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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 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.
Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.
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.