Tomorrow, I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to get cash back at some of the largest retailers, but today, I’m going to go smaller.
American Express has, in recent years, been calling the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday.” Given the corporate sponsorship, so to speak, they obviously had some skin in the game, encouraging you to use your American Express card to shop at local businesses that accepted it. For a while, in fact, they were giving you a $25 credit to spend at a participating store. That credit has gone away, but they still push you to small businesses at this time of year, an area of the market where they’ve always struggled because of their high fees. Naturally, they’ll point you to the closest store that accepts American Express.
Say what you will about their marketing campaign, but American Express does bring up a notable point: Given the size of companies like Amazon, brick and mortar stores, particularly independents, are struggling. It is those non-chain stores that give neighborhoods their character but the convenience of shopping online has hurt many of them.
So my suggestion is this: Buy one present that you would normally buy online at a local store this year. Obviously, more is better, but if everybody started with just one, it would provide some badly needed support for our neighbors. True, you may pay a couple of dollars more, but you’re supporting people right in your community and likely getting a level of service much higher than the anonymous internet.
And it really doesn’t matter what credit card you use.
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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!