Amex Small Business Saturday Credit Update: You Can Have Your Thanksgiving Weekend Back

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small business saturday 2015

Amex Small Business Saturday Creditless

American Express Small Business Saturday has been a sort of tradition in my family for the best several years. For a couple of years American Express offered a $25 credit per card when used at a small business. Then two years ago that went down to $10 and last year it was upped to 3 X $10 credits. It was a lot of work, but ended up being quite lucrative.

Unfortunately it seems that the Thanksgiving weekend gravy train has ended. Frequent Miler points out that American Express has updated the FAQ on their Small Business Saturday website. Here is what it says:

As in years past, American Express will continue to drive awareness of Small Business Saturday and encourage consumers to shop small through local and national advertising.

This year we are not offering a statement credit offer for Card Members on Small Business Saturday, but are instead increasing the support and resources we provide to help small business owners market the day within their communities and truly make it their own. Learn about the materials we make available at

  • Customizable marketing materials
  • Free online ads
  • Shop Small merchandise kits (while supplies last)
  • Educational event guides

We are also significantly expanding our grassroots advocacy efforts, such as the Neighborhood Champion program, to facilitate more community events and activities to engage local communities to shop small on Small Business Saturday.


So this year you can go back to relaxing on Thanksgiving weekend instead of mapping out a strategy for how to maximize the credits across all of your American Express cards. I can’t say I blame American Express for taking away the credit, although it does sting a bit.

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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      • ya bro. I thought you were Indian when I first visited this site. Then your name didnt really match up so I was left confused.

          • Exactly bro. Keep it because you like it. No need to change it. Its still you. I was just saying I thought you were Indian at first and thought that for awhile until I saw your other pics and you talked about your family and vacations. haha. No worries though. Not sure what others thought, but nothing is technically “confusing”. Just threw me off a litte bro!

  1. This is a shame – especially because my wife and I picked up a TON of Amex cards this past year.

    However, I am going to be in the MIDDLE of nowhere (Round Mountain, NV) for Thanksgiving, so I don’t think we were going to have much opportunity anyway.

  2. I’d like to think this is because Black Friday really doesn’t exist anymore. Why make SBS a thing? It’s all getting lost in the noise. Every retailer and/or company is trying to out-hussle the next. AMEX just better find a way to ride the wave instead of fighting it with pitiful promos.

  3. In short, it’s Amex trying to cut back on subsidizing SBS. I highly doubt the increase of “support and resources” to small businesses will offset the loss in consumer interest and subsequent business patronage. It’s a win for Amex in the short term and a lose/lose for small businesses and consumers.

    I mention short term win for Amex, because every business decision has ripple effects. Just as with the recent Chase tightening, it’ll cause changes in our strategy going forward with our Amex cards, especially those including annual fees. Maybe this is part of Amex redistributing funds for other types of promotions that’ll come in a different form?

    The only thing I’m personally not too thrilled with is how this unfolded. Why didn’t they mention this weeks ago when the return of SBS was public? I can’t help but feel they weren’t completely on board with doing away with statement credits leading up to this point.

    But yeah, now the wife and I don’t have to bring our 1 year old into the store and swipe 20+ cards at a local grocery store. Sucks too, they were awesome about it last year and were completely willing to help get it done. Guess I won’t be buying their overpriced groceries this year! But hey, at least they’ll receive a goodie bag, some signage and other marketing materials haha.

    • Regarding the timing, they have announced SBS first and then the credits around this time. So they did sort of follow their previous timing, but of course the news this time isn’t good.

      • Ahh, so this is following the same protocol of years past? I hadn’t realized this was their norm. Thanks!

        • You know what Shawn, I know you said people can go back to relaxing on Thanksgiving weekend instead of mapping out a strategy, but you know people like us will for sure have other deals to chase!

          Commercialized holiday season is the new normal and it sometimes ruins the holiday spirit because its all over the place. CYBER MONDAY? MORE LIKE CYBER MONEY ANYDAY ANYWAY ALLDAY! Christmas shopping deals during Halloween!? WHY NOT! Starbucks introducing “holiday drink specials” before pumpkins are even out?! YES PLEASE! Christmas trees and lights in OCT!? NO PROBLEM! haha.

          Anyway, many deals to come, but I would agree SBS was lucrative when it was around.

  4. I can’t blame them either as 90% of people tried to spend just enough to get the credit, $10 for $10, $25 for $25, etc..

    Not many would spend say $50 for $25 or similar.

    Another example of what the. Internet gives in terms of exploiting these types of offers, the Internet can also take when companies see all the foaming at the mouth type posts about how to exploit the offers, weeks and months in advance

    • With anything in life there are people who are going to maximize within the terms. Perhaps Amex could have done a “Spend $50 get $25” offer, but they obviously decided against the whole thing altogether. I’m sure they will assess how it works out and then see if they need or want to return to the credits in the future.

    • I am surprised they didn’t at least switch to a “$25 off $50” sort of offer. And I disagree that many would not take advantage of such an offer. I know that I would. As for people exploiting the previous SBS offers: a) guilty as charged, and b) Amex obviously has a lot of experience with “$X off $Y” offers – so they were well aware of the incentives they were creating with their previous “$X off $X” SBS offers (and chose to do it anyway … until now!). Hopefully they’ll bring it back in some form next year, and/or make up for it with other Amex Offers. I wouldn’t be surprised to still see some type of Amex Offer(s) built around SBS this year.

      • I agree that not as many people were opportunists with hitting the minimum spend required and nothing more. As with the MS/Churn community, it’s easy to over estimate just how many people actually capitalize on these promotions and sign up bonuses without further give back in the form of profit for cc companies.

        I can’t say I didn’t see this day coming. However, I guess I expected something like what’s mentioned here, a $25 off $50 type purchase. Not just cold turkey sayonara.

        On that note, this is pretty fitting lol

        • Very nice clip bro! I loved the Titan movie. Makes you wanna get shit done in life!

          Anyway, all good points. Good discussions here.

          However, I wanna mention my own speculative point here. AMEX is doing this with a specific purpose. You guys can make up your own ideas of what this may be, but AMEX is not offering a statement credit for Small Business Saturday because they are saving marketing dollars for something else. If it was just a MS abuse and money issue, they could have tried to limit risk exposure by “$X off $X” SBS offers, but they didnt. You can guess why.

          This strategic move is within a much bigger overall plan. I actually own their stock so I follow their decisions geared toward shareholders. They have been hit hard in FY15 and they are looking to come back stronger. Offering statement credit for SBS is dead weight for their company performance as a whole.

          Lookout for interesting times.

          • Good points sir. I’m hoping you’re right on this one. Q1 isn’t when you’d expect to see a lot of activity on buying promotions so I’m curious if you had a guess to which quarter we’ll see more opportunities roll out?

            And yes, hell of a movie it’s actually one of my favorites. Based on a true story too.

          • Figures we’d get a shareholder here praising the dropping of the “dead-weight” SBS.

            Congratulations too to your investments when a lot of us cancel our aging AMEX cards, “dead-weight” now in the sock drawers.

            AMEX owned the Saturday after thanksgiving…. they were even getting lots of free publicity for it, more so each year on local TV news channels….

            Now, we can go back to our regularly scheduling B&G sessions hearing how small businesses don’t accept amex and all their high fees.

            I may short AMEX.


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