This holiday season, Shop Small with Amex and share the love

After an extended lockdown due to the CoVid-19 pandemic, offline businesses are trying to get back on their feet now after being battered due to their shops being closed for extended periods. To encourage people to get out and shop again (responsibly though!), Amex launched their established Shop Small campaign in India this year for the first time.

American Express has been a long-time supporter of small businesses globally. Shop Small started as Small Business Saturday, a campaign by American Express to encourage cardmembers to support their favourite small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the USA. It has since been launched in many countries, including Australia, UK, Canada and now India. Amex has committed over USD 200 million to the Shop Small campaign this year.

Shop Small Amex

To encourage American Express cardmembers to Shop Small, including those who carry an American Express licensed card from IndusInd Bank or ICICI Bank, American Express is offering INR 500 as a cashback for enrolled cardmembers when they spend INR 1,000 or more in one transaction at any eligible small merchant in-store, up to three times between December 1-31, 2020. The cashback comes in within five days, and you can also use it at the same merchant over and over again. The earlier offer was for INR 300 cashback on INR 1,500 spend, so this is a more generous offer. But like you can see, we used the earlier offer to help a lot of small merchants as well.

a screenshot of a phone

In its first year in India, Shop Small has been launched for small and medium-sized merchants across Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, with an assortment of merchants across retail, dining, healthcare and services. You can locate all the enlisted merchants through a Shop Small Map placed on the American Express website.


a screenshot of a website

There are a whole host of small merchants to choose from for your festivities. Here are some of the institutions across cities where you can earn a handsome cashback while helping the merchants and their associates celebrate the holiday season as well.

  • Mumbai is no stranger to Le15 Patisserie, owned by India’s Macaron Queen Pooja Dhingra. But they have had their shutter downed for a few months and had to close their cafe as well. When you pick up your cupcakes and macarons for yourselves or friends and family from the store, you will also get a cashback when paying with your Amex.
  • Any visit to Delhi’s Connaught Place for me does not go without picking up some of my family’s favourite pastries from Wenger’s, which is over 75 years old and the grand old dame of bakeries in Delhi. CoVid-19 might have put them on pause, but now that they are open, time to pick up a cake and chocolates to bring back the festivities for yourselves and them too.
  • When in Bangalore, the 80-years old Koshy’s still attracts the crowds that many newer hospitality ventures would crave for. Now that they re-opened a few weeks ago after a long stretch, and any love for this old favourite will make sure the legacy of this iconic eatery will live on beyond the times of CoVid-19.
  • Festivals are times to shop, and Kala Niketan in Mumbai and Deepam Silks in Bengaluru are two Saree Shops that have been around for generations. When you go buy your sarees here, you get a cashback, and these outlets get a chance to bring back the smiles at their employees and suppliers too.

a man wearing a face mask

Of course, there are many more outlets that you can explore with Shop Small Map, and Shipra and I intend to use it a lot more this month as offline vendors open up. (Remember, while stepping out to wear your mask, carry sanitiser and not to walk into a crowded store. Also, when you are shopping for less than INR 2,000, you can tap your Amex on the machine instead of having to hand it over. Precaution is the only way to get out of this pandemic unharmed).

In summary, I’m very excited to see this Shop Small campaign come to India. It is valid on our American Express cards, including the American Express Platinum Charge Card, American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card and my ICICI Bank American Express Sapphiro Credit Card. I’ll be only happy to swipe them around to help small merchants get light back into their own Christmas.

Have you swiped your card at a Shop Small Amex establishment yet? Check your email or Amex Offers section for the invitation to the Shop Small campaign and save the offer now!

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. Hi Ajay,

    Some small stores are reluctant and refuse to accept Amex Card for those listed under the offer. I am unable to utilize the offer. Do we lodge a complaint with Amex?

    • I wouldn’t this year. It’s hard enough for these businesses already. It’s also unlikely to be of help before offer ends. Find another store.

      • Agreed. One of the store owners in Bandra, Mumbai clearly told me: “You’ll get the rewards, but I get f***ed on the commission. Happy to take Visa or MasterCard.”

        I was happy to oblige, but chose to fill up petrol in my car & got the cash back.

  2. I think I’d need to call in for this. The website says the offer is available for all cards. But neither of my cards have this available in offers section.

    The last round of the offer was great for me. One iWorld in Gurgaon (hello 20W charger), my fuel station of choice, and a groceries shop of choice was covered.

    • Sorted. There’s some error with Amex backend. If you can’t see this offer in offers section, use the enrollment form. Once it goes through, you will get an email as well as see it as enrolled in offers section. Do this will all your Amex cards.

      Just did this and it works. Website asks us to do the same.

      • Did you receive an enrollment link for the December offer? I guese it was there for the November offer but the December offer was targeted. Did you get a confirmation mail?

        • December was not targeted. I did not get an email, I still registered through link and got cashback as intended. When I got through via link, I got confirmation mail, and the offer showed up on account as saved to card.

          I did this on all my Amex cards and it worked on all of them. i got “targeted” email on none of them.

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