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Get £5 back on a £10 purchase via American Express ‘Shop Small’

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Shop Small is back!  If you have an American Express credit or charge card (unless it is a Lloyds Avios one), you can make big savings on your Christmas shopping from tomorrow (Saturday) until 16th 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 on Saturday and running until 16th 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.

It is a simple process:

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

You can register British Airways, Harrods, Costco, Starwood, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Cashback, Amex Rewards and Green American Express cards by going to the American Express website, logging in and looking under ‘My Offers’ on the statement page.

Note that Corporate and pre-paid Amex cards do not qualify.  Lloyds Avios Rewards cards are also now blocked.

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 and has its own separate Amex log-in.


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.  You will also often see a Shop Small sticker in a shop window.

Beware that this map, in previous years, has not been accurate. Often in a good way (some shops not featured give the credit) and often in a bad way (shops on the map are closed or don’t even accept Amex).  Your best option is to use your Amex whenever you can during the Shop Small period and see what hits.

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

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’.

You should receive an email or phone notification soon after making your purchase, although you shouldn’t panic if you don’t.

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

For clarity …. this promotion is fully funded by American Express as part of its campaign to encourage more small shops to accept the card.  It is not funded by the shop so you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking part!

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. A small amount of pubs! I have a lot of pubs in my area that take Amex, its easy to get a good night out for very little.expense especially with 13 cards registered.
    13 x £10 gift cards from my Butcher, 13 x £10 gift cards from my golf shop and 13 x £10 at the restaurant.
    Ask about buying £10 gift cards at the places you eat, drink and shop.

    • Shoestring says:

      Never thought to ask about that at our butchers! Anybody heading down to Cornwall during Shop Small, maybe take time to pull off the A30 and check out this place (about 2 mins off the A30).

      Absolutely excellent quality & range in the big Launceston shop on the industrial estate, hugely popular locally & they have about 15 butchers busy jointing whole carcasses etc.

  2. Just back from a lovely dinner at my favourite restaurant, Number 16 in Glasgow. Explained about the offer to the owner (he hadn’t heard of it despite being on the map) and he was happy to split our bill and tip across 7 cards without contactless – it wasn’t till I got home that I remembered i had an 8th card I’d forgotten to take out tonight!

    • Genghis says:

      Nice. We found No16 last year and then in March flew to GLA and stayed one night just to return.

      • Excellent, it’s well worth visiting Glasgow for! 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          I see The Ubiquitous Chip is on the Amex map as well – I used to be a very frequent customer as it was our company’s unofficial eatery – ie evening discussions with the boss, team get-togethers, a favourite place to take visitors. Brilliant eatery in the West End (Glasgow)

        • Glasgow is well worth a visit for any foodie, especially seafood-ies, Cafe Gandolfi and a lobster and posh chips place out near where the lawyers hang out that I can’t remember the name of. Ubiquitous Chip for the wine list certainly, although I thought the food went through a quite ordinary phase a while back, haven’t returned in recent times as No. 16 is fab 👍

  3. Went to a place on the map yesterday and paid with pin on 2 cards, but no email yet for either of us. Does this mean it hasn’t worked or should it show up in a few days? Hoping to hit up a few more places this week!

    Also used my wilko offer (got the snail straight away) but had to return the item so it never credited. Will I be safe using this offer again do you think?

    • Shoestring says:

      Did you pay contactless or stick in the card?

      No instant success email can be a worrying indication of no success – but this is not always the case. You basically have to waitup to 5 days to see if the statement credit has been applied.

      • Put both cards in the machine and used pin having read the comments on here. I will give it a few days and see but would feel better if I’d have had an email!

        • Shoestring says:

          tbh then that would usually indicate no success is the likely outcome, not to worry if it turns out that way, if you have time you’d phone/ chat customer services & get them to manually apply the credits.

          Ie sounds like the map could be wrong (happens a lot).

    • Lottietiger says:

      For some reason all of mine went into spam so worth a look, I was worrying that zero had credited and for some reason thought ill have a look in spam and had 8 shop small e mails sitting there.

    • Amex emails seem to be all over the shop just now. I received one saying to redeem my Amex offer before it expires, but I already redeemed it (and received the cash!) weeks ago!

      • RussellH says:

        Yes, Amex e-mails can be a complete mess. The worst seem to be the ones about MR points transfers, which always include HTML and style info in the supposedly plain text part!

        • Was on the phone to them today and mentioned this – not expecting much but thought I may as well say! Also pointed out a few others that I’d triggered weeks ago but had now expired and nothing showing, they’re going to make sure both apply. Also highlighted again the bug in the app (on Android at least) that only shows bonus points rather than base earning MR/Avios – previously sent in screenshots and it’s with their tech team.

    • Most places will refund to a different card, or for store credit, if you ‘forget’ the card you paid with.

  4. Anyone thinking you’ll get manual credits from Amex, prepare your expectations.

    Last year I had around £300 of missing shop small credits – they gave me 5 of them as apparently that’s the limit for manual adjustment. And that’s on a Platinum account btw.

    • Shoestring says:

      They very grudgingly gave me mine (3) LY but sternly warned me that I must not ask for another manual credit adjustment for the next 6 months!

      • Plat + 5 supps last year didn’t work at one place. Agent told us each of the supps had to ring in to get the credit. Only took 1 call in previous years. They really made us jump through hoops last year. Not doing as many this year even though we sit on 16 Amex cards.

    • Yes as I experienced, they said have to wait 90 days for them to appear and then query it

  5. There is a good cafe round here, it’s on the map, but they haven’t taken any card payments for about a year. Maybe they got fed up with card transactions!! Big sign in the window Cash only. Big queues there all the time. Handy that they are next door a Lloyds Bank with cashpoint.

  6. 2 oyster stops on the shops crawl map said they don’t take amex for oyster and apparently no shops do!

  7. Ari Gel says:

    Any idea how to register an additional card without having a separate AMEX online account?

  8. Shoestring says:

    Raffles – I think Shop Small stole the Hfp logo idea, go gett’em, boy 🙂

  9. Went into a local participating bar last night, two pints and a J2O was £9.60 , so I added a packet of crisps to take it to £10.60 . Barman forgot to charge for the crisps and he was very surprised when I pointed this out when presented with the payment machine!

  10. Waribai says:

    Quick update on Bicester vouchers…shop small activated perfectly well. The visitor centre were more than happy to put 10 transactions through…

    • @Waribai, do the additional vouchers you get when you go into the visitor centre by showing your amex and the frequent flyer points will work on gift vouchers that you have just purchased? Once you use the gift vouchers of course…

  11. Scott flinson says:

    Anyone any tips for how to talk round staff in small newsagents in London where I’ll be doing oyster top ups, to not charge a fee as in previous years, as since January 13 2018 it’s been illegal? Worried they’ll all still try and apply a charge!

    • Is the fee more than 50% then?

    • Genghis says:

      There needs to be something in it for them

    • I’d be interested to hear whether you’re still able to do any Oyster top-ups in small shops now that they’ve banned credit card surcharges!

      I’d expect that very few if any will even want to sell you one, given that their commission (before card processing fees) is only 2%.

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