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Starts today: American Express Shop Small is back for three days

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Here’s your reminder that American Express is bringing back its ‘Shop Small’ promotion from today – but only for three days.

‘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.

You must register before making any purchases via the ‘Offers’ tab on the Amex website or in the app. Supplementary cards must be registered separately.

The winter 2023 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.

You are limited to THREE transactions in total per registered card over the three day promotional period, which means that your cashback is limited at £15 per card.

How will Shop Small winter 2023 work?

  • The promotion will run from today until Sunday, ie 1st to 3rd 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.
  • You will be restricted to £15 cashback per American Express card you register (old timers will remember that it used to be £50 ….)
  • The standard rule of one payment per retailer per card will remain

For clarity … supplementary cards are treated separately from main cards. If you made 2 x £15 purchases in the same store, one on your main card and one on a supplementary card, you would receive £5 cashback on both purchases.

Whilst this is a much-reduced version of Shop Small compared to its heyday, you would be silly not to register. You never know when you might make a purchase this weekend which would trigger it.

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? – April 2024 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.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (56)

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

  • Ladyshopper says:

    My husband had a dentist appointment this morning (still fortunate enough to have an NHS dentist).

    He was gobsmacked when he got home to find a notification from Amex thanking him for using Shop Small!

  • ankomonkey says:

    I gave up when they stopped honoring places that are on their map but don’t take Amex. In the midst of Covid, with compulsory masks, social distancing and long queues, Amex CS told me I need to ask the person who serves me if they are participating in the offer before ordering. I told them that was not a realistic way to go shopping. They still refused the credit and I don’t get out of bed for Shop Small anymore.

  • Grimz says:

    The issue is you have to chase some of the credits as they don’t all track even though they are on the map!!

  • Mark Bates-Three B's Micropub says:

    This is my yearly reminder that whilst businesses such as ours accept Amex they refuse to allow us to take part in this as we use a third party system for card payments (as these are far cheaper than the legacy systems)

  • Julia says:

    It is tight plus in the wrong country. Many Amex customers are abroad Christmas so why not give them the option where they want to spend?

    • Rob says:

      It works in Gibraltar, as I found out two years ago! Got £5 back from the cable car and a cafe in town.

  • SteveCroydon says:

    The offer is rubbish, as is the map – appalling piece of IT. Completely unusable.
    The list of shops is inaccurate – those on it don’t take AMEX, others that do aren’t on the list.
    The IT for making the £5 credit is also garbage; I’ve had to chase credits in the past.
    Not worth the effort. Just another example of AMEX loosing their way.

  • daveinitalia says:

    “(old timers will remember that it used to be £50 ….)”
    It used to be unlimited! Also why’s there a full stop after the ellipsis?

    • Hampshirehog says:

      And that’s why some folk were binned by Amex

      • John says:

        The people who split a £100 transaction over 10 cards got banned. People who genuinely spent £5 at 20 different shops got £100 free

  • Alex Sm says:

    It was so confusing! The offer was up for some time and had a warning – “expires in 8 day” so I hurried up to my fav spot for this offer, Mleczko, did two transactions only to discover this morning that the offer starts today 🤦🏻‍♂️

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

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