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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.

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.

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? – March 2023 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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 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

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:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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

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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (110)

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

  • Spurs Debs says:

    Amex points and status bar are back to normal for all those who’s points spend hadn’t updated since end of November.

  • Genghis says:

    It’s good to see the warning mentioned. I thought Amex would have amended their wording after some cases last year, “ American Express reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual suspected of fraud, gaming the offer or any breach of the Offer Terms.”

    • xcalx says:

      Would the MR points be lost if Amex close the account.

    • Doug M says:

      It’s an offer to make you spend when you otherwise wouldn’t, or perhaps would have used a different card. It’s an offer to encourage gaming the system. Isn’t that the purpose of any offer?

    • James says:

      @Rob – this is what I and many others are doing for oyster top ups, i’ve done about 3 shops now all £10 transactions within seconds of each other across 5 cards, should I stop to be safe? Hardly gaming in my eyes in all honesty…

      • Rob says:

        I will wait for the regular commentator on here whose cards were all shut down last year to comment ….

      • Shoestring says:

        just add on stamps/ lottery ticket/ anything so that it’s not always £10

        NB wasn’t me

  • steve says:

    Im sure its been asked and answered but i cant find where. When there is a supplementry card ie my wife that has a different card number, but on my account,are all the offeres automatically activated on both cards when i save the offers? thanks

    • Genghis says:

      Supp needs to register for separate online acct and save the offer there.

    • EwanG says:

      The supplementary card needs to be added into an online account and enrol. Are you saying both of the cards (the main and supp) are on the same online account, or are you referring to the same card account? A card in an online account has its own list of offers.

      From the FAQs:
      Can Supplementary Cardmembers take advantage of Shop Small?
      Yes Supplementary Cardmembers can participate in Shop Small. They simply need to create an Online Account (if they haven’t already done so) and then register their Card for the offer. Please note that the offer is linked to the Card not to the Account, so every Supplementary Cardmember must follow these steps to register.

      This should also answer Rob’s question in the first section “It is not clear if supplementary cards are treated separately and have their own cap.” – it’s my understanding that a supplementary card will have its own cap. In the past you have been able to use the main and supplementary card at the same retailer and benefit from the offer, and I expect that to continue.

      • steve says:

        Thank you. I need to set up an online account for my wifes card then. Seems silly that in my account i see all her expenditure but need another online portal to register for offers. Ho hum

        • Shelly says:

          You’ll have to call Amex to add the shop small manually as the offer is not appearing on newer cards that have been registered in my experience. Also it takes them 3 business days to do it

  • Tim says:

    There are a couple of shops on their map that I know don’t take Amex. Any idea why? Could it be through Just Eat or Deliveroo?

    • Roger says:

      Their map may be severely outdated.
      I wouldn’t trust shops to accept Amex simply because it is shown on map.

      • Heathrow Flyer says:

        Nothing to do with Just Eat etc.

        100% to do with the poor quality of information contained within the AMEX map.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        If a shop shows up on their map, I believe some last year complained to Amex & got £5 credits.

    • Rich says:

      They may have stopped taking Amex. They may have instructed staff to say they done accept it, even though the terminal does. They may have three different payment terminals on the go at the same time.

  • Roger says:

    Amex Platinum Harrods -£30 back on £100 spend.
    Can you buy GC online?

    • Roger says:

      Or even at Heathrow if that works.
      Any ideas I am using both T4 and T5 over next couple of weeks and have offer on two different cards

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Pretty sure the Heathrow stores are excluded in the offer so that won’t work. I don’t think they accept the harrods GC either so unlikely they sell them.

    • Louise says:

      Worked last year, sent GC special delivery too

      • Roger says:

        You bought it online last year?
        Seems to be available online but not sure it will trigger the credit as the purchase may not be processed as Harrods!

        Any feedback this year?

        • Louise says:

          Yes I bought online last year. Gift cards done by harrods and send by them special delivery. I’ll be doing it again this year

          • eli says:

            just done it it works and is charged by Harrods (unlike John Lewis gift e-card isn’t charged by John Lewis, I think the regular gift card is).
            I’ve also already received the £30 refund.

            Don’t forget to click via the BA avios store and get 12 avios per £1 and bag 1200 avios on top of the voucher (the avios will be in your account within a couple of days!)

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Someone mentioned previously using chip and pin activates the bonus quicker.

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      In my experience whether you used contactless or chip and pin made no difference.

    • Charlieface says:

      I found chip & pin more likely to generate an email, that was all

  • Richard says:

    I have had trouble in the past finding My Offers, and after a forensic search of the Statement Page and the rest of the site, I can’t find it now! Is Amex purposely making it hard to find so that customers will not take up the offers, which would be a bit perverse!

    • Peter K says:

      Go to the main page for your card and scroll down to the bottom. They are there.
      Alternatively, get the app and there is a tab for offers.

    • Shoestring says:

      odd – for me it’s blindingly obvious – but then, I’m using a desktop

      if you’re on a tablet/ mobile, try a desktop instead & scroll down a bit – should be under your latest transactions

      • The Original Nick says:

        Me too. Never had any problems fining my offers on any of my cards.

        • Roger says:

          I opened a new account out of curiosity and can still see only one offer which was there in my old account.

  • Ben says:

    So just to clarify, if myself and my partner split the bill at a restaurant taking part in this offer (as we often do) – and she uses her supplementary AMEX to do so, would AMEX consider this gaming? She pays for what she spends on her card…

    • MattB says:

      Possibly but if this is a one off then I doubt amex will be that interested. If you and your other half have your own separate cards then it’s I unlikely they would link, using a main and supp at the same time more risky IMO.

    • Peter K says:

      No. But if the bill was £100 and you each used 5 cards for £10 each they might do

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        @shoestring – you going to the Padstow Xmas fair? We were there last week for a few days.

        • Shoestring says:

          I was there yesterday but not really my thing (too many people for me), just stretching my legs & scoping out Shop Small, really

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Not that many opps in Padstow for Amex. Mainly Steins but shops most still MC/Visa.

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

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