Shop Small from Amex returns for 2021: Get 50% cashback on your Small Business transactions

American Express has been at work for during the pandemic, working to ensure that their cardmember base stays engaged with the brand as well as continues to generate spend on their card accounts. Some of the initiatives that stood out were the Everyday Spend offer which allowed for Platinum and Centurion Cardmembers to get up to INR 27,500/INR 35,000 back when they spent on their Amex at certain brands. In 2020, American Express also launched the Shop Small offer in India, which they worked in two different combinations over the year

American Express Shop Small returns to India

American Express started the Shop Small programme in the United States to encourage Cardmembers to use their American Express cards at Small Merchants and has over the years expanded it into other markets as well. Now, in a bid to encourage customers to spend at their favourite Small Merchants in India, American Express has returned with the Shop Small initiative in India for the second year in a row.

Shop Small Amex Offer

The Shop Small Amex Offer for 2021

As part of the Shop Small Offer, Cardmembers will get INR 500 cashback on spending INR 1,000 or more in one transaction in-person only, up to 5 times during the campaign period across participating stores between August 3 and October 31, 2021.

The promotion is available to all personal accounts in good standing with American Express. However, you need to activate the promotion by heading into your American Express account and saving the offer on your card under Amex Offers. Here are some of the cards which are included in the American Express Shop Small offer:

  • American Express Centurion Card
  • American Express Platinum Card
  • American Express Platinum Reserve Card
  • American Express Platinum Travel Card
  • American Express Membership Rewards Card
  • American Express Gold Card
  • American Express SmartEarn Credit Card

Shop Small Amex Offer

The Shop Small initiative is also available for the ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank-issued American Express network cards. However, you need to apply for registration here, first.

Finding local small businesses which accept American Express cards

American Express has created a ready reckoner of Small Businesses, and you can use a drop-down or PIN Codes to locate the small business. The definition of small businesses is pretty broad, and it could include your favourite restaurant, the nearest Chemist or Hospital, your Garage and many other stores.

a screenshot of a website

For instance, one of my favourite restaurants in Mumbai, Americano is listed as a Small Merchant.

a screenshot of a phone

Terms of the Shop Small Amex Offer

American Express says that only the listed locations are valid for the offer. Here are the salient terms:

  • Any unlisted locations of participating Shop Small businesses are not valid for the offer.
  • ₹500 cashback will be applied up to 5 times, and the offer is limited to a maximum of ₹2,500 cashback applied to your card during the offer period.
  • Offer valid on transactions made on the saved card directly in-person at participating Shop Small businesses. Valid at India locations only. Not valid for online transactions.
  • Not valid for payments made via a third party establishment or payment processor (including, but not limited to, digital wallets).
  • Cashback is not redeemable for cash or another payment form.
  • Cashback should appear on your billing statement within five business days from qualifying spend.
  • Cashback may be reversed if your qualifying purchase is refunded or cancelled.
  • At one location, only one cashback will be processed on a card.


The Shop Small Amex Offer is a great initiative. It encourages you to head to your local small merchant and spend money at their outlet, where American Express will return INR 500 to your account against a spend of at least INR 1,000 on your account. Don’t forget your mask and social distancing protocols while you do that.

What do you think of the new Shop Small Amex Offer?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Any email id or contact number for complaint against non acceptance of icici and indusind amex cards at the small shops to claim manual cashback?

    • Hi Kapil,

      For ICICI & IndusInd, one will have to reach directly to these bank’s respective Customer Care teams.

      Source: Had called Amex Customer Care for my MRCC and during that time also asked for ICICI Amex card (I have one). He informed that only issuing banks can help, Amex CC don’t have access to cards issued from partner banks

  2. Indeed a great offer by AmEx. The challenge as usual is to convince merchant to accept AmEx card. But yes 5 out of 10 times, they do accept

  3. Visited store listed on AMEX shop small offer list. Store just refused to accept AMEX card. Perhaps an aberration, but still left bad taste about campaign.

    • In such a case please pay by alternate visa/master card, and send copy to Amex they will still credit Rs 500 back to your account. Catch is you have to contact call centre and quote the name of the agent in Amex and refer his/her name.

      • Thanks for this tip Ari Ben.

        Not clear, whom do you refer to when you say “agent”? Quote call center agent name in email?

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