Frequently asked questions

You can find answers to many common questions about Shop Small here.

Shop Small

  • What is Shop Small?

    Shop Small is a nationwide campaign dedicated to supporting the thousands of small businesses in the UK, who are the backbone of our community and economy. Created by American Express® in 2012, Shop Small helps to promote small businesses that welcome American Express Cards via a national advertising campaign and a Cardmember offer, where we incentivise our Cardmembers to Shop Small at participating small businesses.

  • When is Shop Small?

    Small businesses participating in Shop Small start to receive communications when the campaign commences. In 2016 it was on 1 November – from which date participating small businesses could create a complimentary online Ad.

    The Cardmember Offer – where Cardmembers get rewarded for Shopping Small kicks off on Small Business Saturday (3 December in 2016) and finished on 18 December in 2016.

  • What is the Shop Small Cardmember offer and when it does it run?

    The Cardmember Offer is where Cardmembers get rewarded for Shopping Small. It kicks off on Small Business Saturday (3 December in 2016) and finishes two weeks later.

    The Shop Small Cardmembers offer for 2016 has now ended

  • What is Small Business Saturday®?

    Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots movement which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to shop local and support small businesses in their communities. The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2016, Small Business Saturday UK took place on Saturday 3 December 2016.

  • How is Shop Small different to Small Business Saturday?

    American Express, a founder of Small Business Saturday in the US and an active supporter of the grassroots movement in the UK, encourages people to go out and Shop Small and local on Small Business Saturday and beyond.

    The Shop Small campaign is created and managed by American Express for the benefit of our small businesses and Cardmembers.

    In 2016 Small Business Saturday fell on Saturday 3 December.

  • Does it cost my business to be a part of Shop Small?

    No, apart from the standard costs for processing transactions as outlined in your merchant agreement, it costs nothing for eligible small businesses to participate in Shop Small. American Express invests in the marketing of the campaign and the promotion, funding and fulfilment of the offer to Cardmembers.

Participating in Shop Small

  • What is a qualifying American Express Card accepting small business?

    Subject to American Express checks and approval, small businesses who are eligible to take part in Shop Small are defined as:

    • The small business must welcome American Express Cards and have recently taken an American Express transaction
    • The small business must be located in the United Kingdom (UK), which consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and includes islands such as the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides and the island groups of Orkney and Shetland and the self-governing dependent territories of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
    • A traditional "street-side" business that deals with its customers face to face in premises that the business owns or rents. This means that the small business must have at least one physical business location – up to a maximum of 20 locations – within the UK
    • The small business must not be a government agency, public administration organisation, charity, non-profit, trade association, shopping property management company, direct seller, or political organisation or operating in industries that are deemed ineligible for Shop Small
    • Small businesses that are part of a franchise brand are evaluated on a case-by-case basis
    • Small businesses that have an online or mail order business are excluded as are those who process American Express Card payments solely through a third-party processor or aggregator (for example, those that offer the ability to accept charge and credit cards through a card reader attached to a mobile or tablet device) or as part of an affiliate programme.

    If you would like to discuss your business' eligibility, please call us on 0800 032 7216.

    Small businesses who meet the qualifying criteria will automatically become a Shop Small Merchant, featuring on the Shop Small map and will benefit from the Shop Small American Express Cardmember offer.

  • Is there any cost to small businesses for taking part in Shop Small?

    There are no Shop Small costs, except for your normal Merchant fees. These resources are fully funded by American Express and are provided to qualifying small Merchants at no additional cost.


  • What is the Shop Small map?

    The Shop Small map displays the physical business address of small businesses participating in the Shop Small campaign and Cardmember offer. The map has been created to help our Cardmembers find where to redeem their Cardmember offer – which American Express is funding.

    For more details please refer to the “What is the Cardmember offer” in the FAQs.

  • My business is listed incorrectly on the map. How can I update it?

    In most instances the address on the map will reflect the details we have on file for your business. If this is showing incorrectly on the map, this could be due to several reasons. For example we hold your registered address on file which is different to your trading location, or your business has moved premises and we have an old address on file.

    You can update your business details by calling us on 0800 032 7216.

  • I made changes to my business details. When will these be reflected on the map?

    Please note that if you have made any changes to your business location on the map it can take up to a minimum of 5 business days to appear.

    Please note that smaller changes to your address location on the Shop Small map (i.e. left vs right-hand side of the road) may not always be possible as some map data is not controlled by American Express.

  • I tried searching for my business on the Shop Small map, but it did not appear in the search results. What can I do?

    You must be registered in the Shop Small campaign to be on the map. If you still have issues or questions about your location on the map, please call us on 0800 032 7216.

  • How do I remove my business from the Shop Small map and the Shop Small campaign?

    In 2016, between 3 - 18 December our Cardmembers looked to spend at small businesses participating in Shop Small to redeem their Cardmember offer – which American Express funded. As a small business, it costs nothing to participate in Shop Small and the campaign is a great way to get your business more exposure.

    If you decide to remove your location(s) from the map it could mean that less Cardmembers will spend at your business during the campaign period (which was 3 - 18 December in 2016).

    If you still wish to remove your business location(s) from the Shop Small map, call us on 0800 032 7216. For more information refer to “What is the Cardmember offer” in the FAQs.

Resources and Ad Creator

  • When can I create my complimentary online Ad and when will they run?


    American Express offered participating small businesses the opportunity to create a personalised online Ad. It was easy to create and we took care of promoting it online, at no cost to participating small businesses

Cardmember Offer

  • What is the American Express Shop Small Cardmember offer?

    The Cardmember Offer is where Cardmembers get rewarded for Shopping Small. It kicks off on Small Business Saturday (3 December in 2016) and finishes two weeks later.

    The Shop Small Cardmembers offer for 2016 has now ended.

  • What American Express Cards are eligible for the offer?

    The offer was open to existing American Express Cardmembers with a UK issued Credit or Charge Card, however American Express Corporate Cards, Prepaid Cards or Cards issued by TSB Bank did not qualify for the 2016 offer.

  • Do I have to provide American Express Cardmembers with an offer as well?

    No, not at all. Simply place our Shop Small sticker in your window to let Cardmembers know you accept American Express Cards and are participating in Shop Small.

    Should you wish to make the most of Shop Small and help turn new customers into loyal customers, you could offer a bespoke offer either during the 2 week period or on Small Business Saturday (which fell on 3 December in 2016). In the past we have seen businesses offer free gift wrapping, a sweet treat, and more to tempt people in.

Technical and Accepting Amex

  • I have a problem accepting American Express Card transactions on my point of sale terminal. Who can I contact for help?

    We're here to help you. Please call us on 0800 032 7216. We are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

  • My business does not currently accept American Express Cards. Who can I contact about becoming an American Express merchant?

    It's great to hear you want to do this. By accepting American Express, you could find yourself welcoming new customers and continuing to provide great service by allowing your existing customers to pay with their card of choice.

    You can find out more by calling us on 0800 33 99 11. We are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, or find out more online.

  • I have a question that isn't addressed by the FAQs here. Where can I go for help?

    If the FAQs on this page do not answer your specific question, call us on 0800 032 7216.

*Offer only available to UK issued American Express and network Cards with the exclusion of TSB Bank. Corporate and prepaid Cards do not qualify. Offer only applied to spend on a saved Card between 3 and 18 December 2016. £5 statement credit redeemable once per saved Card per participating small business. Excluded online transactions and offer valid for in-store purchases only. For a list of participating merchants, please click here. Statement credits were issued within eight weeks of the qualifying spend. For full Offer Terms and more details about statement credits click here.

Copyright © 2016 American Express Company.

American Express Services Europe Limited has its registered office at Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 9AX, United Kingdom. It is registered in England and Wales with Company Number 1833139 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.