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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.

American Express Amex Shop Small

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 points from credit cards? – November 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (244)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ray says:

    Rob you mention that Lloyds Amex is now blocked.
    I rang them to confirm and they said until you get the letter with the final date on it you can still use it.

    • Bill says:

      Blocked from the offer that is. You can’t participate with Lloyd’s as its impossible to register the card for the offer.

    • Liz says:

      Lloyds cards are specifically excluded from Small Shop this year. It’s in the T&Cs.

  • Ahop says:

    5 shops that worked for oyster top up, no longer working this year. Has anyone had any success elsewhere with this so far?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes – now at home after a busy and wet morning out in the field.

      • Alan says:

        Haha good work – nothing much here, pushed £500 through on Morrison’s 10% off deal instead 🙂

        • Liz says:

          Get yourself over to St Andrews. Cards, stamps, wine, deli, butchers, cheese, cafes. Aitkens in Dundee.

          • Alan says:

            Haha yep enjoy your day out – trying to be good food-wise and don’t need too many stamps, etc. Had fun with Morrisons though, Hunter’s Tryst one has an massive GC selection and is an Amazon delivery location 🙂

      • AJ says:

        Yes – just got in after 7 hours out there on the ‘trail’ putting through over £1000 of spend. I have been surprised how willing shop owners have been to take amex (for oyster) given new no-fee legislation for taking cards. Got quite a few in without any fees at all.

        • Geoff says:

          Did you seriously perform a hundred transactions of £10 to get £500 in statement credit? What did you buy?

          Asking for a friend…

        • Alex says:

          Two of off licence shops in my part of London that are on shop small, do not take card payments for oyster top up – cash only!

      • VJ says:

        @Genghis I believe you mentioned sometime that you are from SE London, do you recommend a place where I can top up oyster with small shop.

  • Alex W says:

    Wow never before have I been so annoyed about items costing £9.95!

  • BlueLabel says:

    Took the kids for a slap-up lunch at local independent cafe on the map. Asked to split the bill across 2 cards. Certainly sir. Er… we don’t take American Express. It’s Amex 1: 0 BlueLabel

    • Genghis says:

      Call Amex. They’ll usually give you the credits

    • Chris says:

      Just running the math here – kids suggests minimum of three people eating including you, but only two cards to split across so bill <£30

      Might not be everyone's idea of slap up!

  • The Streets says:

    Are people receiving email confirmations from AMEX after each shop small transaction? Ive done a few but still nothing yet in the inbox…

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. Don’t use contactless

      • The Streets says:

        Agreed… I forgot the first time but remembered the second (having read here previously) and will continue to not use contactless. But if contactless is such an issue then it’s a bit unfair on regular non hfp readers users

        • Shoestring says:

          Contactless is a recipe for hassle/ fail on Shop Small.

          Always, always, always – put it in. (sez to self! 🙂 )

        • Alan says:

          IIRC it does seem to work but more erratic and sometimes takes longer. Think it does get there eventually in most cases tho.

      • Rich says:

        I’m guessing anywhere taking payments via iZettle or similar has zero chance?

        • EwanG says:

          @Rich In the past I’ve purchased from retailers who are on the AmEx map but use izettle. My experience is the credit does not post (because izettle is a payment intermediary so going through like a PayPal transaction) and whilst you can push AmEx to manually credit as it’s on the map it’s simpler to choose somewhere else!

      • AJ says:

        Contactless should in theory be the same as putting in pin now due to change in the last year or 2. Every contactless transaction for amex now has to be ‘authorised’ at the point of sale. Which means the card machine talks to amex’s servers (which is what triggers the email). Previously card machines that took amex could batch up and report in later in the day/week – no longer allowed.

        I do contactless for most of my spend. Had to do PINs for all cards in one shop today and took forever! Emails have mostly come through fine on contactless.

      • RussellH says:

        This may apply to use in Morrisons too.

        I paid contactless last Wed, got no e-mail, but today’s payment using PIN did trigger an e-mail.

        There is something odd about contactless (and pay-at-pump) at Morrisons – these transactioons never show up as ‘pending’ on the Amex website.

    • Shelly says:

      Yes and I used contactless in all of them

  • johnny_c-l says:

    Can anyone recommend a central London dry cleaner who is on shop small this year?

    • Genghis says:

      I looked for one but even with the discount they couldn’t beat my usual cash only gaff: £5 a suit jacket and trousers, £1 for a tie so I even take my colleagues’ for no service charge. Lol.

      • Stuart says:

        James Shoe Care on Fleet Street

      • Sam says:

        Genghis, please share where your usual place is, my current dry cleaners in central although very good are quite expensive..Thanks.

        • Genghis says:

          Near my house. You won’t get those prices in the City. Same reason I never get my haircut in the City.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      Thanks all for the replies

  • Mark2 says:

    The travel agent in our town are on the list/map but have a big sign in the shop advising that they do not accept any credit cards.

    • Anna says:

      They won’t get much business from HFP readers.

      • Louie says:

        Can’t imagine they will get much business full stop. You would be mad to book a holiday without s75 protection.

        • Mr Dee says:

          hardly mad, wonder what percentage of people have claimed s75 protection in reality

        • RussellH says:

          Remember this has been the first year when travel agents and tour operators have been banned from charging card surcharges. Since previously just about everyone did levy surcharges, many customers in the past did not pay all their holiday cost by credit card.[1]

          The surcharge ban has hit some travel companies quite hard. It was often claimed at the beginning of the year that some companies on the tightest margins reckoned to make a significant part of their annual profit from the surcharges.

          Some firms have dealt with the problem by increasing prices across the board by around 2-3%, others have decided to stop accepting credit cards completely.

          However, if you are buying a holiday *package* from a UK operator, then you do not need S75 cover anyway. Problems only potentially arise if buying travel / car hire / accommodation etc. all separately from one another.

          And S75 does not help if you have paid with points anyway!

          [1] I used to reckon that about 30% of my customers paid the whole cost by credit card, the others paid by cheque, debit card or bank transfer, and I made it fairly clear that while the credit card surcharge covered most of the cost of taking the payment, it did not cover the full cost, but there were cheaper methods of payment available.
          Most customers though did pay their deposits by credit card, and I did not surcharge these payments. but at £60 a head this was not enough to give them S75 cover anyway.

        • Shoestring says:

          To get S75 cover, if the item costs over £100 it’s enough to pay £1 on credit card

        • RussellH says:

          Quite right – I keep forgetting that. I really should remember! Must be old age!

    • Sensible says:

      The shop small deal is only really useful if spending £10ish – would you genuinely spend that amount in your local travel agent?

      Indeed, who even uses travel agents these days?

  • Jovanna says:

    I saw the Amex Small Shop logo behind the counter of the Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow last weekend. I’m sure it’s just marketing material.

    • Tariq says:

      Last year it triggered at the Moxy London Excel and Westfield Stratford Parking for me…!

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