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Pay Over Time & Pay It Plan It: Amex Programs You Might Want to Use

6 min read
Ellen Sirull By Ellen Sirull Aug 07, 2019 | Updated Aug 05, 2020

American Express offers its cardmembers two programs that provide different ways to pay your Amex bill: Pay Over Time and Pay It Plan It.

These plans are available for select Amex cards, and each one will incur interest charges.

First, let’s break down the difference in the cards Amex offers so you know which ones may be eligible for each program. The main difference between Amex’s former charge cards and credit cards is how much you have to pay off each billing cycle compared to how much you owe:

  • Former charge cards have no preset spending limit and may require that you pay off the full amount you spend on the card each month (more on this below).
  • Credit cards only require that you pay off some minimum amount of your balance each month. You can carry the rest over on to next month’s bill, although we recommend you always pay off your full statement balance every month to avoid paying expensive credit card interest.
Insider tip

Learn more about the differences between a charge card and a credit card here.

American Express Pay Over Time

This feature basically turns your former charge card into a typical credit card, letting you carry a purchase balance from month to month while accruing interest. Some key things to note about the Pay Over Time program include:

  • Fees: A monthly fee, of a percentage of the purchase amount, may apply.
  • Added flexibility: You have the option to pay eligible charges over time with interest.
  • Payment options: You can pay your Pay Over Time balance in full, the minimum amount due, or anything in between.
  • Details:
    • Pay Over Time Limit applies to the total of the Pay Over Time, cash advance, and Plan balances.
    • All charges not added to a Pay Over Time balance or monthly payment plan or cash advance balance must be paid in full each month by the payment due date.
  • Eligibility: No enrollment required; eligible cards are automatically enrolled.

What Purchases Are Eligible?

Most purchases are eligible. However, the American Express terms and conditions call out a few stipulations, including:

  • In most cases, a charge must be $100 or more and approved by Amex (the Green card has no minimum charge requirement).
  • Eligible charges include purchases, foreign transaction fees, and annual membership fees.
  • The following types of charges are ineligible for Pay Over Time: cash advances and express cash, American Express Travelers Cheques and other cash equivalents, casino and other gambling transactions, any fees owed to American Express except foreign transaction fees.
  • You can’t add a charge to a Pay Over Time balance if it causes your Pay Over Time balance to go over your Pay Over Time Limit (the limit is shown in your account dashboard).

Pay Over Time Options

You can set your Pay Over Time status to either active or inactive:

  • Pay Over Time Active: Eligible charges are automatically moved into your Pay Over Time balance (some accounts may have higher minimum charge requirements). This is the default setting for new accounts.
  • Pay Over Time Inactive: Eligible charges will not be automatically added to your Pay Over Time balance, but you can manually add them to Pay Over Time.

Which Amex Cards Can Use It?

If you have one of these Amex cards, you may be able to use this program:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

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American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Earn up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

American Express® Green Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$150
Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to help you get through security faster with CLEAR®.
  • Earn up to $100 in annual statement credits to access 750+ airport lounges globally through LoungeBuddy.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$595
Regular APRN/A

The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

American Express® Business Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$295
Regular APR14.24% - 22.24% Variable

The information related to American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases with the Business Green Rewards Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn one Membership Rewards® point for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • Terms & Limitations Apply
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

The information related to Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

You can log in to the Amex site or mobile app to see if your cards are eligible and what your limits and balances are:

Picking an eligible Pay Over Time card
 

Do I Still Earn Rewards?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled in the American Express Membership Rewards program (which is typically automatic), you earn points on eligible charges including those that you pay over time.

Should I Use Pay Over Time?

We encourage anyone using credit cards to pay off his or her balance every month to avoid paying more, so unless you’re just enrolling to get bonus points you probably shouldn’t worry about Pay Over Time.

However, if you are stretched financially one month because of an emergency, it may be worth it to avoid going into credit card debt since this may cost you less.

American Express Pay It Plan It

Pay It and Plan It are separate features that you’ll typically find together. They allow you to pay off small or large purchases over time at no interest, with a fixed monthly payment. Here are some key things to note about the program:

  • Fees: There is a fixed monthly fee for Plan It, which will be shown to you up front.
  • Added flexibility:
    • Pay It allows you to immediately pay off small purchase amounts under $100 without waiting until your statement arrives.
    • Plan It provides an option to pay for qualifying large purchases of $100 or more over a fixed period of time instead of paying interest.
  • Payment options: You can pay your Plan It balance in full, the minimum amount due, or anything in between.
  • Length of time to pay purchases off: There are various durations offered ranging from 3 to 24 months.
  • Plan It enrollment: There is no sign up, application, or enrollment required. It is automatically embedded into eligible Amex products.
  • More information and eligibility: Check your Pay It Plan It eligibility here if you’d to use the program.

Amex may offer you one, two, or three plan duration options for each qualifying purchase. The payment plan duration options vary based on factors such as the purchase amount, your account history, and your creditworthiness. The Plan It program is similar to an installment plan because you pay a set amount every month over a fixed amount of time.

Here’s how you can set up Plan It:

Image credit: American Express

Amex also has a Plan It calculator on its website which allows you to plan your Plan It purchase(s), showing how much you’d pay in different situations.

Sample Costs

Here’s an example of the calculator, and the cost of using this program for paying off a purchase.

A sample Pay It Plan It plan.
 

Here’s how the plan plays out with three different options for a $500 purchase:

6-Month Plan 12-Month Plan 18-Month Plan
Monthly payment $87.49 $45.85 $31.94
Monthly plan fee $4.15 $4.18 $4.16
Total plan fee $24.90 $50.16 $74.88
Total amount paid $524.90 $550.16 $574.88

Essentially, the longer the period of time you select to pay off the purchase, the more it will cost you in fees.

What Purchases Are Eligible?

Most big purchases are eligible for the Plan It feature, as long as they cost $100 or more. You can have up to 10 active plans at once, and each plan can consist of up to 10 purchases.

You can’t use Plan It for cash advances, cash equivalents, purchases subject to foreign transaction fees, or any fee including annual membership fees.

Pay It allows you to pay off items under $100 immediately via the American Express mobile app (you must use the app, it’s not available through the Amex website).

Which Amex Cards Can Use It?

Most American Express consumer credit cards (including co-branded credit cards) are eligible for Pay It Plan It. Here are some of our favorite Amex credit cards:

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99% - 23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99%–23.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases, then a variable rate, currently 12.99%–23.99% Variable.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR15.74%-24.74% (Variable)

The information related to Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APR15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
  • New! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • New! With Status BoostTM, earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status.  MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • New! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
  • New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Prepaid cards and products, American Express corporate cards, American Express small business cards, and American Express-branded cards or account numbers issued by other financial institutions are not eligible for Pay It Plan It. Also, additional cardholders are not eligible for Pay It Plan It.

Do I Still Earn Rewards?

Yes, you’ll earn American Express Membership Rewards points or cash back on purchases in these plans, just like any other purchases.

Should I Use Pay It Plan It?

If you find yourself in a bind, with some larger purchases all happening at once that you can’t pay for immediately, this could be a helpful way to finance them because the Pay It Plan It program will likely cost you less than the typical interest charges would.

Though there’s no interest, be aware of the monthly plan fee and total plan fee. Compare this to what you’d pay if you carried the balance, and go for the cheaper option.

However, it’s always best to pay off your credit card every month to avoid paying for anything more than the purchases themselves (i.e., interest).

Pay It offers an easy way to help your creditworthiness, because you’ll report a lower statement balance by immediately paying off small charges. Since one major factor impacting your credit scores is your credit usage, or credit utilization, a lower balance is pretty much always a good thing.

Make sure you pay attention to when your monthly plan payments are due so you don’t risk missing them. Set up automatic payments to ensure you’re always on time.

Other Credit Card Issuers With Similar Payment Options

Some other card issuers have similar programs, including:

  • Chase: Chase announced two new features earlier this year — My Chase Plan and My Chase Loan, which are both slated to roll out in August 2019. My Chase Plan is similar to Amex’s Pay It Plan It and My Chase Loan is a way to use an existing credit line to borrow money for larger purchases. 
  • Citi: Citi offers the Citi Flex Plan, a similar program to Amex’s Pay It Plan It where you can make fixed monthly payments to pay off purchases or a loan against your card’s credit line. Also, Citi Flex Loan lets cardholders utilize their Citi credit card limits as loans, where a fixed amount is paid over a fixed term up to 60 months, depending on eligibility.

Check out each credit card company’s website for more information on their programs. Or, if you have a card from one of these issuers, you can log in to your online account or call the number on the back of your card to find out more.

Looking to learn more about credit and credit cards? Find more topics in the Insider Academy.

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

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The information related to The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Express® Business Gold Card, Business Green Rewards Card from American Express, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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