Consumer spending has been down over the last several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic downturn is hitting small businesses especially hard. According to research conducted by American Express, 62% of small businesses in the US need spending to return to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of 2020 in order to stay in business.
To help jumpstart consumer spending at the local level, Amex has pledged more than $200 million over three months to support small businesses. And part of that effort is an offer for cash back when cardholders shop at small merchants.
Earn up to $50 back when you use your Amex card
To take advantage of this promotion, you need to have a consumer or business Amex card. That includes virtually every card you could apply for through the standard channels, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card.
You'll earn $5 back when you spend $10 or more with any small business in the US that's on the American Express Shop Small Map. You can earn $5 back up to 10 times, for a total of $50 back.
You need to enroll your eligible American Express card by July 26 to take advantage of this promotion, and you have until September 20 to make qualifying purchases.
Visit this promotion's landing page for more information about how this offer works, and to enroll. You can also enroll your eligible Amex cards by visiting the Amex Offers section of your card account online.
Find participating small businesses in your area
After enrolling The Platinum Card® from American Express in this promotion, I entered my Brooklyn ZIP code into the Shop Small Map and was happy to see that plenty of local businesses came up, including wine stores, clothing stores, restaurants, and even my local yoga studio.
I also checked out the participating businesses in my hometown (the suburbs of San Diego) and Fairfield, Iowa (where I have family), and was happy to see a similar number of results, running the gamut from music shops to restaurants to jewelry stores to dry cleaners.
Given the wide range of participating businesses, it will be even easier than I'd imagined to take advantage of this offer, especially since I have until September 20 to make qualifying purchases. Even if you're not sure you'll take advantage, it's worth enrolling your Amex card in this offer and keeping that card in your wallet — most of us are staying pretty local these days, and supporting small businesses that need our money the most while getting cash back is a win-win.
You can read more about this Shop Small promotion and enroll your Amex cards to earn cash back by visiting the official American Express landing page.