Amex ‘Shop Small’ starts today – get £5 back on every £10 purchase!

If you have ANY American Express credit or charge card – except TSB – you can make big savings on your Christmas shopping from today until 18th December with ‘Shop Small’.

American Express is the major UK sponsor of a scheme called ‘Shop Small’, designed to encourage you to shop in local independent stores instead of major chains.

Starting today, Saturday 3rd December until 18th December, you will receive £5 cashback on EVERY transaction you make for £10 or more at a participating ‘Shop Small’ business.

There are very few rules apart from the fact that you can only get one £5 cashback per shop per card.  You can, of course, register multiple American Express cards if you have more than one.

Shop Small

It is a simple process:

You MUST register your credit card before making a ‘Shop Small’ purchase.

Any Amex-issued Amex card can be registered by going to the American Express website, logging in and looking under ‘My Offers’ on the statement page.

You can register British Airways, Harrods, Costco, Starwood, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Cashback and Green American Express cards via this link. Corporate and pre-paid cards do not qualify.

If you have an American Express card issued by Lloyds Bank, Barclaycard or MBNA, you must register via this page.  TSB Amex cards cannot take part in this offer for some unknown reason.

You can register supplementary cards (an additional card held by your partner on the same account) as long as it has a different card number to your main card.


Find participating small shops

The main Shop Small site is which contains a link to an interactive map where you can find participating shops in your area.

It is worth noting that it is not just sellers of ‘things’ who are taking part. You may find cafes and even the occasional pub taking part!

One note – last year, contactless transactions seemed to have difficulty tracking and often required a call to Amex to get the £5. Use your PIN number if you can.

Make a qualifying purchase of £10 or more

You can make one purchase per registered card per shop that is taking part in ‘Shop Small’.

If you have an Amex-issued American Express card, you should receive an email confirmation soon after making your purchase. This will not happen with some other American Express cards but your cashback will still turn up.

A £5 credit for every £10 purchase will be added onto your credit card statement within a few days.

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  1. Anyone know of online small retailers participating in Amex Shop Small?

    • Terry Thomas says:

      The Putney and Uckfield branches of this place is participating, so I should imagine the online one is as well. I’ve not checked the other branches.

    • Johnnycl says:

      No1 lounges appears on the map c/o their Carnaby Street office….possible opportunity for cheap lounge access…

    • I’ve just had a meal at a participating restaurant, that surprise, surprise – didn’t take Amex!!! As most of the merchants near me are the same it wasn’t a surprise! I ONLY took Amex cards to the restaurant, and ultimately ended up leaving without paying the bill, as there was no other payment options.

      Question – do they have any legal authority to take payment after I’ve left? Given that I had a valid means of paying that they refused??

      Is this now free?

  2. abe mozes says:

    I think it’s practically all that accept Amex small shops… but just in case…,-2.2582166

  3. I just used 10 cards to pay the bill in an Italian restaurant.
    The patrone was a bit dubious, but ended up using two machines simultaneously.
    I have arranged to use all 16 at the wine shop tomorrow before going home.

  4. Went out for lunch and dinner today (excessive, I know – but it’s the weekend).

    Both places were featured on Amex Small Shops website. Both said they stopped taking Amex over a year ago. Massive fail.

    • Peter K says:

      I have a local butchers that has featured for a few years on the map but had not taken AMEX all that time. Still there on the map despite me telling AMEX it is wrong.

      • The pub we went to said they have told Amex several times about this and are getting frustrated. Looking at the map, I think it could be a wide spread problem. There’s several local retailers on their near to us that I know don’t take Amex.

        How hard can it be to pull the latest database rather than one from 3 years ago?!

        • Sometimes it’s the retailers not Amex causing the issue: a policy of don’t take amex (maybe even enforced by the type of card machine they use) doesn’t mean they a no longer signed up with Amex. At least once I’ve got a “we don’t take amex” but in the end paid with amex as I was walking out. Some stuff may not know how or that it’s possible if the policy is to say no.

        • The dry cleaners in our town are on the list and their machine does accept Amex but they refuse to do it. Maybe I could slip a less obvious card through with an airline name plastered all over it, but now that I am retired I don’t need much dry cleaning.

        • Loads of retailers try to get out of accepting Amex – just trying to save on costs. Make sure you ONLY take Amex cards and they change their tune – funny that…

  5. I went to a pub last night which appeared on the Shop Small map but after ordering the round she said they don’t accept AMEX. I thought the staff might have been told to try and sway customers away from AMEX so said “well that’s funny” and explained the offer, but it turns out they genuinely didn’t take AMEX. The database is obviously a bit dodge.

    • It’s like this every year, if you can be bothered, then you can contact amex and they’ll usuallt give you a credit for the place if its on the map but doesn’t accept amex.

      • the real harry says:

        I can usually be bothered 🙂

        this year I’m down to 4 cards but that’s still £20 credit for 2 minutes on the phone

        • Would they normally give you credit for all the cards on your account, or just for one off? What do you normally say to get them to do it for all cards?

        • the real harry says:

          of course they do, they are simply the best customer service people in the business

          I simply tell them the truth, that a transaction was made but Shop Small promo failed with this outlet & my wife & I had a problem getting the statement credit on our cards

        • Amex will give you £5 per card per store, yes. Not all shops can easily split payments though as the staff don’t know how – best to buy lots of £10 items separately.

    • No! The retailers are dodge – trying to get you to use a cheaper card for them. Call Amex they will credit any missing £5 due. And hopefully fine the retailer!!!!!

  6. Does anyone know of any driving schools in north London that are participating?

  7. Also, purchased £40 worth of scratchcards and only won £6 back!

    • Got 7 success emails on Saturday/ Sunday. Xmas do at a small shop merchant – worked well!

  8. the real harry says:

    Just made 3x Amex SS transactions, chip & pin – no success emails

    I’ll pop down to the Post Office in a bit and buy the £10 giftcards to see if that triggers any emails

    sort of a control 🙂

    • the real harry says:

      Back from the Post Office & 4 success emails straight away – nothing from Shop Small yet though (but I did get 1 on Saturday)

      Anybody else getting the success emails today?

      • No success emails from yesterday or today. I know it’s not my email settings because I’m getting the post office emails.

        Really hope I don’t have to phone to claim them as it’s 7 cards at each retailer!

        • the real harry says:

          right that does it – fish & chips for the kids after school to see if it triggers an email

          I had slight doubts about the shop I chose – even though I did get the success email on Saturday, it’s not on the map

        • No emails Saturday or Sunday. So it’s the same across the board

        • +1
          Initially I thought it was because I used the non Amex issued card yesterday, but used different cards today and have received no emails so far.

    • headformiles says:

      any update on the emails? got 5 SS emails today, but not for the 2 post offices listed on small shop map (kings cross and mayfair in london)

  9. I registered my BA Amex and got an email confirmation right away. But when I registered my Virgin Airways MBNA Amex, I got a message on the website saying that I have already registered this card. It was a supplementary card and my husband had just registered his a few minutes before – what are the rules for supplementary cards?

    Do you have to register them separately?

    Can you use both cards at a retailer and get the £5 back, or is it one spend per both cards?

    • the real harry says:

      have they got the same long number?

    • With MBNA, supplementary cards have the same card number so cannot be registered. It is different for other card issuers when a supp has a different number and can be registered.

  10. If a small shop has two locations but only one shows up on the map, like La Fromagerie, will it work at each location or just the one on the map?

    • the real harry says:

      Worked fine for me with a butcher in the same town with 2 different locations

      the till system is presumably unique to each location

    • Waribai says:

      “La Fromagerie”

      Our family love that place. The first year of shop small when it was £5 off £5, it felt like Christmas had come early going in there with 12 amex cards!

  11. Hello,

    It says “EVERY” transaction in the article. I think it’s wrong, Amex page says “once for every retailer”.
    “There is no limit to the number of times you can receive your £5 statement credit – however, you can only claim it once at each small business.”

    Could you please confirm this?

  12. Waribai says:

    Top Tip regarding merchants who are listed but don’t take Amex, instead of faffing around on the phone, you can just email Amex. See my reply below which I received after emailing last night about a local restaurant. Clearly, blaming it on the retailer, the rep doesn’t realise that the database is not that accurate. Does anyone knows if the goodwill £5 would be available for each card I potentially was aiming to use or just a one off per person as it were? I don’t want to exhaust the goodwill of Amex!

    “I apologise for the inconvenience caused to you.

    You will be glad to know that I have immediately gone ahead and have applied the credit of £5 on your Card ending in xxxxxx as a gesture of goodwill. The credit will appear on your account within 2-3 working days.

    I assure you that all merchant that we have listed for you on the map agreed to participate in the campaign. I am sorry to learn the merchant refused to accept your Card despite being listed on the map.

    I have also updated our Marketing team, informing them about your current experience. We will take all measures to contact the merchant to resolve the situation so that you do not face any issues going forward.

    It is always a pleasure to assist a valuable Card Member in the best way I can. Kindly let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

    Have a great day!”

    • the real harry says:

      LY I successfully got 5x £5 retrospective credits on the phone for outlets where I spent 5x £10 (eg on stamps) and the £5 credits didn’t get given – because the database was wrong. So in theory: yes. & Amex didn’t mind me claiming on behalf of my wife.

      But it might be seen as slightly different when you are splitting a single restaurant bill? Probably not, people do that all the time.

      This morning all seems to be working perfectly & I got my £40 joint of Xmas beef, £20 to you sir! 🙂

      • Waribai says:

        I think this is a slightly different scenario as in you actually used your Amex so yes, you would have a case for each and every card.
        In my case, it was a potential transaction which didn’t occur. I would be surprised if they credited that!

    • Is he confirmation email vital. I have made purchases at a couple a couple of merchants with Shop Small signs everywhere and very switched on but no email. Also how do you claim if credit not received on non-Amex issued card?

      • the real harry says:

        email is not vital

        not sure how I got my MBNA credits LY when it didn’t work – but I did – probably was on the phone to MBNA

    • Andrew* says:

      Our local vet has an Amex sign and is listed on Shop Small site…

      Given I have a real cat and a real dog who needed their vaccinations I was going to pay for one with one Amex card and one with another…

      Guess what, the vet doesn’t take Amex ‘any more, not since the new card machine’…

      £5 credited to each of two Amex cards following similar message above…

    • I’m usually good at figuring things out but how does one email American Express? I only see phone numbers and tweeting info.

      • Use the ‘Contact us’ option when logged in to your account to make use of secure messaging.

  13. headformiles says:

    – 32 Grosvenor St – (MAYFAIR POST OFFICE)
    – Ealing Common Sub Post Office – (EALINZ COMMON POST OFFICE)
    – 138 Stoke Newington High St (POST OFFICE)
    – Regents Park Road Post Office – (PRIMROSE HILL POST OFFICE)
    – 39 – 41 Farringdon Rd – (POST OFFICE)
    – Kings Cross Post Office

    These are the london post offices that seem to appear in small shop map search at random, no emails received but I did receive email for the post office offer (5 off 10 spend at a post office not listed on small shop map), perhaps some conflict?

    • I would assume that a post office which appears on the Shop Small list has got a substantial shop attached and that is where you would earn the refund. The Post Office is co-located but separate and you would get the Post Office statement credit by buying stamps, One4All gift cards etc.
      I bought six gift cards at a Post Office which was within a Tesco Express.

    • the real harry says:

      Judging by LY, no Post Offices are included in Shop Small, as mark2 says, the statement credit would only be given for purchases ‘the other side’ of the post office, ie the retail shop co-located in the same premises. They (the shop) often sell stamps in booklets.

    • I know for certain that the one you listed as:
      shows up on receipt and Amex statement as OLYMPIA POST OFFICE both from the PO counter AND from the till in the attached shop.

      In other words, it’s a bug on the shop small database to show post offices as part of shop small. Last year they didn’t track, and it’s the same this year.

  14. the real harry says:

    Has a little trundle around getting mostly stamps this morning – another 32 purchases which have tracked fine except (1 outlet x4)

    So £160 profit for me 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      I did quite a few stamps yesterday. More to come…

    • Genghis says:

      Do you go for 1 x 12 second and 1 x 6 first for £10.44?

      • the real harry says:

        yep but sometimes have to settle for 3x first

        and in one outlet had to take 3 x the £10 beer promo – 15 cans of Carlsberg – as they only had a few books of stamps

        life is tough 🙂

  15. Dirty Harry says:

    I made 2 SS purchases on the 7th December and like many people no email received but also no £5 credit showing on either account. how soon are peoples credit showing up on their account please?

    • Took a few days for my most recent one, no email either – not sure if it was because of my chaser email or it just credited anyway…

    • It seems to be random. we have 16 cards between us and I have used all of them in a few shops. Mostly received an email within minutes and the rebate at varying intervals from one to five days including some arriving on Sunday. One shop where I am going to use all cards to buy a gift voucher (local artisan jeweller) I did one to make sure. The purchase was made on 6th December and was debited to the account the same day but no £5 back; I feel safe using the other Amex issued cards but will give Lloyds, MBNA etc. a miss. The card slip shows ‘Card Saver’ at the top so this may be why, but she is on the map so I am sure that I will get it if I whinge.
      Incidentally I note that when the £5 statement credit is posted to the account no points are deducted as they are with a refund.

  16. Tried to register MBNA Virgin Atlantic black AMEX but received error message : “Oops, our records show that you’ve already enrolled in this offer. We limit the number of times that a Cardmember can enroll in each offer.”

    I have registered Plat and BAPP directly with AMEX but many here appear to have far more than three cards registered.

    Anyone rejected in attempt to register an MBNA or Barclaycard issued AMEX?

    • Tried card nonetheless at local Italian restaurant and received email confirmation of success despite website statement as above..

    • I managed to register a Virgin card that I had cancelled and the same with an Amex Platinum.

  17. I just spent 50 minutes on the phone to Lloyds re the Lloyds-issued Amex arguing my case on an uncredited Shop Small purchase and also two stores that denied the card. I had previously registered the card as per the Shop Small Lloyds-specific link. The handler knew nothing of the promotion so I ended up raising an official complaint, but he still insisted I needed to speak to Amex directly, even though I explained they’d have no access to my Lloyds/Amex details.

    How can things be so easy when dealing with Amex over the missed/denied credits yet so difficult with a banking partner? I’m actually shocked at Lloyds attitude – they just kept insisting it was nothing to do with them and Lloyds were “just an introducer”.

    The ultimate insult was Lloyds insisting that, as I’m already an Amex customer through the BA Amex card, I could speak to them and they’d know what I was talking about.

    Give me strength…