Published on April 8th, 2014 | by William Charles1
Plink.com Review – Is It Worth Signing Up For?
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Plink is a loyalty program, you earn plink points whenever you shop at one of the participating businesses. To enroll you must link one or more credit or debit card to your account, when you use that card to make a purchase at one of the participating stores you receive plink points.
Plink points are earned indepdently of other rewards programs, this means you can use them in conjunction with other programs to earn rewards multiple times for the same purchase. Plink points can then be redeemed for gift cards from 10 large retailers, you can also redeem them for cash.
You earn plink points whenever you make a purchase with one of their partners (these regularly change so I won’t list them here). The amount of points you earn will vary from merchant to merchant, but you’ll almost always earn less than one point per $1 spent.
You can redeem your plink points for gift cards. One plink point = one cent in gift card value. This means if you have 10,000 points you can redeem for a $100 gift card, if you have 5,000 points you can redeem for a $50 gift card. The minimum redemption amount is $5, but it varies based on the gift card you choose. All gift cards have a maximum limit of $100. They offer gift cards to the following companies:
- Amazon (min. $5)
- Walmart (min. $5)
- Kohl’s (min. $25)
- iTunes (min. $10)
- Tango (min. $5), tango cards can be used to redeem for other gift cards at 1¢ = 1¢, list is below (or click here for the official list):
- 1800 flowers
- The Gap
- Toys ‘R’ Us
- American Eagle
- The Home Depot
- Pottery Barn
- Bass Pro Shops
- The Sports Authority
- Facebook credits (min. $5)
- Overstock.com (min. $15)
- Fandago (min. $5)
- Barnes & Noble (min. $10)
- AMC (min. $15)
Redeeming for cash
To redeem for cash, users must select a Tango gift card. They can then use Tango to receive cash. Tango takes a flat fee of $0.46 and they also take a 7% fee AND you need to wait a period of 30 days.
- Redeem a $5 gift card = Receive $4.19 in cash (0.838¢ per point)
- Redeem a $10 gift card = Receive $8.84 in cash (0.884¢ per plink point)
- Redeem a $50 gift card = $46.04 in cash (0.9208¢ per plink point)
- Redeem a $100 gift card = $92.54 (0.9254¢ per plink point)
If you’re going to redeem for cash, it’s not a terrible redemption rate and it’s going to be better than getting a gift card and then unloading it via Gift Card Granny. Just make sure you build up as many points as possible first to try to counteract the $0.46 fee.
Usually either Office Depot or Staples is a Plink partner. Both of these retailers sell Visa gift cards, what people would do is use a card that gets a high reward rate at office supply stores (e.g, the Ink Bold or Ink Plus, which both earn 5x Chase UR points at office supply stores) and then use these Visa gift cards to reload their Bluebird checking account. They can then use the bluebird account like a regular checking account.
The fees on Visa GCs are usually around $5.95 and you’d earn 300 plink points which would help offset this fee. You can then stack this with other promos, like visa savings edge or shopkick to get even more rewards. In the end you’ll get about 2,500 Chase UR points and the fees from the activation will be cancelled out by rewards you earn from Plink and other independent loyalty programs.
You can also just use this for everyday spend though and you shouldn’t have too much trouble racking up enough points to redeem for a gift card as long as you shop at the participating retailers often.
One thing that I like about Plink is the emphasis it puts on security (unlike other applications, I’m looking at you, Credit Karma). They use 256 bit encryption, so on that front you shouldn’t need to worry about your credit card data being stolen. That being said, there have been plenty of instances where companies have claimed top notch security and then hadn’t been doing what they claim.
The downside is that they are almost always out of gift cards, which means that even when you do earn enough points you won’t be able to turn them into anything useful.
At the end of the day, it’s free to join and as long as you don’t purchase products you wouldn’t normally you should get some value out of it. If you don’t regularly shop at any of the participating outlets then I don’t think it’s worth exposing yourself to credit card theft for. If you are making use of stores regularly then it’s worth the relatively tiny risk. I just hope they are able to improve their stock of gift cards, so they at least have something available to their users.
Other similar programs: