Pay It Plan It by AMEX

In 2017, American Express began offering its Pay It Plan It option to AMEX card holders. The Plan It option allows purchasers to pay for certain items over several months’ time, with a fixed monthly fee rather than the typical percentage-based interest charged by a credit card.

The Pay It option means that customers can use the AMEX mobile app to pay for an item and decide at the point of sale to have the purchase amount paid immediately out of a linked account. (Basically, you’d be using your AMEX card like a debit card and avoiding interest because the purchase would never be added to your credit balance.)

The Plan It option is more like an installment plan. In the cases of some purchases over $100, the buyer can opt to spread the cost over three to 24 months. A fixed monthly fee will be charged rather than percentage-based interest.

AMEX makes it fairly easy to choose from these options thanks to icons on the app. Watch closely, though, to see what fee will be assessed in the Plan It option, and remember that this fee will be assessed each month until the purchase is paid off. (It’s OK to pay off the balance early and avoid future monthly fees.) The app will display an amount based on credit history and the purchase amount. The AMEX website has a Plan It Calculator that can also be used to disclose the fixed monthly fee up front.

When I logged into my family’s AMEX account and used the calculator, I saw that in our case, on a hypothetical $300 purchase we would pay: $1.97 per month over three months; $1.95 per month over six months; or $2.04 over nine months. So, the most we would pay in fees would be $18.36, which – if my math is right – is less than we would have been charged in traditional interest.

The American Express cards eligible for Pay It Plan It include: Optima, EveryDay Credit Card, Delta SkyMiles, and Hilton Honors.

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