If you have an Amex Green, Gold, or Platinum card, you now have more options for paying your bill and planning large purchases
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- If you have an American Express® Green Card, American Express® Gold Card, or The Platinum Card® from American Express, you now have access to Pay It Plan It options for managing your bill.
- With Pay It®, you can choose to pay off transactions under $100 throughout the month instead of waiting until your payment due date.
- The Plan It® feature from Amex is potentially valuable for those who need to finance a big purchase, with payment plans that range from three to 24 months and charge a monthly fee instead of accruing interest.
- Additionally, the The Platinum Card® from American Express now includes a more traditional Pay Over Time feature with interest charges (though you should still avoid paying interest fees whenever possible).
- See Business Insider's list of the best American Express credit cards »
If you have an American Express® Green Card, American Express® Gold Card or The Platinum Card® from American Express in your wallet, you'll now have access to Pay It Plan It features for the purchases you make with these three popular cards.
Pay It is a simple way to pay off small transactions under $100 throughout the month. Rather than making just one large payment by your monthly due date, you can pay down your balance with smaller, incremental payments throughout the month.
For example, if you buy dinner for $50, you can select that transaction in the Amex mobile app and pay it to reduce your outstanding balance. It's a good way to train your brain to enjoy seeing a smaller balance on your credit card.
Plan It is, in my opinion, a more valuable tool that allows you to create a pay-off strategy with a deadline.
With typical credit cards, it's easy to get in trouble by charging big transactions and telling yourself you'll pay it off soon (and convincing yourself that the rewards points are so good that you can carry a balance). Plan It gives that "soon" a concrete "when" with a fixed cost.
For example, let's say you want to buy a $2,000 couch. Plan It will let you start sitting on that couch immediately with three options to pay it off.
Here's a look at how much each of them might cost, using the Plan It calculator:
- 6 months: Monthly payments of $349.98 + monthly plan fee of $16.64 = $2,099.84
- 12 months: Monthly payments of $183.57 + monthly plan fee of $16.90 = $2,202.80
- 18 months: Monthly payments of $127.87 + monthly plan fee of $16.75 = $2,301.50
The fine print of Plan It points out that you might see plan durations ranging from three to 24 months, and the plans are based on creditworthiness and other factors. Also, Amex Plan It isn't limitless: You can only have 10 active plans at one time.
Overall, Plan It is a great way for anyone using a credit card to understand the true costs of their purchases. It also helps avoid the pitfalls of credit card debt: If you buy that $2,000 couch, add it to your balance and let that sum accrue interest charges, who knows what it will really cost?
Popular tools for managing payments
I'm not the only one who thinks Plan It is a good way to plan (pun intended) for smart personal finances. It's already available on many other American Express cards, and the company says that people have created nearly five million plans since the feature launched in June 2017.
Young cardholders have been especially good "planners" — the company says millennials have accounted for 44% of the plans created.
In addition to the new features, the The Platinum Card® from American Express now looks a bit closer to traditional credit cards with a Pay Over Time tool. The variable APR is between 15.99% and 22.99%, so you're going to want to make that time as short as possible to avoid paying too much interest.
I wondered if the move was a response to the challenges of coronavirus, but an American Express spokesperson told me that the company has been planning to bring Pay It, Plan It, and Pay Over Time to these cards for more than a year.
And while Amex is expanding features, one option is not available: Balance transfer offers have disappeared from the company's website. However, the Amex spokesperson highlighted that the company has added new offers to reward customers in categories where they are spending the most and has also introduced enhanced financial relief programs.
So, in addition to looking into Pay It Plan It, you can contact the company about short-term options to pay less each month and avoid late payment fees.
American Express® Green Card
60,000 points after your spend at least $5,000 in your first 3 months of account opening
- 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Up to a $200 airline fee credit.
- Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges.
- Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
- Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
- Bonus categories leave something to be desired (no bonus rewards on general travel or dining)
- One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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