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Amex cardmembers: Check if you’re targeted for up to 20,000 points by enrolling in Pay Over Time

Oct. 14, 2022
4 min read
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information.

American Express’ Pay Over Time program is the company’s extended-financing option, allowing eligible cardholders to pay eligible charges of $100 or more over time with interest.

To get cardmembers to enroll in this program, Amex sometimes offers targeted promotions of up to 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for enrolling — and the offer is back again.


It’s important to note that you don’t actually have to use the program in order to get the bonus. Remember, the first and most important of TPG‘s 10 commandments for travel rewards credit cards is “Thou shalt pay thy balance in full.” Any points you’re going to get on these cards are never worth the interest you’d have to pay to get them.

How to see if you’ve been targeted

At current TPG valuations, 20,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $400 — making this a lucrative enrollment offer. Amex offers this targeted enrollment bonus from time to time, but it appears that another round of offers was sent out recently and more cardholders are now eligible.

Some examples of Amex cards that might be eligible to enroll in Pay Over Time are:

When you enroll, you’ll get a confirmation email with your Pay Over Time limit and interest rate.

Related: Your ultimate guide to Amex Pay Over Time

If you want to see if you’re targeted for this promotion, here are some ways to check:

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • Check your email for an offer from American Express. Subject lines may vary, but could be something like: “Good news, Nick! You’re eligible to earn 20,000 Points by activating a flexible payment option".
  • Check your physical mail for a mailer from American Express.
  • Check this link.

I have The Platinum Card from American Express, and when I switched my account to view that card, I was thrilled to see that it said “Activate today and you’ll receive 20,000 Membership Rewards® points.” This meant that I had received a targeted offer for that card.


Related: Best Amex cards

How — and why you might want — to turn off Pay Over Time

Note that many Amex cards already come with Pay Over Time embedded when you apply. In this case, you won’t be eligible for these targeted offers. I applied for a Business Platinum in December 2021. Part of the welcome offer included an introductory annual percentage rate of 0% through January 2023, which automatically set my Pay Over Time feature to “On.”


However, you can turn off Pay Over Time by going to “Account Services,” then “Payment and Credit Options,” then “Manage Pay Over Time Setting.” On that screen, you’ll see an option to select “Off.” Turning off the feature will enable you to possibly receive a targeted bonus offer to enroll again in the future. Also, if you’ve received a Pay Over Time bonus in the past but still have the setting turned on, you may want to turn it off and watch out for an opportunity to receive another enrollment bonus in the future.


Bottom line

Amex periodically targets cardholders to receive bonus points for enrolling in its Pay Over Time feature. Be on the lookout for an email from Amex or mail sent to your home. You can also check this link to see if you’ve been targeted in this latest round.

We recommend never carrying a balance — particularly on a travel rewards card that has a high interest rate. It’s not worth enrolling in Pay Over Time unless you’re getting a bonus for doing so and plan on never paying interest.

Knowing how to make the best points redemption at the best time is easy with the free TPG App! Download it for free today.

Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Chris Dong and JT Genter.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.