Small Business Saturday is the Saturday that follows Thanksgiving as a push has been made over the past few years to turn shopping focus on the small businesses on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. American Express has been a part of helping to push that out to the consumers more and have done so by offering a statement credit on your American Express card for purchases made with that card at participating small businesses.
How do I get free money?
In recent years, American Express offered a $25 credit on all purchases of $25 or more. This was not just for one card but was applicable for all business Amex cards as well as the primary and additional cards assigned to each account! This was huge! It meant that someone like me, who has around 20 American Express cards in the house, could use each one at a participating store to collect a total of $500 in statement credits on purchases made (each card had to be registered beforehand and each card had to be used on a separate transaction).
This year, American Express dropped the credit amount to $10 per card. There was no explanation but given how many people participated using the scenario above, it is not too hard to figure out why they dropped the amount. 🙂 So this year, the terms are a $10 credit on any purchase of $10 or more at participating small businesses. You can only receive one credit per card but you can register and use as many American Express cards as you have – including those that are additional authorized user cards. $10 is still $10 so make sure you take advantage of it!
Free running gear
I was out of the country last year and unable to take advantage of it, but the year before, I went to my local Fleet Feet store (branches all over the country) and purchased four $25 gift cards on four separate card. So, I received $100 in free money at my running shop. Not bad! The best part about this deal for runners is that most running stores in towns actually will qualify for this credit! Check on the page below to see if your favorite running shop is listed and get ready to get some gift cards or gear!
How to play on Small Business Saturday
The week of Thanksgiving (probably the Monday before), American Express will have a registration page (check here for details) where you go to enter your credit card details. This does not charge your card at all but simply registers it for this promotion so Amex can get you your credit when you spend (I received notification of the credit immediately after spending). Make sure you sign up as soon as possible when that becomes available because it is for limited registrations.
There is enough time between now and then for you to start adding authorized users on your existing cards. This way, you can spread the wealth around to the family (or have them do shopping on your behalf!). To do that, simply login to your Amex account online and add authorized user. Or you can call in and do it.
While $10 free is still free money, I would not look at this as a reason for applying for an American Express card if you do not already have one. Hopefully you have at least one Amex card so you can get started enjoying Small Business Saturday.
Shop and Spend
Go to this website to search for applicable small businesses in your area. As I said, small running shops will more than likely be on there so you can get a lot of stuff. The best margin for credit will be if you only make $10 purchases (a $10 purchase or more earns the $10 credit). If you have a few different Amex cards, that is a lot of socks, gels, belts, bottles, and even small denomination gift cards! This could also be a great way to shop for the runner in your family and extend you shopping budget on their behalf!
Enjoy your free money courtesy of American Express and support your local running shop as well!