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American Express introduced a loyalty rewards program called Plenti. Unlike most loyalty programs, Plenti allows you to earn points at many retailers without using a credit card. Another Plenti advantage is that it also works with other programs you may use, including credit card rewards and store loyalty programs.
This makes Plenti an intriguing rewards program for those looking to be introduced to credit card-style loyalty programs and those looking for a little added benefit from their existing spending.
Just the idea of a new rewards program that I can stack on top of existing credit card rewards and in-store loyalty programs gets me excited. After all, who doesn't like to save more money?
Plus, there is no annual fee to become a Plenti rewards member.
So while this program is still in its infancy, and can stand to be improved a bit, it is definitely worth your time.
By now, you are intrigued by Plenti. So let's get to the gory details.
How the Plenti Rewards Program Works
You start by signing up online at the Plenti web site.
Once AmEx provides you with a Plenti account, you will need to register your card and link loyalty accounts with some businesses like Rite Aid and AT&T.
Then just remember to swipe your Plenti card or offer your phone number to the provider at checkout. (With online accounts that offer recurring monthly payments, you will just need to offer your loyalty account number one time.)
Now you are off to the races and starting to earn Plenti points.
But there are other way you will be able to earn points - including bonus points and special offers. After all, this is an American Express style rewards program.
How Will I Earn Plenti Points?
There are three ways to earn Plenti points:
- Regular Rewards. You can automatically earn Plenti points by shopping with stores or companies that participate in the program.
- Special Offers. Members of the Plenti loyalty reward program will have the opportunity to participate in special offers. You can register for special deals online or through the Plenti app. These offers work like coupons and change weekly. Examples of current special offers include 300 points on your first Exxon or Mobil purchase of at least 10 gallons of fuel.
- Online Marketplace. You can earn Plenti points by shopping through the program's online marketplace. You will earn at least 1 point per $1 spent. But many stores offer better rewards. For example, you can earn 5 points per $1 spent at Shutterfly through the Online Marketplace.
Basically, Plenti is offering you a chance to participate in American Express-style rewards program without using an American Express charge card.
Which reminds me. If you have an American Express card -- or the Plenti American Express card -- that earns Membership Rewards points, you can also transfer your MR points to the Plenti program at a 1:1 rate, and then use the Plenti points at select partners. But be advised that you cannot send Plenti points back to your Amex Memembership Rewards account.
Where Can I Earn Plenti Points?
Plenti partners currently include these popular retailers:
- Rite Aid
- Nationwide Insurance
- Direct Energy
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car
- Dozens of online retailers through the Online Marketplace
More partners are in the works. However, American Express already said that competitors of existing members will not be added to the list. That means that Netflix, Walgreens, and BP, for example, are unlikely to be future program participants.
How Can I Redeem My Plenti Points?
Every 100 Plenti points are equal to $1. And you can start redeeming Plenti rewards once you accumulate 200 points (or the equivalent of $2 in rewards).
Right now, you can only use Plenti points to save money at checkout at Rite Aid, Mobil, Macy's, or AT&T.
This is a major downside to the program: while you can earn Plenti points at Hulu, you can't use your rewards toward a Hulu subscription. Yet.
The Bottom Line
According to some sources, American Express rolled out the program before it could build complete functionality for redeeming points. The program is now more than one year old and there's no telling when or if improvements will be made to the redemption process.
What this means for you is that there are plenty of places where you can earn Plenti points, but currently only a few partners where you can redeem your points.
That being said, Plenti has a great concept: earning points at many retailers independently of any other credit card or store based rewards program. This gives you a no-cost opportunity to earn more rewards and save even more on your spending.
And our research shows that the Plenti program works out very well if shop at Macy's or Rite Aid. The Rite Aid offers in particular are usually very good through Plenti and can save you more than coupons.
So what's stopping you from at least checking out the newest loyalty rewards program being offered by American Express?