Date founded: January 2012
Who can join? Anyone with a Facebook account and a debit or credit card
How does Plink work? Plink is a free rewards program that allows you to earn points redeemable for gift cards when you use a registered debit or credit card to make purchases at participating restaurants, movie theaters, and gas stations. They are also piloting Target stores. You can only register one card, so choose the one you use most often. Plink rewards are in addition to any other rewards your debit or credit card may offer you.
Participating merchants include Taco Bell, Burger King, Quiznos, Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Red Robin, Outback Steakhouse, 7-Eleven, and the Regal Entertainment Group movie theaters (Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theatres, and United Artist Theatres).
Available rewards start at the $5 level and include gift cards to Walmart, Kohl’s, Barnes and Noble, Regal Cinemas, Macy’s, Overstock, Zappos, and American Eagle.
Company background: Plink was co-founded by two of the executives behind Memolink, one of the first online rewards program. Plink is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the National Restaurant Association. The company received $3 million in funding in July 2012 from an investment firm that also helped to fund LivingSocial, Advertising.com (later sold to AOL), and many other tech firms. This follows an April 2012 angel investment round netting the company over half a million dollars. Obviously some people with deep wallets feel this company has serious potential.
My take: Although initially hesitant to give out my bank login and password in order to register my credit card, I was reassured by the fact that the founders are well-known veterans of online rewards programs. Since signing up in January (it’s September 2012 as I write this), I’ve had no problems with account security or unauthorized use of my registered card. My experience with Plink has been completely positive and I’ve been paid by them multiple times.
I highly recommend Plink – it offers a simple way to earn free gift cards for dining out and going to the movies — something you’d do anyway — and these rewards are on top of any other debit or credit card rewards that come directly from your card issuer.