STARTS TODAY: Save up to £25 with American Express Shop Small for Christmas 2021
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American Express Shop Small returns today, Saturday 4th.
Whilst Amex has been chipping away at the attractiveness of Shop Small over the last couple of years, it still remains a decent way to save on some Christmas shopping.
Despite the cap of £25 cashback, there is a separate limit for every Amex card you hold – with a further separate limit for supplementary cards – so it is still possible to do well.
What is American Express Shop Small?
‘Shop Small’ is designed to encourage you to shop in local independent stores instead of major chains.
(‘Shop Small UK’ is, of course, also a way for American Express to persuade more small shops to sign up to accept American Express cards.)
Starting from today and running until 15th December, you will receive £5 cashback on the first FIVE transactions you make for £15 or more at participating ‘Shop Small’ businesses.
There are very few rules apart from the fact that you can only get one £5 cashback per shop per card. You can, of course, register multiple American Express cards if you have more than one.
Cashback is capped at £25 per card. Supplementary cards are treated separately and have their own cap, so you could technically get more than £25 cashback.
You get a separate £25 cashback limit for each American Express card you hold.
How does Shop Small UK work?
It is a simple process:
You MUST register your credit or charge card before making a ‘Shop Small’ purchase:
‘Shop Small’ should appear as a card offer online or in the app. Look under the ‘Offers’ tab on the American Express website for each card you have.
(If you do not have the offer on your card, reach out to Amex customer services who will add it manually for you.)
You can register by going to the American Express website, logging in and looking under ‘My Offers’ on the statement page.
Corporate American Express cards do not quality, but the small business cards usually do.
You can also register a supplementary card (an additional card held by your partner or friend on the same account) as long as it has a different card number to your main card and has its own separate Amex log-in.
You must find a participating ‘Shop Small’ small shop:
The main Shop Small website is here which contains a link to an interactive map where you can find participating shops in your area. You will also often see a Shop Small sticker in a shop window.
Beware that this map, in previous years, has not been accurate. Often in a good way (some shops not featured give the credit) and often in a bad way (shops on the map are closed or don’t even accept Amex). Your best option is to use your Amex whenever you can during the Shop Small period and see what hits.
It is worth noting that it is not just sellers of ‘things’ who are taking part. You will find cafes and even the occasional pub taking part.
You can even get credits when you are not expecting them – during the Summer 2021 ‘Shop Small’ offer, Rob found that purchases he made in Gibraltar were triggering cashback.
You must make a qualifying purchase of £15 or more:
You can make one purchase per registered card per shop that is taking part in ‘Shop Small’.
Supplementary cards can get credit at the same shop as a card where the main cardholder has already made a purchase. You can also get credit for different American Express cards at the same shop.
For example …. Rob and his wife have six American Express cards, including supplementary cards, between them. They can earn 6 x £5 cashback payments at the same store over the promotional period, as long as they use a different registered card each time.
American Express appears to have stopped sending email confirmations after a cashback transaction is made, so don’t expect to receive any notifications. A £5 credit for every £15 purchase will be added onto your credit card account within a few days of the original charge hitting your statement.
Note that American Express has closed down card accounts before (including some HfP readers) when they believe that ‘Shop Small’ has been abused. ‘Abuse’ includes asking a retailer to break down a transaction into chunks of £15 and paying each £15 with a different registered American Express card. This is easy for Amex to spot when transactions are processed within a few seconds of each other.
For clarity …. this promotion is fully funded by American Express as part of its campaign to encourage more small shops to accept the card. It is not funded by the shop so you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking part.
You can find out more on the American Express website here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 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:
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. 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
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) 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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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
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
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.