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STARTS TODAY: Get £5 back on a £10 purchase via American Express ‘Shop Small’ 2019

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Shop Small is back for 2019!  If you have an American Express credit or charge card, you can make big savings on your Christmas shopping from today until 22nd December with ‘Shop Small’.

What is American Express 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 today and running until 22nd December, you will receive £5 cashback on the first 10 transactions 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.

For 2019, cashback is capped at £50 per card.  It is not clear if supplementary cards are treated separately and have their own cap.

American Express Shop Small

How does Shop Small work?

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, Vitality 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.

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.

American Express Shop Small

You must find a participating ‘Shop Small’ small shop:

The main Shop Small website is here 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!

You must 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.

Note that American Express has closed down card accounts before (including some HFP readers) when they believe that ‘Shop Small’ has been abused.  ‘Abuse’ includes asking a retailer to break down a transaction into chunks of £10 and paying each £10 with a different registered American Express card.

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!

You can find out more on the American Express website here.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to get the free (in year 1) American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.

(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.)

Comments (111)

  • Liz says:

    We managed 25 transactions today and got all 25 emails.

    • Shoestring says:

      way to go! 🙂

      I was tempted to break my wee booz-ember beer-break and persuade my wife to go with me to Fowey for a tidy little pub crawl in a charming place – but not just yet…

    • Harry T says:

      What did you buy, Liz?!

      • Liz says:

        Did our usual trawl round all the shops in St ANdrews and Cupar. Bought vouchers in the booze shop 2 at a time, loads of stir fry in 2 different butchers, 2 small bottles of whisky, cheese vouchers, xmas and birthday cards. The same booze shop and butchers are in both towns but listed separately so bought vouchers and stir fry in both. Added in odd bottles of beer to vary up the prices so not showing as £10 vouchers. Also 3 amazing handbags in a lovely wee boutique – bought one last year and got 3 different coloured ones again this year! Panettone cake in the lovely wee Italian deli. Also lunch in our usual wee cafe. Lots more still to do but we are shopped out for today.

        • Polly says:

          Wow, what a haul, well done..getting round to some here too..vineking near by so will stock up there, and Cook, of course. Great for gifts, cards etc, lots of little boutique type shops round here.

        • Harry T says:

          @Liz – sounds brilliant! Are you splitting the purchases onto different cards in chunks often pounds, or not taking the risk?

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      That is true dedication! Not a great choice up here, but will manage to save a few fivers.

      • Liz says:

        So many lovely shops in St Andrews. Could really buy loads more but have stopped buying stuff for the house now that we are retired – keeping our money for travel. We have a very small family so not lots of small gifts to buy either. I also don’t buy jewellery but there are so many lovely gift shops with beautiful jewellery. Tempting but only buy stuff we can really use, eat or drink!

        • kk says:

          How many cards?

        • Lady London says:

          Erm…. Three (3) handbags ?

          • Liz says:

            Yup 3! All the same – only £15 but looks like and feels like leather – i’ve used my blue one all year and it looks like new! Fab wee buy with £5 back! Had my colours done 2 yrs ago and now try and buy everything in my Spring colour range – bought red, beige and a beautiful turquoise – that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!!!

        • Andrew says:

          Do Janeta’s take it?

          I’d be there every day if I lived in St Andrews. Irn Bru Sorbet and Rum ‘n Raisen on a double Nougat.


    • Andy says:

      Except that the total reward you can get back is capped at £50 this year.

  • memesweeper says:

    Help! My partner’s brand new Gold MR CC is not showing the offer! Any way to ‘force’ it?

    • kk says:

      They have some IT problem with the offer appearing for supp cards. The best way is to request it to be added via chat from the partner’s online account (they also sometimes accept a request from the main account holder’s account, but often they don’t ; I suppose you can try it a few times with different reps).

  • Yuff says:

    Does contactless work triggering the offer?

  • Arthur says:

    OT: My Gold card anniversary date for the renewal bonus is in March. If I upgrade now to Platinum will the date still stand along with all my spend to date, or will it reset to zero?

  • Russ says:

    Total failure tonight to get Chinese takeaway spread over two bills. I tried making one order on wife’s card and another under mine. When we got there she’s bundled them up and refused to separate them. Next time I’m leaving it to the missus to sort out……

    • Polly says:

      Our local Chinese, denied she even took Amex! Bummer, but Amex will credit it, as it’s on the list.

      • Russ says:


      • Ben E says:

        Had a butcher at the weekend say they didn’t take it only to grudglingly accept when I said they were on the amex map. However that stopped me from doing >1 purchase

  • Harry says:

    the offers only showing on 1 of my cards but not the others. They were showing on all cards last year. I don’t know why this is.

    • Ben E says:

      get on chat and request them to add manually

      • Harry says:

        Ive requested this but there wasn’t a definite answer that it would be done and said it can take 3 days so ill lose half of the shop small period! Frustrating, Im not sure whether it was a technical glitch or whether its part of their overall restriction this year.