Registration is live for 2012. American Express has confirmed that they will bring back Small Business Saturday (SBS) on November 24th, 2012, where you can get a $25 statement credit per card for shopping at any small business and spending $25 or more in a single, in-store transaction. You must link up your American Express card first, and registration starts on November 18th at 12 AM Mountain Standard Time (2 AM Eastern). The number of participants is limited and this promo is getting quite popular, so I would plan on enrolling some time during the first day to be safe.
This year, in an apparent attempt to avoid confusion as to what qualifies as a “small business”, AmEx is stating that you must visit a business located on their Shop Small® Map at ShopSmall.com or one of these Square merchants that take AmEx. I tried it out and the directory is pretty thorough, although I’d avoid the map and look carefully instead at the text listings on the left. Many, many places to choose from. If you don’t have anything specific in mind, even gift cards to a local restaurant, grocer, hardware store, or clothing boutique count.
I think this is a very creative way for American Express to tell the public that they’ve greatly increased acceptance of their cards at small businesses, which has always been their relative weak spot due to their slightly higher fees for the merchant. (It also makes small business that aren’t accepting AmEx to think twice…) A small business owner yourself? This year AmEx is offering some free geo-target online advertising for you.
I’ve already mentioned that the only annual fee card I voluntarily pay for is the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express which has an annual fee of $65 (first year is free). But I love that promotions like this effectively cancel out the annual fee. My wife gets her own card as an authorized user with no additional annual fee. As each American Express card has its own unique number, each one can be enrolled separately for a $25 credit. Multiply that by the multiple AmEx cards that my wife and I have, and we’re getting over $100 with SBS.
You can also get the same perks from no annual fee AmEx’s like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express with 3% back at supermarkets (now first $6,000 a year) all year round. Prepaid and Corporate cards will not work.
Selected fine print:
1. Limit one (1) $25 statement credit per American Express Card. To be eligible, Cardmembers must enroll an eligible American Express Card in this offer at ShopSmall.com. Prepaid and Corporate Cards are not eligible.
2. The number of enrollments is limited. Enrollment opens at 12:00AM MST (“Mountain Standard Time”) on November 18, 2012, and will continue until 11:59PM MST on November 24, 2012 unless the enrollment limit is reached sooner.
3. To receive the $25 statement credit, the Cardmember must use his or her enrolled Card to spend $25 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, November 24, 2012. To receive the credit, the transaction must equal $25 or more (for example, if your transaction is only for $15, you will not receive a credit). Multiple transactions of less than $25 will not qualify even if the combined total of those transactions is over $25.
4. Qualifying small business locations are those identified on the Shop Small® Map, available at ShopSmall.com. In addition, small business locations that accept American Express through Square also qualify and can be found on the Square Directory at https://squareup.com/directory/?cmpId=amex or from your mobile phone using the Square Wallet app. Small business locations that do not appear on the Shop Small® Map or that do not accept American Express through Square will not qualify for the $25 statement credit offer.
6. Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 8 weeks after American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information about your qualifying purchase from the merchant until all of the items from your qualifying purchase have been provided or shipped by the merchant.
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