NEW YORK (AP) — Filling up on gas at an Exxon station can now earn you a discount on a T-shirt at Macy's: That's the idea behind Plenti, a loyalty program launched earlier this year that lets users earn rewards for purchases from a variety of businesses.

I tried Plenti for a few months, and although it takes a few minutes to set up, I found it to be an easy way to earn a few bucks back on money I was spending anyway.

HOW IT WORKS:

Plenti uses a point-based system that converts back into cash that can be used at certain business that take part.

Spending that earns points includes paying AT&T cellphone bills, buying gas at Exxon Mobil stations, shopping at Macy's department stores or Rite Aid drugstores, paying auto or property insurance premiums at Nationwide, paying bills from energy provider Direct Energy, signing up for online video streaming company Hulu, or renting a car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National or Alamo.

Signing up for Plenti is free and can be done on its website or inside a partner's store. Although Plenti is run by credit card company American Express, no credit card is needed to use it.

Plenti gives users a plastic card that can be scanned in stores or gas stations. Plenti's app has a copy of your card, too, so you don't have to carry around the plastic one everywhere. If you want to earn Plenti points through a credit card, the company offers a Plenti-branded American Express card that earns one point for every $1 spent anywhere. Its other cards don't earn Plenti points, but American Express reward points can be converted into Plenti points.

The amount of points you can earn varies at each partner, but in most cases, every $1 spent earns one point. There are exceptions: At Exxon Mobil gas stations, one point is earned for every gallon of gas bought.

There are also ways to earn more. At Macy's, for example, buying clothing earns one point for each $1 dollar spent, but buying perfume or makeup earns two points for each $1. Check each partner's website to see how Plenti points can be earned.

Once 200 points are earned, they can be used as cash at certain Plenti partners. Each 100 points is equal to $1, so cashing in 200 points will get you a $2 discount. Point balances can be checked on the Plenti website or app.

THE GOOD

Plenti is easy to use, especially if you already frequent the partners that are part of the program. I linked my Macy's credit card to my Plenti account, so any purchases I make at the department store automatically earn points, without me having to pull out the Plenti card. You can also link Plenti to your AT&T or Nationwide account once, and it will automatically earn points.

There are also chances to earn more points through special offers. Rite Aid, for example, offered 100 points for buying three packs of Halloween candy. The bonuses are posted in stores and also on Plenti's website and app. Sometimes you need to click on the bonus deal to activate them, but many are activated automatically.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD

The places you can earn points are limited. Out of the seven corporate partners, I use only two regularly: Macy's and Rite Aid. American Express says it expects to add more partners soon. Another drawback: You can't spend Plenti points at certain partners, such as Nationwide. But that may change, too. AT&T, for example, started letting Plenti users cash in their points at stores last month.

Plenti requires some time setting up. You'll need to go to the each partner's website to make sure your Plenti card is registered. You can also do this inside Macy's or Rite Aid stores.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Plenti is worth the minimal effort required to set it up. Even though it doesn't work many places yet, it is likely to get better as more businesses take part.

It won't save you a wheelbarrow full of cash, but since June, I earned 247 Plenti points, mostly from a shopping trip at Macy's. I cashed the points at Rite Aid after a message on the cash register said I could use them on my purchase. I agreed, and got $2.47 off batteries and soda, a discount I wouldn't have had otherwise.

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This story has been corrected to say that AT&T does allow users to cash in Plenti points.

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ONLINE:

Plenti: https://www.plenti.com