Thanksgiving’s straight up the best holiday – a solid four day bender of grubbin’ and drinkin’ and football. The best part is I don’t have to cook – Sis Boombah is our kitchen’s Grand Poobah- and so I’ve perfected the twin modern arts of setting out the dishes before the feast and then cleaning them after, although I’m usually close to comatose after gorging myself silly. Lately, though, there’s something else to look forward to during the holiday weekend – American Express’s Small Business Saturday promotion, which this year was incredibly lucrative for my family and me.
As explained further in this post, this year AmEx offered, per individual card number, three $10 statement credits for three, separate purchases of at least $10. As long as the purchases were made at a business on the AmEx Small Business map, it meant a free $30 per card number.
I say card number, not individual card, for this reason: authorized users on the main cardholder’s account are given credit cards with a different card number. Therefore, the authorized user card can sign up for the promotion along with the main cardholder.
I have six AmEx cards:
- Starwood Preferred Guest personal
- Starwood Preferred Guest business
- Blue Cash personal
- Platinum personal
- Delta Skymiles Gold personal
- Bluebird prepaid
I also have:
- a mother
- a father
- a sister
Do you see where I’m going?
Adding authorized users is free, except for the Platinum card which costs $175. So, I made my entire family authorized users on all my cards except my Platinum, leaving me 21 cards. Unfortunately, two of the SPG business cards didn’t come in time for the promotion, so I only could register 19 cards.(IMPORTANT FACT – There is also no need to link an authorized user’s card with their social security number, so the authorized user’s credit report/history/score won’t be affected, at all. My credit is excellent, but this was the reason my family was o.k. with me having them as authorized users.)
This meant I had $570 in free money, as 19 x 3($10) = $570.
I wanted to use my cards all at one business, instead of having fifty-seven $10 gift certificates. So, I looked up the nicest restaurants in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I was for the holiday, and happily found that MAS, a chic tapas joint, was taking part in the promotion.
I called ahead and MAS’ manager was fine with running all my cards and putting the total amount on one gift certificate, instead of fifty-seven different ones! It took about 20 minutes to run and sign everything, but it was totally fine – the manager was happy they were almost $600 up before the restaurant opened and I was pumped to have Thanksgiving Redux. Of course, this time Sis wouldn’t have to cook and I woudn’t have to clean, so…yeah.
That night, we napalmed the menu and ended up going over the gift certificate amount by $200 or so (Merry Xmas, fam!), but we didn’t care. The meal was just super and it was delightful to just point to wines and entrees and deserts and just say “One of these, please,” again and again. The service was also tremendous and I’d love to go back – in a year, of course!
Truly a wonderful Thanksgiving, indeed.
(Tavola, the meal and this post is your loss – get your manager to return my calls.)