Small Business Saturday Registration Opens Tonight!

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This is a reminder that registration for American Express Small Business Saturday opens tonight at 12:00AM Mountain Time.  You are probably not going to find me awake at 1AM Central waiting to register, but if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I will certainly hop online and get all of my Amex cards registered.  At the very least, be sure to have all of your Amex cards laid out and ready to register when you get up on Sunday morning.  I haven’t seen an exact number of registrations that will be allowed, but it is a limited number, so I don’t want to miss out!

For those not familiar, Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday.  It was designed to encourage purchases at small businesses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands..  To do so, Amex offers $25 statement credits when a registered Amex card is used to make a purchase of at least $25 at a small business on Saturday November 24th.  What makes this even more fantastic is that many of us in the miles and points community have many Amex cards, so that means we can get the $25 statement credit multiple times.  Amex prepaid and corporate cards are not eligible, but personal cards, small business cards, and authorized user cards that have unique card numbers are all eligible (or at least have been in the past).

I will be registering my Amex SPG personal card (+ authorized user), Amex SPG business card (+ authorized user), Amex Business Gold Rewards card, and Citibank AAdvantage Amex.  Those cards will net me $150 in free goodies!  I plan to visit a local small restaurant and purchase one $25 gift card on each of my Amex cards.  I will then get a $25 statement credit for each purchase that will make the gift cards free!  What makes this even sweeter is that this restaurant participates in the dining rewards program, so I will be earning 5 United miles per dollar for the purchases.  That brings my score to $150 dollars in free gift certificates plus 750 United miles.  On top of that, last year the restaurant I went to was also giving a bonus $5 gift card for each $25 purchase.  I’m not sure if they are running that promotion again this year or not, but I know many retailers offer extra incentives to get folks to spend money this time a year, so it wouldn’t surprise me!

Here are the official terms (bolding is mine):

  1. Limit one (1) $25 statement credit per American Express Card. To be eligible, Cardmembers must enroll an eligible American Express Card in this offer at Prepaid and Corporate Cards are not eligible.
  2. The number of enrollments is limited. Enrollment opens at 12:00AM MST (“Mountain Standard Time”) on November 18, 2012, and will continue until 11:59PM MST on November 24, 2012 unless the enrollment limit is reached sooner.
  3. To receive the $25 statement credit, the Cardmember must use his or her enrolled Card to spend $25 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, November 24, 2012. To receive the credit, the transaction must equal $25 or more (for example, if your transaction is only for $15, you will not receive a credit). Multiple transactions of less than $25 will not qualify even if the combined total of those transactions is over $25. You may purchase multiple items that together equal $25 or more, but you must purchase them in a single transaction to receive the statement credit.
  4. Qualifying small business locations are those identified on the Shop Small® Map, available at In addition, small business locations that accept American Express through Square also qualify and can be found on the Square Directory at or from your mobile phone using the Square Wallet app. Small business locations that do not appear on the Shop Small® Map or that do not accept American Express through Square will not qualify for the $25 statement credit offer. Please note that business location information provided on the Shop Small® Map and Square Directory may contain inaccuracies or errors, including as a result of information provided by third parties. Transactions with political campaigns or political action committees are not eligible, regardless of whether they appear on the Shop Small® Map or in the Square Directory.

5.  If American Express does not receive information that identifies a transaction as having occurred in-store at a qualifying small business location, the transaction will not qualify for the statement credit. For example, the following transactions will not be eligible for the credit: transactions made using an electronic wallet or any other transaction made through a third party; and transactions not made directly with the merchant.  American Express $25 Statement Credit Cardmember Offer Terms – Small Business Saturday 2012

6.  Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 8 weeks after American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information about your qualifying purchase from the merchant until all of the items from your qualifying purchase have been provided or shipped by the merchant.

7.  Statement credit may be reversed if qualifying purchase is returned or cancelled.

8.  The Card Registration Terms and Conditions will also apply at enrollment.

So your steps are: find all of your active Amex cards, register them beginning at 12AM MST tonight, use the map at to decide where to shop, and then spend at least $25 on each card on Saturday 11/24.  Last year the statement credits posted much faster than 6-8 weeks.

Let me know if you have any questions or tips to share with others regarding this great Amex promotion!

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. I must say the map is not working very well. The restaurant I used last year is not on there. Also, when I went to the square website it show restaurants that have been closed for years. I have a bad feeling that a lot will be denied. Hope I am wrong.

  2. Hi,
    We have a magazine subscription business that counts as an Amex small business (do a search for Discount Magazine in zip code 33913).
    For all the people who want to get the easy $25 bonus, we will work with you to split the orders, give additional discounts, basically whatever it takes to get you that free $25. (We’ve been in business over 30 years also!)
    Magazines are a great christmas gift, so knock out 2 birds with one stone!
    We also match competitors prices, so you are guaranteed to get the best price.
    Call 800-999-5070 M-F 930-5pm EST. Ask for Marc.
    Mention you saw this on the blog posting and i’l take care of you the best I can…
    Easy way to spend the $25, get the bonus $25, and get your christmas shopping done!

  3. @traveler1, I’d say yes, as long as they aren’t corporate cards.

    Anyone else see a lot of chain stores on the map? Winchell’s Donut and Plaid Pantry, etc. I guess they’re franchises and so count as independent businesses? I went to the local pub last year and everything showed up fine, but it’d be sweet to buy $25x(#of cards) at a Plaid Pantry and buy lotto tickets…

  4. What about two amex cards that belong to the same account? I have a bcp amex that both my wife and I have individual cards to, but the spending goes on the same account. Can I reg and put 25 on each, or only one cuz same account?

  5. I am glad I checked the list before bothering to register. Thanks for that link. However, I only find uninteresting options like podiatrists, quick oil change shops, drycleaners (not even the one I use) and dentists near me. Oh well, good luck and happy shopping to those who both get registered and have interesting options near them.

  6. small businesses that were not in the list worked fine in previous years and similar promos..also it has not been hard to get amex to issue the credit manually (instantly ) if you favorite small biz does not automatically credit after the next statement…fyi

  7. I know the Amex prepaid cards, un registered and right off the rack won’t work. But I do wonder if my Amex prepaids that are registered and embossed with my name might work. Same thought about my BlueBird.
    After registering all my normal Amex cards, I may give the others a try.
    Do you use the same e mail address for all your registrations?

  8. Yikes. Corner Bakery came up as a small business on the map as well as some other chains. It seems to not be an accurate map!

  9. Re my AAdvantage American Express Card. I checked with both American Express and Citi Bank – Both said that it did not qualify for this promotion. The only cards that qualify are those issued solely by American Expres

  10. Registration opened early! I checked the website about 30 minutes before it was supposed to start and the link to register was there, so I went ahead and registered all 10 of my cards and authorized users.

    No, AMEX Prepaid and Bluebird cards are NOT eligible.

  11. Well only let me register one of my cards, keeps saying i have already registered a card, any help? (used different browsers and different emails already)

  12. Publix grocery store (not a small business) is on the map, I am going to pick up some gift cards. Too bad Kroger is not on the map or I could get 4x fuel points as well,

  13. I registered 8 cards!
    I seem to remember that even stores that weren’t listed worked for this promo? Anyone else have experience with this?

  14. I just registered 12 cards! Hope the credit clears within a month so I’m not floating an $300 for 8 weeks. Their foursquare statement credits show up in a couple of days, so I optimistic that won’t happen.

  15. I’ve registered 18 cards wife and self, auth and all – one is a Macys Amex we never use–like EVER. But we will now! We have one more auth user card on the way and hopefully that gets here in time.
    This coming weekend we will be at our favorite ski area (early season runs to enjoy) where there’s a nice hotel/spa that worked last year for this promo. It counted as a small biz because it’s not part of a chain so we should be able to go there to buy GCs there even though it’s like the biggest hotel/spa up there but it counts! So me wife will someday get to enjoy the spa for a bunch of sessions in a row whilst I am taking care of the kids all day for many days–wait, why am I doing this again? lol
    We will also buy some restaurant GCs at places we enjoy already but sadly none are dining network ones. On another note, I have found that generally (not always) places that participate in the dining network are never as good as ones that don’t, and they eventually go under, so you need to use your GC sooner than later or else it’s worthless. At least that’s what I have seen a lot of–but it’s not always true anyway.

  16. If tWifey and I have 2 Delta Amex cards on the same account can we get the credit from both cards? They have different numbers. Thanks!

  17. I will be out of town on Nov 24. Does anyone know if I an online purchase of a gift card from my local small business will count for the $25 credit? The business is on the map. Thanks.

  18. I encountered this message for 4 of my AMEX cards:
    Our records show that you’ve already enrolled for this offer.”

    Only 2 Amex cards (Premier Rewards) went through… Am I the only one who got this special treatment?

  19. the business I want to shop at isn’t on the map but if i type in the name it does pull it up. Does that mean it is a place I can shop. I shopped there last year.

  20. I keep trying, but am-ex will only let me register one card, keep getting a message starting that i am already registered. Help!

  21. Replies to previous posted questions: have list of FAQ to answer all the questions:
    1) online purchase does not qualify
    2) you can register different cards (yours, wife’s,etc) from the same account so any user of that account can use the card and qualify for the promotion BUT only $25 credit will be give to each account (one time only). You and your wife (or significant other) can split up the shopping experience. Only $25 credit will be given to each account.
    3) if you do not see the merchant on the list, you can enter the zip code and the name of the merchant to specifically search. Many merchants are qualified but were just not listed. Examples: Mrs. Fields is qualified.

  22. I am happy to see alot more merchants showing up today. I didn’t think that Publix would qualify since it is a “chain”. Am I thinking incorrectly?

  23. Bob, it has worked that way in the past and let me register all my AUs cards this year, so my money is on it working just fine this year. If you are worried about it though you can always skip doing the AUs. 😉

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