Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

American Express Shop Small is returning in December

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

American Express Shop Small is returning in December.

‘Shop Small’ is an annual American Express promotion which can prove very lucrative.  You receive £5 cashback for every purchase of £10 or more you make in a ‘small shop’ which is generally any independent retailer – including quite a few pubs!

Whilst limited to one credit per shop, you can register every American Express you earn to multiply your returns.

It has not been officially confirmed that Shop Small will return in 2018.  The website (here) is not saying anything.

However, my understanding is that it WILL happen.  It is pencilled in for 1st to 16th December 2018.

We will cover this again nearer the time.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (112)

  • Shoestring says:

    I was checking out the Shop Small map last night, pretty poor pickings for me apart from 3 chippies and a decent pub (which last year had messed up Amex acceptance just at the wrong juncture!)

    Might be a way to get some half price stamps if I check carefully.

    • FlyUpTop says:

      I’ve always found the local map out of date. I have been into shops listed and owners stated they have not used amex for years.
      Best to check first before spending..

      • Genghis says:

        Amex usually credit anyway if Amex not accepted and they’re on the map

      • Polly says:

        But, if you phone up amex, inform them, they will credit you the £5.

        • Shoestring says:

          They got sniffy about crediting me multiple £5s LY and said I would not be allowed any more manual credits for 6 months! Pretty unfair as a £5 credit is there purely because they got it wrong. You could always HUACA but I figured they were putting a note on the a/c to that effect.

    • Chris Palmer says:

      It very much depends where you live. Unsurprisingly, in London, there are plenty. The first year they ran it, it was £5 off a £5 spend. I visited practically every corner shop in West and South West London buying exactly £5 worth of beer! Sensibly, though sadly, they changed it to £5 off £10 the year after.

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      I just checked the map too. It’s got mostly the same places listed near me as it did last year – including several of the venues that I know don’t accept Amex. One in particular (local restaurant) is showing as a New Listing, despite the fact they stopped taking Amex 15 months ago.

      I also had issues last year with them crediting for venues that were listed but didn’t accept Amex. I ended up getting a total of 10 credits, though in reality it should have been closer to 20. They really should sort out that map…

  • Polly says:

    Harry, l took your advice couple years again, and have had half price stamps for 2 years now. ESP useful when sending something recorded etc. Counter staff don’t really like us coming with the pre stamped envelope!

  • B Brooks says:

    Shop small has been confirmed by AMEX
    As a business owner, I received a merchant email saying it’s ‘on it’s way’. It will launch on Small Business Saturday 1st December to 16th.

  • Sussex bantam says:

    Data point – I didn’t get the email about the Tesco transfer bonus but thought I’d give it a go anyway. Did the transfers yesterday which arrived today but sadly no bonus 🙁

  • Nigel the Pensioner says:

    I too cant see where £600m has / is being spent. I really don’t care who makes the seat cover and duvet or blanket in CW as long as the seat topper is comfy. The blanket is usually kicked off within 20 mins or so as the cabin is woefully hot. As for the amenity kit in CW well what a waste of time. You can save the old mini duffel bags and use one for each shoe you pack in future. The contents are binned on the plane. The only decent thing in first is the pen!
    I also believe that I have had several CW food servings straight from the galley this year, with wine coming on a trolley. I assumed that this was a feature of either upstairs on a 744 or row 10 on a 777. Not sure. Will try to remember to check downstairs on Tuesday on BA 285 to see what happens down there. F is served galley to seat to I assume that this is considered a superior service?
    Cruz’s time is up. He has to go. Maybe Coco the Clown will do a better job. When Cruz does go back to baggage handling, we will have to travel cabin baggage only – goodness knows where your checked luggage will end up!!

    • marcw says:

      I think Cruz is doing a good job, even if you dislike him (I´m not arguing whether he could do a better job, because that´s all hypothetical). The BA operations are working (look at other EU carriers, LH Group or AF group), flights usually on time (again look at other carriers), carrying more pax than ever, to more destinations than ever. And managing a good profit. Of course we can all dream of having a British Qatar Airways, but I guess you have not seen the prices Qatar charges if you depart from Doha.
      I mean, you can always travel with someone else, no one forces you to fly on BA.

      • BJ says:

        BA on its day was more innovative and at the leading edge than Qatar have ever been. In 10-20 years I imagine most carriers business class cabins will more closely resemble CW than Qsuites.

  • Darren says:

    Florida holiday recommendations

    Picked up reward flights to Miami yesterday, for Feb. We normally stay on South Beach but would like a change, thinking of West Palm beach area. Any recommendations for a hotel close to the centre, or a similar town up the east coast. It will be cash not points.


  • David says:

    OT: when using the BA Amex companion voucher – does anyone know what would happen if both passengers fly the outbound but only one flies the return?

    Eg. my partner and I use the voucher for a return flight to the US – we fly the outward bound together but the one of us decides to stay in the US longer so books a later flight home using money or points. Is the return part of the voucher trip automatically cancelled if only one of us turns up at the gate? Or do we just lose the benefit of the ‘free’ companion ticket?

    I’ve read the helpful advice on using the vouchers on here but I can’t see anything on this issue.

    Thanks for any HFP wisdom as always!

    • Shoestring says:

      Won’t affect the ticket validity for the one who checks in & flies, doesn’t matter which of you is no show

      • Alex W says:

        Isn’t there a rule that both pax are supposed to fly together and the person on the “free” ticket can’t fly without the paying person.

    • Rob says:

      I think you’re fine – 100% fine if voucher holder flies.

    • Bonglim says:

      Would it not be cheaper if you booked a one way ticket out for 2, using the voucher.
      Then a single one way ticket back for the one person flying back. I suspect it will be less taxes overall.

      I guess you might need the flexibility of having that flight available. Or if already booked there is no guarantee those tickets will be available if you cancel and try to rebook.

  • Wally1976 says:

    OT – planning on getting a new Amex SPG card soon – are points transferring OK for new customers? Wasn’t sure if the issues reported are for new customers, old or both.