2,000 Miles For Joining The Newest Star Alliance Progam

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.

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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.

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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:

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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):

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In terms of redeeming miles, for flights exclusively on Copa, the rates are as follows:

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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:

Copa-ConnectMiles-7

Bottom line

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)

Comments

  1. Lucky, not sure about the 1,000 and 1,000 miles, but I previously gave my email to sign up for the 1,000 bonus and when I established my account, it immediately credit the 1,000 miles. Also, if you fill out more information (such as passport info, favorite destination, etc.) you get an additional 2,000 miles immediately. So, right off the bat, you should have 3,000 miles. Probably not much to do with it, but it never hurts and as you say, maybe someone will discover a sweet spot in the award chart. Maybe Citi with be a transfer partner with them?

  2. @ M — It definitely wouldn’t surprise me, which is one of the reasons this program potentially interests me.

  3. @ pointie — Would indeed be nice if they were added as a transfer partner, and wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. I think it’s an easy way to get *G as. I am unsure about the relevant benefits of the remaining top tiers.

  5. Good new for people who like to do mileage run, Copa flights are usually a lot cheaper than its competitor, given they only have 737 air crafts. Sometimes you can find deals that make you star gold by spending less than 1500 (fly LAX to SCL multiple round trips,unfortunately, it is a long flight and no flat seat. The only company I know have flat bed on 737 aircrafts is Shenzhen Airlines)

  6. Am I mistaken or are those redemptions extremely unfavorable compared to Lifemiles? What’s the appeal here?

  7. @ Owen — In some cases they are, though keep in mind all the issues that come with redeeming LifeMiles, like blocking of space, no stopovers, no connections of more than six (or so) hours, no mixed cabins, etc. Like I said, the program doesn’t tempt me all that much yet, but eventually it has the potential to.

  8. Mileage based is a good thing. After all this is a frequent “flyer” program not a “how much can I get away with my company paying” program.

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