When it comes to loyalty programs this could be a game changer. Come sometime this spring, American Express will be launching Plenti, a cross-brand loyalty program that includes some of the biggest companies in the country. The program will basically allow you to earn Plenti points at one place and redeem them at another. Right now, a total of eight companies are part of the program: AT&T, Exxon, Macy's, Mobil, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy, and Hulu. In addition, American Express says they expect to add more companies (what's not clear is whether it'll be before or after the launch).
The program will be free to join. In a press release, American Express says 1,000 points will be equal to $10. What's different about Plenti than other loyalty programs is the fact that there's not a specific card (like a credit card) you need to use. You can earn points by using cash, or credit. For example, if you already pay AT&T on a monthly basis for a cell phone plan (like me), you can sign up for Plenti and will start earning points. Then, when you earn enough points you can use them for gas (Mobil or Exxon), pain relievers (Rite Aid), streaming TV (Hulu), or your electricity (Direct Energy).
It gets better. You can easily double dip if you already have a rewards credit card. For example, if you have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, which earns a solid two points per dollar, you can use that when you fill up your car at a nearby Mobil gas station with that card. Doing this would get you points for using your Arrival Plus, as well as the Plenti points! If you use shopping portals, triple dipping is also possible! Scenarios like these are nearly endless! And potentially very lucrative.
Will I be changing where I shop because of this new program? Maybe. But considering I already use AT&T, Direct Energy, and stop at the occasional Mobil or Exxon, I won't need to change many habits to get plenty of Plenti points (that joke will get old fast). I'm also looking forward to seeing how many other companies decide to become a member of the Plenti loyalty program. It'll be an interesting few months.
What are your initial thoughts of Plenti?