As we covered yesterday, American Express is bringing back ‘Shop Small’ from next Monday – click for our full article.
Until 13th September, you will receive £5 cashback on the first 10 transactions you make for £10 or more at participating ‘Shop Small’ businesses. That means a total cashback of £50.
Importantly, you can register supplementary cards separately and earn an additional £50 each on those.
This means it is a good day to talk about the benefits of adding a supplementary card to your American Express account and what bonuses you will earn if you do.
Why should you add a supplementary cardholder to your Amex account?
Reason 1 – you can double-up on ‘statement credit’ cashback deals
Many people do not know that the holder of a supplementary card can register it as a stand-alone card on the American Express website.
If my wife logs in to her Amex online account, for example, she can see her own Gold card as well as the supplementary card she has on my Platinum account.
Importantly, the supplementary card receives its own batch of statement credit offers. This means that, if an offer appears on both your main card and the supplementary, you can usually (not always, but usually) register for it twice and earn it twice. You can do this for the new round of ‘Shop Small’, opening up a potential £50 additional cashback and it will also work for other offers in the future.
Reason 2 – it is easier to hit spending bonuses
By giving your partner a supplementary card on your American Express account, you can both focus your spending onto the same card.
This is especially useful if you are working towards a spend-based bonus, such as:
The 2-4-1 Avios redemption voucher on the British Airways American Express cards, which requires annual spending of £20,000 (free BA Amex) or £10,000 (the paid British Airways American Express Premium Plus)
The 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for spending £15,000 per year on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
It also makes it easier to trigger a sign-up bonus, such as the £3,000 of spending required on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card to receive the 25,000 Avios bonus.
Reason 3 – you can share card benefits with other people
If you have The Platinum Card from American Express, it is crazy not to use your one free Platinum supplementary card. The person who gets it will receive:
a Priority Pass for airport lounge access
full travel insurance for themselves and their immediate family (now requires opt-in under new EU rules)
Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, MeliaRewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Marriott Bonvoy Gold hotel status
Eurostar lounge access etc etc
Even if you are single, you might want to issue a supplementary Platinum to a trusted friend or relative purely for the benefits. My Mum had a supplementary Platinum on my account many years ago – I didn’t renew it when she hit 70 as the insurance no longer covered her – and my wife has one now.
You can issue further supplementary Platinum cards after the first free one for £275 each per year. In the right circumstances this could be good value for the right person given the Priority Pass and hotel status card benefits.
Note that not all Amex cards give all of their benefits to supplementary cardholders, so check the small print.
Reason 4 – you get bonus Membership Rewards or Avios for issuing a supplementary card
American Express now has a dedicated page on its website which you can use for issuing supplementary cards. You can find it here.
The bonus is only paid on the FIRST supplementary card issued. You will receive:
3,000 Membership Rewards points for issuing your first Preferred Rewards Gold supplementary card
5,000 Membership Rewards points for issuing your first Platinum supplementary card
3,000 Avios for issuing your first BA Premium Plus supplementary card
1,000 Avios for issuing your first free BA Amex supplementary card
There is NO bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy or Nectar American Express cards. There are bonuses on the two cashback cards. The link for issuing supplementary cards is here.
Note that you WILL receive the bonus for issuing a supplementary card even if you did not qualify for a sign-up bonus when you originally applied for the card.
The new Summer 2020 round of ‘Shop Small’ gives you £50-worth of reasons to add a supplementary card to an existing American Express card.
As you can see above, however, there are other valuable benefits to giving out supplementary cards too.
Learn more about the credit cards mentioned above
Here is the legally required interest rate information on the credit cards mentioned above, together with links to our detailed reviews:
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £3,000 in six months – apply here – our American Express Gold review is here – representative APR 56.6% variable including fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1200 credit limit, interest rate on purchases 22.2% variable
The Platinum Card from American Express – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £4,000 in six months – apply here – our American Express Platinum review is here – this is a charge card which must be repaid in full each month
British Airways American Express Premium Plus – sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 in six months – apply here – our BA Amex Premium Plus review is here – representative APR 74.7% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit, interest rate on purchases 22.2% variable
Marriott Bonvoy American Express – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend £3,000 in six months – apply here – our Marriott Bonvoy American Express review is here – representative APR 38.8% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit, interest rate on purchases 22.2% variable
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.