Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email with all the best travel news

It’s that time of year again!  On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, in between the rampant “big-box” consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, American Express has sponsored “Small Business Saturday“, which I guess is rampant consumerism of a different style 😛


I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be worth a refresher since we’re only a little over 2 weeks away! When I wrote about possibly canceling my Delta Amex card a few days ago, I included a link to my Small Business Saturday post and quite a few people clicked on it, so it indicated to me that there are people still wondering about it

(READ: Free money with Amex Small Business Saturday)


This week Small Business Saturday is on November 29th. Registration for the promotion begins on Sunday, November 16, and you do have to register your card to take place in the promotion. I’ll be sure to send out a reminder once registration opens.  According to the Small Business Saturday terms and conditions, registration should open at midnight MST on Sunday morning (2 a.m. Eastern)

There are 2 ways that I see to maximize savings

  1. Buy stuff that you need and already are planning to buy.
  2. Buy gift cards ($10 at a time)

We did the latter last time – we had 5 American Express cards and I bought 5 $10 gift cards to a local movie theater which we used a few weeks later to take the family out to the movies.

Statement Credits

Typically, American Express gives out statement credits if you shop at a participating small business with your American Express card. 2 years ago it was $25 per card, and last year it was dropped to only $10. This year the credit is $10, but you can earn it 3 times for each card that you have.

Cards of authorized users count, as well as Bluebird, REDbird (The Target reloadable card) and Serve, so depending on how many cards you have, you could be looking at several hundreds of dollars.

Find a Small Business

The easiest way to find a small business that is participating is to use the Shop Small Now map, which is at

Here are some examples of Small Businesses in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Again, I don’t find the map super easy to use, but it is an option. Or if you have a particular small business in mind, you can use the ShopSmall map to verify that it is participating.

Combining with Dining promotion

FrequentMiler had an interesting post the other day. There is a targeted offer that will give you 7500 AAdvantage miles with 10 dines of $40 or more, and he suggested combining that with Small Business Saturday. If you used 4 Amex cards (*3 times each) to buy $40 of gift cards. The gift cards would end up only costing you $30 due to Small Business Saturday, and you’d end up earning nearly 10,000 miles.

One problem is that the terms and conditions of the dining offer state that you can only do 1 restaurant dine per day per restaurant, so instead of getting 10 gift cards at the same restaurant, you’d have to find 10 different restaurants that both participate in Small Business Saturday AND the AAdvantage Dining program.

If you haven’t registered for AAdvantage Dining before, you can sign up and get 2000 AAdvantage miles as a bonus for signing up once you complete just 1 $30 dine.

Do you have plans for Small Business Saturday?


Sign up for our once-daily email with the latest tips and tricks on how to travel for free / cheap. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!