Some people have already written off Plenti, the new American Express loyalty program that has Macy’s, Exxon, and Rite Aid as part of the program partners. That being said, at this stage of the game, I totally agree with the Devil’s Advocate the redemption options are extremely paltry. Only four locations you can redeem the Plenti points, Exxon, Mobil, Macy’s, and Rite Aid, and really, the first two are part of one corporation.
Using Cashback Monitor, we see that Plenti has been offering 2x on the points for American Express gift cards since May 30, no hoops to jump through or waiting for a specific day to earn the extra cash back or points. If you decided to accumulate all of the Plenti for the AMEX gift cards, again, your redemption options are extremely limited.
If you decided to redeem the points at any of the vendors, you give up your credit card bonus for all of the vendors. Exxon and Mobil from the gas bonus, Rite Aid from a drug store, and Macy’s from the department store categories. If you still have an Old Blue Cash, it covers the first 3 stores, and any of the rotating 5% cards will have you covered in the Macy’s department. It is a huge IT undertaking to get all of the systems lined up into the loyalty program and I understand that it will take some time for new merchants to be added into the program.
That being said, I believe AMEX is working hard to making Plenti a competitive platform. There are some vendors that I saw on Cashback Monitor clicking through Plenti that they are paying out more than other bank portals. I think AMEX is doing this because they’re trying to entice more users to accumulate points as an incentive until they can add more retailers to the network. As an aside, the Plenti portal is Cartera run, so if you know what works, this should be easier for you to navigate.
If a bank portal and Plenti were equal, I’d choose the bank any day of the week because you have no idea when the next iteration of stores will be available to redeem on Plenti. In some states you can’t even redeem the Plenti points for milk.
I am holding out hope that this program will be a useful way to earn cash back but on a larger scale to what Plink tried to do. I do agree with Grant’s sarcasm usefulness on the 5:4 transfer ratio of Membership Rewards to Plenti, just plain no. Don’t even think about it. Membership Rewards are worth way more than Plenti at this time.