Amex Small Business Saturday Is Returning In 2016, But…

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 prior to last year American Express has made it especially lucrative for consumers by offering statement credits when cardmembers shop at small businesses on those dates. After all, nothing gets people shopping that time of year quite like saving money.

Unfortunately last year American Express changed things up. They still offered Small Business Saturday, but didn’t offer consumers any sort of incentive to participate. As a point of comparison, the previous years Amex offered the following:

  • A $10 statement credit after spending $10, up to three times (2014)
  • A $10 statement credit after spending $10 (2013)
  • A $25 statement credit after spending $25 (2010, 2011 & 2012)

Amex-Cards

It seemed to me like the concept didn’t gain as much traction last year, given that consumers didn’t have much of an incentive to spend at small businesses.

Well, the good news is that it looks like American Express Small Business Saturday will be returning in 2016. Amex has updated the webpage for the promotion to indicate that it’s on November 26 of this year.

Amex-Small-Business-Saturday

What hasn’t yet been clarified is whether there will be any sort of incentive for consumers to participate. While I doubt it will be as generous as before regardless (in other words, I don’t think they’ll offer $25-30 per card), it would be nice if they offered some sort of an incentive for consumers to participate. It’s a nice added bonus for holding onto some Amex cards long term, but then again, I get quite a bit of value out of Amex Offers as well, which more than justifies the annual fees on some of my cards.

As of now Amex is just advertising the opportunity to be a “neighborhood small business champion” for Small Business Saturday, though I’ll keep my eyes on the page in hopes of them adding something for consumers as well.

Do you think American Express Small Business Saturday will come with any consumer perks this year?

Comments

  1. If they’re smart they will. Otherwise I’ll do what the small businesses really like and use Visa or MasterCard. Then again if it’s like last year’s I’ll pass again.

  2. They did have targeted AMEX offers last year that IIRC were good for $10 at any small business during the whole month of Nov. I got 3 offers across my family’s cards. $30 is better than nothing.

  3. In the UK last year they did a similar thing called “shop small” in which you got a £5 credit for the first £10 you spent on each card in each participating business. So if you got the merchant to split a £30 purchase over three card you would get £15 worth of statement credits.

    Amusingly, since it is classed as an independent business, you could get the statement credits when shopping in Harrods in London!

  4. They did it last year as a targeted offer… I also received $10 for $10 on my amex cards… You just had to enroll in the offer…

  5. They misspelled “small business pariah”. 😉

    Ask any small business owner, and they will tell you that due to the much higher fees that AMEX charges, if you really want to a be “small business champion”, you will stick to using Visa and MC.

    And with no statement credit, their program last year came down to ‘make sure to use our cards this Saturday so we will make more money on fees’. Somehow I resisted that offer.

  6. I think Amex will be short sighted yet again this year, continuing their proud tradition of shooting themselves in the foot for the past 4 years.

  7. I had always marked my calendar for shopping on this date, but because of no incentive offered my AMEX, I will pass. Disappointed…

  8. If there is no incentive I will use my Visa or MasterCard since the venders really prefer that. And getting points is really meaningless.

  9. I really hope they come up with a consumer incentive this year. I agree with you that 2015 was definitely weaker than past years due to lack of consumer incentive.

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