Today is Small Business Saturday!

As I posted about earlier in the week, today is Small Business Saturday. Through this promotion you get a $25 statement credit for each registered American Express card (personal or small business card) with which you spend at least $25 at a small business in a single transaction today. Here’s a map where you can search small businesses in your area. Every unique card number should qualify, so if you have multiple authorized users on a card each should be able to get the $25 credit.

Anyway, excuse me for the afternoon, as I have $450 of American Express’ money to go spend, and hopefully you do too… šŸ˜‰


  1. Please note:
    Just because a retailer is on the list (because they accept AMEX), doesn’t mean they’re participating. Wine retailers are one of the exceptions. I urge readers to read the small print. I e mailed 2 wine stores I do business with and they says wine is a No Go.

  2. anyone getting confirmation emails after completing the spend? received them almost immediately last year, none so far this year.

  3. I went to Ono Hawaiian Bbq…got a free meal with purchase of a $25 gift card, Mr. Groobie did the same. Good deal…thanks Amex!

  4. I got one email confirm at 9:59a. Another blog said word around the interwebs is that confirms were coming out pretty regularly this morning, but then trailed off.

  5. @ dhammer53 — Hmm, how would the retailer know, because isn’t all the crediting done by AmEx?

    @ jettyboy — Have the Starwood personal AmEx, Starwood Business AmEx, AmEx personal Platinum, AmEx business Platinum, Virgin Atlantic AmEx, AmEx Premier Rewards Gold card, and lots of authorized users on each of them. šŸ™‚

  6. @dhammer53 When I go to the T&C, it says “Qualifying small business locations are those identified on the Shop SmallĀ® Map, available
    at” There’s nothing about business on the map that may not qualify. What it does say is that some business on the map may not exist (e.g., I see a lot of Circuit City locations).

  7. Our list/map was puzzling. Each city seems to return 20 pages with 5pp businesses. Ours read like a cemetary who’s-who list of long-dead restaurants. But when I searched for actual business names, they were listed and, when selected, generated a map label. I was told quite clearly that no map, no $25. i asked via twitter because some spots I successfully used last year (and still take AMEX) weren’t “mapped”.

  8. I had the same experience. The map lists restaurants that are out of business and long gone. Plus the map listed chain restaurants, Sunoco gas stations and lots of law offices. A local wine shop that was heavily promoting it was not listed on the map so I’m not sure what to think.

  9. I think the promo was screwed up this year by the lousy map application. Why have a map, which crashed a couple of times, and is slow as molasses, and requires you to know the address of the business.

    I probably couldn’t have used up my 9 cards if I wanted to use them at 9 different places. Wound up using them at 2 places, a fancy lunch for 4 cards and 5 cards at a favorite appetizing shop where I bought food, a t-shirt and 3 gift cards.

    At first I was kicking myself for letting go the SPG business cards for my wife and myself (as primaries, another two as authorized users) as the fee is essentially $50 less this way. But then I was content, because spending more would have been more stress than it was worth.

  10. I did find this on the alcohol topic, but if you’re excuding alcohol it seems like you would state it more clearly. KS Liquor in my area is approved small business and $25 would clear them out of any non-alcohol related items they have.

    “Small businesses that promote any of the following are not eligible for the Program: pharmaceuticals, drugs, politics, pornography or sexual aids, diet aids, gambling, liquor, tobacco, firearms/weapons, or any sensitive topic with respect to current events

  11. @Carl, that language quite clearly only appears in the Small Business Saturday Free Online Advertising PROGRAM. Those exceptions you outline are part of something else and not entirely relevant to the $25 credit promotion.

  12. I used 22 cards between me and my husband, purchased $25 gift cards from a Speedway gas station , they are on the LIST, and called AMex TO VERIFY, ALL GOOD? If a gas station is listed it is good to go.

  13. Out of town and left my (pre-registered) Amex at home. Can I buy something online? How do I find a list of online retailers? Thanks for your help!

  14. Man, I learned some interesting things about my neighbors and businesses they are apparently running (and taking AMEX) by panning and zooming around the map… šŸ˜‰

  15. @MVM – do any of your fav local restaurants sell gift cards on their web site? (Check for participation, of course)

  16. To add some data point….i used 11 registered cards today at around 11am EST. Just receive my first “thank you for shopping and supporting small business” email at 10:32pm

  17. Well. I just went through my cards. Used them up on a Square purchase and two local gas stations. We will see what clears when the dust settles, though it would be nice to have the $75 back.

  18. Does the e-mail confirm that a qualifying purchase has been made?

    The three emails that I’ve received so far say “Thank you for using your enrolled Card ending in XXXXX and for supporting Small Business SaturdayĀ®!”

    However, on last year’s email it said “Congratulations, you completed all qualifying transactions on your Card ending in XXXXX. Expect a statement credit in 3-5 days.”

  19. Starting at ~12:30 AM EST, over the next hour, I got “Thank you for shopping small” emails for each of the three cards I registered. Same wording as quoted by mangoceviche above for the ones received.

  20. Very disappointed in this promotion here in Bellevue WA. Went to 3 businesses that were listed on the Amex Shop Small website and all 3 businesses refused to take Amex card, saying either they’ve never taken it or cancelled years ago.

    The promo feels like a scam by Amex to use customers to pressure businesses to take Amex.

  21. Got my 3 out of 4 Amex emails… The last one was used late in the evening – so hopefully, that will show up soon! It was at a Liquor store – I have seen somewhere that they may not be eligible, even if it shows up on their Small Biz site… Any one knows for sure?

    I saw that the President also went shopping on Small Business Saturday – I wonder if he registered and used his Amex šŸ™‚

  22. @Carl. It’s unfortunate that their website directed you and others to businesses that are either closed or don’t accept Amex. However, given the scope of this thing, is it any surprise that there are some technical glitches. Overall, this is a pretty amazing program. We’ve taken advantage of it for the past couple years to get $150 worth of free stuff. I went somewhere last year as well that ended up not taking Amex. Big deal. Try calling before you head out next time.

    A scam? It’s certainly a marketing effort. I wouldn’t call it a scam by any means.

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