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UPDATE July 28, 2020: American Express extended the deadline to enroll in the 2020 "Shop Small" promotion. You now have until Aug. 23 to enroll your card online. The original deadline was July 26. The article below has been updated.
American Express is giving cardholders a limited-time opportunity to earn up to $50 in statement credits for shopping at small businesses this summer.
The offer comes as an AmEx survey of entrepreneurs found that 62% of small businesses might not make it to 2021 if consumer spending — sharply reduced in the COVID-19 pandemic — doesn't return by the end of this year.
From June 29 through Sept. 20, 2020, eligible American Express cardmembers who make a purchase of $10 or more at participating small businesses can earn a $5 statement credit. You can earn the credit on up to 10 separate purchases, for a maximum of $50 in credits.
All U.S.-issued consumer and business American Express cards are eligible for the promotion, but you must enroll your card online through AmEx Offers between June 29 and Aug. 23, 2020. If you apply for a new card within that time frame, you can still participate, as long as you enroll by the July 26 deadline. You can start earning credit immediately after enrollment. Find participating retailers in your area at americanexpress.com/shopsmalloffer.
American Express has been expanding its acceptance at U.S. merchants in recent years and announced in January 2020 that it had achieved virtual parity with Visa and Mastercard. It attributes a big part of the increase to its OptBlue program, which allows small businesses to accept American Express cards through select third-party payment processors. That program helped reduce the fees many merchants paid to accept AmEx.
The official terms of the offer, as described by American Express:
Enroll your eligible Card by July 26, 2020 to get a $5 statement credit after using your enrolled Card to make a single purchase of $10 or more directly with any business in the U.S. on the Shop Small Map by September 20, 2020, up to 10 times. To learn more, visit www.shopsmall.com.