American Express' Pay It, Plan It feature and Pay Over Time feature have long allowed certain Amex cardholders more flexibility in how they make payments. Now, as of Aug. 1, 2020, anyone with an American Express Green Card, American Express Gold Card, or The Platinum Card from American Express will have access to both programs.

Key Takeaways

  • American Express cardholders can now use the Pay It, Plan It and Pay Over Time features.
  • The programs provide more flexibility to cardholders who normally have to pay their balance in full each month.
  • Paying in full remains the best way to avoid interest charges and fees.

What Are Pay It, Plan It and Pay Over Time?

Pay It, Plan It allows cardholders a couple of payment options, depending on their transactions. With purchases under $100, for instance, you can pay off specific transactions instead of making a general payment on your credit line.

If you have purchases larger than $100, you can create a plan to pay them off over three to 24 months. Instead of paying interest, you’ll incur a monthly fee, which is based on a variety of factors.

Pay Over Time works similarly to the Pay It, Plan It feature, but you’ll pay interest instead of a fixed monthly fee. 

Before the update, Green and Gold cardholders could use Pay Over Time but not Pay It, Plan It, and Platinum cardholders didn’t have either option. Now, both programs are available with all three of those cards.

What This Means for Cardholders

With a traditional credit card, you can either pay off your monthly balance in full or pay it over time. But with charge cards, like those issued by American Express, your balance is typically due in full every month. 

With the new options, Amex cardholders will have more flexibility if they can’t afford to pay in full every month. It could be especially helpful if they want to target specific purchases to pay down based on their needs. 

That said, if you prefer to continue paying your balance in full every month, you still have that ability. And doing so will be less expensive than using either of these programs.

Both of these features offer greater flexibility for American Express cardholders, but at a cost.

Should You Take Advantage of These Programs?

Paying off your balance in full every month is the best way to avoid interest and fees. But if you’re experiencing some financial difficulties or simply want more flexibility with your charge card payments, you can now make that choice for yourself. 

If you’re considering using Pay It, Plan It or Pay Over Time, make sure you understand the current terms and costs of the program, which are detailed on the American Express website.