In Australia, “buy now, pay later” services are the latest trend with both online and offline shoppers. You’ve probably heard of services such as AfterPay and Zip who facilitate flexible payment options over a set amount of time. Shoppers enjoy the flexibility of paying off their purchase in a set amount of repayments while avoiding high-interest rates.
It’s no surprise that American Express has now jumped on the BNPL train which makes total sense since they are an established credit card issuer who can then offer this service to their members with no applications or credit checks required!
The new feature just launched by American Express is called Plan It™ Instalments, and it allows eligible card members to pay off purchases in equal monthly payments. The service has 0% interest, and you only pay a fixed fee based on the total amount of your payment plan.
Who Can Access Plan It?
The great thing about Plan It is the fact that you don’t need to re-apply for yet another financial service; it’s an embedded feature with your current American Express card! Let’s say you wanted to use AfterPay or Zip, you would need to apply, and this would impact your credit score.
All American Express credit cards now have Plan It available with a few exceptions: personal charge cards, business charge cards, David Jones cards and corporate cards.
How To Use Plan It
Plan It works by being able to select a balance from your most recent card statement, and pay it off over equal monthly instalments of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (a significantly longer time frame compared to Zip & AfterPay).
The minimum amount you can pay off with Plan It is $150. There’s no fixed maximum amount; however, it must consist of new purchases from your most recent statement.
Some balances may not be eligible for Plan It, including balance transfers, cash advances, fees, interest, or balances on a promotional rate. When you create a new plan, you’ll be shown the amount you can plan.
To get started with creating a plan, all you need to do is head to your account details page via your online account either on the Amex app, via the website or by clicking this direct link.
For my test, I decided to create a Plan It plan for a minimum of $150. All the fees are shown to you upfront, so you know exactly how much extra you will be re-paying for having the flexibility of BNPL.
Once you select the amount of your plan, you will need to choose the duration of your repayment. I decided to go for 3 months to test out the feature.
The final step is to submit, and voila, you’re all done!
After your plan is created, you can see it on a separate page in your account and also manage the minimum payments and keep track of when those payments are due (don’t worry, you’ll get a reminder when payment is due).
How To Cancel Plan It
If you change your mind, no worries! You can cancel your plans at any time with no cancellation fees. Any remaining plan balance will go back onto your standard balance, and any monthly plan fees already billed will not be refunded.
Plan It In Conclusion
If you’re already an American Express member, Plan It can be a handy feature if BNPL is your thing. Since Plan It is already part of your card, there’s no need to apply for a separate account and get a credit enquiry on your file. While Plan It does have more fees compared to the likes of After Pay and Zip, they do allow you to space out payments over a much more extended period. If you’re interested to see how Plan It stacks up against the competition, you can check out our guide here.
Full disclosure: This guide is sponsored by American Express