Home Credit Cards My Big Mistake When Signing Up For The AMEX Shop Small Offer

My Big Mistake When Signing Up For The AMEX Shop Small Offer

by joeheg

There’s still time to take advantage of the American Express Shop Small offer. The extended sign-up date has already passed. If you’ve already enrolled, you have until September 20th to make up to 10 purchases of $10 or more at a small business with your enrolled AMEX and get $5 back.

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 4.42.27 PM

I was excited about this offer until I realized how infrequently we currently visit our local small businesses because of COVID-19.

I signed up for the Shop Small offer with my AMEX Optima card. It was the only personal card I have that earns Membership Rewards and I decided that I’d rather earn those instead of getting Marriott Bonvoy points or Delta SkyMiles.

Then American Express launched the 10x points offers for gas and restaurants on their AMEX Bonvoy cards. Not many gas stations are small businesses but there are plenty of restaurants where you’d be able to earn 10x Bonvoy points and get $5 back.

Since I signed up for the Shop Small offer with one card and the Marriott Bonvoy offer with another, I have to decide which card to use at independent restaurants. During our first post-coronavirus trip we ate at several local restaurants, as long as they had outdoor seating.

I decided to use my Optima card and earn $5 back and 1 Membership Reward point per dollar instead of the 10x Marriott Bonvoy points.

Our dinners cost $60, $81 and $81 and I earned back $15 in credits. Instead, I could have earned 2220 Marriott points. Back of the napkin math shows that I currently value Bonvoy points at less than 0.675 cents each.

Another reason I went for the cash instead of the points is that I have a good deal of Bonvoy points right now and we’re not staying at hotels. I also have four Marriott free night certificates that I’ll want to use before paying for a night with points. Your math may be different if you’re looking to earn more Marriott points.

In hindsight, if I had signed up with one of our Bonvoy AMEX cards we could have been earning with both offers but who knew those bonuses were coming. Looking back at the math, I’m glad I decided to get the $5 back on each meal instead of going for the 10x points.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 14,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Jason S. August 28, 2020 - 2:43 am

I use the card with $5 back for all small purchases and the others for the large purchases. In other words I use the $5 back card for purchases under $25 only.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: