WOW: Amex Is Offering 2x Points At Small Businesses For The Rest Of 2016

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Historically American Express has championed Small Business Saturday, where they try to encourage people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In past years they’ve given cardmembers an incentive to do so. Unfortunately they didn’t last year, and while we know Small Business Saturday is returning this year, we don’t know if they’ll offer cardmembers any rewards for participating.

However, Amex has just announced a huge promotion encouraging people to shop at small businesses for the rest of the year.

American Express is offering double points when you shop at small businesses with your enrolled Amex card through December 31, 2016.

amex-small-business-double-points

The basic terms of this promotion are as follows:

  • Enrollment is required for each card individually
  • Only merchants listed on the Shop Small Map are eligible for this offer, and those merchants are subject to change
  • Both primary and authorized cardmembers are eligible for the promotion; just register the primary cardmember, and the authorized cardmembers will automatically earn bonus points as well
  • Bonus points should post 10-12 weeks after the end of the promotion
  • You’re capped on earning bonus points on the first $100,000 worth of spend on personal cards and $250,000 worth of spend on business cards

You’ll want to see this page for a listing of all cards eligible for this offer. This lists the eligible cards, how many bonus points you’re capped at, etc. As you’ll see, this offer includes many of Amex’s co-branded credit cards.

So not only can you earn a bonus Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on cards like The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, but it also works on cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressPlatinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, etc.

Amex-Cards

Bottom line

American Express has been losing market share to some of their competitors lately, but I think this is a brilliant promotion, as it will cause people to put Amex cards at the top of their wallets when visiting small businesses. I’m most excited about:

  • Being able to earn additional points on non-bonused spend, including two Starpoints per dollar spent with the SPG Amex or 2.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent with the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card (which you earn as long as you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle)
  • Earning up to 5.5x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at independent grocery stores using the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card

What do you make of Amex’s new small business promotion? Will it impact which card you use at small businesses?

(Tip of the hat to Deals We Like)


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Comments

  1. From the faq page

    Can Additional Card Members enroll in the 2X Rewards Shop Small offer?

    No. Only Primary Card Members (Basic Card Members) are eligible to enroll in this offer. However, enrolled Primary Card Members can earn 2X Rewards for purchases made at qualifying small businesses by all Additional Card Members (supplementary Card Members) on their Card account.

  2. Think this includes 2X on the 6X HHonors categories? So 12X on supermarkets, restaurants, etc?

  3. @James Orlowsky Sadly the terms and conditions page advises one extra point in those situations and not double based off the bonus points. 12 percent cash back with my amex blue preferred would have been insane. I will have to settle for 7.

  4. I’d appreciate the advise. I have multiple Amex Cards (Simply Cash, SPG, PRG, Hilton Surpass, and OBC (which isn’t eligible)). The most obvious local place I shop at is restaurants. Now with this promotion I would receive 2 SPG points, 3 MR points on the PRG, 4% with the Simply Cash, or 9 Hilton HHonors points. What would people recommend?

    Thanks for the help.

  5. Ok I lied. I have the business spg so it’s necessary to click on the open link for business cards. My mistake!

  6. I have the Amex biz platinum. I charge about $15k a week with them and they are enrolled in shop small. Do we get 1.5x for purchases over $5k and 2x for shopping with small biz??

  7. This goes well with the 5K bonus offer I just got for my SPG AMEX. They’re trying to figure out how to compete with the CSR with all these promos.

  8. @Jeff is absolutely right. AMEX is spooked shitless by the CSR’s success and are throwing everything they’ve got to try to be remain competitive. It ll take much, much more than what they’ve offered to date…

  9. I was super excited when I read this. After all, the lists in the past had lots of places I’d like to patronize more. Then I saw this year’s list: several Pet Hospitals ( I don’t have any pets), several lumber companies (no major projects in the works), a whole bunch of dentists (not about to change mine for a point per $), a driving school and a towing service. So far no business I would even think of shopping at.

    This is one of those BS offers that initially gets one excited about using your card, and then leaves you very disappointed. I think I’m actually LESS likely to use my AMEX cards now. 🙁

  10. I am going to use this a ton. I am seeing more than two dozen retailers in a town of about 25,000 – bookstore, art galleries, clothing stores, travel/luggage, etc. Just about every place in town other than Ace Hardware, Walgreens, Starbucks and Safeway.

  11. @ Jeff and Another Steve Lucky you. Based on your comments I expanded my search out to 50 miles around me, and still nada. Unless I get a sudden urge to buy a violin, or perhaps get a tattoo. 😉

    I thought for a moment I’d found a great one, as my local high quality at an extreme discount wine shop is listed. In the past they’ve told me that if they took AMEX they’d lose money on each sale due to the high fees AMEX wants to charge them. So I called right away, and no, they still don’t take AMEX, 🙁
    so I wonder who made up the list?

  12. Most of the small businesses around me seem to be restaurants. What’s better? 2 SPG points or 3 UR points?

  13. This looks cool, but I’m getting “502 Bad Gateway” when I try to load the map. It isn’t possible they’re pulling the plug on it already, is it?

  14. @Kaj @Charles S This is the offer I received for my Hilton AMEX:

    We are pleased to confirm your enrollment in the American Express Shop Small® offer.

    Use your enrolled Card from now through December 31, 2016 to earn 2X rewards by earning 3 additional Hilton HHonors™ Points per dollar spent at qualifying small businesses on the Shop Small Map, available at shopsmallnow.com. This offer is available on up to $100,000 in purchases. See terms and conditions.

  15. I received an error when I tried to sign up my SPG card but came back 10 minutes later and it worked so maybe try later if it doesn’t work. A ton of places near me are eligible including places I don’t think of as small like Equinox and The Dry Bar. A couple of auto dealers as well…

  16. Lucky..just an observation that others may want to know

    Plastiq is a small business!! I have been using Plastiq for several months and have some auto pay bills on it.

    I had registered all my Amex cards for the small business promotion and when I looked at MR point list, I got the Small Business bonus for Plastiq charges including the fee, so if Using Everyday Preferred, you get 2.5 MR rewards for Plastiq purchases. And redeeming through Platinum Business..for flights doubles that to about 5% return, More than compensates for Plastiq fee.

    Merry Christmas

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