American Express will for the first time be allowing their customers to earn rewards points for a diverse set of use cases through a new loyalty program they are rolling out today (May 4). Called Plenti, the program is unique because it isn’t tied to a single company, it is free to join and one does not even need to be an AmEx customer to enroll.
“It will really be the first time where U.S. consumers, on a single program, can take the rewards they’ve earned in one industry and take it to another,” said Abeer Bhatia, chief executive of U.S. Loyalty at American Express.
The Plenti plan is rather directly designed. After signing up at a participating merchant (Macy’s and Rite Aid are on the list of possible places to use Plenti) or through the Plenti app, a customer will earn “Plenti points” each time he or she spends money in any form – cash, credit or debit card. The number of points a customer earns on a transaction will vary from merchant to merchant.
Plenti Points can be redeemed in thousand point amounts – and are redeemed at a rate of $10 per thousand. It represents an effort on the part of AmEx to broaden its reach into a more moderately incomed customer base. Traditionally, the AmEx brand has been strongest among affluent consumers and business travelers. However, since the loss of its card partnership with Costco earlier this year – and the forthcoming end of its deal with JetBlue – AmEx is looking for new ways to reach out and touch the customer.
AmEx already operates loyalty programs in Italy, Germany, Poland, India and Mexico that, like Plenti, have partner merchants across a wide variety of industries.
Those programs have proven to be highly popular.