Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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? – October 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

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 & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 long list of travel benefits 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.

  • Shoestring says:

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

  • Mark E says:

    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!

  • Waribai says:

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

    • Sam says:

      @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…

  • 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!

    • Mark2 says:

      Is the fee more than 50% then?

    • Genghis says:

      There needs to be something in it for them

    • Andrew says:

      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%.

  • Alan says:

    Two Shop Small purchases this evening – first with BAPP, came up invalid card for chip and pin, but went through on contactless with immediate notification from Amex app, no SS email. Second transaction a couple of minutes later, also contactless (given problem with first card), this time on Plat. No notification from Amex app but did get it from Google Pay and then SS email received! Hopefully both will credit fine but what an inconsistent system! On the plus side nice bottle of South African plonk (already discounted) and freezer stocked up!

  • Shoestring says:

    O/T I’d say the IB Avios purchase deal deserves a day in the sun – max 300K Avios for just over 1.07p each – same price for 150K

  • Jim Mellor says:

    The premier stores shops are included in this shop small promotion, can I use my card in different premier stores and get £5 back each time ? There are 3 stores in Lincoln.

  • Waribai says:

    The Mrs wants a few items from JKC who have two central london branches as well as an online shop. Does anyone have any evidence of shop small working with online purchases with a particular retailer?

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