Save Up to $50 at Small Businesses With Your Amex Card

A small business owner wearing a mask and hanging an Open sign on the front door of her shop.

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American Express wants to encourage cardholders to shop at small businesses. Now, it's offering you a financial incentive to do so. Through its Let's All Shop Small® Offer, you can get up to $50 back on some small business purchases through Sept. 20, 2020.

Here are all the details on this promotion, including how it works, how to take part, and where you can find participating small businesses.

How does the Shop Small® Offer work?

Here's how the Shop Small® Offer works:

  • You must enroll an eligible American Express card by July 26, 2020 to qualify.
  • After enrolling, you'll receive a $5 statement credit each time you use that card to make an eligible purchase of at least $10 (after taxes) with a participating small business.
  • You can get $5 credits on up to 10 purchases. So if you make 10 separate purchases of at least $10 each, you'd receive $50 in total credits.
  • The offer ends on Sept. 20, 2020.

Eligible cards include U.S.-issued American Express consumer and business cards, as well as registered American Express Serve® and Bluebird cards. New card members can get this bonus, too, so there's still an opportunity to open an American Express card and enroll it before the deadline.

This offer only applies to one card per American Express card member. If you have multiple American Express cards, you'll only be able to enroll one of them. You must use the card you enroll for each purchase to receive the $5 statement credit.

Additional card members are also eligible. If you've added other people to your American Express account and they have their own credit cards (or charge cards), they can enroll and get money back on their small business purchases.

How to enroll your American Express card

To enroll an American Express card for this offer:

  1. Go to the American Express Shop Small® page and click "Enroll Now."
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Choose the card you want to use and click "Continue."
  4. On the Amex Offers & Benefits page, click "Add to Card."

You can also find the Shop Small® Offer by going directly to your online account. When you log in, the offer will be listed under the Amex Offers & Benefits section of any eligible card.

Find participating small businesses

The best way to see where you can save money with this promotion is by using the Shop Small® Map.

You can either share your location when you open the map or type in a location to perform a search. The map tool will then provide a list of participating small businesses in the area. There are also search filters available to narrow down the results.

The Shop Small® Map returns 100 businesses for each search. As a result, if you're in a big city, you may not see every participating business. That's where filters can come in handy: You can search for a specific business category, such as shopping or dining.

If you want to see whether a specific business is part of the Shop Small® Offer, type the name into the search bar followed by the location.

Are there any purchases that won't qualify?

Most purchases will qualify for this deal, but there are some exceptions. The most notable example is any purchase made through a third party (because American Express may not be able to determine whether it is eligible). This can include purchases made through a card reader attached to a mobile phone, purchases made through online marketplaces, and purchases made through food delivery apps or platforms. Etsy and Resy are the exceptions here--both are eligible for the small business promotion.

Any purchase of a cash equivalent won't qualify, either. You can't get the $5 back if you're buying a prepaid card or a traveler's check.

You can learn exactly which purchases will and won't qualify in the offer's terms and conditions.

A simple way to save

American Express's Shop Small® Offer makes it easy to save money while also helping local businesses. All you need to do is enroll an American Express card. There are plenty of participating small businesses, and since the purchase minimum is just $10, you shouldn't have any trouble taking advantage of this promotion.

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The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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