Discover how to ‘Buy Now, Pay Later' with American Express Plan It Instalments
American Express has launched a brand new tool called Plan It™ Instalments, which allows customers to pay off their credit card balance in structured repayments. Whether you’re new to Amex, or you already hold an eligible Card, Plan It could make sense for you.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Plan It and how to use it. Plus, we'll show you how it stacks up against competition in the BNPL space.
How does American Express Plan It work?
American Express Plan It is a built-in feature that allows customers to pay off a credit card balance in equal monthly instalments.
Essentially, anyone with an eligible American Express Card can use Plan It to pay off a balance of $150 or more over 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Instead of interest charges, Plan It offers a fixed monthly fee which is factored into your monthly repayments.
Who can use Plan It?
Plan It is available to all American Express personal Credit Card Members (excluding David Jones). At this stage, there is no access for Business Cards and Corporate customers or for personal charge cards (this includes the Platinum Card).
If you don’t yet hold an Amex Credit Card, you can view a range of featured products here.
Step by step guide to using American Express Plan It
It's easy for American Express Card Members to use Plan It. Simply spend on your American Express Card as usual. Once your monthly card statement arrives, you can choose to create a new Plan It instalment plan.
You can complete this process through your Online Account or through the Amex mobile App in three simple steps:
Step 1 – Choose how much of your balance you want to pay off through Plan It
Step 2 – Select your plan
Step 3 – Review and submit your plan
Using the Plan It Calculator
American Express has provided a calculator to determine what your level of repayments are based on your outstanding balance and preferred timeframe.
Before submitting your plan, head to the Plan It Calculator on the American Express website to find out exactly what you can expect to pay. This is based on your outstanding balance, the card you hold and your preferred repayment timeframe.
As an example, should I have a balance of $3,0000 to pay off on my statement, I can elect to create a new instalment plan and choose to pay $1031.20 monthly over 3 months, $531.20 monthly over 6 months or $281.20 over 12 months.
There is no stipulation that you must stick to the repayment timeframe and you are free to make earlier repayments or pay off the plan early.
Which American Express Cards offer Plan It?
Thinking about picking up an American Express Card? From $0 annual fee to premium offerings, there are plenty of products available. We've listed out selected options below:
How does Plan It compare to other BNPL services?
When it comes to BNPL, consumers have access to a range of different services in Australia. This includes traditional platforms such as Afterpay and Zip. With an increasingly crowded market, it can be hard to cut through the noise.
American Express Plan It blends features from both the credit card and BNPL worlds, helping it to stand out from the pack.
Here are some of the key features on offer:
No pre-approval needed: A common complaint with BNPL services is that some users are rejected from placing orders, seemingly for no reason. So long as you’re an eligible Amex cardholder, there’s no jumping through pre-approvals (or even a credit check!) before you can use Plan It; It’s automatically available for you to use when you decide you want to access it.
Shop anywhere: Plan It can be accessed at any merchant that accepts American Express. In comparison, other BNPL plans (such as Afterpay) rely on businesses paying to offer the service, so there are limitations on accessing the retailer you want or getting the best deal.
Ease of set up: Plan It is a built-in product feature, and it’s easy to set up in three simple steps via the American Express app and online account.
Longer instalment plans: With Plan It, customers can opt to pay over time, with a timeline of up to 12 months to make repayments. Amex says this feature enables Card Members to plan for making larger, ‘big-ticket item’, purchases. Conversely, Afterpay requires customers to make payment of an outstanding balance over 4 equal fortnightly payments.
Pay via your credit card statement: Once you set up a new payment plan, the fixed monthly fee is added to your minimum monthly payment on your credit card statement, so you can track costs with ease and convenience.
How much does Plan It cost?
When considering any BNPL service, crunching fees and charges is key to determining whether a tool can work for you.
With Plan It, customers enjoy a 0% interest rate. Once you set up a plan, you’ll be charged a fixed monthly fee that is added to your minimum monthly payment on your credit card statement.
The key consideration here is whether paying a fixed monthly fee will help you come out ahead of interest charges at the end of your plan.
How much can you expect to pay? The fee charged depends on the type of card you hold. It can range anywhere between 0.42% and 1.04%.
Before taking out a plan, head to the Plan It Calculator to find out what you can expect to pay. This is based on your outstanding balance, the card you hold and your preferred repayment timeframe.
A minimum amount of $150 applies to all plans. Whenever you create a new payment plan, you’ll be shown the term and fee options that are available.
How do American Express Plan It fees compare with Afterpay?
With Afterpay, you won’t pay any fees if you pay your instalments off in time. However, late payment charges are levied if you’re unable to pay on the due date.
How does Plan It differ from a balance transfer?
Selected credit card issuers offer 0% balance transfers. These offers allow cardholders to transfer the balance of an existing credit card to a new product, with the offer of no interest charged on that balance for a set period of time. It is important to note that upfront balance transfer fees and annual fees typically apply to these products.
In comparison, American Express Plan It offers 0% interest rate and flexibility to pay over time. While there is no set up fee, you’ll be charged a fixed monthly fee that is added to your minimum monthly payment on your credit card statement.
Plan It: In Conclusion
With BNPL services taking Australia by storm, it’s great to see an established card issuer like American Express implement a new feature to help Card Members better manage their finances.
While there are other BNPL services in the market, such as Afterpay and Zip, Plan It offers a number of features that are not available elsewhere. This includes the flexibility to spread your payments over time, as repayments can be made over multiple months.
Of course, like any BNPL product, individuals will need to weigh up the costs and make financial decisions accordingly. If you are looking to use American Express Plan It, the key consideration here is working out whether the monthly cost of accessing this service stacks up with the money saved from avoiding interest charges.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Amex Plan It
Who can use Plan It?
Most American Express Cards are eligible for Plan It. To see if you can use Plan It, login to your Online Account or the Amex App. If your Card is eligible, you will be able to start creating instalment plans.
How do I create a new payment plan via Plan It?
It's quick and easy to create a new instalment plan. You can do so through your Online Account or through the Amex mobile App. Simply choose how much of your balance you want to pay off through Plan It, select your plan, then review and submit your plan.
How long do I have to pay off my Plan It Instalments?
With Plan It, you have the flexibility to spread payments over time. When you set up your instalment plan, you can opt to pay off your balance over 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Conversely, Afterpay requires customers to make payment of an outstanding balance over 4 equal fortnightly payments.
Will I incur fees for using Plan It?
Yes, a fixed monthly plan fee applies for each instalment plan you take out. The monthly plan fee will be charged each month that your plan is active. Before you create a new payment plan, you’ll be shown the fees that apply, so you can decide whether Plan It makes sense for your own personal circumstances.
Can I create multiple plans?
Yes, you can create multiple instalment plans per month. The amount of plans you can have at any one time will depend on your Card and credit limit.
Can additional Card Members use Plan It?
No, only primary Card Members and Authorised Account Managers with full access to your account can create instalment plans.
Can I cancel my plan?
Yes, it's possible to cancel your instalment plan at any time with no cancellation fee. Once your plan has been cancelled, any remaining plan balance will go back onto your standard balance. Note that any monthly plan fees already billed will not be refunded.
This post has been prepared in partnership with American Express.
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