Plink, an online-to-offline rewards program, today announced surpassing more than 50,000 locations where members can earn Plink Points. Plink members can now earn for travel purchases, including airfare, hotel and rental cars.
“This is on track in terms of where we thought we would be,” Peter Vogel, co-founder and CEO of Plink told Loyalty 360 of the company’s location milestone. “We expect to be at more than 100,000 locations by the end of the year. We were at 30,000 locations at the end of last year when we added some senior level sales support staff who provided a significant lift for us.”
Vogel added: “The larger and the more diverse coalition that we put together, the more rewarding it is for our members – the quicker they can earn rewards. With 50,000 locations, this is the largest coalition that we know of. There are others that are 10,000 or 15,000; but we don’t know of any others this large.”
The latest new companies and locations are all in the travel industry. Plink added its travel channel at the end of 2012. Companies that started to offer Plink benefits today are:
· American Airlines, which enables travelers to book flights to more than 260 destinations in more than 50 countries and territories.
· InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), which enables travelers to reserve rooms at more than 4,500 hotels in nearly 100 countries, including IHG’s brands: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewoood Suites.
· Enterprise Holdings, which enables travelers to rent a car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent A Car at one of their more than 6,000 locations nationwide.
“Travel is a huge category and we’re excited to provide our members with this new way to earn rewards with many of the most well-known brands in the world, Vogel said. “It brings us a step closer to our ultimate goal of being able to reward our members for every single purchase they make.”
The American Airlines and IHG participation gives Plink overseas exposure, but international expansion is not a focus for the company, according to Vogel. Instead, the company wants to have partners in every vertical so that a consumer can buy virtually any type of good or services through a Plink partner.
“Consumers are becoming accustomed to being rewarded for almost everything that they do,” Vogel added. “The tracking of loyalty rewards is becoming easier. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with the sharing and the tracking of their loyalty information online.”
Loyalty programs are becoming even easier to use and track with the advent of mobile wallets, Vogel added. Though the Plink program today relies on the use of a registered physical credit or debit card rather than a mobile wallet, which Vogel said are still only in very light use today, the company is in early discussions with some mobile wallet providers about being a loyalty partner.
Vogel added that while there are hundreds of mobile wallets available today, many of those will likely fall by the wayside in the next couple of years as that portion of the payments industry consolidates.