How to get a £20 meal for £5 using Rishi Sunak’s eating out scheme

Diners looking to take advantage of the government’s 50 percent discount plan starting Monday can take a deeper understanding of the cost, if they have an American Express credit card.

Its ‘Shop Small’ campaign has been running since late June and gives those who spend at least £10 in participating shops and restaurants £5 on their card statement.

The cashback scheme, which only applies to physical purchases and can be used up to 10 times at different retailers, runs through September 13, but he confirmed to This is Money that it’s compatible with the “Eat Out to Help Out” discount.

Quids in: Diners are looking for potential healthy discounts starting Monday

Quids in: Diners are looking for potential healthy discounts starting Monday

The government scheme gives a 50 per cent discount of up to £10 per person on food and non-alcoholic drinks taken in restaurants, cafes, pubs, pubs, work canteens and schools in participating businesses between Monday and Wednesday for the whole of August.

According to the Treasury Department, about 53,000 companies are registered. You can type your zip code into this government website to find out which restaurants will participate.

However, with the two schemes compatible, an Amex £5 cashback applied after purchase and a rebate scheme applied to the bill, it means those looking for a place to eat can get a £20 meal for just £5, saving Three quarters off the bill.

This is because the government will pay 50 per cent of the cost per person up to £10 per person, so the total bill for a meal of £20 will be £10. Paying by Amex will refund half of the cost, for a total bill of £5.

Amex’s ninth expanded edition comes from its campaign where 39 percent of people surveyed by Santander said they spent more with local small businesses during lockdown, and 23 percent spent more online with local restaurants.

Three in five said they would continue to do so after the coronavirus pandemic, while American Express said the average adult would be looking to spend £31 on a restaurant meal after lockdown.

To earn £5 American Express customers must spend the money on their credit card in person, this does not apply to online purchases

To earn £5 American Express customers must spend the money on their credit card in person, this does not apply to online purchases

How do the charts work?

Has anyone signed up?

While about 53,000 businesses have signed up for Eat Out to Help Out, that still leaves thousands who haven’t.

According to HMRC, about 130,000 would be eligible to offer the discount.

While some may simply leave it until the day of registration, some companies may simply choose not to.

It’s the money, said Ashley Kane, general manager of a restaurant on the Isle of Wight: ‘We don’t need that because we’re full.

“When we were talking about it from an administrative perspective, we were concerned that it would create more administrative work in terms of claiming refunds, and we thought we would have to change the systems to accommodate the scheme.”

It is only possible to get a maximum of £15 benefit from combining the two systems by dining out.

While the Amex scheme would apply to takeaway meals if collected and paid for in-store, online purchases do not count, and the government scheme only applies to food purchased to eat in a restaurant, cafe or pub.

The Amex “Shop Small” offer must be downloaded to an American Express credit card online or in its app.

It runs for 12 weeks from 22nd June and those who download the offer, which is free, have 10 uses of their £5 credit to use by September.

However, it can only be used once per store, which means that to get maximum benefits, cardholders must find 10 separate places registered in the system. It is valid on purchases of £10 or more.

Amex says £5 credits should appear within five days of purchase, but it can take up to 90 days from the end of the offer on September 13th.

Meanwhile, the government’s blueprint is straightforward. Although it is often described as a voucher scheme, diners do not need to carry physical or virtual coupons, the Treasury Department simply reimburses the companies for the discount they gave you.

The discount is 50 per cent per person on the final bill, up to a maximum of £10 per person.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the August 50% rebate plan during his coronavirus mini-budget on July 8

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the August 50% rebate plan during his coronavirus mini-budget on July 8

American Express credit cards tend to have high interest rates and annual fees, although their popular Gold Card is fee-free for the first 12 months.

Many of them make their usual spends on the card to collect points that can be converted into Avios and other uses, before paying them off in full each month.

Customers should make sure they do, as the card comes with a representative APR of 56.6 percent and an interest rate on purchases of 22.2 percent.

Locations near This is Money's Kensington offices have signed up for the £5 cashback offer from American Express.  Some have also signed up for the government's Eat Out to Help Out programme

Locations near This is Money’s Kensington offices have signed up for the £5 cashback offer from American Express. Some have also signed up for the government’s Eat Out to Help Out programme

How much can you save and what is the best value?

As the government discount applies to the bill, if two people eat a £20 meal between Monday and Wednesday which does not include alcohol, it will be discounted to £10.

Then, those who pay with an American Express credit card will get an extra £5 off, bringing the cost to just £5 – or 75 per cent off.

Since the Amex discount is on purchases of £10 or more, those eating out at participating restaurants should look to get their food bill as close to £10 as possible using the government rebate, before the £5 Amex credit is applied. .

A £25 bill would be £7.50 using the Amex offer, a £30 bill would be £10 and £35 would be £12.50.

The government’s website states: ‘Where more than one diner is on one bill, the cap need not be calculated for each individual diner based on their specific orders.

“Instead, the discount applied to the total bill should be determined by the number of customers in the restaurant multiplied by £10.”

In cases where the amount deducted per capita is less than the £10 ceiling, the government uses a percentage deduction calculation of 50 per cent.

For example, if a bill of £50 is divided among four people, the 50 per cent discount is £25, or £6.25 per person, less than £10 per head.

Interested patrons can see which companies have signed up for both schemes on the government’s website and on the American Express “Small Shop” map, by entering their zip code or where they want to eat.

From here, they can do some detective work and start seeing how much they can save over the next month.

Michelin starred restaurants have signed up for Eat Out to Help Out

In addition to high street chains and local restaurants, some Michelin starred restaurants across the country are also registered with the government scheme. This means diners can get a Michelin starred meal for as little as £12.

It is possible that some of these restaurants also signed up for the local Amex store offering.


  • Aquavit, St. James (reopening August 24)
  • Gymkhana, Mayfair
  • Hakkasan, Hanoi Place
  • Hakkasan, Mayfair
  • Ikoyi, Saint James
  • Kay Mayfair
  • Lyle’s (reopening August 5)
  • Murano, Mayfair (reopening August 4th)
  • Boleyn Street Social, Mayfair
  • Portland, Fitzrovia
  • Quilon, Westminster
  • Sabor, Mayfair
  • Social Eating House, Mayfair
  • St John’s, Farringdon
  • The Fivefields, Chelsea
  • Trishna, Marylebone
  • Veeraswamy, Mayfair
  • Amaya, Belgravia

outside london

  • Allium at Askham Hall, Penrith
  • Epic, Belfast
  • HRiSHi, Windmere
  • Comma, Horsham
  • Lortolan, Reading
  • Number one in Balmoral, Edinburgh
  • New Outlaw Road, Port Isaac
  • Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Padstow
  • Persons Restaurant, Tenbury Wells
  • Red Lion Firehouse, Biosie
  • Restaurant in Coworth Park, Ascot
  • Two One Five Kitchen and Drinks, Oxford
  • Winteringham Fields, Scunthorpe

  • Simpsons, Birmingham
  • Landlords in Heaton, Skatepton
  • The Bybrook at the Manor House Hotel, Chippenham
  • The Cottage in the Woods, Braithwaite
  • The Cross at Kenilworth, Kenilworth
  • The dining room at Whatley Manor, Malmesbury
  • The Elephant Restaurant, Torquay
  • Kitchen, Edinburgh
  • The Nut Tree Inn, Morlot
  • Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Egham
  • Walnut Tree, Abergavenny
  • The White Swan, Burnley
  • Woodspin, Newbury

That’s five money from the best credit cards

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