Pay It Plan ItUpdated: Sept. 21, 2017

Paying down a credit card balance can be challenging. While you may try to pay more than the minimum payment every month, oftentimes credit card interest can make things much harder. Today, American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) announced a new mobile feature called Pay It Plan It, which is designed to help consumers pay down their balances with much more flexibility, so they can work toward their financial goals. This new feature is available to eligible U.S. consumer and co-branded credit cards (we list all eligible cards below) that were issued before June 1, 2017 — cards issued after June 1 will receive this feature early next year. Starting today, cardholders will be auto-enrolled in Pay It Plan It — your June statement lists your enrollment date. To help both current and future American Express cardholders decide if this feature is worthwhile, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about Pay It Plan It.

What is Pay It Plan It?

This new feature offers two repayment options. The first, Pay It, allows customers to select smaller purchases (under $100) to pay off immediately as they appear on their account. Here’s how you can take advantage of this payment option:

How to Use Pay It
  • Log into the American Express mobile app
  • Tap on an eligible purchase (note that eligible purchases will have a Pay It icon next to it)
  • Pay the purchase using any bank account that’s connected to your American Express account and your payment will process within 24 to 36 hours. Be aware that you cannot use this feature if you do not have a bank account connected to your American Express account

The other repayment option is Plan It, which is designed to help customers pay off qualifying purchases of $100 or more by choosing a monthly payment plan with a fixed fee and no interest. Here’s how Plan It works:

How to Use Plan It
  • Log into the American Express mobile app
  • Tap on an eligible purchase (note that eligible purchases will have a Plan It icon next to it)
  • You will then be offered up to 3 payment plan options with terms that range from 3 months to 24 months. Although you will not be charged interest, there is a monthly fee that’s based on your standard APR. For example, if your card has an APR of 14.99%, you’d pay a monthly fee of up to 0.66% of each purchase, which, as you can see, is much lower than your standard interest rate. All of your monthly fee, payment and term options will be displayed, so you will not be hit with any surprises later on.
  • Select the plan that best fits your budget
  • The monthly payment of the plan you selected will be added to your minimum monthly payment. It’s important to note that your payment due date will not change.

Which cards are eligible?

As noted above, this new mobile feature is only eligible to a handful of U.S. consumer and co-branded credit cards, including:

Should you use Pay It Plan It?

It seems like American Express is trying to pave a new path for credit card payments with Pay It Plan It. While both payment plan options provide consumers with some more flexibility in how they pay their credit card, there are also some things to consider.

With Pay It, there is a benefit to paying a smaller purchase off immediately, but it seems like an unnecessary feature if you’re already someone who pays their credit card statement off every month. That said, if you need some help budgeting and don’t want the small purchases to add up, Pay It may be a valuable feature for you.

On the flip side, Plan It offers much more value to cardholders, as it allows them to make a large purchase and work to pay it off pretty quickly. While this option offers an interest-free way to pay down a larger balance, there is a monthly fee for cardholders to be aware of, as noted above. That said, this fee is likely a lot cheaper than the interest you’d pay without Plan It. Overall, Plan It is a great way to plan out future payments for large purchases to make sure your balance is paid off by a certain date.

Want to learn more about Pay It Plan It? Stay tuned to our credit cards blog to read our editor’s real-life experience of how the mobile feature works works — she gets access to the feature starting Sept. 15, 2017.

Looking for an option that allows you to avoid interest and a monthly fee? Consider transferring your balance to a card with a 0% intro APR on balance transfers, as it will provide you with more of the long-term solution since you don’t have to set separate payment plans for each transaction. Although most cards charge a fee of 3% or 5% of the total to complete a balance transfer, this one-time fee is likely a lot cheaper than the ongoing interest you’re paying on your current credit card. Visit our reviews of the best balance transfer credit cards and use our free, customizable Balance Transfer Calculator to find the card that’s right for you.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.