The year of the mattress run: top-tier status in 6 programs in 48 nights


In a bizarre state of irony, 2021 is shaping up to be the year of the mattress run. Hyatt kicked things off with their ludicrously easy path to top-tier Hyatt Globalist status. Really, they kicked it off last year when they announced the current promotion and then they extended the promotion to make it even harder to resist. Then Hilton reduced elite qualification requirements for 2021 to just 15 stays to make Hilton Diamond status — and then launched a status match that only requires nine nights. Then yesterday, Marriott surprised me with how easy they made it to attain or maintain status in 2021. Here’s how you could end up with top-tier status in at least 6 different hotel programs in less than two months. Keep in mind that you may not want to complete every status match included as some may only be valid once within a specified time frame, but the fun here is what’s possible rather than what’s practical.

mattress run

What is mattress running?

First, a brief note for the uninitiated: a mattress run is when you check into a hotel for the sole purpose of earning points / elite credit / promotions / etc. One would only consider doing a mattress run when the benefit provided from the points / promotion / etc is greater than the cost of any associated nights. I am assuming someone is going after status by looking for the lowest-cost award or paid nights rather than focusing on hotels where they actually want to stay. If you have planned nights at hotels where you actually need to stay, all the better for you.

Start with Hyatt Globalist (15 nights)

a screenshot of a progress bar

We have discussed this opportunity extensively. If you have any interest in hotel elite status, you don’t want to miss this chance to get top-tier Hyatt Globalist elite status from just 15 nights. Those 15 nights could be had for 75K Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt for Category 1 stays. Then, given the current promotion (for which you must register by January 15th!), you would get at least 15% of those points back for a net cost of only 63,750 Hyatt points for two years of Globalist status (and a Category 1-4 free night certificate). And that might not be the cheapest way to do it! See: Ludicrously easy path to Hyatt top-tier Globalist status for more info. The key takeaway is that you can get the best top-tier hotel elite status on the market for 15 nights by the end of February.

Next up: Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status (23 nights)

a man with a round face

Easiest path to meaningful status: Until 1/13/21, keep in mind that the easiest path to meaningful Marriott elite status is via a single credit card. That’s because either of the currently-available Amex Marriott cards are offering 2021 Marriott Platinum status as part of the welcome bonus. That is potentially great since Platinum status means free breakfast or lounge access at most Marriott properties. Given that Marriott has brought back its elite status guarantees, Platinum status has gotten a boost in value in the past 24hrs.

Reduced path to top-tier Marriott status

Marriott’s top-tier status is Titanium and ordinarily requires 75 nights to attain (note that there is also an “Ambassador” level that requires 100 nights and $20K annual spend at Marriott hotels, though the required spend there makes it unattainable via creative means).

If you are starting at zero, the easiest path to top-tier Titanium status would begin by attaining one business and one personal Marriott credit card. Because of the mystifying rules of the Marriott Bonvoy credit card eligibility matrix, the easiest way to achieve this from scratch is to open both the Amex Bonvoy Business credit card and the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant consumer credit card. Each card would give you 15 elite night credits toward status (Note that elite nights from personal credit cards do not stack. You get 15 total elite nights from having any number of Marriott Bonvoy consumer credit cards and 15 total elite nights from having any number of Marriott Bonvoy business credit cards). The combination of one business and one personal card would give you 30 elite nights to start, putting you 45 nights short of Titanium status.

With Marriott’s latest promotion, stays of 2 nights or longer between February 16th and April 27, 2021 will earn double elite night credit provided at least one night is paid. Remember that Marriott lets you book a stay using a mix of paid and award nights. See: Bet You Didn’t Know: Maximizing Marriott’s 5th Night Free on longer stays. Note that if you had any elite status with Marriott last year, your path to Titanium status gets even easier. You can reduce the number of nights you need based on how many elite night credits Marriott is gifting you in February. For example, if you earned Marriott Platinum status last year, you’ll get 25 elite night credits this year. Combine that with 30 nights from credit cards and you’ll have 55 elite nights from the get-go and be just 20 nights short of Titanium status, cutting my example requirements below by more than halfSee Greg’s post for more info on Marriott’s reduced elite night requirements and elite night credits coming in February.

In the worst case scenario for a new member who had no status last year and who picks up a business and personal credit card this year, one would then need 23 nights during the promotional period in order to earn top-tier Marriott status (30 nights from credit cards plus 46 nights from stays (23 nights doubled) = 76 elite nights).

Given the current reduction in off-peak rates, the play here would be finding a cheap off-peak Marriott Category 1 property with five consecutive off-peak nights.

a screenshot of a casinoThe reason I say that you’d want to find a cheap property is because you’ll want to tag a paid night before or after in order to trigger double elite night credit (paid rates at my example hotel above are too high!). Your total cost to mattress run Titanium elite status will be 4 paid nights plus 72,000 points assuming you get the two credit cards as noted above. Here’s how that works out:

  • 4,500 points (Cat 1 off-peak) x 4 = 18K points for a 5-night award stay at Category 1 off-peak
  • For the promotion, you need at least 1 paid night on your reservation, so on each reservation you’ll want to pair 1 paid night plus 5 award nights for to earn 12 elite nights after double credit
  • Do the above 4 times = 48 elite nights
  • Add 30 elite nights from the credit cards
  • Total = 78 elite nights, Titanium status

Why overshoot the goal by 3 elite nights? You don’t have to, but it won’t cost you any less to do it differently. If you do 1 paid + 5 award nights three times, that’s 36 elite nights after doubling. Combined with 30 nights from credit cards, you’d be 9 nights short. You’ll need to stay 5 more doubled nights (or 4 doubled nights and 1 night that isn’t). Assuming you’re following the same strategy as above to pick up those 5 doubled nights, you would need to be paying for at least 1 night and using points for the next four nights. Since the 5th night is free on award stays, those four award nights cost the same as 5 award nights, meaning that you may as well book 1 paid night and 5 award nights provided you’re getting all of your nights at the same off-peak rate.

It would be cheaper yet if you could find a property using off-peak saver rates as that would only cost a total of 57,600 points with the same technique as what is shown above, but I haven’t found an opportunity for a 5-night stay at off-peak point saver pricing.

Match to Hilton Honors Diamond Elite Status (9 nights)

a screenshot of a cell phone

Easiest path to meaningful status: The Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express offers Hilton Gold status. That gives you free breakfast / lounge access at almost every Hilton property in the world. That in turn diminishes interest in Hilton Diamond status, though you can also get Hilton Diamond status via a credit card with the Hilton Honors Aspire card.

Status match to top-tier Diamond elite status

However, if you’d rather get Hilton status without a credit card, your next step would be to match either Hyatt Globalist or Marriott Titanium to Hilton Diamond status via the latest Hilton status match opportunity (See: Get Hilton Diamond Status After 9 Nights With Status Match (Good Through March 2023). That status match will give you Hilton Gold status with the ability to earn Gold through March 2023 by staying 5 nights within 90 days of registering or Diamond through March 2023 by staying 9 nights within 90 days of registering. Note that these nights must be paid nights – award stays do not count.

Status match to Choice Privileges Diamond (1 night)

a woman sitting on a couch using a cell phone

Choice Privileges offers a status match program that you can find here. You should be able to match your Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium, or Hilton Diamond status to the highest level that Choice Privileges offers via status match. However, if I remember correctly, I believe that Choice Privileges ordinarily does not match to its top-tier Diamond status but rather only to the next-level-down Platinum status.

However, I see that they are currently offering a “Diamond Elite Status Jump” whereby you provide proof of elite status with another chain and stay one night at any Cambria hotel and get Choice Privileges Diamond status (you can find that promotion, pictured above, at this link. Note that you may want to hold off a bit on this one: if you match between January and June, your elite status is only good for the current membership year. If you match between July and December, your matched status is good for the current and following calendar year. That means that if you match in July, you could have eighteen months of Choice Privileges Diamond status. I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath after that gasp of excitement.

Status match to Best Western (0 nights)

a screenshot of a hotel

Best Western offers its “Status Match No Catch”, which is the easiest hotel elite status match. You’ll get the equivalent tier from Best Western, which I expect would be Diamond Select if matching from Hyatt, Marriott, or Hilton (not sure about Choice Privileges). You don’t need to stay to earn this status match, just fill out the form on this landing page.

Status match to Sonesta Travel Pass top-tier Elite status (0 nights)

a screenshot of a computer screen

Sonesta is a program that hasn’t gotten much press in the points and miles world (I think the only thing we’ve ever written about it was Greg’s lazy review of their credit card). However, I see that they offer a status match to their top tier “Travel Pass Elite” status. Find more information on the Travel Pass FAQ page.

Bottom line

When the pandemic began, Greg and I expected that we would eventually see incredible promotions to bring people back into travel. Frankly, I expected to see opportunities to earn additional elite credits faster last year. However, we instead saw most programs easily grant loyalty status extensions. I think it isn’t impossible that we will again see extensions given that travel hasn’t recovered yet and the pandemic is still wreaking havoc in many corners of the country. However, as the vaccine continues to roll out (and hopefully remains effective), I’m sure that we will see a tide change. It makes sense to register for things like Hyatt Bonus Journeys and the Marriott double elite night credits (whenever we have a registration link – it hasn’t been released yet) even if you’re not sure that you’ll go after these opportunities. Personally, I don’t see myself staying at hotels during the first quarter of 2021, but I can definitely see checking in for some mattress runs given the current opportunities. Keep in mind that when you earn elite status this year, that status is good for all of next year and into the beginning of the following year (end date varies from one program to the next but can be as late as March of 2023 in some cases). If you have any faith of your travel recovering by the end of 2022, don’t ignore these opportunities to pick up easy elite status. While we’ll surely continue to see promotions, it is hard to imagine a year in which it would be easier to achieve top-tier status in one program after another with very inexpensive stays. You’ve got to strike while the iron is hot, and the heat is on at the moment.

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[…] Actually, 2021 is shaping up to be the year to achieve higher elite status in all hotel companies: The year of the mattress run: top-tier status in 6 programs in 48 nights. With the pandemic raging I am not sure you should be out there traveling and I am starting to […]

[…] Actually, 2021 is shaping up to be the year to achieve higher elite status in all hotel companies: The year of the mattress run: top-tier status in 6 programs in 48 nights. With the pandemic raging I am not sure you should be out there traveling and I am starting to […]


Does free night certificate stay count towards the 50-night requirement for platinum status


ps. data point- my sister & hubby both got Hyatt annual fee rebates, I did not.


I spoke to Chase yesterday and they told me the annual fee refund was an error, and they are in the process of reversing it (-$37.50). Still showing in my account today.

Last edited 3 years ago by Simon
  1. I’ve told you B4 you’re the best out there. Been playing this game for 12 years and have given up on most of the other blogs. Have 7.5M points and still realize there’s SO much I don’t know!
  2. Your Hyatt Globalist coverage was superb! Do you have any more DPs on MRs w/o showing up @ Hyatt? I’m going to try it anyway and will let you know.
  3. I’m sure you don’t care much about Choice status, but if you ever fly in and/or out of MDW, the 2 Choice hotels are decent and FAR cheaper than any of the chain alternatives. Choice is also one of the best options during a road trip Midwest (MSN) to the northwest. Haven’t had status with them so I can’t vouch for what it buys you at average hotels.
  4. Thanks for what you do. It’s always fun and your lack of condescending ego is SO refreshing!



I think your analysis of the Marriott may not be completely correct.

First of all, you really only need 70 elite nights for Titanium because once you pass 50 nights and become Platinum, you should get a Marriott choice award allowing you to get an additional 5 elite nights.

Second, you recommend separate bookings of 1 paid night + 5 award nights, but can’t you just stack 1 paid night with as many award nights as you need in one booking because you should get EVERY 5th award night free (i.e award nights 5, 10 ,15, etc. are all free)?


I could get from Gold to Platinum with the AMEX business card but can’t figure out how to spend 5 grand in three months right now. With Visa/MC I just pay for our health insurance which is about $1400 a month. Blue Shield doesn’t take AMEX.


Taxes, cost you <$100.


True but the deadline for the biz card offer is tomorrow and I don’t think my taxes will be done 90 days from now. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next offer.


Last year was pretty good too! I earned:

  • Diamond status in My Bedroom (gives fee waiver on the use of my CPAP machine)
  • Jewel-Encrusted Crown status in My Kitchen (unlimited free ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise as well as seconds)
  • Lush Life Elite status at my home bar (mix one, get one drinks and upgrade to any base liquor I want in my Negroni). I was able to double-dip this one by restocking the bar from a Trader Joe’s in New Jersey that sells liquor and rings up as grocery!
Last edited 3 years ago by LarryInNYC

“…this chance to get top-tier Hyatt Globalist elite status from just 15 nights. Those 15 nights could be had for 75K Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Hyatt for Category 1 stays…. And that might not be the cheapest way to do it!”

This may be discussed in the other post linked or in its comments, but a heads-up, especially for anyone holding the Hyatt card: doing a paid stay is often going to be better for you than burning points. There are Hyatts around which you can book online for around $60 plus tax which makes 3750-4250 points look pretty good, but for a 15-night stay you can very likely negotiate a sub-$50 rate on a true mattress run where you do not mess up the room and eat their breakfast. Especially if you can bring a few friends. Contact the sales manager at your local Hyatt-branded hotel. You might even talk about 30 nights so you get all the perks up to 60 status nights.

You will be getting 15 ppd back under the current promo plus any elite bonus you may have coming plus 4 Hyatt points if you have that card. And many Chase cards (Hyatt and CSR in my case) have a 10% offer for up to $250 spend at the moment.

If you can somehow make it a tax-deductible business trip, which does not apply to a points redemption, now you are getting REALLY cheap.

Depends on your personal situation and how much you value UR/Hyatt points, but worth doing the math.

Robert Jones

Is it okay to contact through email? How would you word it?


I live near Chicago, so I have a ton of choices, most near ORD. I called the main number of every likely possibility and asked for the email address of the sales/group manager. Most gave it to me. I sent an email to each explaining what I wanted to do, with links to FM and FT explaining the deal, and briefly explaining what a mattress run is and its purpose. Probably 20-30% followed up. I chose the one who seemed most responsive/intelligent and gave me a very good deal. He quoted me $X for a pure mattress run and $X+9 if I actually wanted to inhabit the room. Surprisingly little interest from these folks. I believe they thought it was a scam. I should get a job like this. First 6 nights starting tomorrow; current aim is to finish end of February because I do not need anything to hit soon. I am already Globalist for 2021, so this will extend me a year. There might be something better come along later this year, but the deal is too good to pass up. Do not forget that every 10 status nights after 60 up to 100 gives you another 10K Hyatt points on top of whatever you are earning along the way. For me, that is more than what this deal is costing. I will NEVER relinquish Globalist.

Robert Jones

Thanks for the thorough response, I really appreciate it!


i too am close to ORD. i know you did the legwork, but would you mind sharing the location of the responsive manager.


Excellent synopsis! I already have everything except Sonesta and the Marriott Titanium, which should be easy since I made Platinum last year with a 7 day mattress run. I believe that the Sonesta group will gain a lot of attention moving forward due to recent and future acquisitions and brand awareness. Since I’ve run out of other CC’s to apply might even get a Sonesta CC. I was able to MS my recent Alaska Airline card at Simon Mall, so I assume it will work with any B of A CC.


Not sure where to post. But thought I would get it out there that Chase just gave me a $75 annual fee refund on my Hyatt card. I had not called about it, just noticed it this morning. My annual fee was paid in December.


With Marriott can you book 5 nights then book a paid night then another 5 nights to achieve 11 nights that are tagged? Also how do you tag the reservations together? Thanks