What you need to know about American Express Plan It — including an introductory offer for holiday shopping

Nov 23, 2021

One of TPG’s commandments for travel credit cards is to pay your balance in full every month — but sometimes that isn’t possible. You could have an unexpected large expense or face an involuntary furlough from work. In these instances, you may want (or need) extra time to pay off your bills.

And that’s where a feature like Plan It® by American Express can help — especially since select cards offer a way to save on Plan It fees during the introductory period. This can be a great option as we get into the thick of the holiday-shopping season, giving you additional time to pay for larger gift purchases for your loved ones.

Plan It is American Express’ version of a “buy now, pay later” plan and allows cardholders to pay for large purchases over time by splitting them into monthly installments with a fixed fee. It’s easy to use, and you will still earn rewards the way you usually do for each eligible purchase you put into a plan (terms apply).

Amex has a great line up of no- or low-annual-fee cards that come with the Plan It feature — and some of them give new cardholders an introductory APR and Plan It Fee offer, right in time for the holidays.

Here are the three cards with introductory offers for new cardholders (Terms apply):

The information for the Amex Cash Magnet has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

New cardholders of these three products can enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12-15 months from the date of account opening and $0 buy now, pay later Plan It fees on plans created during the first 12-15 months from the date of account opening. After that, a variable purchase APR of 14.74% to 24.74% and a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors, will apply.

Here is what you need to know about Plan It — and why you may want to consider it for your upcoming holiday purchases.

In This Post

What is Plan It?

Plan It is a way to pay for large purchases made with your eligible American Express card in monthly installments. You can put up to 10 qualifying purchases of $100 or more into a “plan.”  A fixed monthly fee is shown upfront, so there are never any surprises. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay each month, since the fee and plan payment are shown when creating your plan.

The Plan It Calculator even helps you plan ahead by showing you what your monthly payments could be.

Of course, we always recommend paying your balance in full here at TPG to avoid any additional interest or fees. However, if you’re looking to avoid these charges but still utilize this feature, you’re in luck. New holders of the following cards receive an introductory offer that allows them to create plans with $0 Plan It fees during the introductory period:

You’ll still earn rewards for every eligible purchase the way you usually do, even on those for which you’ve chosen to create a plan — though for new plans created after the introductory period, you’ll incur the higher plan fees disclosed in your cardmember agreement (terms apply).

And if you apply for one of these cards today, you’ll have the opportunity to use this introductory offer on holiday gift purchases over $100 that you charge to the card.

Related: Here are 9 of our favorite ways to use Amex Membership Rewards points

The Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred are two of the eligible cards for this introductory offer. (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Here’s how to use it

The Plan It feature is simple to use: Just add qualifying purchase(s) over $100 to a plan and select the monthly option that works for you — the monthly plan payment will be automatically included in your minimum payment due each month.

To do this, log into your account on either the American Express app or your desktop. On the app, you’ll notice that every transaction greater than $100 has a blue button labeled “Plan It”. On the desktop version, you’ll find the option to create a Plan by clicking on the transaction from your home page.

If you’d like to include more than one purchase in a plan, you’ll need to do that from your desktop — the feature isn’t currently supported on the app.

Once you’ve selected your purchases to add to a plan, you have the option to choose from up to three plan duration options. The longer you spread out your payments, the lower your monthly payment will be. However, longer plans will typically incur higher total fees — since you’re taking more time to pay off the balance.

And if you’re utilizing the offer for $0 introductory Plan It fees, that offer only applies to any new plans created during the first 15 months (for the Blue Cash Everyday) or the first 12 months (for the Blue Cash Preferred or Cash Magnet) from the date of account opening. After that time period, you’ll begin incurring a fixed monthly fee for any new plans created.

Related: Amex credit card showdown: Blue Cash Preferred vs. Blue Cash Everyday

Once you’ve finalized a plan, your first plan payment will be included in your minimum payment due for your next billing period.

Apply for one of these cards to take advantage of this introductory offer just in time for holiday shopping. (Photo by Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images)

Here’s why you might want to use it

With the holiday season upon us, the option to use Plan It to buy large qualifying purchases now and pay later (with $0 introductory Plan It fees on certain card products) gives cardholders more flexibility and peace of mind as they’re shopping for their loved ones. You can make this year’s festivities even more joyful when you use the Plan It feature to remove the added stress that often comes with gift-giving holidays.

Plan It can also be an option for those looking to plan future travel. Take advantage of upcoming sales on airfare and vacations, and have peace of mind when paying for your bucket list trip when you pay with Plan It.

And remember — new cardholders of the Blue Cash Preferred, Blue Cash Everyday and Cash Magnet will be able to use Plan It without any fees for plans created in the first 12-15 months from the date of account opening.

Bottom line

Even though TPG advises readers to always pay their credit cards in full each month, we know that that isn’t always the case. The Plan It feature from American Express is an option for cardholders who want (or need) to make a large purchase with their credit card and have the option to pay it off in monthly installments.

Plan It typically comes with a fixed monthly fee, but new cardholders of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the American Express Cash Magnet® Card can use Plan It with $0 intro fees and 0% intro APR on purchases during the first 12-15 months from the date of account opening.

And with the holiday shopping season upon us, that makes now a great time to apply for one of these cards — and explore the Plan It feature from American Express.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please
click here.
For rates and fees of the Cash Magnet card, please
click here.

Featured photo by Guido Mieth/Getty Images