Marriott Reveals New Lifetime Status Requirements–You’re Happy

Marriott Hotels announced that they are changing the requirements for lifetime elite status. The FlyerTalk thread discussing Marriott lifetime benefits can be found here. Shockingly, the changes are all positive. When word came from a Marriott Rewards forum post that lifetime elite criteria would be changing, there was some apprehension. However, I can tell you that the changes are actually beneficial to travelers.

Hyatt Publishes Award Chart Update; Hold the Pitch Forks

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Hyatt has tweaked the award chart category for 17 of its properties. Hyatt's complete award chart can be found here for reference. These changes will go into effect on February 7th. Room reservations booked prior to this date will still be at the previously published award level.

The complete list of changes:

At first glance, none of these changes stick out as drastic. The Hyatt 48 Lex in New York City changing from a category 4 to a category 5 might be disappointing to Chase Hyatt Visa cardholders.

Alaska Airlines 5,000 Mile Bonus for Board Room Membership

According to this post on Milepoint, Alaska Airlines is offering 5,000 bonus miles for all travelers who sign up for Board Room memberships by December 31st. Alaska brands its club lounges as Board Rooms (in the same way that Delta calls its lounges Sky Clubs). A complete list of locations can be found here.

Standard one year memberships are $450 (this price includes the initiation fee) and are reduced for Alaska MVP and Gold members.

Board Room members actually have access to all domestic Delta Sky Clubs when traveling same day on an Alaska or Delta ticket.

New 45k Delta Credit Card Offer: The Pros, Cons, and Good Redemption Ideas

This offer has expired. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

I received an interesting credit card offer via email yesterday and wanted to share it with readers before it expired on December 23rd. Delta Airlines is currently offering 45,000 bonus SkyMiles for signing up for the Delta Gold American Express card. To get the bonus, you must spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Hawaiian Airlines Exciting New Route to Taipei, Taiwan

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Hawaiian Airlines will be adding an interesting new route to their network in July of 2013. Hawaiian will add nonstop service between Honolulu and Taipei, Taiwan three times weekly. They will be flying this route with their 294 seat A330-200 aircraft.

Scott actually just wrote a mini review of Hawaiian's A330 product in economy.  You can read it in this post, 20k Points Roundtrip to Hawaii, 45k Roundtrip to Asia, 55k Roundtrip to Australia. The economy seat looks really solid with personal TVs and decent food offerings.

British Airways Improved Online Award Search Tool

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, British Airways has tweaked the functionality of their website for the better. Searching for award tickets, especially on oneworld partner airlines, is quite a bit easier now. I had to see for myself, so I tried out a few dummy bookings.

Scott has actually written up a helpful post on this for newbie travelers. To read his step by step, check out Free First Class Next Month: Using for oneworld Awards. Using to search for partner awards can be really useful.

Delta & Virgin Atlantic Partnership: What It Could Mean For You

According to Delta's press release and media outlets such as the New York Times, Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are forming a new strategic partnership. Delta is acquiring a 49% stake in Virgin that was previously held by Singapore Airlines, who cozied up with Virgin in 2000.

On a pure deal standpoint, Delta got a cheaper price than Singapore. Singapore initially invested over $900 million to acquire the 49%. Delta is paying $360 million for that same stake.

Hilton Hotels: Up to 50% Off with Friends & Family Rate

Update: Why get 50% off a hotel room when you can get two free nights at almost any Hilton worldwide, including top tier properties that go for $1,000 or more per night, AND Hilton Gold Status (free breakfast and internet) by getting the Citi Hilton Reserve.

Application Link: Citi Hilton Reserve

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Hilton is offering up to 50% off the Best Available Rate at participating hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.

PointBreak List Announced & Discount Delta Club Passes

Priority Club PointBreaks List Announced

According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Priority Club has announced their new PointBreaks list of hotels that can be booked through January 31st. This is huge news because PointBreaks hotels can be booked for $35: How to Book Any PointBreaks Hotel for $35/night.

PointBreaks hotels can be booked for 5,000 points, which can represent a huge savings. Some Intercontinental properties normally cost 50,000 points per night, so 5,000 is a 90% discount.

Hotel News Roundup-Membership Rewards Transfers, Elite Status Increases, and More

Hilton HHonors-33% Bonus on Membership Rewards Transfers

Per this thread on FlyerTalk, Hilton is offering a 33% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards into Hilton HHonors points. This offer is good for transfers through January 31st. Transfers must be made in increments of 1,000 Membership Rewards points.