Is This The Worst Email Ever From a Loyalty Program?

American Express Plenti is a ‘coalition rewards program’ that lets you earn points for doing business with a variety of merchants. They’re the rewards program businesses like ExxonMobil, Macy’s and Hulu.

Since its launch a little over a year ago, the only big addition to Plenti’s stable of partners has been… Chili’s. That’s not American Express’ hoped-for growth.

Now we’re already seeing some devaluation on the earning side of the program. I received the following from AT&T yesterday:

Thank you for being a Plenti® member. This is a notification of an upcoming change to Plenti points from AT&T.

…Effective September 1, 2016, AT&T is changing the way Plenti points are awarded under the current terms of the program. These new changes mean that you may no longer receive Plenti points, or may receive fewer Plenti points, for your monthly wireless service charges.

…You will see these changes reflected in the monthly Plenti points awarded starting with your bill cycle that ends on or after September 1.* An announcement later this year will include more details about these upcoming changes to how you can earn Plenti points monthly.

AT&T wants me to know that:

  • Their earning relationship with Plenti is changing.

  • The change is coming September 1.

  • And they’ll tell me later what that change is.

In fact they’re telling me to expect no notice changes because a new less rewarding earn program goes into effect September 1 and they won’t tell customers what that is until their bills which end September 1 or later.

What’s more, the earnings change will be retroactive because it applies to the entire bill ending September 1 or later.

This may include eligible charges incurred prior to September 1, 2016.

I’m genuinely stretched to think of a single member communication in 20 years paying attention to loyalty programs that’s as inept.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Mine was a bit more telling. I deleted it quickly because Plenti is crap, but I recall it saying they will award one Plenti point for every $2 of AT&T spending. I believe it is currently 1:1.
    Whatever.

  2. This is the email I got

    Thank you for being a Plenti® member. This is a notification of an upcoming change to Plenti points from AT&T.

    Currently, as a member of Plenti with an account linked to your AT&T wireless service, you are eligible to receive Plenti points for eligible charges on your AT&T wireless service bill enrolled in paperless billing. You are also currently eligible to receive 1 Plenti point for every $1 spent on eligible merchandise purchased at att.com and at AT&T-owned locations.

    Effective September 1, 2016, AT&T is changing the way Plenti points are awarded under the current terms of the program. These new changes mean that you may no longer receive Plenti points, or may receive fewer Plenti points, for your monthly wireless service charges. These changes will also alter the way points are awarded for purchases of eligible merchandise, such that you will be eligible to receive 1 Plenti point for every $2 spent on eligible merchandise.

    You will see these changes reflected in the monthly Plenti points awarded starting with your bill cycle that ends on or after September 1.* An announcement later this year will include more details about these upcoming changes to how you can earn Plenti points monthly. In the meantime, you can continue to earn Plenti points from AT&T on Plenti offers found on plenti.com.

    Your Available Points balance will not be affected. Plenti points can be used for savings on select in-stock purchases and on your wireless bill at AT&T Company stores. You may view your account, including your Plenti points activity, at plenti.com or on the Plenti mobile app.

    Thank you for choosing AT&T and Plenti.

    Sincerely, AT&T

  3. I like how it says the following “These new changes mean that you may no longer receive Plenti points, or may receive fewer Plenti points, for your monthly wireless service charges”

    may no longer or may receive fewer????

    Just tells us the deal already, WTF.

  4. Is Plenti even worth bothering with? I primarily signed up for points at Exxon/Mobil. All it typically offers is a deffered $0.01 per gal rebate. They often offer bonuses for Exxon/Mobil, but lately those bonuses have not been actually credited.

    Plenti said they would tie to my grocery (Roundy’s) discount card. But never a point has come over.

    Is it worth punching in a really long account number or carrying the Plenti card everywhere you go to swipe at the gas pump? (In contrast, BP Rewards allows you to simply punch in your phone number at the pump or link it to your credit card–and incentives are much more than $0.01 per gal).

  5. What dumbass came up with this program. If you can call it that. Yes maybe or not will see. All but maybe not. Might get points or some or not. It’s a secret.

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