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With Hyatt’s recent announcement that it has reduced its elite qualification criteria for 2021 by half and with the discovery that this now means that World of Hyatt members can earn Hyatt Globalist status by spending as few as 10 nights in Hyatt properties worldwide, a lot of people seem to be considering doing a mattress run to earn that valuable top-tier status. I may take it one step further. I may mattress run to earn the suite upgrade awards too.
What’s A Mattress Run?
For anyone who’s new to the loyalty game, I should explain that a mattress run is a hotel booking that a guest doesn’t really need for the purposes of somewhere to stay but needs in order to lock-in enough elite qualifying nights to earn whatever level of hotel status they’re aiming to get.
On the whole, this usually isn’t a very good idea as if you’re not staying in hotels for enough nights to earn status organically, there’s a good chance that you won’t be staying in hotels for enough nights after the mattress run to make the most of the status you’ve effectively just bought.
However, when a program like the World of Hyatt is prepared to offer its valuable top-tier status at a huge discount, a mattress run can look a lot more economically viable.
What Does Hyatt’s Top-Top Tier Globalist Status Offer?
Among other things, Hyatt Globalist status offers the following:
- 30% bonus points on all spending with Hyatt
- Waived resort fees on eligible cash rates and award nights
- A match to M-Life Gold status
- Upgrades to standard suites at check-in (based on room availability)
- 4:00 PM late check-out
- Access to executive lounges or free breakfast on all stays
- Free parking on award nights
What Hyatt’s top-tier status no longer offers are the 4 suite upgrade awards that it used to offer before the program was overhauled a few years ago.
Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards
Ever since Hyatt overhauled its loyalty program and renamed it “the World of Hyatt” it has used its “Milestone Rewards” to incentivize guests to spend more nights at its properties. It’s within these rewards that you’ll now find the valuable suite upgrades. The screenshot below shows what Milestone Rewards look like.
As you should be able to see, Hyatt now awards 2 suite upgrade awards when a World of Hyatt member credits 50 nights to their account and a further 2 suite upgrade awards when a member credits 60 nights to their account.
With each award valid for an upgrade to a suite for a stay of up to 7 nights, these are among the most valuable benefits in the world of loyalty programs.
Why I’m Definitely Mattress Running To Globalist Status
Hyatt Globalist status that is earned in 2021 will be valid through February 2023 so if I earn the status in January, I’ll have the rest of 2021 to enjoy the Globalist benefits as well as the whole of 2022 and the first two months of 2023.
I already know that I’m unlikely to be booking any big trips for 2021 so, for next year, my enjoyment of Hyatt’s top-tier status would be limited to stays at Hyatt properties in the US and the UK, and that’s actually ok with me. In 2022, however, I know that Joanna and I would love to do at least two big trips (as well as a few smaller trips) and that’s when having Globalist status will really come in useful.
Still, the math has to be right for me to do a mattress run so it pays to think things through and to cost up the mattress run diligently.
By the time January comes around, I know that I’m already guaranteed to have a minimum of 12 elite qualifying nights in my account which will count towards my 2021 elite qualification target.
- 5 nights will come from my World of Hyatt credit card as part of the annual benefits that the card offers.
- 5 nights will come from the bonus nights I have earned from Hyatt stays during the current Bonus Journey promotion.
- 2 nights will come from spending on my World of Hyatt credit card which awards 2 elite night credits for every $5,000 of spending put on the card.
There’s a good chance that I may have a few more 2021 elite night credits come January if one or more of my planned December stays actually take place but, to play it safe, I’m just going to assume that I’ll be starting the year with 12 elite night credits.
Thanks to the reduced elite targets for 2021 (30 nights for Globalist status) I will start next year needing 18 elite night credits to lock in Hyatt’s top-tier status. The fact that all nights consumed at World of Hyatt properties between 1 January and 28 February 2021 will earn double elite night credits, will mean that I can earn those 18 elite night credits with a 9-night stay in the first two months of next year.
One of the benefits of sitting out the pandemic in the UK and not in Los Angeles is that I have access to one particular Hyatt property that, as Hyatt’s go, is incredibly cheap. The Hyatt Place West London Hayes is located near Heathrow and can be booked for as little as $53/night. A 9-night stay at the beginning of next year would cost me $471 and lock in Hyatt Globalist status through February 2023.
But that’s not where the math ends.
A stay costing $471 will earn me World of Hyatt points as well as elite night credits and those points have value to me. Specifically, I value World of Hyatt points at 1.4 cents each.
When you factor in the 3x points that the current World of Hyatt promotion is offering, the 10% bonus points I’ll earn for having Discoverist status, as well as the points I would earn by paying for my stay with my World of Hyatt credit card (which is what gave me Discoverist status in the first place), this is what my earnings would look like:
- Points from the stay – 7,301
- Points from the credit card – 1,884
That’s a total of 9,185 points which I value at approximately $128. That brings down the net cost of the 9-night stay to just $343.
At this point, some of you may be eager to point out that once I have 30 elite night credits in my account I’ll trigger a certificate for a free night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property (a Milestone reward) which would bring down my net cost even more…but that wouldn’t be correct.
I’m not placing any value on the Cat 1-4 certificate as it’s only valid for 180 days and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to use it. Also, if I do manage to use it, it’s likely to get used just for the sake of using it up rather than because it’s saving me cash on a trip I was going to make anyway, so that’s another reason not to assign it a value. I’m happy with the idea that the net cost of earning Globalist status will be $343.
When I ask myself the question “will I get $343 of value out of Hyatt Globalist status between the time I earn it and February 2023?” the answer is an unequivocal yes. I’ll probably get that money back in one or two short stays through upgrades, free breakfasts, free parking (on award nights), bonus points, and waived resort/destination fees.
I have no doubt that it makes sense for me to mattress run to Globalist status so the question now is the one that asks “should I be mattress running for milestone rewards too?”
Should I Mattress Run For 2 Suite Upgrades?
The answer to this question revolves around the incremental costs I’ll incur if I try to hit the milestone targets as well as the prizes that the milestone targets offer.
This is what’s on offer:
- At 40 nights – 5,000 points or a $100 Hyatt gift card
- At 50 nights – 2 suite upgrade awards
- At 60 nights – 2 suite upgrade awards + a certificate for a free night at any Category 1-7 World of Hyatt property
I’m certainly not going to mattress run just to earn a $100 Hyatt gift card (I value 5,000 points at $70 so I’d choose the gift card as my reward) but the 2 suite upgrades look very interesting as they would be valid for the year in which they’re earned (2021) + a further 14 months (though to the end of February 2023).
To earn the 2 suite night upgrades (and the $100 Hyatt gift card) I would have to spend 20 more nights at Hyatt properties or 10 more nights between 1 January and 28 February.
If I was to change my 9-night stay at the Hyatt Place West London Hayes to a 19-night stay, the total stay would cost me $994.50.
I already know that whatever happens, I’m booking a 9-night stay to lock-in Globalist status so the cost to earn the 2 suite night awards and the $100 gift card is the difference in price between the 9-night stay and the 19-night stay. That an incremental cost of $524.
Once again, that’s not where the math ends.
The $524 that I’d be spending would earn me World of Hyatt points as would the World of Hyatt credit card that I’d use to pay for the stay. When you factor in the 3x points that the current World of Hyatt promotion is offering, the 10% bonus points I’ll earn for having Discoverist status, as well as the points from the credit card, this is what the additional earnings would look like:
- Points from the incremental stay – 8,122
- Points from the credit card – 2,096
That’s a total of 10,218 points which I value at approximately $143. That brings down the net cost of the additional 10 nights to $381.
For an extra $381 I would lock in 2 suite upgrade awards and a $100 Hyatt gift card so, effectively, 2 suite upgrade awards would cost me just $281.
I’m pretty sure I’d be crazy to turn down 2 suite night awards at a cost of $281 (don’t forget that they can each be used for stays of up to 7 nights).
With MJ no longer young enough to share a regular room with Joanna and me, we usually have to book a second room when the three of us travel together. With a suite upgrade, I can upgrade a future stay to a large suite with a separate living area and rollaway bed and save on the cost of a second room – I’d get my $281 back in just one night!
That only leaves one last question. Do I go all the way and mattress run for the second 2 suite night upgrades?
Should I Mattress Run For 2 More Suite Upgrades?
Once again the answer to the question comes down to the incremental costs and the benefits that I would reap by paying for more nights.
To earn two more suite upgrade awards I’d need to turn my 19-night stay at the Hyatt Place West London Hayes into a 24-night stay at a total cost of $1,256.21.
Assuming that I’ve already decided to go for the first 2 suite night awards, the incremental cost to get me to 60 elite night credits is $261 but, once I’ve accounted for the points I’d earn from the stay (4,046) and the points I’d earn through my World of Hyatt credit card (1,044), the net incremental costs comes to just $190.
As well as the 2 suite night awards, I would also earn a certificate for a free night at a Category 1-7 property for hitting the 60 elite night Milestone Rewards target, and I think that we can all agree that even if I value this certificate as low as $50 it still makes easy to say that mattress running all the way to 60 elite night credits is a no brainer.
In reality, I have no idea if I’ll definitely be able to use these last 2 suite upgrade awards, but for a net outlay of $140 (at most), I’m more than happy to risk it.
If Joanna and I get to book the 2 big trips that we’re planning for 2022 there’s a very good chance that we’ll be using 2 suite upgrade awards on those, and with all 4 upgrades being valid for 2021, 2022, and the first two months of 2023, it would probably take another pandemic to stop me from getting great value out of at least 3 of the upgrades.
Let’s face it. If we have another pandemic, the quest to get value out of this mattress run will probably be a long way down my list of worries! 😁
Overall and following this plan, I would expect to pay a net of $913 for: Hyatt Globalist status (valid through February 2023), 4 suite upgrade awards (valid through February 2023), and a Category 1- 7 certificate. I can live with that.