American Express introduced the Plenti loyalty rewards program in 2015. Now they also introduced a branded Plenti rewards credit card. So is it time you enrolled in Plenti? Should you consider also getting a Plenti credit card? Read on for our take.
What is Plenti?
First and foremost, Plenti is a loyalty rewards program. And it is available to those who wish to take advantage of American Express rewards programs, but otherwise may not qualify for an Amex card.
By introducing a separate credit card, American Express may have introduced some confusion in how the Plenti program works. So up front we want you to know that Plenti does not even require that you use an American Express credit card, let alone the Plenti rewards credit card.
In fact, Plenti allows you to earn points at many retailers without using a credit card.
Or you can combine your Plenti rewards with the rewards program offered by the retailer, as well as those offered by your regular credit card.
This means that when using Plenti, you can stack your purchase rewards like never before!
How Plenti Works
To begin using Plenti, you will need to register your card and link loyalty accounts with participating retailers (which currently include AT&T, Rite Aid, Exxon, and more).
With most stores, swipe your Plenti card or offer your phone number to the provider - just like a retailer based loyalty program.
But this is not the only way to earn Plenti rewards. In fact, there are three ways to earn Plenti points:
- Automatically. You automatically earn Plenti points by shopping with stores or companies that participate in the program and swiping at checkout.
- Special Offers. You also 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.
- Shopping Online. Another great way to earn Plenti points is by shopping through the program's Online Marketplace. You'll earn at least 1 point per $1, but many stores offer better rewards. For example, you can earn 5 points per $1 by shopping at Shutterfly through the Online Marketplace.
You can also transfer you Amex Membership Rewards points over to the Plenti program.
If you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards ("MR") points, you can also transfer MR points to the Plenti program at a 1:1 rate, and then use the Plenti points at select partners. You can also earn additional Plenti points by using the Plenti Credit Card (more details on this card below).
You should know that you cannot transfer your Plenti rewards into your MR rewards program.
Where You Can Earn Plenti Points
Plenti partners currently include:
- Rite Aid
- Direct Energy
- Dozens of online retailers through the Online Marketplace
More partners are in the works, but American Express has said that competitors of existing members will never be added to the list. That means you should not expect that Netflix, Walgreens, and BP, for example, to be partners.
How Much Are Plenti Points Worth
You will generally earn at least 1 Plenti point per $1 spent at partner retailers.
But some retailers offer more points.
Every 1,000 Plenti points are equal to $10 - which means that the value of a point (or typical $1 of spending) is $0.01. But because you have the opportunity to earn bonus points with Plenti, as well stack these loyalty rewards with other rewards program, Plenti is so much more than just another 1% rewards program.
How to Redeem Your Plenti Points
Once you have at least 200 points (or $2), you can 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. For now, you can only redeem your points at a limited number of retailer. We hope this changes in the future.
The Plenti American Express Card
American Express also offers a Plenti credit card that earns Plenti points (and not Membership Rewards points).
For someone looking for an entry level American Express card, the Plenti Credit Card makes for an interesting option.
The card has no annual fee and it has a signup bonus offer of an additional 5,000 Plenti points after spending $250 during the first three months.
On top of that, the card ables you to enhance your Plenti rewards points by offering these regular loyalty rewards benefits:
- 3 Plenti points on supermarket spending (on the first $6,000 a year)
- 2 Plenti points per $1 at restaurants
- 1 Plenti point per $1 on all other spending
And a Plenti Credit Card also comes with a lot of the "other" benefits that American Express is known for, like extended warranties and purchase protection (which protects you in case your purchase is stolen or accidentally damages within 90 days of purchase).
While the reward rate may seem decent, remember that you earn Plenti points with the card, not Membership Rewards points. The points can't be transferred to American Express partners and they can currently only be redeemed at select Plenti partners - making the Plenti program less flexible and rewarding that the regular Membership Rewards program.
Unless the Plenti program gets major updates in where you can earn points and how they can be used, the Plenti AmEx credit card is not worth it if you can qualify for an American Express Membership Rewards points are more valuable and flexible. Instead, think of the Plenti Credit Card as a "starter" card to introduce those with less than stellar credit to American Express.
Is Plenti Worth It?
Not sure if Plenti is worth the effort?
We think it is because Plenti also works with other programs you may use, including credit card rewards and store loyalty programs.
When you are able to stack multiple rewards programs together, you can really benefit on even your most routine spending.
You can also get an introduction to an American Express rewards program by using Plenti. Though, at this time, we cannot fully recommend the Plenti Credit Card as a stand-alone credit card rewards program. It just does not offer the same level of benefits from it rewards as those you will find on the market.
The downside to Plenti is that at this time there are currently only a few partners and the redemption process is less than stellar because you can only redeem points at a few of those partners.
The bottom line is that Plenti has a great concept: earning points at many retailers without a credit card program. But it does need to continue to be updated and improved, mainly by adding more retailers where you can earn points and more options to redeem those points.