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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? – January 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2022 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.

There are special sign-up bonuses on both of the BA American Express cards until 28th February 2022. The bonus on the free card is doubled to 10,000 Avios and the bonus on the Premium Plus card is increased from 25,000 Avios to a huge 40,000 Avios.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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

40,000 Avios (SPECIAL OFFER) and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 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.

The bonus on the Capital On Tap card is increased from points worth 10,000 Avios to 30,000 Avios until 4th February 2022.

The bonus on the British Airways Accelerating Business card is increased from 30,000 Avios to 45,000 Avios until 28th February 2022.

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

45,000 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

30,000 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.

Apply 31st March 2022 and your cashback will be increased to 2% for the first three months.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (2% for your first 3 months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (85)

  • 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…

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