American Express Pay It, Plan It guide

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Pay It and Plan It from American Express are two features that offer eligible American Express cardholders alternative payment options.

Pay It allows you to pay for small purchases throughout the month, while Plan It lets you pay off large purchases over time for a fixed monthly fee but no interest charges. It can be used for single purchases over $100 or a combination of purchases that add up to $100 or more, and you can have up to 10 different payment plans active at any given time.

An upfront fee is charged to use the Plan It feature to pay off large purchases, but the fees are charged in lieu of regular interest charges you would normally take on with a credit card bill.

If you have an American Express credit card and you want to get creative in terms of paying off your balance, this program is worth exploring. Keep reading to learn more about how American Express Pay It, Plan It may work for you.

How does Amex Pay It, Plan It work?

While it may seem as though Pay it, Plan It is a program designed to help cardholders pay down pricey purchases, this program can also work for smaller purchases charged to your credit card.

According to American Express, here’s how to use Pay It, Plan It:

  • Use Pay It to pay off small purchases of under $100 throughout the month, reducing your total balance. Purchases eligible for ‘Pay It’ will have a small icon next to them in the American Express app. Payments made with this feature are counted toward the minimum due on your credit card statement.
  • Use Plan It to combine up to 10 purchases into a payment plan, provided the total of the purchases is at least $100. From there, you’ll pick a repayment plan option with an upfront fee, which you can estimate using the American Express Plan It calculator after logging into your account.

How does American Express ‘Pay It, Plan It’ work in practice? Here’s a basic rundown.

Pay It

  • Use the American Express app to pay off small purchases with the ‘Pay It’ icon
  • You can pay off up to 5 purchases per day with this feature
  • Your payment counts toward your outstanding balance and monthly minimum payment due

Plan It

  • Select a qualifying purchase of at least $100 or up to 10 purchases made with your card that add up to at least $100, then combine them into a plan
  • Choose one of the payment options American Express offers, which will include information on the plan duration and plan fee
  • Pay off your purchases according to the plan and the repayment schedule required

Keep in mind that the repayment plans and plan fees can vary and may change based on the purchases you select.

Which cards are eligible for Pay It, Plan It?

Pay It, Plan It is available only for eligible personal American Express credit cards, which includes quite a few options. This benefit isn’t available for business credit cards from American Express or for charge cards that don’t come with a preset spending limit, which rules out cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. Another exception includes accounts with Pay over Time.

Here are a few credit card options to consider if you’re looking for Pay It, Plan It access:

Pay It, Plan It also works for American Express credit cards that are co-branded with airline and hotel partners. This means you could use this benefit with co-branded Delta credit cards like the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, among others.

Remember, you’ll still earn rewards as normal on purchases you pay off using the Pay It, Plan It feature. Where many of the top American Express credit cards let you earn cash back or statement credits, co-branded credit cards tend to let you earn airline miles or hotel points that you likely don’t want to give up.

Are you eligible for Pay It, Plan It?

According to American Express, your ability to create plans isn’t guaranteed, and it will vary “based on a variety of factors such as your creditworthiness or your credit limit. You won’t be able to create plans if your account is canceled.”

American Express also notes that you won’t be able to create plans if one or more of your American Express accounts is enrolled into a debt management program or has a payment that is returned or delinquent.

Bottom line

If you like the idea of paying off your purchases over time but you tend to shy away from having to pay exorbitant credit card interest rates, then the Pay It, Plan It feature from American Express could work in your favor.

You can use ‘Pay It’ to pay off targeted smaller purchases throughout the month, or you can combine purchases into a payment plan with an upfront fee using the ‘Plan It’ feature. This lets you avoid all the unknowns of paying a variable interest rate on your credit card while also giving you the freedom to pay down your purchases over time.

Before you use this option, however, pay attention to fees and only carry a balance when it makes sense. Even if the costs associated with this program work out to less than regular interest charges, you’re still paying money to borrow. Over time, even small fee plans and charges can add up in a big way.