The last few months have been really challenging for small businesses and to show its support, American Express has powered up Shop Small to give Cardmembers £5 back when they spend £15 or more in a single in-store transaction at up to 5 different participating small businesses. Terms Apply. To find out how you can get involved, search: Shop Small UK.
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This post was originally written in collaboration with American Express when it was first published in September 2020. The post has since been updated.
What is Amex Shop Small?
Shop Small is a promotion run by American Express which allows Cardmembers to earn up to £25 in cashback.
The Offer is there to support smaller, local businesses and you’re able to get £5 in cashback when you spend at least £15 with a participating local business.
You can use the Offer up to 5 times at different locations, meaning you can earn £25 in credit.
As American Express® Cardmembers, we’ve both been able to make good use of the Offer this year.
We aren’t necessarily big buyers of “stuff”, and I like to make sure I get a really good deal when I am shopping. If I plan a purchase of around £15, I can essentially save 50% – and that’s exactly what I did in one of my favourite small shops.
I was able to buy a board game, a few sweets for the kids, and a new wine bottle opener (our cheaper one broke a few months back!) for around £16. I was happy paying that much, but I get £5 back from American Express too!
It’s really a good excuse to start shopping for Christmas earlier. Starting a few months early helps to spread the cost but, again, the offer helps reduce your overall spend.
Taking advantage of this Offer means it’s cheaper for me and small businesses get a boost – win, win!
Running a small business ourselves, we know how much effort, drive and time goes into keeping a business going, especially in a year like 2020!
How do I get the Offer?
You need to make sure you enrol your Card for the Offer as it’s not automatically switched on, but it’s really simple to do.
Simply enrol your Card via the American Express® App or log in to your American Express Account and save the Offer to your Card – that’s it!
Then, each time you shop at a local participating business, you’ll get £5 in cashback on a £15+ spend.
Amex Shop Small map
To make things easy, American Express has created a map so you can search for the small businesses and retailers taking part.
Pop in your postcode, make sure to select the Shop Small filter and you’ll get loads of local businesses where you’ll get £5 free when you spend £15.
It’s not just shops who you can redeem the Offer with.
There are all sorts of small shops and local businesses included in the campaign, such as:
- Restaurants and takeaways
- Newsagents and convenience stores
- Entertainment venues
- Dry cleaners
- Travel agents
- Entertainment venues
Participating small businesses may also display a Shop Small sticker in their window so you don’t need to check the map.
This will help remind you to pay with your Amex Card to get the £5 Shop Small Offer.
How many times can I use the American Express Shop Small Offer?
You’re able to get a £5 statement credit when you spend £15 or more in any participating store.
It’s not just a one off though – you can use the Offer up to 5 times per Card, once per participating location.
So, if you’ve got an additional Cardmember set up on your Account, be sure to save the Offer on the other Card as well, so they can take advantage of Shop Small.
How long does it take to get the credit?
The £5 credit should appear on your Card account statement within 5 days after you made the purchase. Sometimes this can take up to 90 days.
If you have an American Express Cashback Card, you will also receive your normal cashback too.
Support local and Shop Small
American Express Cashback Cards are a great way to earn money back on our everyday spending.
At one point, I used to budget with cash, knowing I’d have a certain amount to spend each month. Trouble was, as all the money was not in one account, I couldn’t easily track how much I’d have left to spend, and how much was earmarked for bills.
So, we started to look at how we could adapt the envelope budgeting method. We don’t use cash much, so the classic method wouldn’t work and we wanted to keep everything in digital pots.
Having separate bank accounts for different bills works well for us and we can see the money going down in their individual pots. Instead of using cash from a bank account, as we’d be spending it anyway, we decided to use a Cashback Credit Card from American Express for our day to day spending.
Whether it’s food shopping, stuff for the kids or a family treat, we’d pay on the Credit Card, earn cashback on our spend, then clear the balance off the next month.
If you’re using a credit card for spending, you should only spend what you can afford.
To find out how you can get £5 back when you shop with independent businesses, search: Shop Small UK.
Which American Express Card does it work with?
The American Express Shop Small campaign is a benefit of all the Amex cards.
Whether you are looking for a card with no annual fees, a cashback or a reward card, all cards come with plenty of features.
You can check your eligibility for a card here without it affecting your credit score.
Can you use Amex Shop Small online?
You are not able to take advantage of the Amex Shop Small Offer online. The idea is to support small businesses on the high street, and many of them don’t have a website or large online presence.
One thing I’d suggest to watch out for in restaurants since many now ask you to order via an app. If you are paying with an American Express card via the app, although you are physically at the small business, the transaction will appear online (via the app) so will not register as being part of the Amex Shop Small campaign.
How often do Amex do Shop Small?
The American Express Shop Small campaign runs at different points throughout the year as a way to support small independent businesses. It’s also a great promotion for cardholders to get something back when shopping.
The Shop Small Offer has been running since 2012. Amex also promotes Small Business Saturday which falls on the first Saturday in December each year.
Shop Small usually runs twice a year.
The next Shop Small Offer runs from 4 December – 15 December 2021.
Previous Shop Small dates
The promotion last ran in June 2021.
The Amex Shop Small Offer ran for two weeks in December 2020.
Before that, the offer ran from June to September 2020 as retailers were opening back up after the lockdown.