Holiday Travelers Can Book Now, Pay Later With Uplift

The service partners with dozens of providers, but interest rates can be high.

The AquaDuck slide on board a Disney cruise ship
Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

If you're planning a trip for the holidays or beyond, flights, hotel stays, rental cars and other travel costs can add up fast. If you can't afford to pay everything at once, Uplift partners with dozens of airlines, cruise lines, travel agencies, and more with a buy now, pay later (BNPL) service.

Before you use Uplift, however, it's important to consider the potential costs and how they might impact your budget.

Key Takeaways

  • Uplift partners with dozens of travel providers to allow consumers to book flights, cruises, vacation packages, and more and pay off the cost over time.
  • The BNPL service offers installment loans with just a soft credit check.
  • Depending on your creditworthiness, the loan can be inexpensive or costlier than a credit card.

How Uplift Works

Travel can be expensive, especially if you need to make a trip on a last-minute or emergency basis. With select travel providers, you can select Uplift at checkout instead of using a debit or credit card. The BNPL service will ask you to provide some basic information about yourself, including the last four digits of your Social Security number.

With a soft credit check, which won't hurt your credit score, the company will give you an offer, including a repayment term, an interest rate, a monthly payment, and an initial payment. If you accept the offer, Uplift will pay the travel provider in full. Then, you'll pay back the loan over three to 24 months, depending on the situation. Loans range from $150 to $25,000.

Depending on your credit history, you may qualify for an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 0%. However, borrowers with less-than-stellar may be offered an APR as high as 36%.

If you need to cancel your trip, you'll do so with the provider first. If its cancellation policy provides for a refund, Uplift will credit your account for the refund amount and pay you the difference, if applicable.

Unlike other BNPL services, Uplift reports your monthly payments to all three credit bureaus. However, late payments will also be reported.

Should You Use a BNPL Program for Travel?

Uplift provides travelers with an easy way to pay for their trips over time without needing to apply for a personal loan or use a high-interest credit card.

But unless your credit is in great shape, you could end up with a much higher rate than what most credit cards charge. Even if you get a relatively low rate, you'll need to make sure the monthly payment comfortably fits your budget. Otherwise, you may risk a late payment and damage to your credit score.

In general, it's best to avoid borrowing money to pay for travel, but it might make sense to use a service like Uplift if you need to travel for an emergency or wish to take a big vacation and can't afford the total upfront expense. In those types of scenarios spreading the payments out can make travel more affordable.

Article Sources
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