AT&T raises the bar for Plenti customers ahead of launch of 'thanks'

AT&T (NYSE: T) has begun telling customers that it's reining in its "Plenti" rewards program just weeks before it launches its "thanks" campaign.

Plenti launched in May 2015 and enables customers to earn and redeem points at a variety of partners including ExxonMobil, Macy's, Nationwide Insurance, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hulu. Users earn points every time they pay their bill and when they buy phones and accessories from the carrier, and points can be used across brands or earned at one brand and used at another.

But the nation's second-largest carrier earlier this month began sending subscribers an email saying they will soon need to spend twice as much on AT&T merchandise to earn points and may no longer earn any points for paying their bills.

"Currently, as a member of Plenti with an account linked to your AT&T wireless service, you are eligible to receive Plenti points for eligible charges on your AT&T wireless service bill enrolled in paperless billing. You are also currently eligible to receive 1 Plenti point for every $1 spent on eligible merchandise purchased at and at AT&T-owned locations," the carrier is informing customers in the email.

"Effective September 1, 2016, AT&T is changing the way Plenti points are awarded under the current terms of the program. These new changes mean that you may no longer receive Plenti points, or may receive fewer Plenti points, for your monthly wireless service charges. These changes will also alter the way points are awarded for purchases of eligible merchandise, such that you will be eligible to receive 1 Plenti point for every $2 spent on eligible merchandise."

An AT&T spokesman confirmed the move but said it is unrelated to the carrier's "thanks" program, which was announced earlier this year and will launch in two weeks. Thanks will reward subscribers with exclusive entertainment offerings such as two-for-one movie tickets on Tuesdays and pre-sale ticket deals from Live Nation, as well as special content for DirecTV users on their phones and TVs.

"Plenti and AT&T THANKS are different programs," a spokesman told FierceWireless via email. "Plenti is a points-based program that customers must enroll in to allow them to accrue points based on spend. AT&T thanks is an automatic customer benefit program that provides customers perks just for being part of AT&T."

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