New Amex Offer Gives Cardmembers up to $50 to Spend With Small Businesses

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Eligibility is limited for the Amex Offers discussed in this post. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.

Enrollment in this offer ended on August 23, 2020. The original enrollment deadline was July 23, 2020.

For years, American Express has been intentional in its support of local businesses. Have you ever heard of ‘Small Business Saturday' — the Saturday after Thanksgiving where people target small businesses for their holiday-season patronage? American Express started that in 2010. Now it generates billions of dollars in revenue each year for small businesses.

Unfortunately, many of our favorite small businesses continue to bear the brunt of the financial fallout from the global pandemic. Recognizing this, Amex has just announced a new Amex Offer incentivizing cardmembers to #shopsmall. Through September 20, 2020, Amex cardholders can receive up to $50 in statement credits for purchases at small businesses.

Joseph Badaro, a fellow points enthusiast, managed to open a successful restaurant called Hummus(Labs)¹ in Pasadena, CA on April 1, 2020—in the middle of a pandemic!

Key Terms

  • The incentive is available as an Amex Offer, which must be activated by August 23, 2020 (originally July 26)
  • Amex cardmembers will receive a $5 statement credit for spending at least $10 at a Small Business
  • You can use the offer up to ten times for a total of $50 value in statement credits
  • Deadline to make purchases with this offer is September 20, 2020
  • Offer available on all U.S. American Express consumer, small business, Serve, and Bluebird cards

A key difference to note with this offer is that—unlike typical Amex Offers—virtually all Amex cardmembers will be able to add it and utilize it. Typically Amex Offers are targeted and capped on how many cardmembers can take advantage of an offer. However, each cardmember is limited to enrolling in this offer on just one card. So, make sure to choose which card you want to enroll before clicking “Add to Card”.

Locating a Qualifying Small Business

Not sure which businesses qualify for the offer? Amex has a handy tool to help you figure it out. When you log into your online American Express account, you should see a widget titled ‘Useful Links', under which you'll find a link to ‘Find Places to Shop Small‘.

When you click that, you're redirected to a page with a search function and map powered by Google Maps. You can search through the thousands of local merchants of all kinds, filtering by your location, a general area, or searching by name. If a vendor has a circular badge next to its listing that reads ‘Shop Small', you know:

  1. It's a local establishment worth supporting.
  2. It will qualify for this Shop Small Amex Offer.
You can use the filter dropdown menu to filter for different merchant types, like restaurants and shops, as well as for merchants that qualify for the ‘Shop Small' incentive.

Alternatively, since the American Express vendor map doesn't require you to log in, you can access the same search feature simply by following this link and select the “Shop Small Map” filter.

Final Thoughts

Throughout the lockdown, a lot of our favorite small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat. In some cases, this has resulted in widespread closures and appreciable changes to our communities. As consumers, we can help to support the small businesses we love with our ongoing patronage, a fact that American Express is acutely aware of. This ‘Shop Small' Amex Offer is a fantastic way to incentivize cardmembers to do their part.

What's your favorite small business?

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  • Just a heads up that it looks like they moved the signup date back. It’s now enroll your card by 8/23.

  • I’ve found the #shopsmall map to be one of the most useful things of the whole Shop Small promotion – so many places that I didn’t realise accepted Amex actually do now. It’s an added benefit and means I’ll be pulling out the Amex much more often now!

  • This is a great idea from Amex while supporting local business in this global situation ! It’s great to have a huge company having this special help to local business!

  • Good Job Amex! I am user and its sound very good

  • Is there a waiting period before you can redeem this again? Can you make two purchases back to back at the same store?

  • Weng Keong P Loh says:

    Amex is stepping up their game. This is great to help local businesses. Nicely done.

  • Good promotion also available in uk £50 instead of dollars. Also more time to use

  • I first heard about this offer through my Marriott Bonvoy card but I suspected that it might only be good for one card. I prefer Amex points so I enrolled my Blue for Business Card. It’s the one that I would want to use for this type purchase.

  • The map is a pain to use, moving it around and looking different places. I guess that will really boost the ‘local’ for me.

  • Cherie Hamilton says:

    Will definitely sign up and support the local businesses. It is great news that AMEX is bringing this back.

  • Jack Hamilton says:

    Used to love the small business saturday back when they would reward you with a financial incentive. It has been a while since a financial award has been attached so I will definitely use this and reward a lot of my local businesses which are struggling right now.

  • Glad to see the support for small businesses.

  • My favourite Amex Promotion, and a great time to bring it back

  • This is always a brilliant promotion, and a good reason to make use of the (free) supplementary cards available from Amex to ensure others in your household can take advantage too… you can even get a supplementary card in your own name 😉

  • Linda K T says:

    A few of my local restaurants are in the “Shop Small” list as well as part of the Rewards Network Dining programs (AA Dining, Rapid Rewards Dining and others). Enroll your chosen Amex in the Dining program of your choice, and get additional points/miles when you Shop Small at local restaurants.

  • Cool offer. Definitely going to use this at some favorite local restaurants.

  • Happy to see this promo back, especially at a time like this… if only it was back in its original form, where it worked on each card and even AUs!

  • What a great promotion from AMEX. With all of the smaller local stores being heavily impacted by COVID-19, this gives me great incentive to go out of my way to purchase with small businesses. Also, while using these kind of awards can be vague and confusing sometimes, it seems like AMEX is making it easy to know which stores will qualify. Can’t wait to make a purchase!

  • Brian Kessler says:

    Does this work for AMEX Blue Cash? I will give it a try, great incentive.

  • Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Awesome. Just signed up. Haven’t used that card for a few years. Thanks!

  • We must support our local small businesses and if we happen to earn more miles then this is a no brainer.

  • Honestly a great little program. Their map of small businesses is easy to use and many would surprise you. I know we are going to pick up groceries today and will use it to get a discount from Spangles when we’re getting groceries. Love AMEX!

  • If I sign up for the promo on 6/30/20 do I start getting credit for purchases immediately or not until after the 7/26/20 date?

  • Great, win-win promo. I’m glad to see lots of businesses near me that are participating.

  • We should all support small businesses especially during this pandemic.

  • This is really cool.

    Does the merchant code identify if a business is big or small? Interesting how they know what is big and what is small.

  • A good promotion from Amex which will hopefully provide some stimulus for small local operators.

  • This is certainly very creative of AmEx. Especially combining this with the Aspire credit, it would be an interesting combination.

  • Irene Carreras says:

    This is such a cool treat and win-win situation. Amex members can obtain a free benefit and small businesses can boost their finances a bit in this crazy pandemic times. Come on Visa, you are next now 🙂

  • Easy way to get a free $50 in statement credits while helping out small businesses. Why Not?

  • Does anyone how this deal would work with the Hilton Aspire resort credit on restaurants if it is a small local restaurant?

  • Melina Natalia Erlich says:

    Well done for Amex!