Virgin Velocity Gold status comes with tons of benefits when you fly Virgin Australia or any of its partner airlines. These include lounge access, bonus points and the ability to change to an earlier flight for free. Gold status even comes with complimentary hotel status with either Hilton or IHG Hotels! To reach Gold status, you would normally need to earn 500 status credits. But there's a little-known shortcut to earn Gold status with less than a sixth of the usual number of status credits! These status credits could easily be earned from just one return domestic flight. The trick is to obtain a Pilot Gold membership. Pilot Gold members are given a 3-month trial period in which they receive Velocity Gold benefits. This status can then be kept for another year by earning just 80 status credits within this 3-month period. Two Pilot Gold memberships are offered as a benefit to any business that signs up for the Virgin Australia Accelerate program. Accelerate is Virgin's corporate program for small to medium businesses. The program is completely free to join, and there are no ongoing fees!