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SAVE THE DATE: Head for Points Winter Party, Monday 20th January

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Better late than never, we can finally announce the details of the 2019 (2020?!) Head for Points Winter Party.

Traditionally we have held a party in early December. This year we thought we’d shake it up. With Rob and I having had a busy Autumn and the relatively late Summer party in July we thought it would be sensible to push the party into the new year.  If we’re honest, getting a 500-person venue in December on terms that made sense was also tricky.

It means that we all have something to look forward to during the January blues. Given the general hullabaloo of events in the run up to Christmas it also means it is less likely to clash with whatever else you have going on.

Marriott Grosvenor Square

This year, we will be taking over the Westminster Ballroom at the Marriott Grosvenor Square. This is a larger space than the Renaissance, which got a little crowded with 500+ people during the raffle when everyone came inside.  The Westminster Ballroom should enable us to fit in 500 readers without it being a massive squeeze.

When is it happening?

Marriott Bonvoy is sponsoring the event again, for which we are very grateful.  This gets you one free drink on the night (beer, house wine or soft drink) after which a cash bar will be running.

Head for Points Winter party

The party will be from 6pm until 9pm on Monday 20th January. Because we need to ensure that people who ask for tickets turn up, we will be charging for tickets as usual.

Tickets will be £11 including VAT and will go on sale in early January.  This includes a £1 charitable donation which we will explain in the New Year.  There will be 500 tickets available and they will go quickly based on experience.

Your ticket will also get you an entry into our big raffle.

The raffle

We will, of course, be holding our famous Head for Points (post-) Christmas raffle.  This is a far bigger raffle than the prize draw we usually hold at the Summer parties.

We will confirm the prize list nearer the time, but you should expect around 20 prizes worth £50-£100+ each.  Last year we gave away airport transfers, a suit, a suitcase, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, train points, train tickets, a hotel stay, lounge passes ….. it really depends on what we can get together in the next month.  All of the companies that get free publicity on Head for Points throughout the year will be asked to contribute …..

We also be leaning on Marriott Bonvoy to twist the arms of a few hotels for some grand prizes.

We hope that you can come along 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.  We will also be inviting many of our airline contacts if you want to chat about your travel plans, and of course the Marriott Bonvoy team will be around too.

Information on how to get a ticket will be published in early January, but please mark Monday 20th January in your diary now.  See you there.

Comments (85)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • reader says:

    OT: just got the 10k MR bonus for spending £15k in the previous membership year on the Amex Gold. Now looking to downgrade to the free Amex Rewards card. Do I need to apply separately for the free Amex first and then cancel gold, or can I asked them to just “downgrade” me.

    • Shoestring says:

      if you want to keep your MR points in the Amex MR bank, you must have a current Amex card

      if you don’t care about that (eg you converted everything to Avios), you can do it either way in time order – no particular need to contact them to ask for a downgrade (doing that can help if you want to go Plat—> Gold *charge* card but doesn’t apply to you)

      probably best to hold your current Amex card & apply for a new one, citing it as your reference Amex card – might help with the application, might avoid a credit search

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Alert! Just noticed Virgin are charging a cash advance fee for Revolut top-ups.

    Started a few days ago, presumably as part of the don’t spend more than your limit plan for next month?

    • Shoestring says:

      I was astonished they were so slow off the mark in the first place, Tesco & NatWest didn’t let themselves get taken for a ride on MS points 🙂

      • jc says:

        @Colin MacKinnon are you still reading this? I have a question & some information that might help you here…

        (If you do see this and reply, come back periodically for my reply too!)

    • thehornets says:

      Thanks for spotting and sharing this!

    • Peter K says:

      Thank you for the heads up.

    • Flying Misfit says:

      Looks like Necker Island is going to take a little longer than anticipated

    • Grant says:

      How is this shown on your account – an additional line in the transactions or do they wait until monthly statement? I have a small top-up from 17/12 which seems to be ok so far. My wife’s account also has a larger top-up pending so we’ll see what happens with that.

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        In the app, it shows as a charge for each transaction. A funny percentage sign in a circle followed by the phrase CASH ADVANCE FEE

        It is for not for a payment on Dec 17th, but for payments on 18th and 19th Dec. And I have one pending for 20th.

        Now I am home, looked at wife’s account, and she made a payment on Dec 17th and didn’t have a charge.

        So maybe 17th is the cut-off date?

    • Alan says:

      Oh damn that’s a right PITA! DiPocket has changed their system too, now charged with a fee (for IHG at least).

  • Alex Sm says:

    Unfortunately it’s Davos week and it means I will be in the Alps instead… but I will try to send my partner there if he agrees to go on his own

  • Liz Forrest says:

    Would the Marriott give good rates for the night if I was to come from Edinburgh ?

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Maybe we need an Edinburgh mini-do? Barony Bar is handy for my pied-a-terre!

    • Rob says:

      Problem is that Grosvenor Square is a very pricey five star and any discount we got would still be £100 above any of the hotels 5 minutes away on the north side of Oxford Street. We had the same issue with the Renaissance in July.

  • ChrisC says:

    Some sort of ballot system should be considered for tickets if only to allow those who can’t be at their computers / devices at a set time on a set date to have a chance of getting a ticket.

    Also what about asking those who went to previous ones not to apply for this one to give others a chance to go or ony allowing them to go if there are any tickets left.

    • Rob says:

      We simply don’t have the resources to manage a ballot. Think about it:

      * we let people submit emails and we get 1000
      * we manually have to pick out 250 (since people could ask for 2 tickets)
      * we manually email 250 people and ask if they want 1 or 2 and to pay by xx date
      * we manually monitor 250 individual payments coming in
      * we end up with 200 spare places so we need to manually pick another 100 names
      * we manually email 100 people to ask if they want 1 or 2 etc etc etc etc

      Or, Plan B, we bung 500 tickets on Eventbrite and they sell them.

      If a regular commentator cannot get a ticket and gets in touch we always do our best to prioritise them when we get the inevitable ‘can you resell my spot’ request, as many on here can testify.

  • Rob says:

    That’s not what it is. They will pay OFF your existing credit card debt with a Klarna-type loan.

    We were over at Curve last week to talk about charging for HMRC. Things may be tweaked.

  • Unsavage gerbil says:

    Is there a dress code this year?

    Last summer it was fairly eclectic, Lady London looking resplendent in flowing red, a chap in an orange suit, Rob in a sports jacket and odd looking shoes, so I will stick to my usual Anorak which will gets its annual dry clean before the party seeing as its a special occasion.

  • Maxine Chivers says:

    I would love to come to it. I live near Weston-Super-Mare. My children will be at school so it would be challenging to get there by 6pm.

    There is a train that gets to Paddington Station at 18.07. Going home again there is a train at 22.00.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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