Tomorrow (11/26) is American Express Free Money Day! (aka Small Business Saturday)

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Black Friday has resulted in some serious point hauls for my family.  While I am ecstatic about the number of points we earned for purchases we were going to make anyway, we certainly did our fair share of spending to stimulate the economy today.  🙂  So, I am very happy to remind you all that tomorrow is “American Express Free Money Day” – otherwise known as Small Business Saturday.

Admittedly, much of my spending today was at large chain stores, so I think it is perfect timing to not only spend some “free” money, but do it at local small businesses.  I have many family members who make a living with their small businesses, so I have a close personal connection to wanting to see mom and pop shops succeed.  I also have a close personal connection with wanting free money, so here is a reminder about how Small Business Saturday works:

  • Register each and every American Express card and additional cardholder cards you can find.  I know many of us have quite a few cards and additional card holder cards in our house!  This promotion applies to Amex cards actually issued by Amex (such as the Starwood American Express, Premier Rewards Gold Card, Gold Delta Skymiles, etc….) as well as Amex branded cards that are actually issued through banks like Citibank such as the AAdvantage American Express Card.  They all reportedly worked last year, and have all been registering just fine this year.  For the additional card holders, only the ones issued by Amex seem to work since they technically have their own account numbers.  The additional card holders on the Citibank ones are the same card number.
  • Tomorrow (11/26) go out and spend at least $25 at a small business on each card that you registered.  Of course, the small business has to accept American Express cards.  Here is what Amex says about what qualifies as a small business: Eligible small business merchants are independently owned small businesses located in the United States that accept the American Express Card. Purchases made at large or national chain stores, at franchised business locations and at government agencies are not eligible. Prepaid, Corporate Cards and ExpressPay transactions are not eligible.
  • There is no all inclusive list of all eligible small businesses, but you can get some ideas about some eligible small businesses in your area by going to the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
  • The $25 you spent on each card will be repaid to you in the form of a statement credit that is generally issued within 5 business days after your qualifying purchase, but may take up to 2 billing cycles to post to your account.

It’s really that easy.  Free money, revenue for local shops, and maybe even some bonus points for you!  As I mentioned, I will be using my seven Amex cards (counting the authorized user cards) to get gift certificates to a local restaurant that will be doing the catering for Little C’s upcoming birthday.  They are on the dining rewards plan, so I will be earning bonus United miles while getting “free” gift certificates, while getting credits toward the United “Months of Miles” targeted promo, and the “Sweeten the Deal” dining promo, while stimulating the local economy.  That has the making of the perfect day in the Mommy Points world!

So, where will you be spending your Small Business Saturday money??

Disclosure: Some of the links to various American Express cards in this post are mine, some are not.  For those that are mine, I will receive a commission in the event that you are approved for the card by using my link.  All links listed are to the best available sign-up offers that I am aware of.  I love my own Amex cards, and I love free money (Small Business Saturday!), so whether I get paid or not, I really do think that Amex has some great promos for their card members!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. […] Small Business Saturday rocked!  I have loved reading all of your success stories.  All seven of my registered cards worked beautifully and I received confirmation emails for my purchases within minutes.  We bought seven $25 gift cards to a local restaurant.  They were also giving away an extra $5 gift card for each $25 gift card purchased.  So, not only did we get $205 worth of gift cards for catering for my daughter’s birthday (cause we are not cooking two days before Christmas!), but we earned 875 United miles through the Dining Program (5 miles per dollar), plus 525 United miles for the Sweeten the Deal dining bonus, plus seven transactions for the United Months of Miles promotion for a total of 2,333 miles.  That is a grand total of 3,733 miles to go along with our $205 free dollars!  Thank you American Express! […]


  1. I’m going to generously treat my family to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ll need some creative explanations for why I want to split the check with myself three ways.

  2. .
    We start by going to a tree farm to cut a Christmas tree, which is conveniently listed on the Small Business site. The 3yo seemed to channel Charlie Brown when we first mentioned cutting our own tree, “you can’t kill it!” Next is lunch at a restaurant, also listed on the site. Most of the other credits will likely be used to get $25-30 GC at a local spa Ms. Ike enjoys. Gotta do something for the woman who puts up with me. 😉

  3. My Corporate Card won’t work so my wife has an Amex Blue Rewards card (which I don’t recommend because the AMEX “reward” points don’t count the same as normal AMEX Reward Points). She is either going to buy something at a local shop or buy me lunch at a local I-Dine Member for double dip on US Airways points.
    Oh and Bluto when you tell them to split your bill at the restaurant just tell them the truth and give them a little extra tip for the effort.
    Thanks Mommy Points for telling us about this promo I would have missed it.

  4. Not looking good…their facebook page to find businesses has crashed…it won’t come up at all. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.

  5. Don’t forget that only first 100,000 people get the $25 credit. Now it doesn’t specify if that’s the first 100K who registered their Amex cards or the first 100K who shopped on Saturday. Buyer beware!

  6. If you registered and got an email I am pretty sure you are fine. There really weren’t too many issues with this promo last year, so I am hoping their won’t be this year. As for their FB site, there is no inclusive list of shops. There are suggestions of stores, but it isn’t a whole list. Just go to a non-chain store small business. I’m about to head out to a local restaurant myself!

    • @Caveman, oh no!!! Sorry you didn’t get to register in time. I know I registered my last one I had forgotten about last night around 9PM Central, but sounds like it ended some time sooner after that.

  7. Just finished -phew!! 20 purchases including 11 additional card holder cards and I have already received an email confirmation from AMEX stating statement credit will appear in 3-5 biz days. Thanks AMEX!!

  8. @Hola, sounds like they hit max registrations late last night. I will post if they do an extensions or additional registrations this year, but for now there is no way to do additional registrations.

  9. Correction to previous post. Final count was 24. I used all 9 additional card holder cards at one wine store (collected 9 x $25 gift certs). The owner was well aware of SBS, and was very happy to accept my business 🙂 I am just waiting for them to call me back now to see if they will accept my brother’s 10 additional card holder cards via phone. This could get even sweeter! I also used 6 AMEX cards for a $150 gift cert for my wife and a local hair salon she has been wanting to try. The rest were on local restaurants we go to for lunch/dinners, so we’re very happy.

    (Disclaimer: I acquired all the additional card holder cards from the AMEX Argentina promo – earn 10k AMEX points for first purchase by additional card holder which many of us registered for [we’re all still fighting that battle] but I am pleased to have managed to get something out of those additional 9 cards in the meantime).

  10. I went to my local brewpub and bought a QUANTITY of $25 gift cards. The cashier wasn’t too sure about it, but the manager said, “Buy as many as you possibly can!”

    Project for the next year: get more Amex cards and sign up wife, mother-in-law, parents, etc. as co-holders.

  11. Whew, I’m tired! With 8 total AMEX cards, I was busy today running around making sure I spent all $200! I didn’t have the time to actually shop today at all locations, so gift cards were the order of the day.

    I got three $25 restaurant gift cards, a $25 Shell gift card from a local grocery/deli, 1 theater ticket, lunch with some friends, a $25 bookstore gift certificate, and spent $25 at a small, local store on some stuff I needed for my apartment. A productive day — Thank You AMEX and MOMMY POINTS!

  12. My wife and I had a great time today. We did 10 for $250.
    Our purchase included gas, lunch, dry cleaning, exercise equipment, and groceries purchased at 2 different asian groceries. We also shopped at nearby small town that has a lot of quaint shops. She got 2 scarves there. This was well run by Amex. We appreciate your blog mommypoints.

  13. Kudos to Amex for sending out emails within minutes of the purchases to confirm the transactions.

    Like Dan’s wife, I also have an Amex Blue. While the rewards points don’t go as far as they do with other Amex cards, at least there is no annual fee. Am I the only one out there that hates the idea of paying for a card? I have 2 Amexes, one Master Card and one Visa. All accrue some type of reward, and there is no fee on any of them. Is there a tipping point where it makes sense to pay an annual fee for a credit card?

    • @SEE, I think the tipping point is when you get more out of the card per year than you are paying. Obviously the first year is often an easy call since the first year fee is waived on so many cards, but after that you just need to see what the value of the points and benefits is and make a decision from there. For example, my Continental card gives me free checked bags. That alone saves me at least $500 per year, so the annual fee is clearly worth it for me there even without counting the miles I earn on the card. I will pay for my Sapphire Preferred card since I earn so many points on it using the Ultimate Rewards portal, I will pay the US Airways fee because of the travel benefits, 5K less miles for reward tickets on US, and the annual mileage bonus. So, it is different for everyone, but those are some examples of when it is worth it to me.

  14. I made a couple of trips out to a local wine store to get some bottles to give as gifts and to stock up for the holiday parties. I too got an e-mail shortly after making the purchase. Way to go AMEX for a well-run promotion.

  15. If anyone in OR, WA, or CA is running against the clock looking for an online purchase…

    Just bought $26 of gift certificates from and got instant email comfirmation from AMEX that it qualifies. You can use the gift certificates at Rogue’s brewhouses in OR, WA, and CA.

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