Updated May 13, 2021 | Published Aug 07, 2019 • 7 min read
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American Express offers two payment plans, Pay Over Time and Pay It Plan It. If you have a former charge card, you can use Pay Over Time to carry a balance over time while it accrues interest. Pay It Plan It lets you pay off a purchase over time while it accrues no interest by making set monthly payments. Pay It applies to purchases less than $100 and Plan It is for purchases of $100 or more.
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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.
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.
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:
Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
$200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
$240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
$200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
$200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber 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.
$300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
$179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
5X Membership Rewards points per dollar (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then 1X) on:
Flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel
Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months
Rose Gold is back. You can now choose between Gold or Rose Gold.
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.
Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and 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 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
$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.
Get up to 12 complimentary months of an Uber Eats Pass subscription when you enroll with your Gold Card by 12/31/21.
Late Fee$39 or 2.99% of any past due Pay in Full amount, whichever is greater.
Returned Payment Fee$39
Additional Cards Annual FeeN/A
Foreign Transaction Fee2.7%
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:
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.
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.
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.
Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
Earn 7X Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost(R). Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion(R) Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
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.
Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck(R).
Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club(R) for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
Yes, you’ll earn American Express Membership Rewards points or cash back on purchases in these plans, just like any other purchases.
Can I pay off my Amex plan early?
Yes, you’re able to pay any amount you’d like, but you won’t be able to direct your payments to a specific plan. Any amount you pay over your card balance will automatically be directed toward your Amex plan.
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.
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 in early 2019 — My Chase Plan and My Chase Loan, which were rolled 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.
Ellen Sirull is a writer with over 15 years of experience, covering topics from personal finance to identity protection to credit and credit cards. Her work has been featured on CNBC, New York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, Experian and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible and is always thinking about how best to invest her own money for retirement and her family’s well-being.
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