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These offers are no longer available on our site: Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Credit card interest can threaten the value you gain from a credit card — and possibly even your financial health.
With certain American Express credit cards, eligible cardholders can use the Pay-It, Plan-It® feature to potentially save money on interest. But before you accept an offer to use the program, it’s important to know how it works to determine whether it’s worth it.
How Pay It Plan It Works
The Pay It Plan It program is broken up into two features: Pay It and Plan It. Here’s how the two work and differ from each other.
With the Pay It feature, you can conveniently make small payments to your card throughout the month with your mobile app. Just log in, choose a transaction under $100 and complete the payment.
Any payment you make through the Pay It plan reduces your total balance by the amount of the purchase selected, but it doesn’t necessarily pay the selected purchase. Also, payments using the Pay It feature will be applied toward your minimum payment first. (And if the minimum payment due is satisfied, any additional payments using this feature will go toward your statement balance.) You can make up to five payments per day, too.
And some additional good news: There are no fees associated with the Pay It feature.
The Plan It feature is designed for qualifying purchases of $100 or more. It allows you to pay them off over time with a monthly fee instead of interest. You can have up to 10 active plans at a time, and you’ll be offered up to three payment plan options.
With each plan, you’ll see how many payments you’ll make, the payment amount and the plan fee, so you know upfront what you’re getting. The fee — which is charged monthly — can vary from plan to plan and is based on several factors, including the purchase amount, plan duration, and the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase among other things.
Payments required under your plans are included in your minimum amount due each month. This means that you’ll be required to pay your regular minimum monthly payment based on your card balance plus the amount based on the Plan It payment plan you’ve created.
You can’t cancel a plan once it’s been set up, but you can pay it off early by paying the “new balance” from your most recent billing statement. Doing this will allow you to avoid future plan fees.
Which credit cards offer Pay It Plan It?
Not all American Express credit cards are eligible for Pay It Plan It. But if you have one of the following cards, you may be able to take advantage of the program’s features:
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- American Express Cash Magnet® Card
- Amex Everyday® Credit Card
- Amex Everyday® Preferred Credit Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Not all cardholders are eligible to take advantage of both features — even if you have some of these cards listed. For example, Amex will consider your creditworthiness, credit limit and other factors to determine your ability to create plans with the Plan It feature.
Other reasons you may not be able to use either Pay It or Plan It — or both — include …
- Your card isn’t eligible
- The purchase isn’t eligible
- You’re an authorized user (also known as an additional cardmember)
- Your account has been canceled
- One or more of your Amex accounts has been enrolled in a debt management program
- One or more of your Amex accounts has a payment that is returned unpaid or is delinquent
Should you use Pay It Plan It?
The American Express Pay It Plan It program provides some extra flexibility that you can’t get with other credit card issuers. But there are some things to consider before using either feature. Here are some situations where it might make sense.
You don’t pay in full each month
If you regularly pay your balance in full each month, making small payments throughout the month or moving purchases to a fee-based plan won’t make any sense. As long as you pay in full each month, you probably won’t be paying interest anyway.
But if you’re struggling with paying off your full balance, making small payments throughout the month with Pay It when you have the money could potentially help you reduce your credit card debt more efficiently.
You want to save money on interest
Plan fees aren’t set in stone and will vary from person to person, but if those fees are smaller than the interest you would pay, you could save on borrowing costs. For example, let’s say you spend $1,000 on a television and choose a nine-month plan with $111.12 monthly payments and a $8.84 monthly plan fee. In total, you’ll pay $79.56 in fees.
If your purchase APR is 20.74% and you paid down the purchase over nine months, you’d pay $88.39 in interest. That’s not a huge difference, but it could be for larger purchases, and saving a little money is better than saving none at all.
You can afford a larger monthly payment
Remember, any payments you make under the Pay It feature are applied to your minimum payment first. But if you create a plan through the Plan It feature, the required monthly payment is added to your account’s regular minimum amount due.
If you’re thinking about using this feature, make sure that you can afford the new increased minimum monthly payment. If you can’t, you could end up defaulting on the account, which can damage your credit.
You don’t qualify for a card with an introductory 0% purchase APR
If you’re expecting to make a large purchase and won’t be able to pay it off immediately, consider shopping for a credit card that offers an introductory 0% purchase APR on Credit Karma before you use the Plan It feature. These introductory offers often last longer than what the Plan It feature provides. Just keep in mind that after the intro APR expires, you’ll be facing an APR based on your credit, so make sure to read the full terms and conditions of the offer before you apply.
If you can get approved for one of these cards, you’ll not only avoid a higher minimum payment, but you may also have more time to pay off the purchase and avoid fees and interest altogether.
But if you think you won’t get approved, or you don’t want to apply for a new card, the Plan It feature may be worth considering.
If you have a card that’s eligible for Pay It Plan It and are considering using it, take a look at your situation to determine whether it’s the best way to structure your card payments. Look for alternatives that could save you more money, such as paying off your balance in full each month or getting a card that offers an introductory 0% purchase APR.
If you’re considering Plan It, start the process to see what your monthly payments would look like and whether you can afford it. The program is designed to give you some flexibility, but it can make your budget too tight if you’re not careful.