Small Business Saturday from American Express is coming on November 24, 2012, and it’s a good idea to start preparing early, especially if you want to order some additional American Express cards to use on the big day.
Small Business Saturday offers all American Express card holders a free $25 credit to spend at small businesses.
For each card that you register, you will receive a 1-time $25 statement credit when you spend $25 at a participating small business on your American Express Card.
Seems simple enough, but if you want to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards, there are a few basic steps that you can take to get even more bonus cash.
1. Apply for More American Express Cards
One of the best things about Small Business Saturday is that you can earn a $25 bonus for each American Express card account that you have.
So if you have 2 different American Express card accounts, you can earn a $25 credit with each card for a total of $50.
You just need to make a separate $25 purchase with each card at a participating store.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a business card or a personal card, so the more AMEX cards you have, the more bonus cash that you can earn.
With that being said, it’s a good time to apply for a new AMEX Bonus Card, because you’ll be able to get an extra $25 statement credit with Small Business Saturday every year.
If you don’t have an American Express card already, then you’ll definitely need one to participate in Small Business Saturday.
2. Add Authorized Users to Your American Express Accounts
One of the other great benefits of Small Business Saturday is that each authorized card user on an account can earn a separate $25 statement credit.
Each American Express card receives a $25 credit on Small Business Saturday, so all of your authorized users can register individually to earn the $25 bonus.
If you don’t already have an authorized user added to your account, then consider adding your spouse, kids, or close friend, so that everyone can earn a separate $25 bonus.
Just make sure that there is no fee for additional users, like the Starwood Hotel Rewards Card that has no additional card fee for authorized users that you add to the account.
This makes for a great family outing as well, as your family could potentially all use multiple cards for which you have multiple users added to the accounts.
If you’re planning on applying for a new American Express card before Small Business Saturday, make sure to add an authorized user to the account as well.
3. Register for Small Business Saturday
Registration for Small Business Saturday is limited each year, so you have to register first in order to participate.
Once registration is open, you can register via this Small Business Saturday Registration Page.
Registration will begin on November 18th this year.
4. Find Your Small Business to Support
Small Business Saturday is available at participating businesses that accept American Express cards.
Unfortunately, I’ve found a number of small businesses in my area don’t accept American Express cards, because they generally feel that the merchant fees are too high and more people tend to pay with MasterCard or Visa (at least in my smaller town).
You can visit ShopSmall.com to view a map of participating Small Business Saturday merchants in your area before you go shopping.
That way, you won’t spend all day hopping from one merchant to another to find one that accepts American Express.
Just in case you forget to check ahead of time, participating merchants will also have a large Small Business Saturday sticker posted in their front door or window, so you’ll know if they are participating right away.
5. Select a Qualifying $25 Purchase
You have to spend $25 on your AMEX card in order to earn a $25 statement credit, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and know what you might want to purchase before visiting the store.
You can visit a participating store’s website to see their inventory and check their prices before you go shopping.
The trick is to make a qualifying purchase that is at least $25, but not too much more expensive, so that you can pretty much get an item for free.
If you just want to support small businesses and don’t really care about spending a little extra money, then you can go crazy and get whatever you want, as you’ll still going to save the $25.
However, if you don’t otherwise want to spend money that you wouldn’t have on any other day except Small Business Saturday, then you’ll want to try to get as little over $25 as possible, so you can really take advantage of the $25 statement credit.
Another strategy would be to split a more expensive purchase between multiple American Express cards, so that you put a $25 charge on each card, but I have no personal experience as to whether that will qualify for the $25 statement credit, although I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
If you plan ahead and know what you want to purchase and where, you can actually get something you need on Small Business Saturday, and not just make an impulse purchase to spend the $25 frivolously.
Small Business Saturday is coming soon, so start preparing now to maximize the bonus rewards that you can earn on the big day with your American Express cards.