Over the past few years, American Express has been extremely generous in handing out statement credits for shopping small, otherwise known as swiping your Amex at non-corporate local businesses.
In fact, last year they gave enrolled cardmembers 3 $10 statement credits per American Express credit card when spending $10.
In other words, you could earn $30 for spending $30 on a single Amex card. The beauty of this promotion was that you could enroll ALL of your Amex credit and charge cards, meaning the savings were exponential.
That meant I could earn $120 in credits when spending $120 at local businesses near me. I mostly went to liquor stores and small wine shops to purchase wine (hey, it was simple).
I also made my wife an authorized user on two of my credit cards, which meant she also earned $60 for $60 in spending.
In total, we snagged nearly $200 in savings on Small Business Saturday last year thanks to the very liberal policy employed by Amex.
But this year the promotion changed. Some assumed they wouldn’t be giving out the credits at all, perhaps because what I just explained was seen as abuse.
Or maybe Amex is feeling the need to tighten the belt a bit and stop handing out lots of free money.
In any case, they announced a month or two ago that instead of statement credits, they’d be increasing their support of small business owners with marketing, free online ads, and other promotional stuff.
Are You Targeted?
But this past weekend, Amex cardholders began noticing targeted statement credits for Small Business Saturday in their Amex offers.
I logged in and found the offer on both my Amex Blue and Amex Blue Cash cards, though not on my authorized user accounts or on Amex Serve. I also can’t manually add it to Fidelity Amex.
So I’ll be getting $20 for spending $20 this year, which pales in comparison to last year but is still better than nothing.
And I have until November 28th to spend the $10 at participating stores, as opposed to having to do the spending on one specific day.
Be sure to check your accounts to see if you’ve been targeted for this promotion and add the offers quickly if you were. I’m assuming enrollment is limited.
Tip: Some people argue that you should launch all your Amex accounts in separate browser windows at the same time in case the offer goes away once you add it to one of your cards.
For example, once I added it to my Old Blue card it may have no longer been available on my authorized user accounts.
You can try this is if you think it’s true, but it might just be a myth. I didn’t do it so I’ll never know if I truly missed out, but I’m happy to get my free $20 this year.