time (mainly because many people either get it and have antibodies or via vaccine). My guess is spring 2021 we will see a lot of opening up. Likely coupled with a negative test or (provided available) proof of receiving a vaccine.

I don’t think the “decades” estimate is anywhere near accurate. Agree it will take years for travel to come back (and some business travel may never due to changing delivery models) but I fully expect international travel to be available (with some restrictions or prerequisites) by spring 2021. I have a trip to Lisbon booked for late April and feel that is very achievable. Also, planning to rebook a trip to Germany I had to cancel twice this year (April and then rebook in November) for next late September once I can book the air reservation since you can only do it 320 days out.