Amex cardholders can get $50 in cash back for shopping at small businesses

Posted: 30 June 2020 1:40 pm

Outdoor Dining on Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

New $200 million campaign provides a bonus to help bolster small business health.

American Express just announced a new program on Monday aimed at incentivizing cardholders to buy from small businesses as they continue to recover and navigate through the challenges of the pandemic. This program, called the Shop Small Campaign, offers up to $50 in cash back — $5 at a time — on purchases made at small businesses through September 20th.

The $200 million allocated for the Shop Small Campaign is just the latest round of support from American Express, which has championed Small Business Saturday, the local-focused shopping initiative the day after Black Friday every year, since 2010.

How do I qualify for the Shop Small Campaign?

To qualify for Shop Small Campaign cash back, you need to enroll your eligible card through Amex Offers by July 26th. Eligible cards include US American Express consumer and business cards, as well as registered Serve and Bluebird cards.

If you possess multiple Amex credit cards, you can only enroll one of those cards in the program.

How do I earn my cash back?

On each qualifying purchase at participating small businesses, you’ll earn $5 when you spend more than $10. You can earn this cash back up to 10 times prior to September 20th, for a maximum of $50 cash back. Online purchases are also eligible for this offer.

You’ll need to enroll your card in the Shop Small program and use that enrolled card for your purchases in order to earn your statement credit.

How can I see what small businesses are participating?

You can check your local eligible small businesses by going to the Shop Small website, clicking on “Explore Businesses” and entering your zip code. Merchants that registered their business with Amex will populate on the map.

Amex also offers a directory of eligible small businesses that accept online payments. You can find this directory by checking out the “Offer FAQs” on the Shop Small website.

Rules and exceptions for the Shop Small program

Once you’ve enrolled in the Shop Small Campaign, you can generally shop like normal and enjoy your statement credits automatically. However, there’s some fine print to keep in mind:

  • Purchases made with a payment account or via third party may not be eligible. This includes card readers and websites that aggregate small business purchases, such as Amazon.
  • Most mobile wallets are safe to use. Making a small business purchase through Apple Pay, for example, will earn you the statement credit.
  • Most food delivery services aren’t eligible. Even if you’re making a purchase from a local small business, you won’t earn your statement credit if you make that purchase through DoorDash or similar services.
  • Returned or canceled purchases may void your credit. Amex may remove statement credits added to your account if you return or cancel the associated small business purchase.
  • You might not see all eligible small businesses on the Shop Small map. Only 100 businesses are listed on each map search. If a favorite small business isn’t showing on the map, you’ll want to call the business and ask if they participate.

Photo: Getty Images

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