Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How and when to get tickets for the Head for Points Summer Party on Monday 8th July!

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Now that we have teased you – twice – about our upcoming Summer party, we thought it was time to give you some concrete details.

Last year we held our first Summer party after several successful Christmas events.  It was a success – it was good to do one in daylight! – and we hope to make this one even bigger and better.

Renaissance St Pancras exterior

This year, the Head for Points Summer party will be at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel. This is a beautifully restored property – although you may be most familiar with it from its appearance in the ‘Wannabe’ music video by the Spice Girls!

Renaissance St Pancras spice girls stairs

We are taking over Hansom Hall, a large room at the rear of the lobby (ignore the wedding set-up!):

Renaissance St Pancras Hansom Hall

…. and connecting to a private outdoor space which, weather permitting, we will also be able to enjoy:

Renaissance St Pancras Hansom Hall garden outdoors

The venue has a capacity for 500, which means that we have double the number of spots compared to our Summer and Christmas parties last year.  We are hoping this means that everyone who wants to come will be able to.  It will be the UK’s biggest frequent flyer event this year.

As the Renaissance St Pancras is a Marriott property, Marriott Bonvoy has very kindly agreed to sponsor the event.  Thank you!

This means that your first beer, wine or non-alcoholic drink will be free, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy. Further drinks will be available from cash bars.

Marriott Bonvoy launched in February, bringing together Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.  The new programme has over 120 million members and covers almost 7,000 hotels globally.

Marriott Bonvoy has managed to keep most of the best bits of both programmes.  In particular, here at HFP we have always been impressed by:

the ability to book a reward room even if you don’t (yet) have enough points, via Points Advance

the impressive 3:1 conversion rate into airline miles, with almost 40 airline partners, and a bonus of 5,000 miles for converting 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once

the fact that many hotels offer larger rooms, including suites and club rooms, for points, via a co-pay.  You can often, at the time of booking, guarantee a better room at the standard points price by agreeing to pay a small cash supplement.  This is an especially good benefit for families who may need a larger room.

the guaranteed 4pm check-out, guaranteed lounge access and free breakfast, at most brands, for Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members

There are lots of other great benefits too, of course, but these are the ones we tend to appreciate most here at HFP.

You can win a generous prize, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy will be offering a number of excellent raffle prizes at the event.  We will finalise the details over the next week or so.  Everyone who attends receives a raffle ticket.

How can I get a party ticket?

As usual, to ensure that people who ask for tickets turn up we will be charging for them.

The party will be from 6pm to 9pm on Monday 8th July at the Renaissance St Pancras.  We have added an extra hour this year to give you more time to chat and to encourage people not to arrive all at once!  The raffle will be drawn by 8pm at the latest so you don’t need to commit to staying until the end – although hopefully you will!

The bar will remain open for a while after 9pm for anyone who wants to stay longer.  The Renaissance also operates The Booking Office bar which is open until late.

Tickets are £10 including VAT and will go on sale later this week.  They are limited to two per person.

They will be sold in two tranches – 50% at noon on Friday and 50% at noon on Sunday.  This means that, even if you cannot be behind a computer on Friday lunchtime, you can hopefully get lucky on Sunday instead.

We will publish more details in another article on Friday morning.

There will be just over 500 tickets available. We hope that you can come along to meet Rob, Anika and myself and to talk miles, points, credit cards and travel with other readers. Bring a friend or come by yourself – you won’t struggle to find someone to share your stories with.

Want to stay over?

If you would like to spend the night at Renaissance St Pancras after the party, cash prices are currently in excess of £400 (this is peak London Summer season pricing unfortunately).  However, there is redemption availability at 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You would be getting 0.8p per point, which is decent given that we normally value one point at 0.5p.

Alternatively, you can stay at the Great Northern Hotel, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, which is showing similar cash and redemption prices.  The Great Northern is literally next door, sitting between St Pancras and Kings Cross stations.  There are obviously plenty of cheaper options around Kings Cross and St Pancras too.

We look forward to seeing you on Monday 8th!  Stay tuned for ticketing information on Friday morning.

Comments (94)

  • Lady London says:

    Looks almost big enough.

  • Mark says:

    Surprised you’ve not mentioned BA’s purchase of a load of “going cheap” 737’s

    • Shoestring says:

      spoiler alert re tomorrow’s article 🙂

    • Rob says:

      I’m in New York so running a bit behind. By the time I start writing late evening the next day’s article have already started to go up 🙂

  • Lady London says:

    Hey Rhys hads HfP negotiated a rate for anyone that wants to stay overnight? Not sure how busy the hotel or nearby Marriotts are at this time for rooms?

    • Lady London says:

      Ah. Read the rest of the article now. Scratch that.

      • solartravels says:

        YES! Finally I am actually already planning to be in London on this date! Missed all others so far!
        Hub by Premier Inn Kings Cross is a couple of minutes walk.
        Ive just booked a flex rate room for £130 which is not too bad considering London pricing at this time of year. Hubs are perfect for solo travel/one night.
        Just need a ticket to the event now 😉

    • xcalx says:

      I think Anika did a review of this hotel and was not too impressed.

      • Rob says:

        We were planning on asking for a deal at the Renaissance, but it they are confident of selling out at £400 then it was looking very unlikely so we didn’t pursue it.

  • Nick says:

    OT:
    Have to return an item bought on my plastic Platinum charge card.

    Store will insist on seeing this exact card and refunding on to it.

    I have now have a new Metal Platinum.

    What’s best approach?

    • Shoestring says:

      show them the old card cut in 2 & explain

    • Anna says:

      You don’t say which shop it is however people get new credit cards all the time, it’s unreasonable for them to insist on seeing the original card. I would speak to a manager if you have any problems and point out that the refund is to the same account, regardless of the card being used.

      I find that I am generally just asked to put my card in the machine when I occasionally return an item, and the machine doesn’t mind which card it gets!

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      The store is not being completely unreasonable for the sake of it – payment by a stolen card then refund to a different card is a fairly common scam method. Show them the expired card and all should be well.

      • Charlieface says:

        And if they refund to the original card they usually get fees refunded, if it’s a different card they pay a fee in both directions

      • nick says:

        Tried with another amex. they wanted to see exact same card.

        explained it “it was cancelled, they replaced it with this new [metal] card. Then wanted to check with manager/blah blah blah

        So I just pulled out the plastic platinum.

        Refund went straight thru – so could be plastic card is still active.

        • Lady London says:

          stores like the same card and will tell you it has to be the same card. But actually, same type of card (eg Visa, MC, or Amex) will surely work.

          Best to say nothing and just hand over card of the same type, if you haven;t got the original. It will work and save confusing shop assistants who will feel obliged to call their manager.

          • nick says:

            Yes, but some assistants are eagle eyed- and check last 4 digits!

          • Lady London says:

            then I say “let’s just try, then” and place my card of the same type on the machine.

            In other countries lots of retailers will insist on refunding you cash even for a credit card transaction… it’s actually quite inconvenient.

  • rams1981 says:

    Again not sure I can make a HFP party. It’s my birthday that day and usually my parents host a dinner for the family. Hmmm

    • Anna says:

      Tell them you are 37 years old and would like to choose how you celebrate your birthday this year?!

      • Russ says:

        Give us your address and after the raffles been drawn we’ll all come round and wish you happy birthday 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      You mean you’re even thinking about this?

  • paul says:

    O/T apologies…both my kids have BAEC accounts (in my household account) Neither has ‘earned’ any avios for over a year as we have been flying redemptions. As we have plenty of HH avios, but i need them to earn a couple of avios to get the RFS pricing to work correctly, can anyone advise the quickest and easiest way for each for them to earn a few avios?

    thanks

    • Anna says:

      Surely you’re ok as long as one of you has earned some avios? I’ve taken my son and nephew on RFS flights and nephew has never earned an avios!

    • paul says:

      ok thanks both…seems i have got myself a bit confused. i thought everyone had to earn at least 1 avios themselves, even if i am supplying most of the avios myself so to speak. Sounds like it should be fine then, will try and make a dummy booking

      • Anna says:

        Also just remembered I took a friend to France on a RFS a few years ago and she’s not even a BAEC member, let alone an avios earner!

  • Ben says:

    OT. I earned a Lloyds Upgrade Voucher last Sept and now want to use it, I can no longer get into my Avios account from when the closed them all down. I just opened an Aer Club account so I can now access it again but I cant see the voucher. Will I have to call Avios to use the voucher or is there a way to get it in the account so I can just book it online?

    • Anna says:

      If you have a BAEC account it will be in there, though you won’t be able to see it. You need to call BA and ask them to make your booking, they are able to apply the voucher for you. Some reports that occasionally a CSA will refuse to do something like add on a regional connection but HUACA often overcomes this!

    • Kevin says:

      You would need to call Avios (0344 4933349) and they will help you to book the ticket with Lloyd’s upgrade voucher.

  • Dawn says:

    Really frustrated that we can’t come as we’re still on holiday in Turkey! Please make it end of July in future!! Lol