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.


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? – September 2023 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

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

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (68)

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

  • John says:

    Queried with Amex support this morning as to why I hadn’t received bonus points for a recently added supplementary card on my gold CC account – was told you have to use the link above, if you don’t then points will not be credited

  • james says:

    So if you added supplementary at time of application without a bonus – do you get a bonus on first post application supplementary??

  • James says:

    My supp card hasn’t even arrived and it’s been over a week😔

    I applied for myself, with my details

  • GS says:

    Is there a bonus for taking out a supp on the Amex Reward Card (clear one)?

  • Louise K says:

    My hubby has the free blue BA card and his own AMEX login.

    He has a supp card on my BAPP, how do I register his card for shop small?


    • Rhys says:

      Did he register the supp card?

      • louise says:

        no, he hasnt. Can he add to his own account?

        • Genghis says:


          • louise says:

            But can he add his supp card to his own AMEX account or does he need a new one just for that card?

          • Charlieface says:

            Usually you can, sometimes the system doesn’t let and you have to create a new account. This also applies to extra main card accounts

  • Andrew says:

    Anyone tried using the Selfrdiges offer in store yet?

  • Trevor says:

    As an aside, We applied for the Gold card on Sunday morning and cards turned up today [Tuesday]. That’s some turnaround!

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Amex pulled the basic BA 4K referral for those who want a basic ba, wondering if they would come back with a better offer or ill kick myself down for not using it and get people referred for it.

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

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