American Express has launched Plenti, a loyalty program with a big twist: It allows U.S. shoppers to earn points at major retailers without being restricted to a credit card issuer or a single brand. You don’t even have to be an American Express member.
Plenti is the first “loyalty coalition” among major U.S. brands that lets consumers earn points at one store and use them for savings at another. Partners so far include AT&T, Exxon, Macy’s, Mobil, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hulu. The program is expected to include more brands in additional categories over time.
Every 1,000 points earned will result in at least $10 of savings, according to the company. Consumers can earn points and discounts using any form of payment accepted by the participating brands, including cash, prepaid and any debit, charge or credit card.
Here’s an example: Earn Plenti points by buying gas or a Nationwide insurance policy, and those points could earn you discounts on an electric bill from Direct Energy or milk from Rite Aid. Or after buying a tank of fuel at a participating Exxon- or Mobil-branded service station, you can use the points for savings toward a pair of shoes at Macy’s or macys.com.
Typically, these types of loyalty programs in the past have involved very few retailers and many more limitations.
While you don’t have to have an American Express to earn points, AmEx is offering the Plenti Credit Card from Amex, available now, with no-annual-fee. Card members can earn 1 Plenti point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, in addition to the Plenti points earned through the Plenti rewards program.
“With the new Plenti cobrand Card, Card Members can collect, combine and redeem even more points for savings,” said Eva Reda, SVP, Cobrand Partnerships at American Express.
Customers can join Plenti by signing up at a participating merchant, on the Plenti app for smartphones, or on Plenti.com. Every time a customer spends money, either cash or by using a debit or credit card, they will earn “Plenti Points” after giving their Plenti account number. The number of points a customer earns on a transaction will vary from merchant to merchant.