American Express has been championing Small Business Saturday for the past several years, which is intended to promote small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving (given that there’s also Black Friday and Cyber Monday around those dates). Historically American Express has lagged compared to Mastercard and Visa when it comes to acceptance at small businesses due to their higher merchant fees, so this is a way to try and encourage more businesses to accept Amex cards.
Going back as far as 2010, American Express has made it lucrative for consumers to take part in Small Business Saturday, by offering statement credits and bonus points for purchases made on that date. Unfortunately over the years Amex has offered fewer rewards through this program. Looking back over the past several years, here’s what the promotions looked like:
- A $25 statement credit per card after spending $25 (2010, 2011 & 2012)
- A $10 statement credit per card after spending $10 (2013)
- A $10 statement per card credit after spending $10, up to three times (2014)
- Targeted Amex Offers for $10 off a $10 small business purchase in the month of November (2015)
- 2x points at small businesses from mid-October through the end of the year (2016)
With Small Business Saturday less than two weeks away, we’re seeing Amex promote the concept of Small Business Saturday. They’re encouraging consumers to “shop small,” encouraging businesses to get Small Business Saturday branding, etc. Amex even has a countdown to Small Business Saturday on their website.
However, we haven’t heard of anything in the way of rewards for consumers who shop at small businesses two Saturdays from now. Well, Dan’s Deals confirms that Amex won’t be offering any Small Business Saturday statement credits or points this year. That means 2017 will be the first time in seven years that Amex isn’t offering any incentive for consumers to participate in Small Business Saturday.
I guess the promotion ran its course and that this was inevitable, given that the rewards have been decreasing year by year. So while I of course still like the concept of supporting small businesses, I’m not going to go out of my way to do so on a specific date of the year (rather than just in general) unless there’s some sort of a reward for it.
At least now we know not to expect anything.