American Express Launches Plenti
American Express has had a tough year. In addition to losing their partnership with JetBlue, they lost the incredibly lucrative contract with Costco who chose Citi & Visa instead. Additionally their stock has seen downward pressure due to decreased merchant fees and tougher competition from Chase and others.
Today the company announced a plan going forward to counteract some of those negatives. In the Spring, American Express is going to be launching the first U.S. based coalition loyalty program. The program, called Plenti, will allow consumers to earn points at one retailer and redeem them at another retailer.
During today’s announcement American Express listed seven launch partners, although they anticipate more signing on before the program goes live. The partners are: AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, RiteAid, Direct Energy & Hulu.
Despite the fact that the program will be run by American Express, all payment methods including Visa and Mastercard will earn points. While not much is known about Plenti, American Express has said that 1,000 points will be worth at least $10 in savings and there will also be promotional offers allowing for quicker points earning.
How it works according to their press release:
Plenti offers multiple ways for consumers to earn points:
- Earn Plenti points when buying a tank of fuel at a participating Exxon- or Mobil-branded service station and use the points for savings toward a pair of shoes at Macy’s or macys.com.
- Earn Plenti points when signing up for qualifying wireless services at AT&T, or for eligible charges on AT&T wireless bills.
- Earn Plenti points for eligible Nationwide auto or property insurance.
- Earn Plenti points by taking advantage of special offers on a wide range of beauty, health and wellness and everyday items at Rite Aid.
This seems like an interesting new way for American Express to generate revenue. While there aren’t many merchants right now, I am sure American Express will be able to get more to sign on before the program goes live.
Having one award program across a variety of businesses is compelling. Too often we get stuck with orphaned points and this eliminates that problem to a certain extent. At the very least it provides more options for redemption.
In my opinion the one thing American Express knows is loyalty. It will be interesting to see how they roll out Plenti and what types of promotions they offer at launch. One can certainly hope for a healthy crossover between Plenti and Amex Offers! Either way, it should be interesting. Your thoughts?