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20 Jun 2022

American Express Shop Small scheme returns this week - how to earn £25

Shoppers can earn £5 cashback for spending over £15 with small businesses

The American Express Shop Small scheme is back - and gives you the chance to earn £25 in cashback this week. 

The scheme offers cardholders £5 cashback when you spend £15 or more with a participating small business. It will run from 20-26 June. 

If you prefer shopping with independent businesses rather than big chains, now's your chance to be rewarded for your spending. 

Here, Which? explains how the Amex Shop Small scheme works, and whether it’s worth signing up to one of its cashback credit cards.

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What is the American Express Shop Small Scheme?

The Amex Shop Small Scheme has been running for 10 years, and aims to support small businesses by encouraging people to buy from them. 

To take part, you have to save the offer to your qualifying American Express credit card. 

You can do this by logging into your online American Express account, or using the American Express app. 

You then need to make a qualifying purchase in-store at a participating UK small business before 26 June, and you'll receive £5 statement credit for transactions over £15. 

You can earn up to £25 cashback in total if you make five qualifying transactions with five different small businesses. 

This credit may be reversed if you later refund your purchases. 

To find out which retailers are taking part, there's a map on the American Express website.

What do American Express credit cards offer?

American Express is a Which? Recommended Provider, with a customer score of 80% in our annual credit card survey.

Customers gave it full marks for, among other things, its customer service, application process, and transparency of charges. 

It has two cashback credit cards which can be used with the Shop Small Scheme. 

Its Platinum Cashback Credit Card offers 5% cashback for the first three months, capped at £125. 

After this the cashback rate falls to 0.75% on all purchases when you spend up to £10,000, and 1.25% cashback when you spend over £10,000 in one year. 

There is a £25 annual fee, and it has a representative APR of 30.7% (variable). Credit is subject to status, and terms apply. 

The Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card also offers 5% cashback for the first three months, capped at £100. 

After this the cashback rate falls to 0.5% when you spend up to £10,000 and 1% when you spend over £10,000 in a year. 

You need to spend a minimum of £3,000 in a year to ensure every £1 you spend qualifies for cashback. 

There is no annual fee and it has a representative APR of 25.3% variable. Credit is subject to status, and terms apply. 

Aside from this, American Express also offers a range of reward credit card deals, where you can earn points with schemes like Nectar and British Airways.

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Where can I use my Amex card?

American Express is accepted in all major UK supermarkets, as well as companies such as Trainline, Nando’s, M&S and Boots. 

However, some retailers refuse to take Amex cards as payment because of the higher fees they have to pay to process transactions, compared to Visa and Mastercard. 

You can use Amex maps on the American Express website to search for particular business names and locations, or use filters to find businesses that accept your card.

How does it compare to other cashback cards?

The table below sets out how American Express cashback credit cards compare with others on the market right now. It is ordered by cashback rate (highest to lowest). 

Credit card
Cashback rate
Other perks
Representative APR
Annual fee
American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card5% cashback for the first three months capped at £125. After that, it's 0.75% cashback on spending up to £10,000, and 1.25% on spending above £10,000.Early access to purchase event tickets sponsored by Amex. Complementary supplementary cards for family members.30.7% (variable)£25
American Express Platinum Everyday Cashback Credit Card5% cashback for the first three months capped at £100. After that, it's 0.5% cashback on spending up to £10,000, and 1% on spending above £10,000. Must spend a minimum of £3,000 a year to qualify for cashback.Early access to purchase event tickets sponsored by Amex. Complementary supplementary cards for family members.25.3% (variable) None
Santander All In One Credit Card0.5% on all purchases. Get 1% cashback on all spending abroad if you spend a minimum of £500 until 18 September.Earn up to 15% cashback with retailer offers. 0% on balance transfers for 26 months from account opening with no balance transfer fee. 0% on purchases for 23 months from account opening. No foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad in the local currency.24.7% (variable)£36 (paid as £3 monthly fee)
Lloyds Cashback Credit Card0.25% on every £1 you spend up to £4,000 and 0.5% for every £1 you spend over £4,000.£20 cashback when you spend £1,000 within the first 90 days of opening the account.19.9%None
Halifax Cashback Credit Card0.25% on every £1 you spend up to £4,000 and 0.5% for every £1 you spend over £4,000.£20 cashback when you spend £1,000 within the first 90 days of opening the account.19.9%None

 Information correct as of 17 June 2022

The best cashback rate is offered by American Express - however, be aware that you only get the 5% cashback rate for the first three months before the rate reduces.

If you're planning a big trip abroad, it may be worth considering the Santander All In One Credit Card. 

Until 18 September, you can earn 1% on cashback when you spend more than £500 in a foreign currency. The maximum amount of cashback you can earn is £100, which will be paid in September. There are also no fees on purchases made abroad in the local currency. 

The cashback rate in the UK is 0.5%, and there is a monthly fee of £3 to factor in.

The Halifax and Lloyds Bank cashback offers are identical, and both require you to spend more than £4,000 to get the higher 0.5% cashback rate - but there is no annual fee to pay. 

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Top tips for using as cashback credit card

Pay off what you spend every month

A cashback credit card can be a great way to get rewarded for your spending. 

However, they rarely come with 0% introductory offers on purchases, which means you should always aim to pay your bill in full every month - interest can be high, and could wipe out any money you make in cashback. 

Our cashback reward calculator can help you work out how much you might earn. 

Search for extra retailer offers

Many cashback credit cards will have extra retailer offers you can access. 

For example, American Express has deals on its app that give you the chance to earn more cashback. 

Some of the current offers include money back at Samsung, Morrisons and Avanti West Coast. 

You will need to ‘save’ the offers to your card before you make the purchase, in the same way you would for the Shop Small Scheme. 

Avoid borrowing

Cashback credit cards are generally not very good for borrowing, with few cards offering competitive 0% purchase or balance transfer deals. 

If you're already paying interest on credit card debt, it's worth considering a 0% balance transfer card, or if you want to spread the cost of a new purchase try a 0% purchase card.