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How to make the most of American Express Shop Small in 2020

Posted: 10 June 2020 2:36 pm
News

A smiling cafe owner giving a customer their takeaway coffee.

The campaign offers shoppers up to $50 cashback on their Amex card when they spend with local businesses and runs until 31 August 2020.

If you have an American Express card, you can claim this offer by logging in to your account, going to the Amex Offers section and clicking "Save to Card". You can then get $5 back on your Amex card when you spend $10 or more at a participating small business between 10 June and 31 August 2020, capped at $50 per card.

American Express Shop Small usually runs each year in November, but it has been moved forward in 2020 to help support small businesses get back on their feet as coronavirus restrictions ease.

By employment size, 71% of small businesses (0-19 persons employed) reported drops in revenue as a result of COVID-19, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). So any support will be welcomed by small businesses – and this Amex offer means you can get cashback in the process.

As part of Shop Small 2020, Amex has made the offer available to all American Express card members who save it to their accounts. In comparison, only the first 118,000 card members could claim the offer when it was available in 2019. So if you've missed out on Shop Small in the past, 2020 could be your year.

But you can only get $5 back once per business. So to get the maximum $50, you'd need to spend a minimum of $10 at 10 different small businesses that are participating in the program – including when you shop online with businesses such as Coffex Coffee, KeepCup, SurfStitch and Toyworld. You can see a full list on the Amex website.

If you're planning on heading out to your local stores in-person, you can use the American Express map to find participating businesses. Your options could range from local bakeries to bars, bookstores, hair salons, small grocers, butcheries and health service professionals.

To give you an idea of the options, we took a quick look at the map for Sydney CBD and found Books Kinokunyia, Bourke Street Bakery and Toby's Estate Coffee among the participating businesses. In Melbourne CBD, there's Brunetti, Fonda Mexican and the Kino Cinema (reopening on 2 July 2020).

As travel restrictions ease, you could also find that road trips lead you to Shop Small businesses in towns and regions around Australia – including many of those affected by the summer bushfires. Our search of the Amex map brought up small businesses from Bundaberg in Queensland to Byron Bay in NSW and across regions including the Blue Mountains, the sapphire coast, Victoria's Gippsland region and even Kangaroo Island in South Australia. There are also participating businesses in ACT, TAS, WA and NT.

This also goes to show that Shop Small isn't limited to city dwellers. If you live in a small town or regional area and have an American Express card, it's worth checking the Amex map to see what businesses are participating.

By default, this map will show you all the businesses that accept Amex cards – with the Shop Small logo next to those that are part of this promotion. So if you only want to see Shop Small businesses, click on "Filters" then "Shop Small Map" (when you're logged in) and you'll be able to see all the participating stores around you.

A screenshot of the American Express map showing Shop Small businesses in Sydney in 2020.

Once you have spent at least $10 in a participating store, your $5 credit should be added to your account within 5 business days; although, it could take up to 90 days from when the offer ends (31 August 2020) in some cases.

A few other key details to note before you go shopping:

  • This offer is available on most personal Amex cards in Australia but excludes business cards, corporate cards and store cards.
  • Transactions made through a third-party won't be eligible. This rules out using Uber Eats to order food from a Shop Small business during the promotion or using PayPal to shop with one of the online stores.
  • Only some small businesses are eligible, and they may have different hours at the moment, so factor that into your plans.

With American Express Shop Small running between 10 June and 31 August 2020, you have just over 11 weeks to collect up to $50 back on your card – and support small business owners in the process.

This story was updated on 11 June 2020 after American Express changed access conditions for the deal, removing a previous cap on eligible members.

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Images: Finder (Screenshot), Getty Images

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