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.