Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get more £50 Shop Small credits adding American Express supplementary cards

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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.

Why you should add an American Express supplementary card

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.

American Express

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.

Why should you give our supplementary American Express cards

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 cardsYou 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.

Conclusion

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? – November 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our November 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (68)

  • PaulW says:

    Recently added cards. Only got a bonus for first supp,plat card. Gold/green ones nothing. Used to trigger 5k for any card.

    • Jonathan says:

      No bonus points this week on my 2nd supp (gold) of Platinum Business card.

      • The Streets says:

        Im still waiting for bonus points for my first recently added additional cardholder for Platinum Business. Or have they stopped this too? I couldn’t see any reference to this card in the above link

      • memesweeper says:

        No bonus when I added a sup. to my Gold Business account either. It appears it’s just not a benefit.

  • Julian says:

    Rob,

    I applied for my Amex Gold card using your personal referral link on Sunday 7th June and Amex impressively processed and accepted my application and got the card to me by Wednesday 10th June. However I did not carry out the first transactions on the card until Sunday 14th June at Lidl and Tesco in Dorking. Those transactions were already showing on my pending transactions list by that evening (clearly an advantage of Amex issuing and processing payments on its own cards).

    However even though the card is now live I seem to have no way at the present time to register for Shop Small and noting that having checked Shop Small seems to cover shops locally in Horsham that I would not expect to be covered such as Clintons Cards (but I suspect the shops are franchised self owned businesses so probably why) and more surprisingly true chain store WH Smith (albeit that I almost never use WH Smiths as they are a total and utter ripoff for anything other than controlled price items like newspapers and magazines).

    Can I presume this is because I do not yet have my first statement and that when I have my first statement in say 4 weeks time I will then be able to register for Shop Small as I believe the ability to register relates to an item in the online account statements tab. I am fully registered for online account management and can access all other functions.

    I look forward to your clarification.

    • Matt says:

      If you can log in you should be able to see offers at the bottom of the page (sometimes need to click see offers) and save them. If you don’t have any offers that’s weird, if just missing this ring and ask for it to be added.

    • mark2 says:

      By default the map seems to show all Amex merchants (one of its many failings).
      Those taking part in Shop Small show the logo to the right of the name. The filters can also be set.

    • Peter K says:

      It takes a while for offers to stay to appear on new cards. Sometimes a month or so.

    • Rob says:

      Shop Small is open to all and I have the press releases to prove it! If it doesn’t show up for registration you should give Amex a call.

      • Julian says:

        Looks like Rob doesn’t care that contrary to what he claims in his promotion of Shop Small the promotion is not n fact available to and cannot be registered for an Amerx Gold card activated 14 days ago and first used in shops 10 days ago.

        • Rob says:

          You need to speak to Amex, not me! I have the Amex press release saying it is available to everyone.

        • Julian says:

          I have spoken to Amex customer service as I have pointed out more than once in my posts.

          Their press release is simply rubbish (haven’t you found before that press releases often err on the side of being optimistic and simplistic as they only care about positive news) and clearly Shop Small is not available to a new Amex card holder to register as a promotion at least until they have reached the end of their first statement period and/or settled that statement.

          I have been sent the link to the offer by Amex customer services but the system will not let me register it in My Offers because I have not either reached the end of my first statement period and/or settled that statement balance.

          The question surely has to be Rob do you really actually care about helping HeadForPoints readers getting real Amex IT glitches fixed or do you only care about new card signups that bring you more income for your business………….

          • Rob says:

            As the only person at Amex I ever speak to is the person who sends out the press releases, I’m not exactly sure what you expect me to do!

            Even if you can’t register until your first statement is generated, you would still have two months to make 10 transactions which is not exactly difficult.

            The card companies aren’t like the airlines. I don’t have access to the CEO, I don’t get invited to the Amex CEO’s Christmas drinks party, I don’t get invited by the Amex CEO to speak to their staff. I’ve never met a single Virgin Money employee, at all, not even a PR person, despite the fact that we sell a noticeable % of the VA credit cards.

        • Julian says:

          I think the point is Rob that you clearly trigger vast numbers of us via your website and email list to sigh up for the Amex cards and promotions so we wouldn’t have the Amex cards without good old Rob at HeadForPoints relentlessly plugging both the main Amex cards and the more obscure third party hotel variants.

          So to then hear that your only relationship with the company is as an email recipient from its press office is more than a little disappointing. I always thought you were a man with contacts at the very highest possible level at Amex UK. Also even if Visa and Mastercard and issuing banks work differently I find it bizarre that Amex (who in the main issue their own cards and do not work through third parties and deal with their own merchants directly) would not woo you and give access to their most senior management on a very regular basis.

          But never mind. It is what it is as they say.

          So I will email [email protected] as listed at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08427298/officers myself re this issue

          • Rob says:

            To be honest, I would wait a few weeks to see if it appears after your first statement, given this is a 3 month offer which most people could complete in a morning if they put their minds to it.

        • Julian says:

          I think the point is Rob that you clearly trigger vast numbers of us via your website and email list to sigh up for the Amex cards and promotions so we wouldn’t have the Amex cards without good old Rob at HeadForPoints relentlessly plugging both the main Amex cards and the more obscure third party hotel variants.

          So to then hear that your only relationship with the company is as an email recipient from its press office is more than a little disappointing. I always thought you were a man with contacts at the very highest possible level at Amex UK. Also even if Visa and Mastercard and issuing banks work differently I find it bizarre that Amex (who in the main issue their own cards and do not work through third parties and deal with their own merchants directly) would not woo you and give access to their most senior management on a very regular basis.

          But never mind. It is what it is as they say.

          So I will email talha dot arshad at aexp.com as listed at https colon slash slash beta dot companieshouse dot gov dot uk slash company slash 08427298 slash officers myself re this issue

        • Julian says:

          I think your readers could only complete Shop Small in a morning if they just bought a load of tat they didn’t need for the sake of earning points.

          If they buy things they actually need as and when they actually need them then its likely to take a while to find shops in the promotion selling things you actually needed anyway……….

          • Rhys says:

            You’d be surprised. Last Christmas several bars and restaurants near me were all part of the promo which leant itself nicely to a couple evenings.

      • Julian says:

        ok so wasted more time calling Amex and for once got someone in Brighton rather than 7,000 miles East of Brighton.

        And the reason that we can’t register for the promotion now is that it doesn’t start until 22nd June but it will allegedly be in My Offers and available to be registered from that date on according to the guy at Amex. Although at the moment I don’t have any offers at all available in My Offers.

        To be fair Rob’s email about Shop Small did say that the promotion started from next Monday (i.e. 22nd June) but did not say that the promotion would not be available to register in My Offers before that date.

        Perhaps this is the case with all other Amex My Offers promotions and they also cannot be registered before the promotion starting date?

        • Genghis says:

          I think you might have been fobbed off, Julian. It’s available for me and my wife.

  • Andrew says:

    You can also register supps for a separate log-in ie if a supp member has their own Amex but you want to use the supp and its offers yourself you can create a log-in just for that card so you don’t see their own Amex when you log-in to add offers etc.

  • Sharon says:

    What age does your supplementary card holder need to be?

    • Wally1976 says:

      18+ I believe

    • Rob says:

      18+, must pass a standard UK ID check. If they are not on the electoral register or council taxi roll, don’t have a credit report etc they are likely to be rejected.

      • Vinz says:

        Not true
        I shouldn’t say but I added a fake person to my business amex gold months ago just to get more MR points and it worked. I don’t think they really check.

        • Rob says:

          They do, because we tried to give one to a nanny a few years ago and were rejected.

  • Wally1976 says:

    I very recently got the gold business card. I have received no bonus points for adding 1st supplementary card and do not have access to the Shop Small offer either (yet).

    Rob, I think it’s important to clarify that you don’t get the bonus points if you add the supplementary card at the time of application for the main card. You have to add it later.

    • Peter K says:

      That’s wierd. I thought you got 3000 points for each supp on the gold business card.

    • Trevor says:

      Agreed. My wife has just got the Gold card and at the time of application, got a supplementary card for me. We would have waited, applied afterwards, and got the 3000 extra if I had realised….. Bum

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You should still get it for your second supp – £30 worth of points and perhaps £50 credit offsets the £45 cost

    • Gary says:

      Me too, I added the supplementary card at the time of application so got no bonus. I too would have waited if I’d known!

  • Lee says:

    What about more cards – I believe with the Platinum you can give gold cards to others?

    Are these free and do you get any benefits on them apart from the offers?

    would like to see you cover these cards.

    • Julian says:

      So if you “give” gold cards to other people you presumably become fully liable for whatever they spend. So they had damn well better be household members you implicitly trust to spend on your account and to only spend responsibly………..

      Seems to me an absurdly dangerous activity to engage in just to gain a few Avios that BA and other airlines can render near worthless whenever they are feeling like it…………..

      • mark2 says:

        But the supplementary card is sent to the main card holder, so no need to give it to them.

        • sayling says:

          Not for Gold, nor for BAPP

        • flyoff says:

          Supplementary cards are mailed to the supplementary cardholder not the account holder

          • flyoff says:

            I note that this is different to what Amex quote on their website.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I’ve never had that regardless of what i put as the address. Always come to me or the address of someone else if they’ve ordered me one

          • RussellH says:

            I have always had the supp cards I ordered for my partner sent to me, and she gets the ones she has ordered for me.
            Both for Amex and Creation/IHG.
            We have separate addresses.

          • John says:

            I think it is the name of the supp holder but the address of the main holder

      • Rob says:

        The card is posted to you to hand over. If you don’t hand it over, there’s no risk.

  • Iain says:

    Hi all, do Amex ever do enhanced bonuses for adding supplementary cardholders or is 3000 bonus Avios on BAPP as good as it gets? Thanks.

    • Dave says:

      Never seen an additional bonus vs what they give now.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        The basic BA one had a 4K avios but they pulled it, i was waiting to see if they would do another offer but with a higher avios but lets see.

  • Alan says:

    Also remember you can have your own ‘additional card’ (issued as your name with ‘AC’ at the end) – handy to account for spend differently and to receive offers.

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