Registration is now open for Shop Small 2018. Shop Small is without a doubt one of, if not the best Amex promotion(s) of the year.
What is Amex Shop Small?
Shop Small aims to provide an incentive to shop at smaller, local businesses.
The basics of the Shop Small Amex promotion are really simple.
Spend £10+ at a participating small business and you’ll receive a £5 statement credit back on your card.
There’s no limit to the total number of £5 credits that you can receive during Shop Small although you can only get one credit per card, per retailer (more on this below).
Small Business Saturday traditionally kicks off Shop Small and this year it takes place on 1st December 2018.
Shop Small runs from 1st-16th December 2018.
Which shops participate?
Technically, the easiest way of locating participating shops is via the Shop Small Map. This shows a list of nearby retailers that accept Amex and are a registered ‘Shop Small’ shop.
Bear in mind that the map has traditionally been slow to update and the list may not be comprehensive. The best practice is to use the map as your starting point, but if you know a local shop that accepts Amex but isn’t on the list, there’s a good chance it will trigger a credit anyway.
You must register your cards
All directly-issued Amex cards are eligible for Shop Small. Lloyds, corporate and prepaid Amex cards are not eligible for Shop Small 2018.
When you log-in to your online account, either via the desktop site or the app, under the (Amex) Offers tab there should an entry that looks like this:
How to maximize your savings
You could approach Shop Small passively, getting the odd £5 off here and there, what would be the fun in that?
You need to think out of the box and supplementary cards are king here. Earlier, I mentioned that you can get £5 credit per card, per retailer. Crucially, every supplementary card has a different card number – meaning you can register it separately for Shop Small – allowing you to earn multiple £5 credits at each retailer.
These tips will help you scale up your savings:
1.) Add as many complimentary supplementary cards as you can
Amex allows you to add a number of people to your card as supplementary cardholders for free. However, the Amex website is quite ambiguous about how many additional cardholders you are allowed to add to each card.
Here are the rough guidelines:
American Preferred Rewards Gold Credit card (Amex Gold) – 1 free supplementary card, £45 per card thereafter.
American Express Platinum card – 1 free supplementary Platinum card, 4 free Gold/Green cards. £170 per card thereafter.
British Airways Premium Plus card – No limit listed – website simply states additional cards are free.
British Airways Credit card – No limit listed – as above.
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card – No limit listed – as above.
Amex Platinum Cashback Credit Card – You are entitled to up to 99(!) complimentary supplementary cards, subject to approval.
Amex Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card – You are entitled to up to 99 complimentary supplementary cards, subject to approval.
2.) Get a supplementary card in your own name
For a quick and easy additional cardholder, get yourself a second card. People often use this as a way of separating business and personal expenses. But for Shop Small it’s an extra card which = an extra £5 per shop.
On the application form fill out your own details and then select ‘Other’ when asked about your relationship to the primary cardholder.
3.) Split your bills
If you visit a ‘Shop Small restaurant’, don’t make do with just one £5 credit, split a £30 bill into £10 chunks across three cards (assuming the supplementary cardholders are with you of course 😉 ). Restaurants are used to groups having to split the bill at the end of a meal, so you shouldn’t encounter too much trouble.
Good planning is key to maximizing Shop Small. Start by applying now for any new Amex primary and supplementary cards you might need, to ensure they arrive in plenty of time before 1st December. It’s also worth taking five minutes to draw up a list of interesting shops within a reasonable radius of your home or office.
For some, this will be far too much faff. They might register a card or two and pick up a couple of £5 credits along the way. For others, this is a great opportunity. I see it as an excellent way to ‘recoup’ any annual card fees you are paying!