A guide to Plink rewards

Plink is a rewards program that lets you earn points for shopping at various merchants.  The cool thing about Plink is that it is independent from other rewards you may earn such as store loyalty points, shopping portal points, and credit card rewards.  As a result, Plink provides opportunities to double, triple, quadruple, or even quintuple dip!

For background information about maximizing Plink point earnings, please see the following posts:

 

Redeeming Plink points

Once you’ve earned a bunch of Plink points, it’s simple to redeem them for gift cards.  Here is what my account looks like with a current balance of just over 2000 points:

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Most of the above rewards are gift cards with a very simple exchange rate: 1 Plink point = 1 cent gift card value.  For example, the $10 Amazon gift card costs 1000 Plink points.  Two of the rewards deserve more explanation, however.  The Tango Card opens the door to many more potential rewards.  And, the Airline Miles reward requires some explanation…

Tango Card

The Tango card is interesting because it provides a way to get other rewards besides those listed on Plink’s website.  The text next to the card says “Tango Card is the most versatile gift card yet. Select from top-name brands like iTunes®, Target, Home Depot, Starbucks and more. You can also also redeem any unused balance for cash.”

To test the Tango Card, I redeemed 1000 Plink points for a $10 Tango card.  A short time later, I received the Tango card via email:

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I activated my card, and explored the redemption options.  The Tango home screen showed the top level options: redeem the Tango card for gift cards, make a charitable donation, or redeem for cash:

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I was most interested to see about the cash option so I clicked the “redeem for cash” button to learn more:

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The text in the image above says that they “subtract a small administrative fee for the service.”  OK, fair enough.  How much is that fee?  Let’s look closer at the graphic:

Get Cash

OK, so they take 7% off the top, then take an additional 46 cents to cover postage of the check they’ll send.  Then, they’ll wait 30 days before mailing the check.  Ouch!  So, with a $10 Tango card, they’ll take 70 cents (7%) + 46 cents = $1.16.  You’ll receive a check for $8.84.  That means you’ll lose 11.6% of your $10 gift card’s value by redeeming for cash and have to wait 30 days.  No thanks!

So, with cash redemptions out the window, I returned to the home screen and selected “get top retail gift cards.”  Here were the choices:

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I think its great to have options like The Home Depot and Target.  I had to look up Rixty to see what the heck that was.  At first, it looked quite promising thanks to their tagline: “Pay online with Cash and Coins.”  I thought that maybe this was a Paypal-like alternative.  Digging a little deeper, though, it looks like it is designed to be a payment option for computer games.  I could imagine that as a nice present for my teenage son, but I wouldn’t get it for myself.

Anyway, I ordered a gift card to see how well the process worked.  As expected, I was able to redeem my $10 Tango card for a $10 merchant gift card.  Approximately 24 hours later, the e-gift card arrived in my email inbox.  Obviously, if you’re in a big hurry, this isn’t a good choice, but if you can afford to wait a day, the Tango card gives you some good options beyond those provided directly by Plink.

Airline Miles

Another Plink redemption that looks interesting is the option to redeem for airline miles. 

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For 10,000 Plink points, you get “$10 Airline Miles.”  What does that mean?  Nothing on the Plink website tells you how many airline miles you’ll get.  Through an email exchange with a Plink employee, I got the details:

  • 1000 Plink Points = 240 airline miles/loyalty program points
  • 2500 Plink Points = 600 airline miles/loyalty points
  • 5000 Plink Points = 1200 airline miles/loyalty points
  • 10,000 Plink Points = 2400 airline miles/loyalty points

You can redeem for any of the following miles or points: American Airlines Advantage, Frontier Early Returns, US Airways Dividend Miles, and Best Buy Reward Zone.

If you value Plink points at 1 cent each, then this is like paying 4.17 cents per mile.  That is an awful exchange rate.  Don’t do it.

Changes are coming

At the top of the Plink Rewards page is a message that says:

Why can’t I redeem for more than $10?
We’re updating how our rewards system works to give you more savings. Check back soon!

I asked Plink’s Chief Marketing Officer about this.  He said that we can expect larger rewards ($15, $25, and possibly $50) to be unlocked soon.  He also said that new options are coming, probably towards the end of this year.  So, if you don’t need your rewards right away, you might want to wait to see what they have in store.

Sign up for Plink

If you’re not already signed up, you’ll find a sign up link for Plink here: Sign-Up Links.  Sign up bonus offers change regularly.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Using your Chase Freedom (5% bonus) at 7-11 and linking it to Plink gets you around 15% back on Gas Purchases. Definitely a great deal. I just redeemed $35 in Amazon gift cards after a long road trip using only 7-11 Gas Stations.

  2. Plink offers really good targeted bonuses as well. I’ve already gotten 1,000 plink points for a $50 Dunkin Donuts gift card purchase plus my Citi Forward 5% = 25% back from Dunkin Donuts. They also have targeted me with numerous Quizno’s bonuses – 500 points for a $25 purchase plus my CitiForward 5% = 25% back on Quizno’s.

  3. Miler, this is a side question unrelated to the topic but please if you can help. I was stuck with HomeImprovement cards last month fiasco, got about 2k worth. I want to order Home Depot GC from UR website with 4pts, will I get the points with the physical HD cards. thanks

    • choi: Yes, that has worked for me in the past. One reader told me recently that he wasn’t able to get the payment to work for the gift card, but I don’t know if that was an isolated incident.
      .
      Nick: I don’t know

  4. Anyone have a clue as to what triggers the targeted bonuses? Just adding the merchant to your wallet and waiting? I know I regularly spend a couple bucks at Dunkin on coffee (not enough to trigger points), but have not been targeted with any bonus offers.

  5. I heard that there is some sort of policy out there that if you make a purchase using a merchant gift card and there is less than $10 left on the gift card after the purchase, then you can get cash for the remaining amount. If you want to redeem Plink points for cash, then it’s potentially possible to redeem Plink points for a merchant gift card, make a small purchase, and then cash out the rest of the merchant gift card.
    http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/s-11.shtml

  6. @Nick: I get targeted offers all the time for merchants that I’ve never added to my wallet. I’ve only ever added 7-11 and K-Mart, and both of those were after the promotions for those two went live.

  7. In my case, Quizno’s was in my wallet prior to receiving targeted offers. Dunkin Donuts was not in my wallet when I received a targeted offer.

  8. I signed up for PLink but the problem I see is that there’s not a lot of variety from where to shop. I don’t usually shop much at these places but when I do, I’ll try to remember the card I registered. Anyways, enjoy the referral :).

  9. Gary P: Not really, but just for fun:
    1. Redeem for Walmart gift cards
    2. Use gift cards to buy $200 Visa at Walmart.com
    3. Use Visa to buy miles from US Air or Avianca during 100% bonus promos

  10. I was looking today at reward options and they have gutted the choices! Only Regal, Overstock and B&N. No Amazon, no Walmart! I’m not even counting the airline or the charity options. I don’t know if this is temporary or not but it is not good.

  11. is there a limit on the number of transactions in a 30 day period. I bought Visa gift cards from STaples (1 or 2 per day). Received plink points for the first 8 transactions. After that didn’t receive any. Any idea if there is a limit on the number of transactions per store?

    • @RK – Email Plink, they’ve been very helpful for me when none of my points posted during the United 16X promo. It took a month, but I received all of my Plink points AND MileagePlus points after emailing them and forwarding all 12 order emails.

  12. In the case of dunkin donuts, i went into the store and bought a $50 gift card that i now use at the drive thru, then top it off for $20 more online to get more points.

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