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.)

Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss (Dec 2019)
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  1. Mark Bates says:

    Interesting looking in my area that the local Ibis styles (which I would never use as it is around a mile from where I live!) is apparently available for ‘shop small’ a quick check for ‘Ibis’ also shows some other localish Ibis properties on the promo!

    • I have tried three browsers but am unable to see map.
      But when I saw it a few days ago, it listed all Amex merchants with the blue disc against those participating in ShopSmall.

      • Ok, the ones with the tiny blue dot, tho not listed, are they supposed to be in shop small too? Have checked a few in our town, but not sure whether to risk them or not. Just checking, as maps can be misleading…

        • Shoestring says:

          yes – they’re just on a different page and the tiny blue dot turns into a big blue locator when you turn onto the right page, can also help to expand the map

        • Rooster says:

          The whole map system is awful, half the places don’t show up unless you actually type in the name of the retailer, so its the best way to check a specific one is taking part as it will show up if it is!

      • Thanks..P
        Got some emails, but not others, so keeping a copy for claims. Last year had to get quite a lot of fivers credited, so worth it, actually.

  2. George K says:

    It has been months since I received an email confirmation that an offer has been triggered. It started getting spotty earlier in the year I think, and I even queried it with amex. I think they have stopped doing these altogether now, unless shop small is an exception

    • Shoestring says:

      I got 2 instant email success confirmations in the last few days

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The Morrison’s offer is the only one I got. Got quite annoying tbh lol

        • RussellH says:

          I got an e-mail for the Morrisons offer this time last week, but for all the earlier ones this year, nothing!
          Did get the rebate, though.

      • George K says:

        Wow – how’s that for inconsistency. I went back to check my last email and that was in May. I wonder why that is

    • Harrods offer is one that never gives email confirmation in my experience, most others do.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Just had 2 of Saturday. Gift cards ready for when the sale hits the website (18 Avios / £ atm too)

        • I’ve received email confirmation for Harrrods.
          Don’t forget 12 avios per £1 at BA avios store

          Ignore the small print and buy a Harrods gift card using the BA store and end up spending £70 for a £100 voucher with 1270 avios in the bag

          sell the voucher on eBay if all you want is the points like me

          • Just to confirm, when you refer to Harrods offer, are you saying Harrods is on shop small map or is it a separate Harrods offer?

  3. stevenhp1987 says:

    I use Small Shop as a way of checking out new restaurants.

    Double it up with a Taste Card or a similar offer and you’re quids in!

    Several new restaurants that are new that are on the Small Shop map near me (Southampton) this year! My local hairdressers is on it too (I do need a haircut!).

    • RussellH says:

      There are at least four restaurants in our nearby small town; three we know and like, the fourth we have just not managed yet, but comes very well recommended by people I know and trust.

    • Good idea doubling up…hasn’t thought of that. Meerkats would work too, am sure…

  4. Benilyn says:

    OT: I think I’m undergoing identify fraud maybe. Recommendation for daily credit monitoring? I want to know if new accounts / credit being opened under my name, if that’s possible?

    • Charlieface says:

      Credit Karma gives a new report every 7 days for free, based on TransUnion (ex-Callcredit)

    • The Experian one is good, albeit relatively expensive.

      Everyone, who has an unencumbered property, should register for the Land Registry’s free service:-

      You can also register properties you don’t own for alerts. Eg an eldery parent.

  5. The_real_a says:

    I have 4 hours to kill between London City Airport and King’s Cross. Any recommendations to make best use of shop small? A decent bite to eat would be nice…

  6. 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?!

      • 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.

        • 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.

      • 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!

        • How many cards?

        • Lady London says:

          Erm…. Three (3) handbags ?

          • 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!!!

        • 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.


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

  7. memesweeper says:

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

    • 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).

  8. Does contactless work triggering the offer?

  9. 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?

  10. 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……

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

      • 🙂

      • 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

  11. 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.

    • get on chat and request them to add manually

      • 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.

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