A shopper’s guide to earning rewards on Small Business Saturday 2020

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The end of the year boasts plenty of shopping opportunities and sales, including events with a cultlike following, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But a slightly less popular event—Small Business Saturday—offers shoppers the chance to give back to small businesses in their neighborhood and local area. In 2020, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 28.

While Small Business Saturday intends to promote spending at small boutique establishments and eateries, savvy shoppers can also seize the opportunity to score a boost in credit card rewards. If you have a holiday shopping list to check off and you want to spend money close to home, you should plan to take advantage.

What is American Express’ Small Business Saturday?

Founded in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is part of the Amex “Shop Small” movement. American Express notes they built this movement because they care deeply about thriving communities and believe small businesses are “at the core of every successful neighborhood.”

“That’s why—in the midst of the recession in 2010—we created Small Business Saturday® on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses,” writes American Express on their website.

To help this movement progress, American Express lists participating small businesses on their website, which you can search based on your location or the business name. While Small Business Saturday participants will vary depending on where you live, you can usually choose among family-owned restaurants, small shops, local museums, breweries and more.

Best credit cards for shopping on Small Business Saturday 2020

To make the most out of Small Business Saturday 2020, you have to pay for your purchases using an American Express credit card. Fortunately, there are plenty of Amex rewards credit cards to consider, including the following:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for groceries

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express starts new cardmembers off with 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

Cardmembers also earn 6 percent cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year, 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services, 3 percent back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases and 1 percent back on everything else. A $95 annual fee typically applies, you can get a $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95. Lastly, rewards can only be redeemed for statement credits to your account.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card: Best for flat-rate cash back

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card* doesn’t charge an annual fee, yet you’ll earn a flat 1.5 percent back for each dollar you spend. You can also qualify for a welcome offer worth $150 when you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening. Cardmembers also receive a 0 percent APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express: Best for 0 percent APR

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express starts you off with a 10,000-point welcome bonus after you make $1,000 worth of purchases within the first three months of opening the account.

You also earn 2X points on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1X points) and 1X points on other purchases, as well as 20 percent in bonus rewards each time you make at least 20 purchases within a billing period. You won’t pay an annual fee, and you’ll get an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 12.99 percent to 23.99 percent.

American Express Blue Business CashTM Card: Best for small businesses

The American Express Blue Business CashTM Card offers 2 percent cash back on the first $50,000 you spend each year, then 1 percent. There’s no annual fee, and small business owners who apply can qualify for an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for 12 months (from date of account opening), followed by a variable APR of 13.24 percent to 19.24 percent.

American Express® Gold Card: Best for foodies

Finally, consider the American Express® Gold Card if you’re a foodie. This card starts you off with 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

You can also earn 4X American Express Membership Rewards points on the first $25,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year, 4X points at restaurants (including takeout and delivery), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with AmexTravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases. A $250 annual fee applies, but you get perks like up to $120 in dining credits for eligible purchases at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory and more. You also receive up to $120 Uber Cash (up to $10 monthly credits in Uber Cash): Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year. Terms Apply.

Does Amex offer bonus rewards for cardmembers shopping on Small Business Saturday?

American Express changes its Small Business Saturday promotions each year, and they already extended some Shop Small statement credits to eligible cardmembers earlier in 2020. Specifically, Amex Offers rolled out a #shopsmall promotion worth $50 in statement credits that expired on September 20, 2020.

Fortunately, American Express does plan on extending some Small Business Saturday card offers to eligible members in 2020. To find out about their Small Business Saturday 2020 promotion, log into your Amex Offers account.

How to maximize your credit card rewards on Small Business Saturday

If you want to help local businesses and boost your rewards haul in the process, there are plenty of steps you can take. Consider these tips to maximize credit card rewards on Small Business Saturday and beyond.

Start spending toward a new welcome bonus

If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to sign up for a new Amex credit card with a generous welcome bonus. And since American Express offers instant card numbers to eligible customers, it’s possible you could begin using your new card in a mobile wallet right away.

Take the time to compare Amex credit cards based on their bonus offers, including their respective minimum spending requirements. To get the most out of these offers, you should make sure you can meet a minimum spending requirement with regular, organic spending and bills.

Utilize bonus rewards categories when you can

If you have several different American Express credit cards, you should make sure you’re using the right card for each small business purchase. If you have an Amex credit card that offers bonus rewards on dining, for example, then using it for a lunch out at your favorite family-owned restaurant is a smart move.

Maybe a small, family-run grocery store or deli qualifies for Small Business Saturday in your area. In that case, you would want to use a card that earns more cash back at U.S. supermarkets, such as the Amex Gold Card or Blue Cash Preferred.

Online purchases also count

Also, remember that online shopping also counts toward Small Business Saturday (although you may be limited in terms of small businesses with e-commerce platforms). Either way, you can use your Amex rewards credit cards to order takeout on a small business restaurant website or to order items for pickup or delivery from your favorite small retailer.

The bottom line

Small Business Saturday is a shopping event that intends to bolster sales and engagement with small businesses instead of the big box stores. When you choose to “shop small” on Nov. 28 this year, you do get the chance to spend money in your local community where it will count the most.

Fortunately, you can help small retailers and eateries while enriching yourself with the right rewards credit card. All you have to do is sign up for an Amex credit card, search for small businesses on the Amex Shop Small map and support Small Business Saturday either in-person or online.

*The information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson began her career working in the funeral industry, which may make you wonder why she works in personal finance now. Yet, the funeral industry taught the author everything she needs to know about the value of one's money and time. Johnson left the mortuary business a decade ago in order to explore her passion for personal finance and travel the world, and since then, she and her husband have built a debt-free lifestyle that has them on the path to retire very wealthy in their 40s. Holly's love of budgeting also led to the creation of her debt payoff book, “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love."