When my wife told her friends that we were spending last Saturday night at the Puerto Madero Holiday Inn Express, they were a bit confused. Why would we be going 15 minutes away and staying at a hotel in our own city?
Welcome to the world of a points junkie.
Due to a combination of promotions and offers from IHG, our stay at the Holiday Inn Express last Saturday night and our stay at the Intercontinental Buenos Aires this coming Saturday will net us enough points for up to 12 nights at an IHG property, all for a cost of less than U$S 240. This is what’s known as “mattress running” – staying at a hotel for the sole purpose of earning points or status due to reduced rates or promotional offers.
For the first night of our mattress run at the Holiday Inn Express Buenos Aires , we ended up with 35,792 points. These points, conservatively, have a value of U$S 250.54, and with the IHG Points Break promotion can be good for up to 7 nights at an IHG hotel. Our cost? About ARS $1000, which at the blue rate is U$S 104. Not a bad deal for a one night stay. Plus, we got a night out away from home, free breakfast and lots of air conditioning! We also spent some time in Puerto Madero – an area we do not frequently make it to.
With the IHG Big Win promotion, our stay at the Intercontinental this coming weekend will get us at least another 25,000 points (it’s hard to know exactly how many points it will be with all the overlapping promotions), and yet another chance to get out of the house for something different. We’ll get to enjoy the pool, gym, spa, highly-rated restaurant and, since it’s supposed to be over 100 degrees on Saturday, lots of air conditioning too.
See, staycations can be both fun and profitable! (UPDATE: Our two nights got us a total of 65,576 points. This can very conservatively be valued at U$S 459.)
If you’re looking for a hotel deal yourself, check out two Marriott promotions that can be combined to give you 2 free nights plus bonus points after two stays (or 3 free nights after four stays):
- Sign up for a new Marriott Rewards account and get 2,000 bonus points per stay for up to 10 stays
- Sign up for the new member free night promotion which will give you a free night at a Category 1-5 hotel after two Marriott stays
- Sign up for the Marriott Mega Bonus promotion which will give you a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after two Marriott stays or two free nights after four stays
While this one is probably not worthy of a mattress run, if you have any planned trips, it may be worth changing hotels and staying at a Marriott brand to take advantage of this. (Please note that a stay is defined as consecutive nights at the same hotel regardless of check in/check out activity.)