Etihad will match your airline Gold card, including BA, to Etihad Gold

Abu Dhabi based Etihad has brought back its Gold status match. This allows you to get an Etihad Gold card in return for proof of your Gold status with British Airways or any other major airline.

Now, this being Etihad, the offer has a few quirks attached to it. However, they are generally positive:

In the past, Etihad has NOT adjusted for the different terminology used by different airlines. BA Gold is BA’s top tier. Cathay Pacific Gold, on the other hand, is really the same as BA Silver. However, as far as Etihad was concerned, BA Gold and Cathay Gold both qualified for the purposes of this match.

Because of the way the Etihad scheme works, your Gold status may be valid until March 2018. You will receive the rest of the year you quality (ie the rest of 2015) plus the next two full years (2016 and 2017). If you don’t requalify, you don’t drop down until March the following year (ie March 2018). That is actually three years of Gold status!

(It is not certain that you will get the full period with a status match. However, if you had achieved Gold ‘the hard way’ then that is how it would work.  Even though I got a status match last year, I still do not know how it works – Etihad has never sent me a plastic card and my online account does not show my status expiry date!)

The match is usually limited. Not everyone who applies is accepted. Etihad prioritises spots based on your flight history (they ask to see a copy of your statement as well as your Gold card.)

You cannot match a card issued by Air Lingus, airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways or Virgin Australia.

Etihad Gold

The benefits may be useful even if you never fly on Etihad.

The key Etihad benefit is lounge access for you and a guest whenever you fly them. In Abu Dhabi you need to use the Al Reem lounge, but at other airports you are allowed into the main Pearl Business Class lounge.  I reviewed the impressive Etihad lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 earlier in the week.

You will also receive lounge access when you fly with Etihad’s partner airlines. These are:

airberlin (only when the lounge is operated by airberlin)

Air New Zealand (Etihad codeshare routes only)

Air Serbia (Belgrade only)

Air Seychelles (AUH, SEZ, MRU, JNB, HKG and CDG only)


Jet Airways

Garuda (Jakarta only)

Korean Air

South African Airways

SriLankan Airlines (Colombo only)

Virgin Australia

You will also receive priority boarding, premium class check-in and additional baggage allowance with most of these airlines.

There is also another sneaky reason to get Etihad Gold. It may allow you to match to another Gold card later on, with a different airline. As your Etihad Gold may be valid until 2018, there are plenty of potential opportunities.

Full details can be found on the Etihad website here. The deadline to apply is March 15th.  You must be resident in the UAE, UK, USA, Australia, Saudi Arabia, France, Switzerland, China or Japan.

The full list of Gold benefits is here.

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  1. Hingeless says:

    My Etihad Gold Card arrived after the last status match and was valid for over 2 years.

    Great for virgin Australia lounge access (as is the plat amex card) It also lets you of though lounge fast track entry at Sydney. This is a kerbside security entry into the lounge that avoids going into the main terminal entry.

    You can also use the Virgin fast track lounge exit at Melbourne – the lounge is landside but you exit airside !!

  2. If only AMEX hadn’t shafted Platinum cardholders and killed off the Cathay Gold deal :-(

  3. Hmmm Polly… I hope that you’re not the sort of person to moan about tax avoidance by wealthier members of society… or in your case… tax evasion…. :)

  4. So if you have an Amex Cathay Gold card and have no flights credited to it whatsoever, there’s no point in applying?

  5. Can anyone tell me how to go about applying for status match with Etihad please – is it simply a case of calling up and asking? thanks JB

  6. It’s not surprising that they would match Cathay Pacific Gold – Gold isn’t Etihad’s top tier either.

  7. Last year I had a comp BA Gold (from a GGL membership). I status matched it to Turkish Airlines last summer. I will now try and status match the Turkish gold card to Etihad – fingers crossed!

    • GGL membership? What is that please? Still available?

      • GGL = Gold Guest List – you need to earn 5,000 Tier Points in a year to earn this. Once earned you have the ability to gift one Gold and two Silver cards to other people, which sounds like what Chris H is referring to.

  8. I applied for myself and my OH on the back of the Cathay Gold card last year. I got emails for both application stating the match had been denied (We’d had no activity on our Cathay accounts). Then, out of the blue, the Etihad Gold card arrives for me, yet not my OH. So now I have, despite refusal, and the card is only valid until June this year – barely a year, nevermind 2+ years validity. Another oddity, my Cathay card should have expired next month, yet was extended to expire in August this year, yet my OH’s still expires next month. I’ve used both our cards last night for the Qantas status match – just in time before hers expires, so hopefully we’re both accepted.

    • As I said in the piece, Etihad (and indeed all the Middle East big 3) work in mysterious ways!

      “You get what you get and you don’t get upset” as my 7 year old tells me (or, more accurately, is told at school)

  9. I’m due to attain BA Gold at the end of April. Do you think they will accept status match if I apply then? Also how do you send them a statement ? Is it simply a screenshot from my Online BAEC account showing my activity?

    • Scan of the card, screenshot of the account. This Etihad offer will be dead by April but it seems to reoccur once or twice a year.

      • Hi Rob,
        Fascinating reading as ever!
        It would be great if you could do a short article on what airline status us Amex Plat CX Gold imminently expiring card holders (with no Marco Polo flight history on account summary) could obtain via status matches.
        Thanks in advance.

        • Take a look at for ideas. I can’t do a definitive list because it is very hit and miss. Status matches are rare in general.

          If your Cathay is expiring I would get whatever you can as you will then have another Gold with a longer expiry date which can be used to match to someone else who may run a promo in the next couple of years.

  10. Excellent work Raffles. I’ve applied with confirmation of my BA Gold membership so hopefully Etihad will respond. I’ve got a fair amount of travel coming up and I’m often constrained in my choice of airlines so an extra status won’t go amiss.

  11. Brillant work again Raffles!! I applied today using my Marco Polo Gold. Will advise on response.

  12. Excellent – worth a punt. Actually had a decent amount of travel on my statement so hopefully will get a match.

  13. Howard says:

    How long does it normally take to get a response from Etihad with regard a status match application.

  14. Shayele says:

    I need a blank template of what a cathay pacific statement would look like otherwise it would look foolish

  15. Howard says:

    I have a response from Etihad. Offer was on website when I applied

    Dear Guest,
    Please be informed that our Etihad
    Guest Tier Match promotion is now over and no more applications will be

    For more details on our ongoing promotions, please visit

    Etihad Airways Team

    • Oh damn :( Out of interest, when did you apply? (not that it should matter given the offer was still on the website at the time, as you say!)

  16. howard says:

    I applied on 27th March 2015.

  17. howard says:

    sorry…27th Feb 2015

  18. howard says:

    I replied saying offer expired on 15th March. I said it was poor PR and they need to take this up with senior management.

    • Someone else told me that they had closed the offer. However, as it is still on the Etihad website, I thought they might just be telling that particular person to get lost!

  19. Howard says:

    I have emailed again and sent a screenshot of the offer.

    I am confident that Etihad will resolve this because this is very poor PR

  20. Applied 27/2 but not heard anything back yet – anyone else had success?


  1. […] Last day to claim your Etihad Gold card via their current status match promotion. Details here. […]