I would highly recommend registering sometime on Sunday to guarantee your spot, as the number of registrations is limited. The actual day that you must make your purchases is Saturday, Nov 29, 2014. Details are below.
Have you made your SBS Game Plan? Remember that authorized users of eligible cards are also eligible for this promotion. Given that it is three separate $10 credits per card, it’ll make your live easier if you plan out your purchases ahead of time. Here’s my list:
Local grocery stores. There’s one where I can find the sunflower seed butter for my kid, and the one with the good raw lasagna.
Local restaurants and coffee shops. Just make sure they take AmEx!
Local doggie bakery. Usually too pricey for me, but a good place for gifts!
Local sporting goods stores and bike shops. Buy some tennis balls, some little things for my bike, etc.
Local hardware stores. These are a dying breed, but there are still some non-Home Depot small business hardware stores in my area.
Local bookstore. Another rarity, but there happens to be one next to a local restaurant we like!
If they sell gift certificates, buy them! If you only want to spend $10, you can say those can make good stocking stuffers. If you would otherwise buy a $25 certificate for a gift, hey that’s still 40% off what you would have paid. Also don’t be shy about using more than one card at a place. AmEx is paying those $10 credits, not them, so the merchants should still appreciate your patronage.
Original Small Business Saturday 2014 post:
American Express has confirmed that they will bring back Small Business Saturday (SBS) on Saturday, November 29th – two days after Thanksgiving.
The significant change this year is that now it is up to three separate $10 statement credits, for a total of up to $30 per eligible card. Details from the Official Terms and Conditions [pdf]:
Limit three (3) $10 statement credits per eligible American Express Card. To receive the offer, Card Members must register any eligible American Express Card for this offer. Corporate Cards and all prepaid Card products (other than American Express Serve® and Bluebird®) are not eligible.
The number of registrations is limited. Registration opens at 12:00 A.M. MST (“Mountain Standard Time”) on Nov 16, 2014 and will continue until 11:59 P.M. MST on Nov 29, 2014, unless the registration limit is reached sooner.
To receive the $10 statement credit, the Card Member must use his or her registered Card to spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, Nov 29, 2014.
Other important terms and tips:
Qualifying small business locations appear on the Shop Small Map.
If you don’t have anything specific in mind, even gift cards to a local non-chain restaurant, grocer, hardware store, or clothing boutique count.
In all previous years, additional authorized user cards have been eligible for their own $10 credit. (Authorized user cards with AmEx get their own unique card number.) I see nothing that changes that in this year’s rules. Many American Express cards offer additional cards for free to authorized users like your spouse, partner, or older children.
Most prepaid cards are not eligible, but American Express Bluebird and Serve cardsare eligible. Given that these cards are free to obtain (officially you can only have one or the other, though) this is another path to an additional free $30 of small business patronage in 2014.
Small Business Saturday remains a very creative way for American Express to tell the public that they’ve greatly increased acceptance of their cards at small businesses, which has always been their relative weak spot due to their slightly higher fees for the merchant. (It also makes small business that aren’t accepting AmEx to think twice…)
This is a great perk for American Express cardholders. With a little advance planning multiple credits are very easy to get… I’ve gotten them every year without issue.