If you're contemplating a big purchase in your life (or several), credit cards can seem like a blessing and a curse. Needing a new laptop or a bed won't always wait for when your savings can cover them, but you might be worried about going into debt trying to pay those necessities off. If you're an American Express cardholder, the company may have given you a leg up — it's just introduced an installation payment plan.
"Pay It Plan It" is a new feature from AmEx that lets you pay off up to 10 select purchases greater than $100 over a period of months, all through the Amex Mobile app. It does include a fixed monthly fee, but those fees will never exceed what your interest would have been on debt incurred. Depending on the purchase, you can pay it off in anywhere from three months to two years. By putting all of its charges upfront, "Pay It Plan It" helps you budget without surprises. Best (and maybe biggest) of all, using "Pay It Plan It" won't affect your credit score.
AmEx has a reputation as a creditor for the already well-off, but as millennials grow older (and hopefully into more financial security), it's making an early play for brand loyalty. This summer, Americans broke records on credit card debt (we have more than $1 trillion), which means lots of us are feeling overwhelmed by mounting bills. Responsible credit card use will always go a long way, but even playing by the book can put you in the red in today's economy.
The "Pay It Plan It" feature kicked in on Aug. 30 for accounts created before June 1, 2017. It applies to a number of cards, including branded affiliates like the Delta SkyMiles credit card, and you can earn rewards through the program. Check which kind of plan you've signed up for, though: If you've got an AmEx "charge card" instead of a credit card, you've got to pay that off in full every month. Read more about "Pay It Plan It" on the American Express website if you've got questions about what the process looks like, how flexible payment plans are, and how to know if you're eligible.