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Generally we recommend only using rewards-earning credit cards if you have the means to pay off your balance in full each month, since interest charges entirely negate any value you’d get from earned points and miles. Certain interest-free offers could be worth pursuing in some cases, but as always, be sure to read every word of the fine print — even a simple slip-up could leave you owing hundreds in interest charges and fees.
While we know that carrying a balance over a long period of time typically requires paying substantial interest, Amex just announced a new option that could be more appealing to some. This program, called “Plan It,” lets you create a monthly payment plan for purchases of $100 or more.
To take advantage, simply select the Plan It option next to an individual transaction in the app or via Amex’s website. You’ll be offered your choice of three payment plans, ranging from 3 to 24 months. There’s no interest, but you will need to pay a fee that varies based on the length of the payment plan. In the $801 example below, the monthly fee for a six-month plan works out to $5.59, for a total of $33.54 in fees, or some 4.2% of the purchase price. The three-month plan will run you $16.11 in fees, or $5.37 per month, while the nine-month plan comes along with $48.06 in fees, or $5.24 per month.
According to Amex, as of tomorrow, Plan It will be available “across all eligible US consumer credit cards,” including co-branded cards.
The issuer is also launching a feature called Pay It, which actually makes it easy to pay off transactions early — before your statement closes each month. Once a transaction posts, you can select the Pay It option to wipe that charge from your account right away, potentially bringing your balance down to zero before your statement date.
Will you be using Plan It or Pay It?