The program is most beneficial for folks flying Etihad (bonus miles) and in particular in economy (with lounge access, expedited immigration, etc).
To claim the status match, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a scanned copy of your current equivalent or higher status card, latest mileage statement, and Etihad Guest account number.
Unless you fly Etihad Airways in coach or on revenue first/business class tickets, it doesn’t seem like there are any especially useful benefits. Then again, I know a lot of people that just love shiny cards in their wallet.
And while I have plans to fly Etihad again in the next year on an award ticket, I can’t imagine the service would be noticeably better if I had a Gold card.