Home Savings Save $60 This Weekend With American Express Shop Small Promotion

Save $60 This Weekend With American Express Shop Small Promotion

by dollarwise

It’s on again. Every 6 months or so American Express do their Shop Small promotion in Australia. You can save yourself $30/card this time round. It’s running from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th September. You’ll get $10 off any purchase over $20 made with your registered AMEX card at any participating shop/business. There are literally thousands of business throughout Australia that you can use this at. Simply use the shop small map to find hundreds of local business and shops around you. It’s a sweet deal if you use it right. Remember, if you use a credit card, you’ve got to follow my rules! Here’s how you can maximize your savings this weekend with the American Express shop small promotion.

Spend as close to $20 as Possible.

If you want to make the most of this promotion the best savings rate is achieved by spending on or just over $20. With the $10 refund that you get, that means you can save 50% off the price of your purchase. The more you spend the less you save as you only get $10 refun no matter how much you spend. So here’s me at my local IGA, every time the price goes over $20 I yell out, ‘stop’ and pay with my  american express platinum edge card. They go again, $20.10, Stop, out comes my partners platinum edge companion card (you can only use one card at one place). Go again, stop, the ANZ qantas amex card that I got 50 000 qantas points for with a $0 annual fee (good deal)! Away we go again….you get the picture. I got some strange looks, but that’s $30 off my grocery budget right there. I’ll be doing this again this Friday! So spend as close to $20 as you can to save the most.

Combine with other discounts and deals With the Shop Small Promotion

This is a date weekend for us. We whip out the entertainment book and find the nearest buy one meal get one free that is also on the shop small promotion list and book a date. Buy two mains around $20, one is free with the entertainment book, get $10 off when I pay with the amex card. What do you know, a really nice meal out with my lovely wife for $10. Do you see why we love this promotion! I then take the kids for ice cream with a 25% off voucher and my amex card, again a really cheap family outing. This is great time to mix and match deals and promotions to maximize the shop small promotion.

Spend only what you would have spent on anyway. 

There’s no saving if you go and splurge on something you don’t need just to get $10 off the item you weren’t planning on getting. No you’ve just wasted however much you spent, less $10. That’s still wasted money. Instead buy the things you would have to buy anyway. Haircuts are a great one. I hate paying for haircuts, but  paying $10 less for one is a really good idea. How about physio or chiro? Maybe fruit and veg or some mince from the local butcher. Buy stuff you use and would have spent anyway and then you can get a 50% discount on those items. Having done this multiple times now I know all the stores to go to. We buy meat from a couple of places,  fruit and vegetables from a couple of places, medicines and other items from chemists (there’s heaps of chemists on the promotion), etc. It’s all stuff we were going to buy anyway, we just get it for $10 less.

Get a companion Card To Double Up on the Shop Small Promotion

Whenever you get an Amex card, make sure you get a companion card if they offer it for free. On many cards they do. The great thing is you can register both cards for the promotion, doubling your savings. So for one account you can save $60 per account on this current promotion with two cards. In the past they’ve done this on a bigger scale allowing 10 purchases per card, meaning $200 of savings per account. Now if you have two accounts, you can have 4 cards. This is why I’m lining up at the local IGA with all those AMEX cards saving me money! You should see the butcher weighing out mince in 4 lots of $20 portions. So get your free companion cards and make the most of this promotion.

What Do Yo need to Do to Join the American Express Shop Small Promotion?

Register all of your AMEX branded cards or bank issued AMEX cards at the shop small website. Once you’re registered use the interactive map to find local business and do your shopping this Friday to Sunday. After each purchase you’ll get an email notification letting you know that you just used the promotion successfully and that $10 credit is coming your way. That’s all, simple!

If you don’t have a AMEX card, here’s the ones I’d recommend:

The platinum Edge American Express Card.


This one costs $195/year, but you get a sign up bonus and $200 travel credit. That more than covers the cost of the card and with your shop small savings from your free companion card, this is a keeper. More than that it earns 3 MR points per $1 spend at supermarkets and 2MR points/$ at major fuel stations with 1 point at most other places. That’s a great points earn on your day to day spending. Those MR points convert 1:1 with a lot of frequent flyer programs such as virgin. This is a my favorite card in my wallet and I won’t be giving it up any time soon. If you don’t have it and you can follow my rules, this is one you should consider getting. Sign up here*.

American Express Velocity Escape Card

American express velocity escape card

American express velocity escape card

This is $0 annual fee card, comes with a 7500 sign up bonus for new customers and earns a solid 1 velocity point per dollar. It even comes with some of the insurances and yes, most importantly, free companion cards! to make the most of your shop small promotion. The income requirements are also less, so this may be the cheapest way in. With shop small you can save $120-$520/year depending how many promotions amex do. Sign up here.

The American Express Explorer Card. 


This one is a little more expensive at $395pa, but does come with a 100 000 MR point bonus and $400 of amex travel credit. That travel credit, provided you do that much travel, covers the cost of the card. You can use it on airlines, hotels, car rental, etc. If you don’t already have an amex issued card, that 100 000 MR point bonus you get by spending $1500 in the first 2 months is pretty appealing. Though you do need to realize that those MR points are slightly less valuable as they transfer to most airlines at a slightly lower rate of 4:3 in the gateway program (as compared to 1:1 with the platinum edge card). You also get $500 smart phone screen insurance and 2 entries into their Sydney airport lounge. All in all a pretty good card if you’d be spending the $400 on travel anyway. You can sign up here.

You can also use bank issued Amex cards. Earlier in the year ANZ and Commonwealth were both offering large qantas points bonuses and $0 first year annual fee. That’s free trips, so I got both of them. But the deals aren’t so good right now. Commonwealth is still offering $0 annual fee but no points bonus. So the deals are not as good as the three above, if you want an amex card for shop small.

*This is a referral link. I will receive 10000MR points if you are approved. Thanks for your support.


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Dividends Down Under September 14, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Pretty cool, Luke. The free Virgin flight – is there no limits on that? Anywhere to Australia at any point in the year?

Have fun with all your savings!


dollarwise September 14, 2016 - 1:50 pm

There are restrictions on destinations depending where you begin, but covers most major city to city destinations and regional centers from your city. See the interactive map. If there is a saver fare available you can generally book it. In an emergency situation I was able to book a same day flight that was listing over $350 one way. I’ve never not been able to use it to book a flight if it’s an approved destination. You can also gift the flight to others. You are not allowed to sell it but it’s been known to be done, especially to those in Perth who can get the most value for the return fare.

Mrs. ETT September 16, 2016 - 5:06 am

Thanks for the breakdown, Luke. One question I have about AMEX is that you often see higher charges store-side for that card. How does that factor in to the value of the cards? The promotion is valuable, especially if you take full advantage of it as you have done.

dollarwise September 16, 2016 - 9:30 am

Honestly I’ve found most places don’t charge a premium, but some do. Obviously for shop small it probably doesn’t matter. For every day use though I use my platinum edge card at supermarkets and for fuel because of the additional points and they have a thing called local champion which adds another point per dollar. These larger stores charge no extra. So for everyday spend I’m getting 4points/$ at supermarket and 3/$ for fuel which is as good as you can get. This combines with coles or woolies points programs too so you are doubling up there as well.
At other places if they take amex I will use it but I’d never ever pay a premium for it. If they charge that I’ll pay by debit card, cash or a visa. So not worth it if they add a percentage.


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