Shop Small 2018 starts this Saturday, 1st December 2018.

Shop Small is without a doubt one of, if not the best Amex promotion of the year. If you’ve never paid much attention to it before, I’d highly recommend a rethink.

Each year, I make back my American Express annual card fees and then some, simply by utilising the Shop Small promotion effectively.

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How does Amex Shop Small work?

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 number of Shop Small credits that you can receive, although you can only get one £5 credit per card, per retailer (more on this below).

Small Business Saturday kicks off Shop Small on the 1st December 2018.

Shop Small runs until 16th December 2018.

Which shops participate?

The easiest way of locating participating shops is via the Shop Small Map. This shows a list of nearby retailers registered ‘Shop Small’ shops that accept Amex.

However, the map is traditionally slow to add/remove retailers who do and don’t accept Amex. 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.

Click here to see the Shop Small Map for your area

How to register for Shop Small

You must save the Shop Small offer to your card(s) before shopping.

When you log-in to your online Amex account, under the (Amex) Offers tab there should an entry that looks like this:

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All directly-issued Amex cards are eligible for Shop Small. Lloyds, corporate and prepaid Amex cards are not eligible for Shop Small 2018.

Tips to maximize your savings

To get the most out of Shop Small, you need to think out of the box – supplementary cards are key.

Earlier, I mentioned that you can get £5 back per card, per retailer. Every supplementary card has a different card number, allowing you to register it separately for Shop Small.

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These tips will help you scale up your savings:

1.) Add as many complimentary supplementary cards as you can

The Amex website is quite ambiguous about how many additional cardholders you are allowed to add to each type of card product.

Here are some 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 purposes it’s an extra card which = an extra £5 back per shop!

Just select ‘Other’ when asked about your relationship to the primary cardholder on the application form.

EDIT: Having done this in the last few days, it seems you may be better off selecting ‘Family’ on the application form rather than ‘Other’ – which seems to have prompted an email for further details from the New Accounts team. 

3.) Split your bills

If you visit a ‘Shop Small restaurant’, don’t make do with just one £5 credit. You can, for example, split a £30 bill into £10 chunks across three cards (assuming the supplementary cardholders are with you of course 😉 ), giving you £15 off and a half price meal. Restaurants are used to groups having to split the bill at the end of a meal, so you shouldn’t encounter too much trouble.


Shop Small looks to give you an incentive to shop at smaller businesses. With the costs of running the promotion covered entirely by Amex, I have to say it works. I really enjoy discovering new, local shops during Shop Small that I’ll often end up visiting again long beyond Shop Small.

Good planning is absolutely key to making the most of Shop Small. It’s worth taking five minutes to draw up a list of shops you’d like to visit within a reasonable radius of your home or office. That way, if you find yourself with a spare 10 minutes, you’ll know exactly where to head to earn some quick Shop Small cashback.

You can find out more about Shop Small on this page of the Amex website

What’s your plan for Shop Small this year?


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