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Spend £50, get £25 back with Amex / London Restaurant Festival – and how to exploit it

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The London Restaurant Festival is back this year, running from 3rd to 21st October.

Amex is again sponsoring the festival, and is offering £25 cashback on your statement when you make 2 x £25 purchases as participating restaurants.

London Restaurant Festival

You need to register your card in advance at this site.  It seems that only Amex-issued cards are accepted, not MBNA or Lloyds cards.

The list of ‘participating restaurants’ is unfortunately nowhere to be found at that link but we can live in hope that it appears before the 3rd.  It may or not be the full list of all 400 restaurants participating in the festival.

I was a bit dismissive of this offer when it was first announced.  You won’t get much for £25 at any of the participating sites, even if you eat alone, so it will be £25 back on a far larger spend than £50!

However, the more I thought about, the more I thought that you can ‘play a game’ here:

If you and your partner each have an Amex card, you should both register for the offer and split your bill as long as each payment is over £25.

If you were very aggressive, you could ask to pay the bill over three or four cards, even for just two people.  (A cash tip may help here!).  Keep each payment over £25.

You could even ask to split the bill and then pay both bills with the same card!  That would trigger the £25 statement credit immediately.  However, if you do this I would make two unequal payments.  Amex may think it is an error if two identical charges are made on the same card within a minute of each other.

If you can find any participating restaurant that sells gift cards, this would also be an interesting option. 

 Any more ideas?

Comments (21)

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Hotels with a participating restaurant (e.g. Intercontinental) might trigger the offer based on accommodation alone. Bit of a long shot, but CS would probably be sympathetic if you charged a meal to your room and paid that with Amex.

  • Flashware says:

    I registered an MBNA issued card yesterday without issue…

  • danksy says:

    Good call Raffles 😀

  • Nathan says:

    Would this work if both you and your additional card holder registered individually?

  • Lee says:

    I also registered my AA MBNA Amex without issue.

  • Thomas says:

    Yes, here, in the drop down box
    Not a great list of places though

  • Kim says:

    I am pressed for time so can’t double check, but when I read the T’s & C’s yesterday, it was saying you had to pay the whole bill in a single payment with Amex to qualify. Not sure whether that is enforceable though.

  • Andrew says:

    My understanding of the offer is that you need to spend £25 at two different restaurants and so it wouldn’t be possible to trigger the £25 back immediately at one sitting.

    The list of restaurants is on the site, not as a complete list in one place but the ‘menus’ section of the site lists the different price brackets for the festival menus and all participating restaurants are listed under one of those brackets.

    • Rob says:

      That is true. However, I doubt Amex’s IT is up to that – and in any event, you have nothing to lose by trying it.

      • andy21 says:

        I think the Shop Small offer was able to identify if you used your card twice at one establishment. And surely you do have something to lose ie not picking up half a trigger on a second card/account by using the same card twice in one sitting at the same restaurant?

        • Rob says:

          Oh I agree – but if you weren’t planning a 2nd meal or didn’t have 2 Amex cards it would be worth a try

          • andy21 says:

            Oh yes, well that’s true. My housemate and I were having a great time planning how we were going to get the maximum number of visits at ‘half price’. Ping Pong’s £10 menu (including a drink) is quite a good one, buy and extra drink or prawn crackers to make it up to £25 for a pair to count as half of the trigger.