Etihad has brought back its status match opportunity to Gold level in its Etihad Guest program. Although it may not be especially useful for the majority of U.S.-based travelers, it could be helpful if you plan to book award travel on Etihad with points transferred from Starwood Preferred Guest. To help you out further, Loyalty Lobby shares a 25% discount on Etihad awards between select airports flown and booked by July 31.
To obtain your free Gold membership card, you must have equivalent or higher status with another airline, a scanned copy of your latest miles earning statement (these can be downloaded; I don’t think I’ve ever gotten one in the mail), and an existing Etihad Guest membership number. You can join here. You must be one of the first 500 people to submit these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 14.
I wasn’t in the first 500 last time, but those who also missed the boat now have a second opportunity. Etihad claims that with Gold status, those who book a round trip, first class fare between New York and Abu Dhabi will be able to earn enough miles for a free one-way, first class award between those two cities. It’s like a buy two, get one free offer. (Although other airlines’ award charts aren’t too far off. Stacking elite status and fare class bonuses can be great!)