Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Based in Panama City, Copa Airlines flies to dozens of destinations in the Americas. But if you have miles in its frequent flyer program, ConnectMiles, you can redeem them for flights anywhere in the world.
The ConnectMiles program has some of the most liberal routing rules in the world. There are no expressed routing restrictions, and you can have one free stopover and up to two open jaws on a round trip ticket. That means you can see more places for the same ticket price.
But some routes get you more value for your ConnectMiles than others. Learn more about where you can fly, plus the best redemptions for Copa Airlines’ ConnectMiles.
About Copa Airlines' partners
Copa is part of the Star Alliance, a collection of 26 airlines that, together, expand the reach of your Copa ConnectMiles to almost anyplace across the globe. Plus, Copa has individual partnerships with several other airlines.
Copa doesn’t add fuel or carrier-imposed surcharges to its own award flights nor to certain partners’. So you pay less out of pocket when you redeem miles for a flight.
» Learn more: What are stopover, layover and open-jaw flights?
Smart ways to spend your ConnectMiles
Prices in miles shown below are one way.
25,000 miles across North America in United’s lie-flat business class seat
Why use Copa miles to book a transcontinental flight on United? Because Copa will sell you the same luxurious lie-flat business class seat on United for 10,000 miles less. A one-way New York City-to-L.A. flight in United's business class starts at 35,000 United MileagePlus miles.
Copa publishes a chart showing the mileage prices for flights on its partner airlines, so you can see that flights within the continental U.S. in business class cost 25,000 Copa ConnectMiles miles each way.
The Copa award booking engine can be extremely quirky. If you keep getting errors, find your desired itinerary on United Airlines’ website then call Copa’s ConnectMiles Call Center at 800-FLY- COPA (359-2672) and tell them which United flight you want to book with your Copa miles.
If you want to double-check that your flight is available before you call, you can confirm the award space for a flight on other Star Alliance partner websites, such as Air Canada or Avianca (sign-in is required).
A simple search on the Air Canada website showed the same United flight could be booked with Air Canada miles, so the ticket should be able to be booked with Copa miles, too.
15,000 miles to Peru in economy or 35,000 miles in business class
This is a good deal even though you must route via Panama City. With Copa Airlines’ rules for stopovers on award flights, that can be a good thing. You can visit the Panama Canal and explore the area for a couple of days on the way to or from Peru without paying more miles for the stopover.
35,000 miles to Colombia in business class
If you’re flying business class to Colombia, your best bet is using 35,000 Copa miles to book a flight on Avianca to enjoy that airline’s well-rated lie-flat business class seat. And if you wish, you can still enjoy a free stopover in Panama City by booking one of the flight legs on Copa.
80,000 miles in Emirates business class to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia or New Zealand
Flying in an Emirates business class seat across the world can be a truly luxurious experience. And while 80,000 miles isn't exactly small change, not many airlines would allow you a flight route like, for example, New York City to Sydney via Dubai, especially with a stopover and up to two open jaws.
If the Copa website gives you trouble for this booking, you can search for Emirates flights on the Alaska Mileage Plan website. Just enter your trip details and click "Book now" to see availability. After you’ve found the award space for your dates, call 800-FLY-COPA.
80,000 miles to Maldives in business class
You can book a business class award ticket to Malé, Maldives, on a number of Copa Airlines partners including Air India, Austrian Airlines and Emirates. Each way will cost 80,000 miles.
The bottom line
Copa might not have a particularly generous award chart, but its strength is in the number of partners, lack of surcharges and liberal routing rules. In addition, Copa is one of the few Emirates partners with reasonable redemption rates in business class, so Copa miles can take you almost anywhere around the world.
Just remember that Copa’s online award booking engine can be buggy, so if it doesn’t work for you, find your award flight in one of the other Star Alliance programs, such as United, Avianca or Air Canada, then contact the ConnectMiles Call Center to book your award.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card