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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.

  • ms says:

    Very small this year 🙂

  • Mr Sound says:

    I ordered our Christmas meat from my local butcher this morning and they let me leave a deposit paid across 4 cards, £15 on each so £20 off.

  • Gordon says:

    Damn, Can I do this from Germany.

  • executiveclubber says:

    Tried to get my local hairdresser to split my payment across two cards “sorry sir, not possible with our system”. Oh well, £5 off is better than nothing!

    • JDB says:

      You obviously have a rather expensive hairdresser at £30+ ! My excellent Turkish barber is only £18 and you get a rather good cup of Turkish coffee thrown in, but then they are very much cash only and fairly much the only place I use cash.

      • Gordon says:

        After my initial outlay for a skull shaver. I save a fortune on barber costs over many years, I can also satisfy myself any coffee I desire from my built in coffee machine.

  • GillC says:

    Tried our local shop which is a “new listing” according to the list, they don’t take Amex. I’m not going to chase about looking for stores that might just take it 🙄

    • BBbetter says:

      Try inserting card in the terminal and keying in the pin. It works sometimes even when the shop says no. Just don’t announce you are using Amex.

  • Jeff says:

    Ordered from the chippy down the road that was on the Shop Small map and so you would think is participating in the offer. Amex payment refused on payment – “sorry, we don’t accept Amex”. Amex support reluctantly refunded me the £5 “after speaking to a manager as a one-off gesture”. IMO it’s up to them to make sure their map corresponds with their client list, not for me to do their market research for them to ask if a retailer accepts Amex before I place a food order.

  • Mark says:

    From what I read in the terms it has to post your account within the 3 day time frame- seriously over 2 non business days? I suspect it will be a dead loss this year I’ve still got my transactions pending not posted to the account

    • ADS says:

      I did two valid purchases on Saturday … one of them triggered an app notification at the time … another triggered an app notification at 11pm … so I guess we need to the shops to close their CC machine each evening!

      No email notifications – which happened in previous years

      • ADS says:

        My third purchase triggered an app notification 10 minutes after the shop closed – which I guess is when the closed their CC machine.

  • Louie says:

    Not my finest day yesterday. Bought a gift in the Christmas market at Bath (amazing by the way), hubby paid with his BAPP, a supp on my account. Later realised I hadn’t registered any of the supplementary cards for Shop Small as there’s no way we will find more than a couple of places to use it at….

    Then went to a cafe. Bill was £12 odd so added a flapjack to take away. Later realised I’d used my Barclays Avios card, which also being black I had confused with the BAPP as I wasn’t paying attention. So not only did I not save anything, Shop Small actually cost me a flapjack I’d didn’t particularly want 🙁

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