Earn airline status without flying
Your membership tier in the Velocity Frequent Flyer program is based on the number of Status Credits you earn in a 12 month period. Usually the only way to earn Status Credits is from actually flying on Virgin Australia or a codeshare partner.
Introduced last year at flybuys, for every $100 spent across Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor each calendar month gets you 1 Status Credit. Each $100 may be spent across multiple transactions and total spend is calculated at the end of that month. Up to 10 Velocity Status Credits can be earned each month.
Membership tiers in Etihad Guest are determined based on a member's accumulation of Tier Miles throughout the year. Tier Miles are predominately earned through flying with Etihad and its partners. Tier Miles cannot be redeemed for flights and are used purely to determine a member's status level.
Members of flybuys can earn 1 Tier Mile per dollar spent at Coles Supermarkets, Coles Online, Coles Express, Liquorland or First Choice Liquor, up to 2500 Tier Miles per month.
Given the fairly high limit of 2500 Tier Miles per month, it is technically possible to reach Etihad Guest Silver, and gain lounge access in Abu Dhabi when travelling with Etihad, through shopping alone. However I think for most people this will just serve as a top up for people who are already collecting status through flying with Etihad.
Traditionally there has been very few avenues for earning status without actually flying, so it's interesting to see some alternative offers coming through. For me personally, I use flybuys to gain an extra 30-40 Velocity Status Credits per year through my normal shopping at Coles, which makes it slightly easier to retain Platinum/Gold each year.