Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Smaller Business Saturday - Nov 30

A few months ago, I discussed a great American Express promotion called Small Business Saturday where you register your American Express credit cards and earn $25 credit/card when you spend at least $25 at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's especially relevant since my father's been helping a friend start a small business called Five Star Painting IL.

The good news is that Amex has confirmed they are repeating the promotion again this year on November 30th. The bad news is that Amex is lowering the credit to $10/card as reported by OneMileAtATime.

While this is certainly less lucrative than usual (last SBS, my parents received $200 of statement credits across their 8 American Express cards), free money is still free money. So between the 18 cards we have in our family, we should still be able to clear $180 worth of value this year.

Also, given the lower $ spend requirement ($10 of purchases at small businesses), we should find it easier to make the smaller purchases at our local dry cleaners, sandwich shop, wine stores, etc. So no more hoarding your dirty laundry to get your dry cleaning bill up to $25 or ordering 3 sandwiches for lunch. Some more tips:
  1. Split larger purchases into multiple transactions on different Amex cards (i.e., instead of one $30 dry cleaner bill and only getting $10 back, we can split it to three $10 charges and get all $30 back). 
  2. Another option would be to buy a bunch of $10 gift cards at your favorite local restaurants so that you can use them whenever you want later.
At first, when I heard about the lower credit amount, I got pretty upset. But then again, I have the maturity of a 23 month old (literally). But then my parents explained to me that we should be thankful they're running the promotion at all. $180 is still a lot of coin for a toddler.

So here's a recap of how you can take advantage of 2013 Small Business Saturday.
  1. Find all the American Express Cards you have.
  2. If there's no extra fee, open authorized user accounts for your parents, siblings, etc.
  3. Make sure you receive the additional cards well before registration opens on November 24.
  4. Register each card as soon as you can on November 24th, because you never know when they'll close registration.
  5. Receive a confirmation from American Express for each registered card.
  6. Spend the week searching online to see which stores qualify as Amex Small Businesses.
  7. Enjoy Thanksgiving Thursday with your family and friends.
  8. Avoid Black Friday madness where you end up buying junk you don't really want. Junk (no matter how discounted and cheap) is still junk.
  9. On Saturday November 30, spend at least $10 at small businesses using each Amex once.
  10. Wait for the $10 statement credit on each card about 3-5 days later.

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