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CONFIRMED: American Express Shop Small to return in December

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American Express has confirmed that it is bringing back its ‘Shop Small’ promotion in December.

‘Shop Small’ is an established Amex offer which incentivises you to shop at small independent retailers. In turn, of course, it encourages small independent retailers to accept American Express in order to participate.

It typically runs before Christmas but American Express has also run it over the Summer for the past two years which suggests it may now be a bi-annual event.

It will return for December 2021 with the same, slightly less lucrative, offer from June:

The 2020 version of ‘Shop Small’ gave you £5 back for every £10 purchase you make at a participating independent retailer.

The Winter 2021 version of ‘Shop Small’ will give you £5 back on a £15 transaction.

You are limited to one £5 payment per retailer per American Express card you register.

How will Shop Small Winter 2021 work?

  • The promotion is now confirmed to run from 4th to 15th December.
  • You must register in advance via the ‘Offers’ section of the American Express app or website. Each card, and each supplementary card, must be registered separately. Registration is not yet open.
  • You will be restricted to £25 cashback per American Express card you register (last Christmas the limit was £50 per card)
  • The standard rule of one payment per retailer per card will remain
American Express Amex Shop Small

Now is a good time to add a supplementary card

One thing worth remembering about Shop Small is that you can register supplementary cards separately. This allows you to earn cashback at the same store on both your main card and your supplementary cards.

Do note, however, that American Express takes a dim view of people who ‘abuse’ Shop Small. It has closed down accounts of HfP readers in the past. ‘Abuse’ would include splitting a large transaction into chunks of £15, using a different card each time.

If you had been thinking about adding a supplementary card to your American Express account, you may want to make sure it is in place by 4th December.

This page of the American Express website offers bonus Membership Rewards points or bonus Avios for adding your first supplementary card to an account.

Conclusion

We will remind you when registration opens for Shop Small Winter 2021 – it is likely to be soon.

For clarity, American Express funds 100% of the cashback. Your local independent shops are not paying to participate so don’t feel guilty about joining in.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge 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. 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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

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 card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

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

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) 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:

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

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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 Visa card

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (85)

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

  • Sally B says:

    We have so few shops that it is valid in that it really isn’t worth it. Amex have previously refused to allow an authorised user spend on on a purchase as I was told it wasn’t allowed.

  • Lesley W says:

    Shop Small is on my credit card this morning.

  • Sally B says:

    Shop small registration is open for anyone interested.

  • Simon Spanswick says:

    Shop Small credits have been almost instant in the past. However purchases made over the past few days have not generated the usual email confirmation, nor has a credit appeared on statements for the cards registered for the promotion.
    Have other HfP readers had different experiences?

    • Boon says:

      Yes, same here. Three transactions in three different shops. All of them now confirmed (instead of pending status). But no instant credit provided against them.

      Hope I won’t have to wait the 8-12 weeks before webchat/call Amex to retrospectively investigate…

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

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