Have you ever wondered how you are doing financially compared to others? Answering the question “how wealthy are you?” is a very personal affair, but sometimes it’s good to have some comparisons to determine how well you are doing compared to others around you.
If you are anything like me, then the official arrival of Black Friday last week would have made you physically sick! Seriously people, Fridays are supposed to be the highlight of the week! You were fighting over a £399 TV that you’ve never even wanted. It still costs £249, and I repeat, you really didn’t even want it (never mind need it).
And what was your reaction? Well, check out a few of these videos to see. Warning: these videos will make you question the morality of much of the human race:
PS – the guy in this last video really should have considered buying a bargain belt rather than a bargain TV on Black Friday!
And guess what? These Blaupunkt TVs which were reduced from £399 to £249 were still available online at Tesco Direct for £249 on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday after Black Friday, and even a week later they are still only £299.
Thank goodness you didn’t all behave like animals (…that is clearly unfair on animals…) to get your hands on this “once in a lifetime” opportunity.
Now, I’m all for a bargain and saving money on items when you can. But, Black Friday is just not the right way to do it. It comes from the US calendar where they celebrate Thanksgiving on the Thursday and then shop ready for Christmas on the Friday. It seems we’ve forgot to import the nice part where families get together and give thanks and be grateful for the wonderful things that they have in life, but have instead simply imported the worst parts of their culture. Well done “Great” Britain!
Luckily, there is a much more civilised, much more British way to save money in a responsible and friendly way coming up and this is called “AMEX Shop Small”.
What is AMEX Shop Small?
It all starts on “small business Saturday”. Saturday 6th December is the national day for the small business. We are encouraged to celebrate and support our local small businesses by shopping there. To support this day, American Express have launched their Shop Small program – “support your high street heroes”.
The idea is to celebrate the small shop owners who do big things for us every day. From the butchers, to the bakers, to the stylish dressmakers – small businesses are at the heart of our communities:
This sounds much more than pleasant Black Friday already, doesn’t it?
But, where are the huge reductions? That’s all we care about, right?
Luckily, they are coming.
What are the deals with AMEX Shop Small?
Well, starting on Saturday 6th December and running all the way until 21st December, any purchase made in a participating small business will mean that you get a £5 statement credit when you spend £10 or more in store.
Let’s break this down:
Who are the “participating small businesses”?
Usually, when you have a disclaimer like this, then you expect there to only be one or two shops that will eligible. Not the case! All you need to do is put in your location or postcode in the map below to be able to see all the participating stores:
AMEX Store Locator Map
What is a “£5 statement credit”?
This simply means that for every shop in which you spend £10 or over, you will have £5 reduced from your credit card bill in that month. Therefore, if you spend exactly £10, you will be effectively getting 50% off the item. If you spend £20 in that store, it will be 25% off, etc.
This is perfect for Christmas shopping if you are looking for gifts for friends and family in that £10-£20 price range and usually these small shops will sell items which are much more thoughtful and relevant to your loved ones than the latest Katie Price autobiography from Tesco!
What should I be careful of in the T&Cs?
There are a couple of points to note:
- Only your first purchase in each participating store will be eligible for the £5 statement credit. Therefore, you can’t shop in the same place more than once and expect the reward. However, there is no limit on the number of different participating retailers that you can use.
- To receive the £5 statement credit, you must first register your American Express card (see the section below).
- American Express Corporate Cards and Prepaid Cards do not qualify for this offer
- Statement credits should be issues within 3-5 working days (but may take up to 8 weeks to be credited to your account in certain circumstances).
- Only actual cards which are registered will be eligible. If you have 2 or more cards on the same account, each card must be registered separately.
How do I sign-up to Shop Small?
If you already have an American Express credit card, simply visit the American Express website and click on register your card. This will take you to another page where you enter your enrollment information, agree to the Terms and Conditions and then you are done!
How to make the most of this deal?
As with Black Friday, I don’t think that anyone should go out and spend money on items that they don’t need just because they are getting some money back.
However, if you know you need something (or gifts for others for Christmas) and the items are in the £10-£30 range, it may work out cheaper going to your local businesses to get your items. These small business owners are hard-working people that need your support. Every day they are battling with the big corporate powers to offer a good service to people at a competitive price.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could support these local businesses? Wouldn’t it be even better if we could buy our items there and get them for cheaper than in the big stores due to the returned statement credit?
Well, during the Shop Small season, this is exactly what’s happening.