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Buy Now, Pay Later with Plan It® by American Express®

Buy now, pay later with Plan It, an Amex Card feature that helps give you more control by letting you split up large purchases into monthly installments with a fixed fee.

By Megan Doyle | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor

5 Min Read | October 1, 2021 in Money

 

At-A-Glance

Plan It by American Express helps Card Members buy what they need or want now with more control over how they pay.

Card Members can split large purchases into monthly installments with a fixed monthly fee.

New Blue Cash Everyday®, Blue Cash Preferred®, and Cash Magnet® Card Members can enjoy an introductory Plan It fee offer.

One of the benefits of having a credit card is the ability to buy what you need now and pay it off later. But unless your card has a 0% intro APR period, carrying a balance means paying interest. With rates that can range from about 13% to 23% or higher, that purchase can end up costing you far more than its initial price. It can also be hard to determine exactly when you paid it off, as you make future purchases with your card.


Say hello to Plan It by American Express, a Card feature that allows you to split large purchases into monthly installments with a fixed monthly fee, so you can know upfront exactly how much you’ll pay and when. Here’s how it works – and how you can enjoy reduced Plan fees for a limited time with one of American Express’ cash back Cards. 

 

What Is Plan It by American Express?

Plan It is an American Express Card feature that offers Card Members an additional way to pay off large purchases, enhancing your ability to handle whatever expenses come your way. Instead of carrying a traditional credit card balance and paying it off at your discretion over time, Plan It allows you to split up purchases of $100 or more into monthly installments – with a fixed fee – that are automatically added to your minimum payment due each month. You can choose up to 10 purchases of $100 or more to combine into a plan, and you can have up to 10 plans at once.


With Plan It, you’ll pay a fixed monthly plan fee that’s disclosed up front. For example, if your Card has a credit limit, your monthly Plan fee is a percentage of each purchase amount moved into a plan, and is based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors. However, some American Express Cards – including Blue Cash Everyday, Blue Cash Preferred, and Cash Magnet – allow new Card Members to enjoy a low introductory Plan It fee1,2,3 offer for 12-15 months after account opening, depending on the Card. 

 

Why Use Plan It to Buy Now and Pay Later?

When you buy now, pay later with Plan It, you can enjoy the flexibility to buy what you need – or want – while still earning rewards. And even if you can afford the purchase out of pocket, buy now pay later options can offer more breathing room than if you were to pay the expense in full, right away.


This is especially true when taking advantage of the Blue Cash Everyday, Blue Cash Preferred, and Cash Magnet buy now, pay later introductory Plan It Fee offer for new Card Members. Think about it: Paying a lump sum might not immediately fit into your budget but spreading it over several equal payments might. Say you’re in the market for new furniture or appliances. Maybe a laptop or a TV, or a wardrobe refresh. Or maybe you’re expecting a medical bill, whether for you, a family member, or a beloved pet. Instead of charging it to your card and paying it off over time while accruing interest – or tapping into your emergency fund – you can charge the expense to your American Express Card, use Plan It to set up a monthly installment plan with a fixed fee, and pay it off over the offered time frame that works best for you. And you’ll still earn rewards for that purchase the way you normally would on your Card.

 
With Plan It, you know exactly what you’re getting into when it comes to paying back the purchase thanks to the concrete plan length and a transparent fixed monthly payment amount that includes the monthly fixed fee.

 

How to Buy Now, Pay Later with Plan It

Plan It is built into your account, so it’s ready to use when you are. To buy something now with your American Express Card and pay later with Plan It:


1. Log into your account, either online or in the Amex® App. Tap or click a purchase of $100 or more to put into a plan. Note that when logging into your account online, you can select up to 10 eligible purchases to combine into one plan.

2. Tap or click on “Plan It” or “Create a Plan” and select the plan option that works best for you. You’ll be offered up to three plan durations that typically range between three and 24 months. Plan length can vary according to several factors, including purchase amount, account history, and creditworthiness. Each option will disclose exactly how much you’ll pay each month, including the plan fee, if applicable. If your Card has an offer to enjoy reduced plan fees, the offer will appear.

3. Review and confirm your plan selection. Your monthly plan payment will be automatically included in your “Minimum Payment Due” each month. When you have an active plan, you’ll see an “Adjusted Balance” on your account. Your Adjusted Balance includes the non-plan portion of your “Remaining Statement Balance” and your monthly “Plan Payment Due.”


To avoid being charged interest on other purchases not included in your plan, you’ll have to pay your Adjusted Balance by your payment due date every month. Paying more than the Adjusted Balance will pay off billed plans prematurely. Note that you can’t cancel or change a plan after setting one up.

 
You can use the Plan It Pre-Purchase Calculator to get a sense of what plan durations may be available to you for a specific dollar amount. But remember: The calculator is a tool to help illustrate potential options, not a guarantee of what plans you’ll receive. Actual plans can vary and won’t be visible until you make the purchase and begin to create a plan.

 

The Takeaway

With Plan It by American Express, Card Members can split purchases of $100 or more into monthly installments with a fixed fee and concrete plan length. This can help you buy now and pay later while still earning rewards. What’s more, several American Express Cards can help new Card Members enjoy an intro Plan It fee offer, so you can have the flexibility to get what you want or need.

ARTICLE SOURCES

1 For more on Rates and Fees for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, click here.

 

2 For more on Rates and Fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card, click here.

 

3 For more on Rates and Fees for the Cash Magnet® Card, click here.

Megan Doyle

Megan Doyle is a business technology writer and researcher whose work focuses on financial services and cross-cultural diversity and inclusion.

 

All Credit Intel content is written by freelance authors and commissioned and paid for by American Express. 

The material made available for you on this website, Credit Intel, is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or financial advice. If you have questions, please consult your own professional legal, tax and financial advisors.