Free Marketing Resources

Promote Your Business By American Express January 19, 2016


Attract More Card Members to Your Business.

Congratulations — by accepting American Express® Cards you’ve taken the first step to driving more customers to your door!

Learn more about the free marketing opportunities designed to drive customer traffic your way, including:

  • The Shop Small Map
  • Free online ads
  • Small merchant recommendations to American Express® Card Members
  • Complimentary signage and business supplies



Help Card Members find you on the Shop Small Map

The Shop Small Map is a year-round resource that allows American Express Card Members to locate accepting Small Merchants like you1.

Customers in your area can find your business quickly and easily when you’re part of the Shop Small Map, and American Express is helping to increase sales at small businesses like yours by driving traffic to the map. In fact, the map was used for over 4.5 million searches and had 1.6 million unique visitors last year.2 Online businesses can be found, too, in the Online Directory within the map.

To update your map listing, go to the American Express Merchant Marketing Corner and log in with your Merchant Site User ID or register to create one.

See instructions below for creating a Merchant Site User ID.


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Put Your Brand in Front of Potential Customers

The Shop Small Free Ads program was developed to help small merchants like you attract more customers by providing you with free online advertising. If you are currently on the Shop Small map¹, you can apply for and personalize an online ad that will be served up on various local media sites to let consumers know who you are. Ads drive directly to your website. With free ads, you’ll also get in-store signage materials, banners you can put on your own website, and sample copy for social posts.

In 2015, ad units were displayed over 112 million times, with an average display of 4,400 times per ad.3

In 2017, Ad flights are running three times annually.4

Ad Application Start Date Ad Application End Date Media Run Dates
11/11/2016 12:01 EST 3/13/2017 11:59 Noon EST 3/17 – 4/28


We have a servicing team ready to walk you through the Free Ads process. This team can even submit an application on your behalf. Call 1-800-235-8916 for assistance.

To apply for free online ads, go to the American Express Merchant Marketing Corner and log in with your Merchant Site User ID or register to create one.

See instructions below for creating a Merchant Site User ID.



Free Signage Gets You More Bang for No Bucks

Point-Of-Purchase is any form of signage that communicates to Card Members that a merchant accepts American Express Cards.

67% of American Express Card Members report they would be more likely to make a purchase when they see on the front door or window that American Express is accepted.5

POP is available free of charge to all merchants through our merchant website: No login required.



We Recommend Businesses Like Yours to Card Members

American Express is marketing local recommendations to Card Members about where to shop or dine, based on how they use their Card. Simply welcome the Card, make sure your business details are accurate on the map, and we may be able to promote your business to Card Members.*

* Recommendations to Card Members are based on Card Member spend behavior. Only merchants who are on the Shop Small map are eligible to be included.  Which merchants get recommended, and how many times cannot be guaranteed in any way.



You Could Be a Card Member Top Pick Too

The American Express Member Favorite program recognizes select American Express Card accepting merchants. It is not based on customer feedback, nor is it a reflection of quality or service. American Express uses its Card Member spending patterns, at an aggregate level, to identify American Express Member Favorites. Businesses which are identified have certain metrics that compare favorably to other businesses in their peer group.

When you see that a business is an American Express Member Favorite because they display the special recognition decal, you know that Card Members have chosen to use their Card at this establishment and that these Card Members “favor” this business.

Eligible merchants chosen as American Express Member Favorites….

  • Have less than $3 million in American Express volume over a 12 month period
  • Have less than 25 locations
  • Have accepted American Express Cards for at least 2 years
  • Are not a franchisee
  • Are in the Restaurant, Retail, or Services industries
  • Are located in markets with at least 1 million spending American Express Cards

The Member Favorite list is refreshed on an annual basis. Warmly welcome American Express Card Members and you too could be a Member Favorite one day.

Learn More



Help Protect Your Business Against Fraud

Fraud is a growing concern, but you can help protect your business against it. We have information and resources to help you minimize the risk of fraud at your company.

Fraud Solutions

American Express offers solutions to help mitigate fraud. Learn about tools that are appropriate for your business.

Fraud Prevention Training Resources

Equip your business with the knowledge to help mitigate fraud, and access fraud risk training resources.

Data Security

Read important guidelines for storing data and how to alert American Express in the event of a security breach.

Learn more 

Instructions for creating a Merchant Site User ID:

free marketing


 1.  The Shop Small Map and online directory only feature qualifying American Express® Card accepting small merchants. Online-only businesses can be found in the online directory. American Express reserves the right to decline any update to a merchant’s customer facing information if it contains inappropriate content. If you recently signed up to accept American Express Cards, please allow up to 7 weeks for your business to appear on the map or online directory.

     Qualifying merchants are those located within 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, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that have 25 or fewer locations and meet certain American Express annual charge volume requirements. Businesses in the following industries are excluded: government agencies, public administrations, gas stations and businesses located on the same premises, charities, non-profits, trade associations, shopping property management companies, direct sellers, travel agents, and political organizations. Franchise brands with more than 100 total stores or more than 20 corporate-owned stores are also excluded. Businesses that accept American Express Cards solely through a third-party payment aggregator or affiliate may qualify if American Express has been given information from such parties identifying the business as meeting the above criteria. American Express reserves the right to modify the qualification criteria.

     Businesses must have an American Express issued Merchant Number or Access Code and meet the above qualification criteria to access merchant-specific resources for Shop Small and Small Business Saturday. Those without a Merchant Number or Access Code can visit to get other resources for Shop Small and Small Business Saturday. If you are unsure whether you have a Merchant Number or Access code, you can contact us at 1-800-235-8916 from 9 A.M. ET to 6 P.M. ET, Monday through Friday or email us at

2.  Omniture reporting: 1/1/15 – 12/31/15

3. Does not represent actual number of times any given ad was displayed. The 4,4000 number represents the result of dividing the aggregate of the 112 million+ times ads were displayed by the total number of ads. American Express cannot guarantee the number of times any ad may be displayed. The number of times a particular ad will be displayed will depend on many factors, which may differ from program to program.

4. Application dates and eligibility restrictions apply; visit website for full details.

5. Source: American Express commissioned internet panel survey conducted in December 2014-February 2015 based on purchases made in the 6 months prior to the survey. Definition of American Express® Card Members: Respondents who reported that they have an American Express Card and that they used that card to make purchases (i.e. retail store, retail services, B2B professional services and/or healthcare) from a small merchant in the prior 6 months.