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.
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:
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.