American express runs an annual promotion called Small Business Saturday during which customers can earn a rebate for purchases made at small businesses using their registered Amex card. The purpose is to draw attention to small businesses in your area and for Amex to help out these businesses since they essentially pay a portion of a customers’ purchase. This year’s Small Business Saturday will be on November 28, 2015. Registration will be required but is not yet open.
Last year’s promotion provided us up to $30 in credit (only $10 per transaction though). All American Express credit cards, including personal and business, primary cardholder or authorized users, are eligible. Last year Amex was kind enough to allow Bluebird cards to be eligible as well, and for those of us in this hobby that meant a good amount of free money. If Bluebird cards are eligible again this year, I would look for “Redbird” cards to be eligible as well.
But is it actually worth it anymore?
It used to be easy. The credit used to be $25 (less than last year) but it could be done in one transaction. That made this promotion really easy for people like us to take advantage of. If you had 5 cards, you could simply stop by your favorite small business and buy 5 $25 gift cards in 5 transactions and leave. Now it’s 3 transactions per card, which takes exactly 3 times as long. That’s a lot of time spent for that free money. And as the Devil’s Advocate pointed out last year, Amex also removed gas stations and convenience stores from the list of eligible locations.
A person with 4 Amex cards and 4 Bluebird cards could get $240 in free money. That’s not a small amount, so you should think about whether it’s actually worth it or not. But just keep in mind that you’ll spend a lot of time trying to maximize this promotion if you have that many cards.
You can search for small business near you from this link (search function wasn’t working earlier). Once we have more details on the promotion, including which cards are eligible and how much we can get, I’ll be sure to post an update.