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.
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.
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 points from credit cards? – February 2024 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:
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.
Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 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
40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 bonus points 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:
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
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.