Bits: last day for Amex ‘Shop Small’, London-Perth (non-stop!) with Qantas, Amazon link

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News in brief:

Last day for American Express ‘Shop Small’

Don’t forget that today (Sunday) is the last day for the Amex ‘Shop Small’ offer.  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.

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.  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.

The main Shop Small site is which contains a link to an interactive map where you can find participating shops in your area.  This map is pretty useless though, including shops which do not take Amex or are closed.  There are also lots of participating shops not featured – the ‘Cards Galore’ near us triggered a £5 credit when I bought £10 of stamps.

The easiest thing to do is to pay with an Amex whenever you can today and see what turns up your statement next week.

Shop Small

17 hour flight to Australasia announced by Qantas

Qantas has announced plans to fly DIRECT from London to Perth from 2018.

This will be a whopping 17 hour flight, covering 9,000 miles.  It is only possible due to the new Boeing 787 aircraft that Qantas will begin to receive next year.

There are a few other flights of a similar length (I think Santiago, when it launches in January, will be the longest British Airways flight at 14 hours) but none from London.  Air India, oddly, holds the record at 9,400 miles for Delhi to San Francisco.

I am not sure what 17 hours in a 787 economy seat will be like – you have to assume that Qantas will not use one of the very dense seating configurations used by other airlines – but as a Business Class flight it would be manageable.

Of course, as Perth will not be the final destination for most passengers, a connecting flight will still be required.  On that basis I think a stopover elsewhere – which would allow you to fly both legs on long-haul aircraft – may be preferable.

One group of people it might work for is Avios collectors.  I assume that getting short haul connections on Qantas with Avios is relatively simple, so as long as you can get the long haul you are sorted.  You won’t have the problem of trying to match up availability for two long haul flights.  That said, I have generally seen Australasia as a poor use of Avios given that cash tickets are usually available for under £2,000 if you are not too picky about your airline.

You can find out more in this Bloomberg article here.

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  1. How many Avios will it be in business one way? JFK-HKG is 105k and that is around 16hrs.

    Apparently Qantas is planning on 9 abreast still and just blocking seats :/

    • Nicola Walton says:

      Funny re your comment about the Amex shop small promotion, in our village we have 2 butchers, the one I don’t use was on the Shop Small map. So instead of going to my usual one I went to the other and tried to pay and guess what? They don’t accept Amex!

      • Ring Amex card services and report the merchant. They will credit your card(s) with £5 goodwill. Shop Small promo has turned into a nice little earner finding shops on the list that don’t actually accept Amex! Ha.

        • I used to work for a national chain of builder’s merchants that had Amex enabled on every till…

          But our staff were only allowed to accept Amex from the staff of a single company that held Amex Corporate Cards.

          Once contactless was enabled it was an absolute farce of reversals and alternative cards.

  2. Why is it odd for Air India to have the longest route? Because they’re Indian so should be inferior?

  3. Michelle says:

    Yesterday I thought I would try using my old Diamond Amex for shop small. It was accepted despite getting the replacement visa and got my confirmation email but no credit as yet. Has anyone had any luck with this?

    • the-very-real-arry says:

      that’s odd – rubbish of them if they haven’t cancelled them yet

      I cut mine up though & haven’t activated the new Visas yet

      looks like I missed out on a 5th card for Shop Small, could have had 95 shops instead of 75

      current King of Shop Small is mark2 – I think he said 125 shops – anybody can beat that?

      • Only 36 actual transactions and a couple of extra credits – St Andrews was a good place for us – great cheese shop, butchers, wine and spirits, cards and nice gift shops all take Amex – so did quite well – heading back there again today to do a bit more as I got a new Lloyds supp card this week with a different number!

      • Only visited 11 physical shops but 165 transactions here.

      • As you have found out your “old” DC AmEx can continue to be used until the expiry date even if MBNA have already sent you replacement Visa card.

        To be eligible for shop small you’d need to register it using the link Rob provided and enter the card number.

        I’m afraid I don’t know whether retrospective (but same day) registration would give you the necessary credits….

  4. I am very jealous of those that have managed hundreds of shop smalls. Presumably they live in a big city because in the countryside I have managed a big fat zero.

    • I live in London and have also managed 0, partly because I’ve been in Europe for half of the time, and partly because I have nothing to buy.

      I already have £100 of stamps (for which I paid around £40)

    • I did about 155 transactions in about 22 shops (I only recoded the big ones) and I live in a small town in the country. I think it must depend on the efforts of the Amex/card processor reps in a particular area. One shop I spent in had just started Amex but had not heard of Shop Small and had never spoken to Amex direct.

      • I’d been wondering how much you could industrialise this without annoying Amex – clearly the answer is “far more than I’d ever have the patience for”. If I’m still in London this time next year, I’m going to make a determined effort to match up the Oyster Ticket Stop map with the Shop Small map – I filled up my Oyster card to the brim this time round, but you can always get another one!

        I do balance out my karma by going to some genuine local shops as well, and there are several I’ve found that way (particularly cafes) which I’ve then gone back to throughout the year.

        • the-very-real-arry says:

          Karma schmarma

          if you wanted to industrialise it, you get a real value item such as stamps and go hard for 14 days (or whatever it is) with 15 cards like Will.

          you’d plan the UK, maybe 20 outlets a day

          So @ £5 a time I make that 20 outlets x £5 x 15 cards x 14 days = £21,000

          minus some petrol money, of course

          damn pelican kids 🙂

          • Got my route carefully planned these days, some local restaurants that I always visit within the year, annual supply of coconut oil and gift vouchers / store credits for a few other local shops that I go to.

            I now phone ahead and ask them for a quiet time to go and process 15 cards and they laugh when they see me come through the door.

            It’s quite a small town here so no one else seems to do it but I did suggest to them trying to make a FB group or website and actively encourage retailers to get people buying gift cards on a specific evening next year. If just a handful of people came out and spent £100 that they wouldn’t normally spend then it could make a huge difference to some of the places.

          • You would, unfortunately, have to spend £42,000 to achieve this.

        • Johnnycl says:

          Plenty of Oyster ticket stops within easy reach of the main London train stations, I filled up 4 Oyster cards this year. Would have been tempted to spend half a day to do a few more if it wasn’t for the current train strikes making it a pain to get out of London.

  5. the-very-real-arry says:

    you might have missed last night that My First Years is doubling up, giving £10 off £50 if you sign up – also available for MBNA cards – and giving £5 for Shop Small on top

    • Johnnycl says:

      Wish I’d realised they were in shop small, I used the £50 offer last month.

      I like their stuff and the customer service is good but the range of products (for post-newborns) is so dull I struggled to find things to get me to the £50 threshold.

  6. Shame BA won’t be doing direct flights or allowing 241 on Qantas

    Does anyone know if there is a Qantas 241 Amex deal? (Even for Ozzie residents)

    Aiming at doing Perth next year, do you think this is decent value?

    F on BA 241 to Singapore (119,000 Avios) + 2x £400 Fees/Taxes = £800 total
    then 5 hrs in Economy Qantas SIN-PER £29+12,500 Avios (x2)

    Qantas PER-SIN per pax… Econ = £47 +12,500. x2
    BA 241 SIN-LHR CW = £200 x 2 + 87,500 Avios total

    So grand total of approx £1360 & a whooping 256500 Avios

    Qantas Business is same cash but extra 25k Avios/sector/pax for the 5 hour hop

    I may also save 42k and go outbound in CW, but was hoping to tick the box of doing the Concorde room

    Good use of Avios?

    • No there is no QF 241. Also I value QF points at 0.6c AUD.

      If you value Avios at 1p, then would you pay £3925 for these flights (and not earn any Avios except from Amex)?

      • Hmm excellent point, put it like that its certainly food for thought.

        As its over Xmas/NY cheap long haul business class flights will be hard to come by.

        I guess I could book these redemptions, and then if a mega sale with BA/Qantas (or ME3 carriers) happens to come along, I could cancel them to take part in the sale.

        • For those heading to Perth / Aus – We flew to Sydney a few weeks back with Avios & Cathay. LHR – Ams (Reward flights). Then AMS – HKG – SYD…We paid hardly any taxes and the product was wonderful. Highly recommend the route

    • I am flying to Perth at the end of March, and had explored various options including Avios redemption for Business class.
      I then noticed that Emirates had rtn economy fares for £490, including lengths of stopover that would allow a night in a hotel. So I went for this, and will use the Avios for internal flights in Oz.
      I don’t know if anyone else is like me in that they love accumulating Avios and are therefore reluctant to see them disappear in large chunks!

      • That’s a good price, rellies just booked econ rtn with Emirates for approx £1300 PER-DXB-GLA rtn per pax. Its over this NY so outbound in just over a week, and they booked only 8 weeks before travel.

        On balance I’d be willing to burn the Avios for my trip, like I said above if by some miracle Business sale rtn flights come up for under £1500 per pax I might be tempted. As I live up in Scotland, I’m also considering starting my journey out of Inverness to save approx £300 in tax, so it’d be £1060 + 256k Avios for 2 people, his weighing up the inconvenience and risk as there’s only one BA flight to LHR per day, also not the best time of year for weather delays/cancellations.

        Qantas do have some good redemptions in Oz , I thought the SIN- PER for 12.5k + £29 was a good price for a 5 hour flight, I suspect Perth Sydney is even better value at £11.80 cash + Avios, 12,500 in Economy or 37,500 in Business !

        Enjoy your trip ! 🙂

    • Looks like you’ve priced up two LH singles taxes whereas a return will be a bit cheaper

  7. RussellH says:

    What are Amex doing with Shop Small?

    Amex says they have agreements with all the shops on their website.

    Many of those shops say that they have never had any agreement with Amex.

    So, do Amex just send out details to all sorts of places at random and put them on the website?

    They did invite me to take part in 2013, but by this time in 2013 I was just about finished selling the business.

    • Well I don’t actually know, but I’ve always assumed it’s just based on turnover.

      I’m fairly sure the businesses can’t have to opt-in to take part. Some pretty random places turn up on the website, including ones which are obviously services you couldn’t actually “shop” at (bearing in mind that only in-person transactions count).

      • the-very-real-arry says:

        except for a few online purchases/ outlets that also give the £5 🙂

        I assume it’s when the notation Amex receive is the same ie in-store vs online

  8. I went into my local jeweller yesterday as I usually do this time of year for my Mum. Bought 4 £10 gift cards paid separately with my Amex Platinum, BA Amex, Virgin Amex and Lloyds Avios Amex. I got email notification for all within minutes. Result.

  9. It may seem a bit soon, but you need to start thinking about next year.
    Remember that you can earn on each card not each account, so make sure that you have supplementary cards when you will still have the account next December (except MBNA where supplementaries have the same number as the main card).
    Through the year apply for a few Amex/Visa combinations from MBNA; they seem happy to issue you with several cards with low (or not so low limits). You don’t have to spend to get the points if you are unlikely to use them. Remember that Amex will only let you have two charge and two credit cards , but remember the one MR card rule. A couple can have a card each of a type and give each other supplementaries. This is how to get a lot of cards. Don’t forget Lloyds Avios cards which have Lloyds own cash back if you have your current account there.
    If there is a shop you would like to use and they take Amex but were not in Shop Small this year, set yourself a reminder for next November to go and show them how to enrol using the Shop Small site.

    • Most banks will issue extra cards.

      If you have any trouble, the simplest way to get one is to tell them that you don’t always present as your birth gender and need a separate card to reflect that side of your life.

  10. 261 transactions in total. But I also visited 37 places that refused Amex but were on the map – a large loss of time for those ones.

    I also had some horrendous charges for using my cards. One place near Cannon Street charged me £3 per transaction!

    • the real harry says:

      I hope you claimed the £5 from Amex for those 37 places?

      Could have been a lucrative phone call & Amex pay up every time 🙂

    • I gave up after phoning local restaurants on the map and they all said that they didn’t accept Amex or some excuse

  11. Someone asked how to claim for non-payment of statement credit on cards not issued by Amex.
    I have emailed Lloyds Bank and they tell me that you have to claim from Amex.
    You should use
    It seems to cover all of the other issuers.

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