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Plenti: The New Points System from American Express
You may have already heard of Plenti if you’re a coupon-clipping, money-saving guru, but what exactly is it? In short, Plenti is the newest rewards program on the market, launched by American Express. The U.S.-based loyalty program announced its availability online at Plenti.com and retailers across the country on May 4th. American Express has already seen success with similar programs in Germany, Italy and Poland – could the U.S. be next?
The Basics of Plenti
Signing up for the Plenti program is currently free, and you don't even need to be an American Express customer to sign up. You can do so by visiting Plenti.com, and afterward, you’ll immediately start racking up points when you spend at participating retailers. But what are points, and what do they mean?
Plenti’s rewards program is based on accumulating “points,” which are given to you every time you spend at a designated retailer. As of June 2015, American Express has partnered with the following vendors and service providers – AT&T, Exxon, Mobil, Macys, Nationwide, RiteAid, DirectEnergy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent a Car and Hulu. Here is an overview of the point-earning system:
- AT&T: 1 point for every $1 spent on eligible products and services on your monthly AT&T wireless bill (with paperless billing); 1 point for every $1 spent on eligible devices, accessories, and other products at participating AT&T-owned stores.
- Exxon: 1 point for every gallon of fuel, 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible non-fuel purchases.
- Macys: 1 point for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases when you pay with a Macy's Credit Card; 2 points for every $1 spent on beauty and fragrances with a Macy's Credit Card; 1 point for every $10 spent on qualifying purchases with other payment methods; 2 points for every $10 spent on beauty and fragrances.
- Mobil: 1 point for every gallon of fuel, 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible non-fuel purchases.
- Nationwide: 1 point for every $3 spent on auto and property insurance premiums.
- RiteAid: Points vary based on rotating product offers.
- DirectEnergy: 5,000 points when you sign up for a new qualifying energy/utility plan.
- Enterprise/National/Alamo: 1 point for every $1 spent on car rental rates.
- Hulu: 1,650 points when you activate the Hulu offer and sign up for a new Hulu subscription. However, you need to stay on your plan for six months to receive all 1,650 points.
So, when can you start redeeming all of these points you earn? Plenti will give you at least $10 for every 1,000 points you accumulate. Furthermore, there is no limit as to how many points you can earn per day and you can use your earnings across Plenti’s list of retailers.
The Fine Print
Of course, there’s always some fine print to read when it comes to any rewards program. First, it’s worth noting that many experts have growing concerns about how much of consumers’ information is being shared among the participating retailers. American Express has said that while account information (such as your phone number) may be shared, your transaction data is kept private.
Next, you may have to link your existing rewards cards or credit cards to your account in order to reap the benefits of Plenti. If you’re uncomfortable with this, you may want to rethink the offer.
Finally, the number of vendors who are participating in Plenti is still rather small. Unless you shop at any of these retailers frequently enough to rack up points, is it really worth it? For 1% cash back it doesn't really offer a big enough incentive to start shopping at these brands. However, if you're already doing so it's an added bonus. A small one, but still something.
What Slickdealers Are Saying
"lol....yet another rewards program...amex is going to throw in a lot of muscle behind to promote this program just like serve/softcard wallet....win for consumers as they will woo us with some slick offers, but this is doomed to fail in long term." -- ranjarocks
"Am Ex only administers this discount program. Payments can be made to these companies any way you want and you get credit. If you use ATT for your phones or Nationwide for your insurance signing up for this is a no-brainer. FYI, this is the way of the future with discount programs. People are sick of having to lug around 15 different cards." -- Moordie
"i'm not so sure this is a good idea. i normally support amex but i'm not seeing the benefit of plenti unless you can start earning pts where you normally otherwise would not have earned. i particularly found some of the offer distasteful where they said 'new customers only.' such a turn-off." -- kensteele
"Sounds great and it's about time we have this in the US. This is how it works in Japan." -- peter0328
Image courtesy of Plenti
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