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American Express stuff: Small Business Saturday and Amex Offers

on October 5, 2015

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

tragedy comedy

I personally like to hear the bad news first, so I am temporarily bummed but still have the potential to be cheered up.  I’ll list the news thusly, then…

BAD NEWS: If you aren’t already aware of the American Express promotion Small Business Saturday (SBS), here’s a quick history.  They started the promotion about 4 years ago to try and give local stores/restaurants/service providers a chance for more business during Thanksgiving weekend.  Of course, Small Business Saturday was scheduled for the day after Black Friday, when many people shop the big-box stores, chain department stores, and wholesale retailers for good deals on holiday gifts.  It was also a chance for Amex cardholders to save a lot of money, because some sort of statement credit was usually involved.  Last year it was a $10 statement credit for any purchase of $10 or more, up to 3 times, on each participating Amex card.  Between my husband and I, we had the Costco Amex, we each had an Amex Serve card, and I had the SPG Amex- that meant a total of 12 different $10 statement credits available to us.  We searched the SBS site for local business and identified which we wanted to patronize.  In some cases, we just bought a $10 gift card to use on another day- free money.  In other cases, we waited to purchase something we wanted from the store, and got it at a $10 discount that day (I’m looking at you, Ono Cheese Steak).  This year, they are still promoting Small Business Saturday, but are not offering any statement credits for Amex cardholders.  Bummer!  They do still offer lots of resources for small business owners to market their services, and seem to be very supportive of local shops.  We all should, and this is pretty important in Hawaii- the whole Shop Local thing.

Now for the good news: Amex Offers are a yearlong perk to having an American Express Card.  Basically, they are targeted offers that differ depending on your zip code, spending patterns, or whatever other information Amex gleans from your credit card applications and statement.  Many times an Offer includes a statement credit, such as “spend $50, receive a $15 statement credit.”  Occasionally they will have a special offer for cardholders, such as “Omaha Steaks package for $45 with free shipping.”  You can go to AmexOffers.com to log in with your Amex card login, or FB/Twitter.

amex offers1

Scroll down, and simply select an offer that is on your list.  In some cases, the offer has a hashtag associated that will add the offer to all of your Amex accounts.  I don’t do Twitter, so I just look at my list.

amex offers2

You can click the offer to see the terms and conditions.  ALWAYS read them- they can be very specific, restricting what qualifies as a purchase for the offer, plus they contain an expiration date.  Usually, there is not problem with starting your shopping trip at an airline shopping portal, or something like Ebates, which can make your deal even sweeter.

amex offers3

Once the offer is added and you use it correctly, you’ll get a confirmation email, generally within minutes of the transaction:

amex offers4

Then you just look out for your statement credit!  A few tips:

  • again, always read the terms and conditions.
  • if you have multiple Amex cards, there are usually different offers for each card.  Check all of them!
  • check your statement- technically they have up to 90 days to post the statement credit, but I usually see them within 3 days.
  • keep an eye out for the confirmation email.  In rare cases, you won’t get an email.  You can either reach out to Amex or wait about a week to see if the credit posts on its own.
  • the minimum amount required is based on the total charged, including taxes and shipping costs if applicable.

GOOD NEWS: One of these lovely Amex offers just popped up for transactions at Undercover Tourist!  See my screenshot of the offer above- it’s a $30 statement credit when you spend $150 or more.  You may remember that we purchased our Disney and Universal tickets on the site not long ago.  They are authorized to sell tickets to all these cool places, and even more, like local whale watching trips, and even rental cars:

•Walt Disney World
•Universal Orlando
•SeaWorld Orlando
•Legoland Florida
•Kennedy Space Center
•Universal Studios Hollywood
•Six Flags Magic Mountain
•Knott’s Berry Farm
•Madame Tussauds Hollywood
•Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Anaheim
•SeaWorld San Diego
•Legoland California
•San Diego Zoo
•San Diego Zoo Safari Park
•Sea Life Aquarium

I think you know what I’ll be looking to purchase using this offer!  San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, baby!  I should know by the end of December -when the offer expires- when we can take that trip.  Looking at the (what else?) terms and conditions of the e-tickets sold for the Safari Park, for example, they are only valid “during the calendar year when purchased.”  So I don’t want to buy them too far ahead of time.

So there you have it- the highs and low of credit card perks: Amex edition.  As always, I don’t get any compensation/special stuff for talking about it.  See my disclaimer.  I just want everyone to get a good deal.  Have fun shopping!

One response to “American Express stuff: Small Business Saturday and Amex Offers

  1. gina says:

    wow, nice details on how to make the best out of your spending. love it!


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