I’d bet that everyone that reads this miles and points blog also likes free money. I’d further bet that many that read also like supporting small businesses, and that many of those have American Express credit and charge cards. If you fall into those three categories and aren’t familiar with these three words, Small Business Saturday, then this post is for you.
If you aren’t familiar with Small Business Saturday, essentially the way it worked the last couple of years is that you registered each Amex you have (including authorized user cards that have different account numbers, but excluding corporate cards or gift cards) in November, and then you used them to shop at small businesses (i.e., not Home Depots, Sears, or other large chains) on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30th) in order to get “free money”. Amex has defined eligible small businesses (in the merchant FAQs) as those that:
- Accept American Express Cards
- Have a business location in the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia
- Have 25 or fewer locations
- Have $3MM or less in net American Express charge volume for calendar year 2012
There has been a list of some eligible small businesses available in past years, but the list was not all-inclusive. Then, as long as you charged at least $25 on your registered Amex that day at a small business you received a $25 statement credit for each registered card. It was fantastic. It sounds too good to be true, but it is real! I bought lots of $25 gift cards to local restaurants that I then used throughout the year. It was also a great way to support local businesses after so many of us spent big bucks on Black Friday sales at the chain stores the day before. Amex has not publicly verified this is the way it will work again this year, but so far there is no reason to think it will be dramatically different.
Cards issued by American Express, like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and Starwood Preferred Guest Amex, certainly worked, but Amex cards issued by other banks, such as the AAdvantage Citi Amex also worked. Both small business and personal cards worked. I would be thinking about which Amex cards you have tucked away, so that you are able to get them all registered in case Small Business Saturday works the same way this year as it did last year.
You can register your email address now with the shopsmall.com website so that you will hear the details as soon as they are announced. Here’s to hoping this holiday shopping season is as rewarding as the last few years! How has Small Business Saturday gone for your family in recent years?