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Get £50 cashback as American Express Shop Small returns – and £50 supplementary cards

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Today is the first day that all High Street shops in England are allowed to re-open, regardless of whether they are considered ‘essential’ or not.

To celebrate, American Express is launching a new ‘Shop Small’ initiative to support independent shops and give you up to £50 cashback on purchases.

Even better, you can receive £50 on all of your supplementary American Express cards too.

American Express Amex Shop Small

What is American Express Shop Small?

‘Shop Small’  is designed to encourage you to shop in local independent stores instead of major chains.  It normally appears in the run-up to Christmas, but these are not normal times.

‘Shop Small’ is, of course, also a way for American Express to persuade more small shops to sign up to accept American Express cards.

Starting from 22nd June and running until 13th September, you will receive £5 cashback on the first 10 transactions you make for £10 or more at participating ‘Shop Small’ businesses.

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.

As in 2019, cashback is capped at £50 per card. Supplementary cards are treated separately and have their own cap, so you could technically get more than £50 cashback.

How does Shop Small work?

It is a simple process:

You MUST register your credit or charge card before making a ‘Shop Small’ purchase:

‘Shop Small’ should appear as a card offer online or in the app from today.  Look under the ‘Offers’ tab on the American Express website for each card you have.

You can register British Airways, Harrods, Marriott, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Cashback, Amex Rewards, Vitality, Green, Business Platinum, Business Gold, Business Green and BA Accelerating Business American Express cards by going to the American Express website, logging in and looking under ‘My Offers’ on the statement page.

Corporate American Express cards do not quality, but the small business cards do.

You can register a supplementary card (an additional card held by your partner, child or friend 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, although these are unlikely to be open due to the current lockdown restrictions.

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’.  

Supplementary cards can get credit at the same shop as a card where the main cardholder has already made a purchase.  You can also get credit for different American Express cards at the same shop.

For example …. I have British Airways, Platinum, supplementary Platinum, Business Platinum and Gold Amex cards between me and my wife.  I can earn 5 x £5 cashback payments at the same store over the promotional period, as long as I use a different registered card each time.

You should receive an email or phone notification soon after making your purchase, although you shouldn’t panic if you don’t – the system is not foolproof.

A £5 credit for every £10 purchase will be added onto your credit card account within a few days of the original charge hitting your statement.

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.  This is easy for Amex to spot when transactions are processed within a few seconds of each other.

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.

Registration should be available now, but remember that ‘Shop Small’ doesn’t start until NEXT Monday.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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

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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (94)

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

  • Jo M says:

    No offers on one of our BA Amex cards for months either. I always thought Shop Small went on every card but it missed this card last December too. Weird as all our other cards have it on them and get various other offers.

    • Rhys says:

      Try giving them a call/live chat.

      • Jo M says:

        Thanks Rhys.
        I’ve just done that and they’re adding Shop Small. They can’t explain why this card hasn’t got it and never gets any other offers despite it being used in an identical way to our other cards but at least that’s something.

        • Rich says:

          When I worked for a loyalty company, years ago, a certain percentage of accounts were deliberately cut out of the vast majority of promotions. Not out of malice, but randomly selected. As A | B testing I suppose. I always thought it was a bit mean!

          • Matt B says:

            Yes that is common where i work, used to gauge the incremental activity the promotion generates.

    • Charlieface says:

      Try removing it from online account and readding it, sometimes helps.

    • nick says:

      not saying that this is the case but if you’ve been highlighted by a member of staff as “gaming the system” you will also be removed from offers

  • TonyG says:

    If I have just received a supp card, will I get the SS offer as there are no offers yet on card?

  • Martha says:

    Will you get small shop on new cards?

  • Sundar says:

    Offered 15K as well as retention bonus via contact center upon calling. Great news !

  • Max says:

    OT – has anyone else had issues getting a chargeback processed by Amex? It’s been a month since I put a claim in (Ryanair not paying up) and Amex have been dragging their feet throughout the whole process. I thought Amex would provide a better service, it’s been a disappointing experience.

    • Freddy says:

      You can raise a dispute online when looking through the transactions. My Ryanair chargeback was instantly granted and apparently will be applied on the next statement.

      All good…when I had a s.75 claim against Thomas Cook that was awful and had to be escalated to the ombudsman

    • Crafty says:

      Amex just sent me a really shitty letter for my second Ryanair chargeback, which is practically identical to the really shitty letter they sent for my first Ryanair chargeback. Basically saying that as you’ve been offered a voucher you can’t chargeback.

      Clearly no basis in fact, and last time sorted in 10 minutes on the phone, which no doubt it will be again; but this time they’ll be getting a complaint too. Once I can forgive, but twice with the same disingenuous and obtuse approach…

  • Mark M says:

    Hi – can anyone tell me whether a typical ‘phone to pre-order and collect’ transaction will trigger the Amex credit?
    It falls between an in-store purchase and an online one.

    • James says:

      If you pay when you get to the store to collect, you should be fine.

      • Mark M says:

        Thanks, but the transactions I’m unsure about are where the shop / takeaway / etc take card details by phone, then have goods ready for collection later.
        I presume it’s fine if the trader manually processes the card payment as if you were present, but not if it is processed as an online payment?

  • William Kerr says:

    In my area , (Eastbourne), I have Tesco Express; M & S; Sainsbury’s , Superdrug and Waterstone’s on my “Shop SMALL!” list – not complaining !!

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

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