Like most consumers, my wallet is bulging with half a dozen co-branded credit cards that let me earn rewards at the places where I shop the most. Every time I approach the checkout I sort through my cards with all the skill of a Vegas dealer, carefully selecting the right card for the job.

But that popular, if somewhat tiring pastime may be about to go the way of the dinosaurs thanks to a new rewards program that American Express will launch in the coming months. The "Plenti" program is the first rewards program in the US that lets you earn and redeem points at many different merchants through just one rewards program.

The Plenti rewards program is a joint venture between American Express and partners Macy's, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Rite Aid, Nationwide, Direct Energy and Hulu. As soon as the program launches you will be able to earn and redeem rewards through a single rewards program at all of these merchants, with or without an Amex card.

An Ebiquity consumer research study commissioned on behalf of American Express at the end of 2014 indicated that a majority of Americans preferred to take part in a joint loyalty program featuring a number of retailers rather than maintain separate accounts for different types of purchases (see Amex news release).

American Express has successfully run similar multi-merchant rewards programs outside of the US, and personally I can't wait to give their latest rewards program a bash. Since I make purchases from many of these companies regularly (think gas, clothing, mobile phone service), I expect my rewards should add up pretty quickly.

Being able to earn points at all these retailers, and redeem them at any of these big name merchants also has a lot of appeal. For example, you can earn points when you tank up at Mobil or pay your Nationwide insurance premiums, and then redeem those points towards Hulu benefits or your Macy's fashion shopping. The number of rewards you can earn is up to the merchant, and can vary with special promotions.

The coalition plans to add nationwide retailers in other categories to the program to increase its appeal and usefulness to members.

Since the Plenti program is not connected to a specific credit card, you can use any accepted payment network and still earn Plenti rewards. That means you can combine the rewards this program offers with the cash back or rewards you earn with your rewards credit card by using your card to pay at Plenti partners, and score twice.

Credit CardFeaturesIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeWhy we like itWe least likeCredit RequiredRelated links
Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup>

Chase Freedom®

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

16.49% - 25.24% Variable

$0

Why we like it
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic.
Excellent/Good
Capital One<sup>®</sup> Venture<sup>®</sup> Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

N/A

17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Why we like it
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
We least like
  • No low introductory APR period.
Excellent, Good
Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
APPLY NOWAt Chase's secure website

N/A

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

$95

Why we like it
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Excellent/Good
Blue Cash Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • New 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • New 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
APPLY NOWAt American Express' secure website

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months

14.49%-25.49% Variable

$95

Excellent, Good