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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Shop Small® Movement? What is Small Business Saturday®?

Shop Small is a nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses and to help communities thrive. As the founding partner, American Express has created Shop Small resources that can help your business stand out, and reach and attract new customers throughout the year.

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is the cornerstone of American Express's Shop Small efforts. While Small Business Saturday is highlighted as a special day when we can show our support as a nation for small business owners and our communities, the Shop Small Movement is a year-round campaign to celebrate and support small businesses every day.

2. When is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 24th, 2018. Mark your calendar! For more information about the day, go to ShopSmall.com/about.

3. Is there any cost to my business to be a part of Shop Small or Small Business Saturday?

No. These resources and programs are fully funded by American Express and are provided to qualifying American Express Card accepting Small Merchants at no additional cost. However, you may be responsible for the cost of printing certain marketing materials.

4. What Shop Small resources are available to my business and how can I get them?

As a qualifying American Express Card accepting Small Merchant, you could be recommended to American Express Card Members for free. All you need to do is ensure your business is up-to-date and you could be promoted in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. These local recommendations are based on how each Card Member spends.

To update your business information, follow these steps:

  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your business location. A page will display your business location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
  • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update your business location's public information.
  • Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
  • Click the “Save” button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

To learn more about the free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from "American Express Merchant Services" regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

5. What is a qualifying American Express Card accepting Small Merchant?

To qualify for placement on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory, Merchants must meet the following qualification criteria.

  • You must be an American Express Card accepting Merchant;
  • You must be located in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Armed Forces Pacific, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. For brick-and-mortar businesses, this means that you must have at least one physical business location within these territories; for online-only businesses, this means that you must have a service area within these territories;
  • You must have at least 1 but no more than 25 locations (for brick-and-mortar businesses) and meet certain American Express annual charge volume requirements;
  • You must not be part of a franchise brand that has more than 250 stores; Additionally, if a franchise brand has more than 25 corporate-owned stores, then the entire brand is excluded;
  • Businesses in these industries are excluded: Government agencies, public administration, gas stations and businesses located on the same premises as a gas station, travel agencies, charities, non-profits, peer-to-peer payments, crowdfunding, trade associations, shopping property management companies, direct sellers, and political organizations;
  • In some cases, if you process American Express Card payments solely through a third-party processor (for example, those that offer the ability to accept credit cards through a card reader attached to a mobile device) or as part of an affiliate program, you may be excluded from participating in the Shop Small Map depending on whether or not the third party provides sufficient data for American Express to determine if your business meets the foregoing qualifications.
6. I process American Express Cards solely through a third party payments aggregator. Do I qualify?

Possibly. Provided you meet all other eligibility criteria as outlined above, you may be eligible to appear on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory, provided that the aggregator provides sufficient data for American Express to determine whether your business meets the foregoing qualifications. To determine whether or not you are eligible, you can log in to the Merchant website or call us at 1-800-235-8916 between 9am - 6pm EST, Monday through Friday.

7. What are the Shop Small Map and Online Directory?

The Shop Small Map displays qualifying small businesses with a physical business location so that customers can easily locate you. The Online Directory within the Shop Small Map lists qualifying small businesses that only accept online transactions or those that do not have a physical business location.

When you’re on the Map, you could be promoted in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. These local recommendations are done through American Express targeted marketing and are based on how each Card Member spends.

8. What businesses are included on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory? Is there any cost?

Your business can be included on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory if you meet our qualification criteria set forth in FAQ 5. There is no additional cost to be included on either the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

9. My business was included on a previous version of the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. Am I still listed?

Yes, probably. However, the qualification criteria for Shop Small may change from time to time. If you are no longer listed, please review the current qualification criteria set forth in FAQ 5 to see if your business location(s) still qualifies to be listed on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

If you are a qualifying American Express Card accepting Small Merchant and you are not currently listed, you can include your business location(s) on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory by following these steps:

  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your business location. A page will display your business location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
  • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update your business location's public information.
  • Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
  • Click the "Save" button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

10. How do I update or add my business location(s) on the Shop Small Map so that my business can be recommended to Card Members?

To update your business location on the Shop Small Map:

  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your business location. A page will display your business location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
  • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update your business location's public information.
  • Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
  • Click the "Save" button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

To learn more about the free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

11. I logged into my Merchant account, but some of my business locations are missing when I go to see my public information. How do I add other business locations to the Shop Small Map or Online Directory?

To update your profile to add any missing business locations to your public information, please follow these steps:

  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your business location. A page will display your business location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
  • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update your business location's public information.
  • Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
  • Click the "Save" button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

Please note that you will need your Merchant Number or Access Code for each location you wish to add. If you have recently opened a new location, please keep in mind that it can take 4 to 6 weeks for the new location to appear.

To learn more about the free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

12. I tried searching for my business on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory, but it did not appear in the search results. Why would this be happening, and what can I do?

Your business may not appear in the search results for a few reasons:

  • Your business location(s) may not qualify. Please review the current qualification criteria set forth in FAQ 5 to see if your business location qualifies to appear on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.
  • Your business location(s) may qualify to appear, but you may need to indicate your preference for including your business location(s) on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. To include a qualifying business location on the Map or directory, please follow these steps:
    • Log into your Merchant account here*
    • Click on your business location. A page will display your business location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
    • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update your business location's public information.
    • Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
    • Click the "Save" button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

You may have previously removed your business from a Shop Small campaign. If so, your business location(s) will not appear on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. You can opt back in to include your business location(s) on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory by checking the checkbox that allows us to include your public business information on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory and in other marketing channels, as outlined in steps 1-5, above.

To learn more about the free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

13. My business has a physical location but I also operate online. Can my business be included on both the Shop Small Map and the Online Directory?

It depends. Each location displayed on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory is tied to a unique Merchant Number/Access Code, so you can only indicate one listing preference per Merchant Number/Access Code. If you have separate Merchant Numbers/Access Codes for your physical store and your online business, you may include one on the Map and one on the Online Directory. However, if you use the same Merchant Number/Access Code for both parts of your business, you will need to choose to be listed either on the Shop Small Map or the Online Directory because you can't be listed in both.

14. I provide a service, such as personal fitness training, and I don't have a storefront or online store. Can I be included on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory?

Yes! You can include your business on the Online Directory section of the Shop Small Map. This directory is for businesses that do not have a physical address for shoppers to visit. When confirming or adding your business information, make sure you update your URL, and in the Servicing section, make sure the "This is not a location Card Members can visit" checkbox is checked.

15. I noticed on the Shop Small Map that some Merchants are highlighted as American Express Card Member Favorites. What does this mean?

From time to time, you may see this Card Member Favorite icon next to a merchant’s name. American Express recognizes select merchants as Card Member Favorites if they are among the most popular local destinations, compared to other similar businesses, when looking at where our Card Members use their American Express® Cards. To learn more about the Card Member Favorite program, click here, or to find more Card Member Favorite businesses, click here.

16. How do I remove my business from the Shop Small Map or Online Directory?
  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your business location.
  • Click the pencil icon in the pop up window to edit your business location's public information.
  • Uncheck the checkbox to indicate that you do not want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels.
  • Click the "Save Updates" button at the bottom of the pop up window to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

Please note that if you uncheck the checkbox that allows us to include your public business information on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory and in other marketing channels, you will not be included in Card Member recommendations and may not be included in various Shop Small Card Member offers. To learn more about the free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

17. Will updates to my public information change my billing or contact information that is on file with American Express or my third-party payment processor?

No. This process will only update your public information for use in Card Member account statements, Card Member recommendations, on the Shop Small Map, Online Directory, and in other marketing channels.

If you need to make changes to your Merchant account information that American Express or your third-party payment processor uses to manage your account, please call the number on your monthly statement. Likewise, if you update your billing or other account information, these changes will not automatically be made to your Shop Small Map or Online Directory listing.

18. I can't log into my Merchant account because I don't have a Merchant Number or Access Code. Where can I find this information?

To log in to the Merchant website and access the Shop Small marketing materials, you will need your Merchant Number or Access Code, a ten-digit number issued by American Express.

If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

19. My small business does not currently accept American Express Cards. Where can I learn more about becoming an American Express Merchant?

Learn more about Card acceptance and rate options with our OptBlue® program. Visit OptBlue.com or call 1-800-480-1222.

20. My personal information is on the map. I don’t think I’m a business. How did this happen and how can I get this removed?

We can appreciate that you’d prefer to keep your home address and personal information private and we can help correct this situation. It is likely that your merchant service provider has enabled you to accept American Express Cards. All service providers send American Express information about their merchants, including business address and phone number. As part of our year-round efforts to promote small businesses to potential customers, we use this information to include merchants on the Shop Small Map to help customers find new places to shop. We apologize that this is information you did not want customers to see. Please know that we do try to prevent these situations by looking at certain indicators that help us determine if a business has a storefront or is online only. We are currently exploring additional processes to help prevent home addresses and personal information from appearing on the map.

Please follow the below steps to correct your information so it accurately reflects your storefront address if you have one, or you can appear on our Online Directory for businesses that do not have a storefront, or you can remove it altogether.

  • Log into your Merchant account here*
  • Click on your location. A page will display your location's public information as it will be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels, provided you complete the steps that follow.
  • Click the edit icon on the right side of the page to update to reflect your business location's public information.
    • To keep your business information on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory: Make sure the checkbox is checked to indicate you want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and other marketing channels.
    • To remove your information from the Shop Small Map or Online Directory: Uncheck the checkbox to indicate that you do not want to get free exposure for your business by allowing your public business information to be seen on our Shop Small Map and in other marketing channels. Please note that by unchecking this checkbox, you will not be included in Card Member recommendations and may not be included in various Shop Small Card Member offers.
  • Click the “Save” button after making changes in each portion of your location details to save your updates.

Updates can take up to 3 days to be reflected on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory.

*To register and log in to your Merchant account for the first time, you will need your Merchant Number or Merchant Access Code, a ten digit number issued by American Express. If you’ve received an email from “American Express Merchant Services” regarding your business, you may be able to find this number in the top right corner of the communication. If you are unable to find this number, unsure whether you have received a Merchant Number/Access Code, or can't recall your Merchant Number/Access Code, you can call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

21. I have a question that isn’t addressed by the FAQs on this page. Where can I go for help?

If the FAQs on this page do not address your questions, please feel free to call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

1. What free marketing materials are available?

Help drive sales by displaying American Express signage that shows potential customers you want their business. Get yours for free at americanexpress.com/signage and let customers know you welcome their business.

As a small business owner with an online presence or physical location, you can help attract even more customers to your business by visiting the Shop Small® Studio. There you can enjoy tools and resources to help you promote your business, like in-store signage, social media posts, email templates, and more, compliments of American Express. These materials can be used to show customers they can Shop Small at your business throughout the year. Business owners are responsible for the cost of printing certain marketing materials.

To learn more about other free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

2. Why is American Express® offering free marketing materials? Is there any cost to my business?

We know attracting more customers is important to you--so it's important to us. That's why we recommend small businesses like yours in our emails to Card Members, in their online accounts, and within search results on the Shop Small Map—all for free, because we don’t just have your back—we’re on your side. In 2017, over 15 million people received recommendations on where to shop.*

In addition to Card Member recommendations, the Shop Small Map and Online Directory, and free display signage, you can help attract even more customers to your business by visiting the Shop Small® Studio. There you can enjoy tools and resources to help you promote your business, like in-store signage, social media posts, email templates, and more, compliments of American Express. These materials can be used to show customers they can Shop Small at your business throughout the year. Business owners are responsible for the cost of printing certain marketing materials.

To learn more about other free benefits you receive as part of accepting American Express, please visit americanexpress.com/marketing.

*Based on an analysis of American Express merchant recommendations in 2017.

3. How do I create my personalized Shop Small marketing materials?

To create and download your personalized Shop Small marketing materials, follow the below steps:

  • Visit the Shop Small® Studio
  • Click the “Download materials” button
  • Input your email address and business zip code (optional)
  • Check the checkbox confirming you have reviewed and agree to the Terms of Participation and you certify that you are authorized to do so on behalf of the organization named in your submission
  • Click the “Download Now” button and the files will automatically download to your computer
  • Share with your networks!
4. I have a question that isn't addressed by the FAQs on this page. Where can I go for help?

If the FAQs on this page do not address your questions, please feel free to call our Shop Small servicing center at 1-800-235-8916. We are available from 9am EST to 6pm EST, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at ShopSmallHelp@aexp.com.

1. General information about American Express Card Member Offers
  • American Express wants to help drive customers to Small Merchants all year long. To help encourage Card Members to seek out and shop at our Small Merchants, from time to time, American Express may include your business in Card Member offers from American Express. There is no additional cost to your business to be included in these offers.
  • In general, American Express selects Small Merchants to include in Card Member offers from those that meet the current qualification criteria set forth in FAQ 5 and that have 1 or more locations listed on the Shop Small Map or Online Directory. Click here to learn how to check or update your location information and preferences.
  • Qualifying Small Merchants should submit all transactions to their processor within 7 business days to ensure Card Members that make qualifying purchases receive their offer benefit.
  • In general, Card Members that make qualifying purchases will receive their offer benefit from American Express within 10-12 weeks after the end of the offer promotion period.
  • Card Members may have their offer benefit reversed if the qualifying purchase is returned or cancelled.
  • If a Card Member has any questions about an American Express Card Member offer, please direct the Card Member to call the number on the back of their American Express Card for information.
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