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I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitterandfollow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Travel from Los Angeles, New York, or Miami to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil or Montevideo, Uruguay (which is a short ferry from Buenos Aires, Argentina) for $391+ roundtrip on Copa Airlines through mid-December 2015.


  1. When are the $391 fares?
  2. Montevideo to Buenos Aires Ferry
  3. Layover Trip to Panama Canal
  4. Mileage Earning
  5. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
  6. Copa Baggage Policy

$391 Roundtrip from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro

Sample Dates: November 17 – 28 on Copa

You can search these fares on the ITA Matrix for a month at a time for trip lengths of your choosing. Your results calendar will look like this.

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Hover over an orange day to see what length trips are that price.

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Click through to select the exact flights, but you cannot book on ITA Matrix.

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Head to and recreate the search.

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You can bring up the same fares that you found on ITA Matrix.Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 8.08.39 PM

Here are the super cheap roundtrip fares I’ve seen:

  • Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: $391
  • Los Angeles to Montevideo, Uruguay: $397
  • New York to Montevideo: $408
  • Miami to Montevideo: $408

Copa flies to a number of American destinations and a number of South American destinations, so other city pairs may be on sale. All the sales I see end in mid-December 2015.
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Ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires

Uruguay and Argentina have several ferry routes including ones between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Colonia, and Punta del Este. You’ll be too early for the main season in Punta del Este (late December and January), I find Montevideo very boring, and Colonia is cute for a day.

Buenos Aires is my favorite city on earth.

Panama Canal Layover

On some Copa itineraries, you may be able to build in a 5+ hour layover in Panama City, just enough time to visit the Panama Canal like I did in April.

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Mileage Earning

These are L class fares from Copa. United offers 50% mileage earning on Copa T fare.

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  • You’d earn 6,295 United miles on the Los Angeles to Rio roundtrip.
  • You’d earn 6,394 United miles on the Los Angeles to Montevideo roundtrip.
  • You’d earn 5,585 United miles on the New York to Montevideo roundtrip.
  • You’d earn 4,536 United miles on the Miami to Montevideo roundtrip.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

You should definitely purchase your Copa ticket with a credit card that imposes no foreign transaction fees. Your top choice should be the Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement: about a $141 roundtrip to Brazil!

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 40,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

Copa Baggage Policy

You can take one carry on and one personal item for free. You can have two checked bags of up to 50 pounds each for free. (Full policy.)

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Hat Tip Secretly Flying and The Flight Deal

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 75,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

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