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If you get your paycheck at odd times—or are a small business owner with irregular income—paying your credit card balance in full can be challenging. If you have an American Express (Amex) card, though, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for “Pay It Plan It.” The Pay It Plan It program enables you to take more control over how much you pay toward your account balance and when you make payments.
It’s always best to pay off your monthly balance in full, as this prevents you from paying interest on an outstanding balance. But when that isn’t possible, Pay It Plan It can help you save on interest.
What is American Express Pay It Plan It?
Pay It Plan It is a feature available to certain American Express customers with eligible cards. When enrolled, you can pay for purchases at different times throughout the month or break up larger purchases to pay them off over time. Members can access Pay It Plan It payment options through the American Express mobile app or website.
Pay It Plan It is an alternative to Amex’s “Pay Over Time” option. It allows cardholders to pay off their monthly balance at their own pace or potentially save on interest by setting up an interest-free payment plan for a monthly fee.
How it works
Pay It Plan It consists of two different payment plans: Pay It and Plan It. Here’s how each works:
Pay It allows cardholders to reduce their balance by making small payments for specific purchases. Paying for a transaction won’t remove it from your transaction history. Instead, payments are applied against your monthly balance. If you have a minimum payment due, your Pay It payments reduce that balance.
To use Pay It, log in to the Amex mobile app and go to your transactions. Look for posted transactions with a “Pay It” icon next to them—only purchases under $100 are eligible—then click the Pay It icon and press “Pay” to complete the transaction. If you have multiple checking accounts, you can choose which one you’d like to use for Pay It.
Amex should update your outstanding balance within 48 hours.
Plan It lets users pay off larger purchases over time as part of an interest-free payment plan. Plan It enables you to group up to 10 transactions into a payment plan, lowering your monthly balance. Your adjusted balance will be what’s due every month.
You can access the Plan It features by visiting the Amex website or app. When you log in, look for transactions with a “Plan It” icon next to them. Amex identifies eligible transactions, so if a transaction doesn’t have a Plan It icon next to it, you won’t be able to add it to a payment plan.
After selecting which purchase or purchases you want to include, you’ll see up to three options for plan durations and the applicable monthly fee. Your first monthly plan payment will appear in your next billing statement.
Amex offers a Pre-Purchase Plan It Calculator, allowing members to view plan duration and fee options for a specific purchase amount. The calculator feature is helpful if you want to see your potential monthly payments before making a big purchase.
Who is this plan for?
The Pay It and Plan It features are helpful for anyone trying to spread out their payments over a specific period. Because the monthly fee for a Plan It payment plan is typically lower than what you’d pay in interest, Plan It is also useful for anyone who thinks they’ll carry a monthly balance.
Pay It is a feature for people who want to lower their monthly balance throughout the month. If, for example, your spending has brought you close to your credit limit, using Pay It can keep you from going over that limit. Maintaining a low balance also improves your credit score.
Plan requirements and limitations
The Plan It feature typically allows up to 10 plans at any time, but you may get less. Several factors can determine how many plans you can create, including your credit history and credit limit. Also, Amex may not allow you to create a new plan if one of your accounts fails to keep up with payments or is in a debt management program.
Pay It Plan It is available on most Amex consumer card accounts, but there are exceptions. If your card is prepaid, doesn’t have a credit limit, or doesn’t have a Pay Over Time feature, you won’t be eligible for Pay It Plan It. Amex small business cards also don’t qualify for these features.
Primary cardholders and authorized account managers with full access can create plans if their card includes Pay It Plan It.
Date of opening
Certain cards won’t enroll in Pay It Plan It because of the date the account was opened. Moreover, some cards carry intro 0% APR periods, eliminating the need to use a feature like Plan It to pay for larger purchases. There’s no need to pay a monthly fee to break up larger payments when Amex won’t charge you interest.
If you have a low credit limit or one of your Amex accounts is enrolled in a debt management program, you likely won’t be able to create payment plans.
Limited plans and payments
Amex generally doesn’t let users create more than 10 plans at a time and each plan is limited to 10 transactions. For the Pay It feature, users can’t make more than five payments on transactions per day.
A payment doesn’t automatically qualify for Pay It if it’s under $100, and payments over $100 can’t automatically be added to a payment plan. A purchase of cash (or cash equivalent), a purchase subject to foreign transaction fees, or a fee owed to Amex (such as an annual fee) won’t be eligible for Pay It Plan It.
In addition, users can’t create payment plans totaling over 95% of their credit limit.
Pros & Cons
- Pay It allows you to keep your monthly balance down if you get close to your credit limit.
- Plan It can save you money on the interest you’d typically pay for large transactions you can’t pay off in full by the end of the month.
- Amex puts helpful icons next to all transactions eligible for Pay It and Plan It.
- Your plan payment amounts are automatically factored into your monthly minimum balance due.
- Plan It carries a monthly fee for every payment plan you create.
- You can’t cancel a plan or adjust its duration once you’ve created it.
- You’re limited to 10 transactions per payment plan, 10 payment plans at any time, and five transactions per day for Pay It.
Which cards are eligible to access American Express Pay It Plan It?
Most Amex consumer card accounts are eligible for Pay It Plan It, excluding those that are prepaid or don’t have a credit limit. Amex small business cards are not eligible for Pay It Plan It. If you have poor or no credit, you may not qualify for Pay It Plan It or may be limited in how many plans you can create.
Alternatives to Pay It Plan It
Amex cards offer a “Pay Over Time” feature that lets users pay off eligible charges more gradually with interest. Chase credit cards, as part of “My Chase Plan,” offer similar features for transactions over $100.
The cards below are alternatives to the Pay It Plan It features:
|Annual Fee||Intro APR Period||Payment Options|
Pay Over Time
Pay Over Time
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
My Chase Plan
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
My Chase Plan
Amex’s Pay It and Plan It payment options can save you money on interest and keep you from going over your credit limit. These budgeting tools can help you maintain a good credit score and are relatively straightforward.
Amex consumer cards should give you access to both Pay It and Plan It as long as you have a credit limit, keep up with payments, and aren’t part of a debt management program. If you’re considering different Amex cards, the good news is that most of them offer these two payment options in addition to Amex’s Pay Over Time option.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How are Pay It payments applied to my account?
Pay It payments are applied against your monthly balance. They don’t remove transactions from your history. Instead, they reduce the minimum amount due at the end of the month—or your adjusted balance if you have payment plans set up through Plan It.
What amount do I need to pay to avoid interest on my account?
You'll avoid interest on purchases if you pay your adjusted balance by the payment due date each month. Your adjusted balance includes what’s due from your monthly plan plus any non-plan purchases made in the last statement period.
How does Plan It on Delta.com work at checkout?
If you’re booking a flight through Delta.com, you can select your eligible Amex card at checkout and choose the duration option that appeals to you. These options vary depending on your creditworthiness and the flight cost.
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