American Express has been championing Small Business Saturday for the past several years, which is intended to promote small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving (given that there’s also Black Friday and Cyber Monday around those dates).
It’s a great concept, and in past years American Express has made it especially lucrative by offering cardmembers statement credits when they shop at small businesses on those dates. After all, nothing gets people shopping that time of year quite like saving money!
As I wrote about in August, American Express confirmed that Small Business Saturday will be returning this year, on Saturday, November 28, 2015.
That being said, they haven’t unveiled all the details yet, as they typically only do that within about a month of Small Business Saturday. As mentioned above, in past years Amex has incentivized consumers by offering statement credits for shopping at small businesses on that date. Just for some context:
- In 2014, Amex offered a $10 statement credit after spending $10 at a small business, up to 3x per card
- In 2013, Amex offered a $10 statement credit after spending $10 at a small business, up to 1x per card
- In 2012, Amex offered a $25 statement credit after spending $25 at a small business, up to 1x per card
Unfortunately it looks like that will be changing this year, and American Express won’t offer statement credits for Small Business Saturday this year. Via the FAQs:
Is there an American Express Statement Credit Offer for Card Members for Small Business Saturday this year?
As in years past, American Express will continue to drive awareness of Small Business Saturday and encourage consumers to shop small through local and national advertising.
This year we are not offering a statement credit offer for Card Members on Small Business Saturday, but are instead increasing the support and resources we provide to help small business owners market the day within their communities and truly make it their own. Learn about the materials we make available at ShopSmall.com/GetReady:
- Customizable marketing materials
- Free online ads
- Shop Small merchandise kits (while supplies last)
- Educational event guides
We are also significantly expanding our grassroots advocacy efforts, such as the Neighborhood Champion program, to facilitate more community events and activities to engage local communities to shop small on Small Business Saturday.
I’m sure this will disappoint a lot of members, though at the same time I figured this would happen sooner or later, given how much in statement credits many people were getting out of this. At the same time, without the statement credits, I’m not sure how engaged consumers will be. Customizable marketing materials, online ads, merchandise kits, and educational event guides can only go so far in getting people into stores.
How do you feel about Amex not offering statement credits for Small Business Saturday this year?
(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)