Plink Quietly Closes its Doors Today and a Look Back at Plink’s Journey

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Plink Quietly Closes its Doors Today and a Look Back at Plink’s Journey

I received the email from Plink a few minutes ago and several readers forwarded the email to me as well.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, our beloved Plink shut down this afternoon and sent this email to members:

Plink Closing Email

I wrote a few posts about Plink (see the subheader above).  Come with me as we remember Plink’s life in a series of photos… 

I signed up for Plink sometime last year with a quick sign up link on their home page.

Join Plink

I was a Plink virgin without a Plink Point to my name…

No Plink Points

… but that didn’t last long.  Just for adding my Chase Ink Bold to Plink, I earned my first 300 Plink Points.

300 Plink Points

Now I had to make some tough decisions, which offers would I add to my Plink Wallet?

Plink Wallet Merchants

The Staples offer looked good to me (and everyone else).  I could earn 300 Plink Points for each $60+ purchase.  I was going to buy $200 Visa gift cards from Staples anyway, so this was $3 of free money for each gift card purchase.

Staples Plink

I started racking up the Plink Points by the hundreds…

Plink Points in Account

…and I started redeeming the Plink Points by the thousands… Amazon egift cards all the way!

Plink Amazon Card

Times were good.  Maybe too good.  Plink had to make a change since they were probably losing too much money with their Plink Points.  Then Plink implemented a limit on the number of rewards you could earn for Staples purchases each month.  You could *only* earn up to 3,000 Plink Points per month.  No big deal…

Old Staples Plink

After the Staples offer ended, Office Depot swooped in and took its place.  Life was good.

Office Depot Plink

Shortly after adding Office Depot, Plink added the 3,000 Plink Point monthly limit…

New Office Depot Plink Details

After the Office Depot offer ended, we did not have any good Plink offers after that.  That was strike #1.  Then the Amazon egift cards and other rewards started drying up.  That was strike #2.

Out of Plink Rewards

Every few weeks, Plink would restock the gift card section, though.  There was some hope left.
Plink Reward GCs 7-10-14

But those rewards would sell out fast…

Out of Plink Rewards

To get more traffic to Plink, they started offering contests for sending Facebook statuses and Tweets to your friends…

Plink Winners

…and I ended up winning a few contests for $25 in Plink Points, which I redeemed for Amazon egift cards.

Plink Raffle Winner Email

This pattern continued over the last few months with no new advertisers being added and the digital gift card rack barren for weeks at a time.

If you used Plink during the “good ol’ days,” you could tell that Plink was going downhill.  Would they be able to stop the skid?  Would they be able to bring back a really lucrative partner and revitalize the service?  We waited and waited to see what would happen.

Nothing happened, until today.  Strike #3.  Out of the blue, they decided to shut their doors and close their doors.  They were nice about sending out emails to their members, but I feel bad about those of you who had 500+ Plink Points in your Plink account.  Poof, they are gone.  All that is left behind is this short message on their website…

Plink Website Notice

Plink was very good to me.  I accumulated over 21,000 Plink Points ($210+ in Amazon egift cards) over the last year.  I will miss accumulating and redeeming my Plink Points.

21000 Plink Points

You were a good friend, Plink, and I wish you could have made it.  You were too ahead of the times and just couldn’t keep the cash coming in consistently.  I hope a new start up with Plink’s concept comes around and fills the void in our heart/points community.

RIP Plink.

36 thoughts on “Plink Quietly Closes its Doors Today and a Look Back at Plink’s Journey

  1. Sam

    Grant – I had $50 worth of points that I did not redeem. Does it mean it’s all gone now? I was saving points for something big! Costly mistake. Any work arounds? Already contacted their support line.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      That is a major bummer, hopefully their customer service will be able to offer you some kind of compensation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Please let me know what happens with your request. Best of luck!

      Reply
      1. Eric

        Should have redeemed it when you had a chance. Not sure why you would be harvesting Plink pesos when they could be shutdown at any moment. I don’t understand why people have a hard time of understanding that you always redeem when you have a chance because its not like the e-gift card values expire. Oh well lesson learned for you in that you ALWAYS redeem when you can.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Yes, I agree. I always redeemed my Plink Points ASAP when I had enough Points and my gift card of choice was in stock. It will be a hard lesson to learn for some people and I feel bad for them.

          Reply
    2. Laura

      I had about $5 worth of points and live on a very low income. I really was looking forward to redemption of those points to help with the purchase of a new cell phone that would save me money on the monthly bill. This may not be the fault of Plink, but I feel somewhat betrayed.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        I feel your frustration Laura. I know a couple of people who had large balances of Plink Points that they lost. There is probably nothing that can be done now, but I’m sure a new cash back option will be around soon.

        Reply
    3. Gigi Hadley

      I have the same problem. I was up to $50+ and was hoping to redeem a gift card that would be useful to me; when I was ready to collect I was repeatedly informed that the cards within my point range were all sold out — this went on for weeks/months; and now I have lost it all. Very disappointing. I don’t even remember receiving an e-mail stating that Plink was shutting down until the day it closed. Big huge bummer — should’ve cashed in a long time ago. :-(

      Reply
      1. Grant

        I’m sorry Gigi, Plink did not do a good job managing their gift card stock. I hope you were able to redeem some gift cards before Plink shut down.

        Reply
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    1. Eric

      Are you kidding me? Plink doesn’t owe you anything. It is your fault if you did not redeem your Plink points in a timely manner. When a company goes bankrupt they don’t have to honor any reward program points since any money or assets the company has will go to the creditors which need to be paid back first.

      Reply
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  4. CK

    I’m just glad I left Plink (changed my card’s password) a few days before this happened. In my case, I left behind only $2.98 in points but I feel for those who had accumulated higher amounts and have nothing to show for it. What really annoys me is Plink’s lack of transparency and honesty this past year, plus the excuses they gave for running out of rewards: that they were “investigating some unusual Plinking/redemption patterns” so they couldn’t pay out its members. They’d rather make us Plinkers feel like one of us was doing something sketchy and abusing the program rather than owning up to their own shortcomings. That’s a nasty and lowlife scumbag way of doing business, IMO.

    Reply
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  6. Ian

    Hi Grant,
    Glad to see your blog is still going strong. I lost some Plink points, I think I had only about 150 or so in my account so it wasn’t much of big deal I usually cash in my points / miles as soon as I am at a threshold where I can convert them to miles or hotel points or giftcards etc. We never know when a program will disappear or their points are devalued. This happens more often than we want in this hobby.

    I have a question that is not related to Plink. I am a Marriott Gold Elite through the beginning of 2015. I got it through a challenge in 2012. I had to make 6 stays at Marriott hotels to get it. I would like to continue having Gold Elite, is there a CC that offers Gold Elite to it’s holders? Is there an easy way to keep Gold without staying at 50 hotel nights or whatever number they have?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Good morning Ian, thank you for the question. The Chase Marriott rewards credit card gives you 15 night credits toward elite status. Which automatically give you silver status with Marriott. You can try for a status match from a competitor hotel chain. I think elite challenges are no longer an option. Hopefully one of those options works for you.

      Reply
  7. Jason Heinen

    Grant, is there any relationship between Plink and Memolink? That is what all the chatter is saying..just wondering who to avoid. I am beyond frustrated, I was at 18,600 points….

    Reply
  8. Barb

    I’m in the same boat as everyone else; I was saving up to get several gift cards for family this fall in anticipation of nice little Christmas gifts. It would seem that Plink should have to give a reasonable time period to its’ members of the impending closure. Such as the end of the Stouffer points program. They sent out emails 7/1/2014 to notify participants that the program is ending in December 31, 2014. Very disappointed that the points are now “floating in a cloud” and lost to redemption.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I’m sorry to hear that Barb. I agree that Plink should have provided advanced notice and an opportunity to redeem Plink Points for gift cards. I’m hoping that you can get some type of compensation.

      Reply
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  10. SG

    I’m pissed..i had 1450 points but i couldnt redeem them because ALL of the gift cards were out of stock, which was the case from day 1..all that goin to dunkin donuts for breakfast every morning for nothing..all those lunches at panda express..for nothing..this f’n sucks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      We are all upset about the sudden closure of Plink. There were people that had $100+ in Plink Points that they lost overnight with no warning or way to liquidate. I agree with you, the gift card supply did not last very long and all the gift cards went fast.

      Reply
  11. Theresa McGallicher

    I am so bummed to read about this. I too was saving up for a big gift card. When I finally had enough points, the gift cards continued to be out of stock. Thought I would check back in today and found this post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      That is a major bummer, Theresa. I would redeem my Plink points for a $5 GC as soon as I could. I knew Plink was unsustainable based on the payout rates. Did you get a chance to redeem any Plink Points? How many Plink Points did you have?

      Reply
  12. James

    Plink went under due to heavy scamming by users. Several months before they closed their doors, I had a lengthy phone conversation with Plink CEO Peter Vogel. I brought to his attention a major loophole in their offline shopping rewards system. Their rewards software worked by scanning a user’s credit card statement for certain business transactions for which it issued reward points. The problem with this system was that it was an easily hackable system where anyone using a cellphone payment processing app such as Square could simply set their own in-app business name to show up exactly like one of the legit merchants which tricked Plink’s system into issuing rewards points for transactions that they never really got paid on. The scammers were simply swiping their credit cards on their cellphone, paying themselves buy with the transaction showing up on their cc statement as let’s say for example “Burger King 948367956730; Loc 6532 Support 1-800-Burger-King” or something to that effect. Basically they would have had to shop at the merchant at least once prior to know what it would show up as on their statement, but after that they could clone the business name in their Square acct. Square would take about 3-cents on the dollar as a fee, but the Plink rewards were worth much more per transaction. It was shortly after that they abruptly closed their site down literally overnight. My guess is that they had no way to make that system work as long as payment processors like Square existed.

    Peter Vogel was soon after named CEO of Memolink (coincidentally located at the same address as Plink and with the same contact phone number. Look up both businesses on the BBB.org website. Their contact info is identical.

    With Memolink’s website being down since basically December of 2016, the entire scenario resembles the abrupt Plink exit. I would not be surprised within the coming days or weeks to see a notice posted on their website that they have shut down and no more rewards points will be able to be redeemed.

    This seems to be their business strategy. Pay out rewards for a while, then stop paying out rewards, take the site offline for a few months, and then post a notice of closure. In turn, walking away with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unpaid rewards.

    I would not be surprised if a brand new rewards program pops up shortly after they close. And even more unsurprising would be if the contact info was identical to both Plink and Memolink.

    Reply

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