Amex Pay It Plan It Guide: What You Should Know Before Paying Off Credit Card Charges With This Program

A photo to accompany a guide to Amex's Pay it Plan it program Illustration/NextAdvisor
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Amex Pay It Plan It offers flexible payment options for eligible American Express cardholders

This program lets you pay off purchases of $100 or less right away through the American Express app (Pay It), or opt into a payment plan for larger purchases (Plan It). These plans are designed to help you pay down large balances over time without accruing interest; instead, you’ll pay a fixed monthly fee that you agree to upfront.

If you want more flexibility when it comes to paying off your credit card bill, Pay It Plan It can be a great tool. But it’s important to understand the terms of the program before you use it.

Here’s how Amex Pay It Plan It works:

What is Pay It?

You can use Amex Pay It to pay off everyday expenses or specific purchases quickly through the Amex mobile app. Essentially, it’s Amex’s way of letting you pay off part of your credit card bill early — which is a useful method for keeping your balances low and building a great credit score.

You can select qualifying purchases under $100 to pay off anytime throughout the month, reducing your overall balance at the end of the billing period. Plus, you’ll still earn rewards on your purchases.

How does it work?

You can only use Amex Pay It through the American Express mobile app, so you’ll need to download it and log in using your online account information. From there, you can select purchases under $100 and pay them off any time throughout the month. The payments you make then reduce your total account balance by that amount. 

Paying off small purchases like this helps keep your credit card bills and balances lower than they would be if you waited to pay everything off once a month. If you typically use a debit card for everyday spending and budget as you go, but want to enjoy the rewards and consumer protections (like security features and extended warranties) of using a credit card, Amex Pay It can help you get the best of both worlds.

What is Plan It?

With Amex Plan It, on the other hand, you can pay down a purchase (or combination of purchases) worth at least $100 over time without paying interest. Instead, Amex Plan It charges a fixed monthly fee. Depending on your specific plan and card terms, this can help you save money over time and divide payments toward a large purchase over several months. 

Pro Tip

If you’re thinking of using the Plan It version of this program to pay down a larger purchase over time without interest, you should have a good handle on the fees you’ll pay. Amex offers an Amex Plan It calculator that shows you exactly how much your plan’s fees will cost.

How does it work?

You can create your plan using either the American Express mobile app or through your online account, and choose up to 10 purchases of $100 or more to combine into a plan. If you create your plan using the Amex app, you’ll only be able to select one purchase for your plan. Like Pay It, you’ll still earn rewards on the purchases you include in a plan. You can have up to 10 active plans on your account at one time.

After you select the purchases for your plan, you’ll receive a few different plan options, with varying durations and plan fees. These options vary based on factors such as your creditworthiness, the purchase amount, and your account history. You can use Amex’s Plan It Calculator to get an idea of the plans you may be offered based on your purchase total, though this calculator doesn’t account for your creditworthiness and other factors.

The monthly amount due toward your plan is included in the minimum monthly payment on your billing statement. And while you can’t make a payment directly toward a plan to pay it off early, you can always pay more than the minimum due on your statement. This will go toward your overall remaining balances, including the plan. If you pay your total balance in full, you’d also pay off any existing plans and forgo any future fees associated with the plan.

Should You Use American Express Pay It Plan It?

Amex Pay It is a simple way to reduce your overall card balance throughout the month, and may even help you boost your credit score by lowering the utilization Amex reports to the credit bureaus when your billing period ends. 

Plan It is most useful for paying down a large expense over time without taking on high interest debt. When you enroll in a plan, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay in fees and how long you’ll have to pay the balance off upfront.

For example, let’s say an unexpected car repair costs you $2,000, and you charge it to a credit card with a variable APR of 22%. If it took you 18 months to pay it down, you’d pay an additional $368 in interest over that time.

But with Plan It, you could qualify for an 18-month repayment plan that costs a total of $301.50 in fees. That’s more than $366 in savings, and the benefit of having a fixed monthly repayment plan with an end date.

Just keep in mind that the savings depend on your individual circumstances and your card’s terms. If your credit card APR is already low, the Amex Plan It plan fee may be more than the interest you would pay. Using the above example, if you paid the same $2,000 balance off over 18 months with a card carrying a 13% APR, you’d pay just $212 in total interest charges — much less than the $301.50 total plan fee over the same period.

Make sure you explore all your options before committing to a plan. You shouldn’t use this tool as an excuse to rack up spending you can’t afford to pay off — even if the monthly fee costs less than traditional interest, you’ll still end up paying more than you would if you pay your bill in full every month. If you’re able to plan ahead, you can avoid interest and fees on large purchases altogether by waiting until you have enough money to pay it down upfront.

Alternatives to Consider

While the Amex Pay It Plan It program can add flexibility to your credit card payments, it’s not the only tool for paying down large purchases over time. The program isn’t available on all American Express cards — Amex small business cards don’t qualify, and your account may not be eligible due to other details of your account status. 

Here are some flexible payment alternatives to consider:

Amex Pay Over Time

Amex’s Pay Over Time feature allows cardholders to use Amex cards without a traditional credit limit (such as the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express) to make purchases and pay them off over time with interest, similar to how most credit cards work when you carry a balance. 

If you have an eligible card account, you’re automatically assigned a Pay Over Time limit and APR. You can choose to add eligible charges of $100 or more to your Pay Over Time balance, up to your Pay Over Time limit. 

But this can be a costly option — like any credit card, you should generally only charge purchases you can afford to pay off before your statement balance is due. Pay Over Time offers added flexibility, but you can avoid interest altogether by paying your total account balance each month by your due date.

My Chase Plan

My Chase Plan is similar to Amex Plan It, except that it works with eligible Chase credit cards. This Chase card feature lets you pay off purchases of $100 or more in equal monthly payments for a fixed monthly fee, instead of interest. Like Plan It, you’ll still earn rewards on the purchases you enroll in My Chase Plan.

0% Credit Cards

If you know you have a large purchase coming up and want to pay it down over time with minimal costs, consider credit cards that offer 0% APR on purchases for a limited time. You may forgo interest on new purchases for up to 20 months, and you can even earn rewards with some 0% interest card options.

Bottom Line

Amex Pay It Plan It can be a valuable tool if you want a little more control over how and when you pay your credit card bill. Just make sure you run the numbers before you enroll in an Amex Plan It repayment plan. And before you commit to a large purchase, explore all your payment options to find the cost and timeline that works for you.