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Plenti by American Express Review

The Verdict

The Plenti Credit Card from Amex is a great value if you shop at Plenti partners.

If you love shopping at Macy's, pick up your prescriptions and drugstore items at Rite Aid, and fill up your gas tank at Exxon/Mobil, then the Plenti Credit Card from American Express (Amex) is a good, no-annual-fee credit card to add to your wallet.

You'll score an easily attainable 5,000 Plenti points sign-up bonus (worth $50) when you spend just $250 in the first three months.

You'll also be eligible for bonus points at participating retailers in the Plenti cross-merchant loyalty program—including the aforementioned Rite Aid, Exxon, Macy's, and others.

Plus, you'll get 3x points at supermarkets and 2x points at restaurants.

weekly grocery shopping trips

Don't shop at or frequent Plenti partners like AT&T, Macy's, Nationwide, Rite Aid, or Exxon and Mobil branded service stations, or spend most of your money on non-grocery purchases?

In that case, you'll probably be better off with the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card or Citi Double Cash Card, both of which give you cash back.

The Competition

The Plenti Credit Card was created for those who are fans of its Plenti rewards program, an innovative store loyalty program that allows consumers to earn and redeem points at a variety of different merchants.

The Plenti Card is similar to the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card in that both cards do not charge an annual fee and give back 3x rewards at supermarkets.

However, if you are already keen on earning and redeeming Plenti points and you spend a lot of money eating out, the Plenti Credit Card comes out ahead, since it offers 2x points on restaurants, while the Blue Cash Everyday card only offers 1x points on dining spending.

If you frequently fill up your car with gas, however, the Blue Cash Card may come out ahead since it offers 2% back on spending at gas stations (the Plenti card only gives you 1 point—or 1%—on fuel).

gas and motor oil costs

The key difference between the two cards is the sign-up bonus.

The Plenti Card offers a smaller bonus ($50 vs. $100), but the required spending amount is 4x lower ($250 vs. $1,000)—so it's much more attainable.

So if you spend $300 a month at restaurants and $250 a month at supermarkets, you'll earn $72 more in rewards when you use the Plenti Credit Card as opposed to the Blue Cash Everyday Card—which more than makes up for the $50 decrease in sign-up bonus.

However, if you don't shop at participating Plenti retailers like Macy's or Rite Aid, and you don't spend a lot of money at restaurants, then the Blue Cash Everyday Card is a better bet.

You'll get 2% back on gas and will have greater flexibility to redeem rewards for cash back or a statement credit.

Plenti points, on the other hand, can only be redeemed when making a purchase at a participating Plenti partner.

How the Plenti Card from Amex compares to its top competitor

Plenti Credit Card from Amex Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card
Annual fee None None
How high of credit score do you need? >700 >650
Average APR? 20.99% 19.49%
How big of sign-up bonus do you get? 5,000 Plenti points (worth $50) $100 statement credit
How much do you need to spend to get the bonus? $250 within 3 months $1,000 within 3 months

How many points/% cash back do you get for every dollar?

(*1 point = 1%)

3 points at supermarkets

2 points at restaurants

1 point for everything else

<3% cash back at supermarkets

2% cash back at gas stations and select department stores

1% cash back on everything else

Any restrictions? None None
If you spend $100 on the card, how much money will you get back? $3 if you spent $100 at grocery stores, $2 if you spent it at restaurants, and $1 if you spent it anywhere else. $3 if you spent $100 at grocery stores, $2 if you spent it at the gas station, and $1 if you spent it anywhere else.

The Question Everyone Wants to Know

What is the Plenti Rewards Program and how can you earn and redeem Plenti Points?

Plenti is an innovative cross-merchant loyalty program designed by American Express.

You can earn Plenti points at participating retailers and redeem them in increments as little as 200 Plenti points (valued at $2) at participating retailers.

Plenti's retail partners include:

  • Rite Aid
  • Exxon and Mobil gas stations
  • Macy's
  • AT&T
  • Nationwide
  • Chili's
  • Enterprise, Alamo, and National car rentals
  • Hulu
  • Harvey's, Bi-Lo, and Winn Dixie supermarkets
  • Direct Energy
  • Expedia

Please note that you can only redeem points at participating retailers, such as AT&T, Chili's, Exxon, Harvey's, Macy's, Mobil, and Rite Aid.

For example, if you bought certain items at Rite Aid that earned you 1,000 Plenti points, you'll have $10 you can redeem on your next Macy's purchase.

The Strengths

The Plenti Card from Amex is strong because of its bonus points for groceries and restaurant spending.

the average american family spent over

Groceries make up a large portion of many families' monthly budget.

According to the 2016 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American family spent over $4,000 on groceries and more than $3,000 on take-out and restaurants.

Both of these categories will earn you bonus Plenti points.

You'll get 3 points for every dollar spent at the grocery store and 2 Plenti points for every dollar spent at a restaurant.

So, for a family spending an average of $4,000 a year on groceries and $3,000 a year on dining out, they'll earn an extra 18,000 points—worth $180!

The Weaknesses

The Plenti Credit Card from Amex is weak because it has few, inflexible redemption options.

Unlike cash back credit cards, the Plenti Credit Card from Amex offers Plenti Points that can only be redeemed as a form of payment for purchases at a participating retailer like Macy's, Exxon/Mobil, or Rite Aid.

If you shop at these stores, this isn't such a big deal.

But if you don't, you'll probably be better off with a card that provides a statement credit or the ability to redeem points for a gift card.

In addition to the lack of flexibility when it comes to redeeming rewards, another negative that experts point out about the Plenti Credit Card from Amex is the fact that Plenti points expire after two years.

Who It's For

To find out whether the Plenti Card from Amex is a smart addition to your wallet, answer the questions below:

  • Do I shop at Plenti partners like Rite Aid, Macy's, Winn Dixie, etc.?
  • When I fill up my car with gas, do I prefer to go to an Exxon/Mobil station (and often pop into the convenience store for a beverage or snack)?
  • Do I dislike carrying around several store loyalty cards with me and would prefer just one loyalty card that works at many different stores?
  • Am I looking for a no-annual-fee credit card?
  • Do I have good credit (700 and above)?
  • Would I like to take advantage of a decent sign-up bonus that doesn't require me to spend thousands of dollars in only a few months?
  • Do I use my credit card most often at supermarkets and restaurants?

If you've answered yes to the questions above, then the Plenti Card from Amex is a good bet for your lifestyle and spending patterns.

If, however, you don't shop at Plenti partners and spend a lot on a different spending category—such as travel—a different rewards credit card, such as the Citi Prestige Card, may be a better bet for you.

spending habits by generation

The Card and the Company's History

Introduced in 2015, the Plenti Rewards Program is the country's first cross-brand loyalty program.

The idea behind it was to free the consumer from having to carry around a heavy keychain filled with loyalty cards—instead, they'll just have one card to use at a wide variety of retailers.

American Express, which oversees the Plenti Rewards program, bought Loyalty Partner in 2011, which operates similar multi-brand loyalty programs in other countries—and was the precursor to the U.S.-based Plenti program.

The Plenti Credit Card from Amex will work best in states where participating Plenti partners are located.

If you aren't conveniently located near key Plenti partners—such as Macy's, Rite Aid, and Exxon/Mobil—then the Plenti Card from Amex may not be worth signing up for.

New retail partners—such as Bi Lo, Harveys, and Winn Dixie supermarkets—are not located everywhere in the United States.

So if you don't have a Winn Dixie near you, for example, the card's special Plenti Partner offers at the supermarket won't be helpful.

Also, avoid using the Plenti Card from Amex outside of the U.S. since it has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

Check out these helpful store locators to find a Winn Dixie, BI-LO, or Harveys near you.

How the Card Works

The Plenti Card from Amex is a good fit for people who frequently shop at the retailers who participate in the Plenti cross-merchant loyalty program.

These include Rite Aid, Exxon and Mobil gas stations, Macy's, AT&T, Nationwide, Chili's, Enterprise, Alamo and National car rentals, Hulu, Harveys, Bi- Lo, and Winn Dixie supermarkets, Direct Energy, and Expedia.

Benefits

Entertainment access. American Express cardholders can purchase tickets to exclusive concerts and sporting events.

top 5 highest-grossing tours and concerts

Global assist hotline. If you are traveling more than 100 miles from home, you can receive free 24/7 access to emergency legal, financial, and medical services—though you will be charged by the third-party providers.

Lowest hotel rate guarantee. When you book a prepaid hotel rate on AmexTravel.com using your Plenti Card, and then find the same hotel room at a lower price online, Amex will refund the difference.

You must submit your claim prior to checking in.

Return protection. If eligible items cannot be returned to the merchant you bought them from within 90 days of purchase, Amex will refund you up to $300 per item (maximum of $1,000 per card member account) each calendar year if you bought the item in full on your Plenti Card.

Certain purchases, such as perishable items, computer software, and jewelry, are not eligible for return protection.

Roadside assistance hotline. Amex offers a free 24-hour hotline that will send you a tow operator or locksmith to assist you in an emergency.

While the hotline is free, you will still need to pay the towing company or locksmith.

Complimentary ShopRunner membership. Plenti cardholders can receive a free ShopRunner membership, which provides free 2-day shipping and returns for select items sold at many popular online retailers, including Staples, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ann Taylor, whose credit card we reviewed.

Car rental loss and damage insurance. If you pay for your car rental with the Plenti Credit Card from Amex, you can decline the collision damage waiver and still have coverage if the car is damaged or stolen.

Extended warranty. Amex will match the warranty if it is less than a year, and add another year to the warranty if it is more than a year, up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim, and a total of $50,000 per calendar year.

Purchase protection. Provides coverage of up to $1,000 per claim, with a maximum of $50,000 per card member per calendar year.

Travel accident insurance. If you pay the entire fare for a plane, train, ship, or bus ticket with your Plenti Card from Amex, you will be covered for accidental death/dismemberment.

Transportation Fatalities by Mode

Rewards

Sign up bonus. When you spend just $250 within three months of opening the Plenti Credit Card from Amex, you'll earn 5,000 Plenti points (worth $50).

This sign-up bonus is more easily attainable than other cards but is worth less too.

For example, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card offers a $100 sign-up bonus (twice as much!), but you need to spend $1,000 within three months to qualify (4x as much spend!).

3x Plenti points at supermarkets. You'll earn three points for every dollar spent at supermarkets using your Plenti Card by Amex, up to a maximum of $6,000 in a calendar year.

2x Plenti points at restaurants. You'll earn two points for every dollar spent at restaurants located in the U.S.

Interest rates and APR

The Plenti Credit Card from Amex offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months, which is longer than the average 0% interest promotional rate.

After the promotional period, you'll pay between 15.99-25.99% interest on any balance you carry on the Plenti Card from Amex, as well as balance transfers.

Be careful not to miss a payment, or you'll face a penalty APR of 29.99%.

Fees

The Plenti Credit Card from Amex has no annual fee.

However, there are other fees to be aware of:

Foreign transaction fee. 2.7%

Balance transfer fee. $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Cash advance fee. $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Late payment fee. $38

Returned payment fee. $38

Overlimit fee. $0

Other fine print

Unlike other rewards credit cards, which will keep your points active as long as you actively use the credit card, the Plenti points you earn with the Plenti Credit Card from Amex do expire.

On December 31 of each year, any Plenti points that are at least two years old will expire, so you'll want to make sure to redeem them before they do.

The good news is that you can redeem Plenti points in increments as low as 200 Plenti points (worth $2) at retailers like Macy's and Rite Aid, or at the pump at an Exxon or Mobil station.

What People Love About It

People love the Plenti Credit Card from Amex because they earn bonus points for paying their phone bill and picking up prescriptions.

People who regularly shop at Rite Aid say they enjoy the added perks of earning $5 off $40 orders or getting Plenti points for transferring prescriptions.

Those who have a cell phone with AT&T earn bonus points for paying their monthly bill. "I only signed up for it because of the AT&T account—I'll take that extra $5/month rewards," writes user Alexander Onishchenko.

wireless carrier subscribers in the U.S.

Biggest Consumer Complaints

The biggest consumer complaints about the Plenti Card from Amex involve not being credited for bonus offers completed through the Plenti website.

The Plenti website delivers partner offers that allow card holders to earn extra points when shopping at participating retailers through the Plenti site.

For example, a recent offer enabled Plenti rewards members to earn two points for every dollar spent on Expedia.

However, user Runi M. complained that even after purchasing a plane ticket from Expedia through the Plenti website, no bonus points were awarded.

"End of story, spent $630 for a ticket and got zero points from Plenti," Runi wrote.

Other consumers echoed this sentiment, saying that the Plenti rewards program made it frustrating and difficult to redeem points at certain retailers.

Another frequent complaint is the difficulty of having to link your Plenti membership account at each of the Plenti partners.

Just swiping your Plenti Credit Card won't earn you all the extra bonuses—you also need to scan or enter your membership number when making a purchase.

Lastly, the Plenti Card also requires an excellent credit score of 700 or more to qualify.

Key Digital Services

  • The Amex mobile app

    The Amex mobile app is helpful because it helps you track your spending on the go.

    Review recent credit card charges easily and quickly on the Amex mobile app, a free app that can be downloaded on your iPhone or Android device.

    To get the Amex mobile app, just text MOBILE to 86509 and receive a text message with the link to download the app.

    You can use the app to pay your bill, view and redeem rewards, and receive real-time fraud alerts.

How to Sign up for the Card

To sign up for the Plenti Credit Card from American Express, visit the American Express website.

Be sure to write down the date you apply for the card since your three-month window to spend the qualifying $250 in order to earn the 5,000 Plenti points begins the day you apply for the card—even if it takes a week or two for your new card to arrive.

To qualify to earn additional Plenti points at participating retailers, you'll need to sign up for a free Plenti rewards card before signing up for the Plenti Credit Card from Amex.

At most retailers, you will have to show your Plenti card when paying, in addition to using your Plenti Credit Card, to earn bonus points on your purchases.

How to Close Your Account

If you wish to cancel your Plenti Credit Card, call the number on the back of your card to speak with customer service.

There are no penalties for closing your Plenti Credit Card, but you do need to pay your balance off in full.

You will still have two years to redeem your Plenti points before they expire.

FAQ

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Plenti Card from Amex

  • Does the Plenti Card have an annual fee?

    No.

  • What are Plenti points and what I can redeem them for?

    Plenti is an innovative cross-merchant loyalty program designed by American Express.

    You can earn Plenti points at participating retailers and redeem them in increments as little as 200 Plenti points (valued at $2) at participating retailers.

  • How much are the Plenti points worth?

    Plenti points are worth 1 cent each.

  • Where can I use my Plenti points? What are the participating affiliated partner stores?

    Plenti's retail partners include Rite Aid, Exxon and Mobil gas stations, Macy's, AT&T, Nationwide, Chili's, Enterprise, Alamo and National car rentals, Hulu, Harvey's, Bi-Lo, and Winn Dixie supermarkets, Direct Energy, and Expedia.

    You can only redeem points at participating AT&T, Chili's, Exxon, Harvey's, Macy's, Mobil, and Rite Aid.

    For online redemption, you can redeem Plenti points at RiteAid.com and Macys.com.

  • Can I transfer my American Express Membership Reward points to the Plenti point system?

    Yes, but not the other way around. Amex sometimes offers a limited-time bonus for those transferring American Express Membership Reward points to Plenti.

  • Do I need to register anywhere in order to get Plenti points?

    Yes, before signing up for the Plenti Card, you'll need to visit plenti.com to register for a Plenti Rewards account.

  • Does this program offer air miles as rewards?

    No.

  • Can I get a cash advance and are there any related fees?

    Yes, but you'll pay a cash advance fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, along with interest of 15.99-25.99%.

  • Can I participate in the Plenti rewards program without signing up for the Plenti Credit Card from Amex?

    Yes, you do not need the Plenti Credit Card to participate in the free Plenti Rewards program.

  • Does this American Express card cover rental car insurance?

    Yes.

  • Do I have to use the Plenti reward card if I am using the Plenti Credit Card from Amex?

    Yes, you must show your Plenti rewards card even when using the Plenti Credit Card.

  • Is the Plenti Credit Card a 0% interest credit card?

    Yes, the card offers a 0% introductory APR valid for 12 months.

Decent rewards for no annual fee

There are a handful of reasons the Plenti Credit Card from Amex might be worth your wallet. If you regularly fill prescriptions and pick up toiletries at Rite Aid, fill up your gas tank at Exxon/Mobil, pay your monthly AT&T bill, and shop at Macy's, the Plenti Credit Card from Amex is a nice

Enjoy the rare rewards credit card with no-annual-fee. Typically, card issuers make back some of the money they doll out via rewards by charging an annual fee — often up to a few hundred dollars. You don't have to worry about that with the Plenti Rewards card.

Cash-in on the very-attainable sign-up bonus worth $50. When you spend just $250 within three months of opening the Plenti Credit Card from Amex, you'll earn 5,000 Plenti points — a $50 value.

Reap the Plenti points, and save on groceries and restaurants. Enjoy 3x points on groceries and 2x points at restaurants, which is a slightly better deal than it's competitor if you eat out a lot. That means you'll get 3 points for every dollar spent at a supermarket, and once you collect 1,000 points that's $10 in cash rewards.

Redeeming your points is easy if you shop at Plenti retailers. Still, the Plenti rewards program can be confusing since it works slightly differently at each participating store. So make sure you read the fine print related to each specific store you anticipate shopping at.

Take advantage of the 12-month 0% interest promotional rate. Stay tuned as American Express continues to add additional retail partners to the Plenti program.

Do you use the Plenti Credit Card from Amex?

How has the card worked out for you?

Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?

Let us know in the comments below.


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