Should I Mattress Run My IHG Accelerate Promotion?

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Should I Mattress Run My Accelerate Promotion?

I posted earlier that Accelerate IHG promotions are now live.  I know everyone is still reeling over the IHG credit card devaluation but these promotions occasionally offer outsized gains.  A few years ago I had one where I earned 40,000 IHG points for a $100 stay.  So they are worth checking your offers.

My wife’s offer was pretty bad, 10 nights to get 40,000 points.  Mine was borderline good and I am torn on whether I should mattress run or not with it.  As you know I hate spending money on travel but this has some opportunity.

My Offer

My IHG Accelerate offer is the following:

I will never hit the 4 nights bonus but I could mattress run at two Holiday Inn Express hotels, one with extra points and one staying in May.  It would give my kids a chance to swim etc. and I could rack up some points.  I don’t have any upcoming travel that I would be able book a Holiday Inn Express in place of my current booking etc.

Breaking Down the Offer

If I book 2 nights at a Holiday Inn Express, with 1 night being a bonus points package in May, I should be able to get 35,500 bonus points.  This doesn’t include any points I earn on the stay or from the credit card spend etc.

As you know I recently applied for the IHG card before the old version went away.  So I am working on the minimum spend for it.  This would go towards it and would earn me an additional 5 points per dollar.  Because I am now a Platinum member I would earn 15 points per dollar on the cash stay.  After a quick check for cheap rooms near me this is what I came up with for the costs.

The 1,000 bonus points package would cost $108.08 including taxes.  That would earn me 2,480 points plus another 540 from the credit card spend.  It was the YOUR RATE 1,000 bonus points package and I am not sure if that makes a difference.  Maybe someone with experience can chime in in the comments.

The second night would cost $102.93 which would net me 1,410 points for the room and another 515 points from the credit card.

That is a total cost of $211.01 but if I go through Ebates when booking I can get another $10 or so off.  Let’s call it $200 flat out of pocket cost.

For $200 I would earn 40,445 IHG points.  That is a cost per point of $.0049. That is slightly below what you can usually buy the points for.  So it is essentially a push but I would get 10% of my min spend accomplished and I would have 2 happy kids swimming for a couple of nights over the next 3 months.


This is not a no doubt about it type of deal.  It is 50/50 at best.  And I should only do it if I had a need for IHG points in the next 6 months or so.

I am leaning towards doing it since I have a trip to NYC upcoming and only one free night covered at the Intercontinental Times Square (from my wife’s IHG card) and the second night will take a decent amount of points.  But I do hate paying for travel!  

This is a little better since I would get two family staycations out of the deal as well.


I am still a little torn, let me know what you think I should do in the comments section.

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  1. If the cost per night isn’t too bad it might be worth your while. I think accelerate is worth mattress running if:
    1. You had some already-planned stays that would fulfill some of the requirements
    2. You just need a night or two more to unlock the achievement bonus

    This weekend I’m gonna be in Charlotte (a city I’ve never been to before) and I found the Candlewood Suites to be a good deal at $156 for two nights all in.

    I’ve had 3 nights from earlier this year already and need to make two more.

    I’m going to get:
    10,000 to complete 5 nights
    4,000 to complete a weekend stay
    3,000 to complete a book through the app stay
    12,000 achievement bonus

    I would be quite hesitant to mattress run the entire accelerate, unless you can find really cheap stays.

    • 100% agree that is why I would only go after the 2 nights and skip the 5 night bonus. That looks like a nice haul you will be getting for this weekend’s stay.

      I do love the occasional accelerate offers that only require 1 stay. Them limiting my 2 nights this time around to HI Express limits how cheap I can go somewhat.

  2. I would probably do the mattress run in your shoes. You’ve got the card, and the price per point is good, and you will enjoy your staycations. All signs point to yes.

  3. I think your analysis is correct: “But I do hate paying for travel!”

    I really like the IHG program, but my offer is mediocre and my wife’s is the third consecutive “worse.” So once again, if Accelerate fits our travel plans, we do the minor adjustments to make it fit — dates and brands. If Accelerate is supposed to be motivational then it’s a failure. If it’s meant to throw a few extra points at frequent IHG travelers, I don’t know, because I’m using other brands right now, thank you very much.

  4. Given how much IHG points have been devaluated and how much it’s anticipated to devaluate in near future, I would not take any bait from IHG any more 🙁

    Also from my limited experiences the ~$100 hotel flying IHG flag is a little bit worse than $100 Marriott or Hilton..

    • I put all of the figures in the post above – after spending 2 nights in a Holiday Inn the promo would earn 35K and then I would get another 5K from the room charges.

  5. While YMMV (my offer was 37,000 points after 18 nights), it seems to be worthwhile for you. What’s a realistic worst case scenario?

  6. We just got our IHG card a month ago, sorry for the newbie questions but can you find your “Accelerate Offers” listed on your account online or do you get them via email? Also, when these say “stay 2 nights” would it count if you booked 2 separate rooms on the same night? Thank you!

  7. Book cheap rooms for your friend/family member in your name and account number and let them pay you say $20. for your hospitality. Win, win for both of you.

  8. I was just pondering the same thing about my Accelerate offer! My husband and I just started digital-nomading so we’ll be in Bangkok during the next Accelerate promo period. We definitely don’t want to do 5 nights or stay in May, but can do 1 night each at 2 different Crowne Plazas in Bangkok. Total comes out to about $135 INCLUDING tax for 30,675 IHG points. I’ve always wanted to partake in Accelerate but didn’t because I lived in Los Angeles and all the hotels were so expensive that doing a mattress run didn’t make sense. I’m super stoked that we get to try out different neighborhoods while traveling in Bangkok because of this offer!

    2,000 Stay Once
    10,000 5 night(s) and earn 10,000 bonus points
    12,600 Stay at 2 Crowne Plaza® hotel(s)
    1,500 Book and pay for one stay with your IHG® Rewards Club Credit Card

    13,900 Your Achievement Bonus – Complete 3 of the 4 offers
    2,000 May Bonus Offer
    1,500 Exclusive Brand Bonus – Stay once at an InterContinental®, Hotel Indigo® or Even® hotel

    • Awesome – enjoy the experience! Hopefully some point breaks hotels come into play during your trip and you will get a lot of value out of those points

  9. Mathematically speaking, you’d come up even value-wise after the two stays as the IHG points are worth 1/2 cent. But the bottom line as you mentioned is:

    So it is essentially a push but I would get 10% of my min spend accomplished and I would have 2 happy kids swimming for a couple of nights over the next 3 months.

    • Very well said…still not 100% sure what I will do simply because I hate spending money on travel but I may be able to book a room for regular travel in that time span. If I can do that for one of the nights then I would be less hesitant.

  10. At least your offer is possibly worth mattress running!

    I have a very aspirational: “Stay 18 nights for 35,000 points”



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