A bit earlier this year, Panama based Copa airlines announced their new frequent flyer program, ConnectMiles, which will be launching in July. Copa Airlines used to use MileagePlus as their frequent flyer program, though decided to create their own one instead.
While Copa has been offering a sign-up bonus of 1,000 miles since they announced their program, Copa is offering a sign-up bonus of 2,000 bonus miles to those who sign-up for ConnectMiles between June 10 and June 30, 2015.
Through this promotion, 1,000 miles should be credited to your ConnectMiles account almost immediately upon the program launching, while the other 1,000 miles should be credited to your account within four to six weeks of when the program launches.
When I first heard that Copa would be launching their own frequent flyer program I was really excited, thinking it would be a great arbitrage opportunity, of sorts. We’ve seen a lot of new frequent flyer programs be extremely lucrative, given how in many ways it allows them to make money without members even flying that airline (just like Avianca’s LifeMiles program, for example).
One of the cornerstones of Copa’s program (at least as of now) is that you “receive at least 1 mile for every mile flown.” In other words, it’s not a revenue based program.
For flights on Copa, you’ll earn miles as follows:
However, the “at least one mile per flown mile” policy is exclusively for travel on Copa, so that’s a bit deceiving. For travel on many partner airlines, you do earn less than 100% mileage.
There are different earnings rates for each partner airline, including those in Star Alliance. For example, here is the chart for United (as you’ll see, you only earn 50% miles on some fares):
In terms of redeeming miles, for flights exclusively on Copa, the rates are as follows:
If you want to redeem on a Star Alliance partner you’ll use Copa’s partner award chart, which unfortunately is almost identical to the United MileagePlus partner award chart:
While the Copa ConnectMiles program isn’t the most generous ever, 2,000 miles just for signing up is a pretty good offer. Copa miles expire after 24 months of inactivity, so you have quite a bit of time for more activity before these miles expire.
While the program doesn’t excite me all that much on the surface, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some innovation or creativity on their part, be it in terms of opportunities to buy miles, promotions, or something else.
(Tip of the hat to kneemuh)