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What you need to know about American Express Plan It

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

One of TPG’s commandments for travel credit cards is to pay your balance in full every month — but sometimes that isn’t possible. You could have an unexpectedly large expense or face an involuntary layoff from work. In these instances, you may want (or need) extra time to pay off your bills.

And that’s where a feature like Plan It® by American Express can help finance large purchases over a period of months best suited for cardmembers. American Express also offers Pay It® to help cardmembers pay off purchases under $100.

Below, we’ll go in-depth with Amex’s Pay It Plan It financing options to see how they can help cardmembers are if such micro-financing options from the issuer are worth it.

What is Amex Pay It Plan It?

Pay It and Plan It are two different payment plans for eligible American Express cardmembers. While one program is tailored toward smaller payments, the other is geared toward splitting larger purchases into a monthly payment plan. Both programs are only offered to American Express personal cards; these are not available on Amex business products.

Pay It

American Express Pay It allows cardmembers to reduce their current balance by making small payments throughout any given month. This option auto-populates on eligible charges under $100 and can viewed in the American Express app.


When looking at a qualifying purchase, you’ll see a small button indicating Amex Pay It for eligible purchases. Simply tap on it to complete the payment, and you’ll see the credit post to your account within 48 hours. This can be done to pay off multiple charges as long as they are $100 or less, and you still earn rewards.

Plan It

American Express Plan It is a longer-term payment plan for qualifying charges of $100 and more. Amex Plan It is a financing option that avoids interest charges on large purchases and instead, applies a plan fee each month until you complete the payment plan. Plan It will populate as a clickable icon on eligible purchases in the Amex mobile application or your account at

Amex Plan It gives cardmembers one to three plan duration options ranging from three months to 24 months, and the Plan It monthly fee varies based on the duration you select. The Plan It Calculator even helps you plan ahead by showing you what your monthly payments could be.

Related: 8 basic financial services and credit card concepts you should know 

How does Amex Pay It Plan It work

Essentially, the Amex Pay It option allows you to partially pay your credit card bill during the month. Despite selecting specific transactions and making payments for them, the payment credit is not applied to those purchases. Instead, payments made using Amex Pay It will pay down the overall balance, beginning with paying down the minimum payment for that month.

Unless you are into strict budgeting, there is no upside to paying off your credit card bill in multiple small payments throughout the month. Instead, you’re likely better off keeping your money in an interest-earning checking account and paying at the end of the month.

Young man at home, paying bills online

Meanwhile, Amex Plan It allows you to pay off large purchases over a longer period, charging you a fixed monthly fee instead of accruing interest. Typically, the monthly fee is less than any interest you would have accrued had you not enrolled the purchase in the Amex Plan It program.

American Express allows up to 10 active plans for Plan It at any given time. When setting up Amex Plan It via your online account, you can combine up to 10 eligible purchases into one single plan, whereas setting up Plan It via the mobile application only allows you to pick one qualifying purchase for each plan.

Related: 5 ways to use credit cards responsibly

Can I pay off Amex Plan It early?

The main attraction to Amex Plan It is that it offers a way to avoid interest charges on large purchases you can’t pay off fully right away. Once you’ve set up Plan It for a purchase (or purchases), your minimum payment due each month will include a monthly payment plan, which is the Plan It fee and your eligible purchase split into however months you selected.


You can pay off an Amex Plan It early by either paying off the entire statement balance or the current balance when you make a payment. There is no penalty for paying off Plan It early, so you’ll want to do so if possible. Paying it off early allows you to save money by limiting the months you’ll pay the Amex Plan It monthly fee.

Related: The best way to pay your credit card bills

Does Amex Pay It Plan It affect my credit score?

Most American Express cards do not have preset spending limits like traditional credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Because of this, the credit bureaus only see your balance owed and cannot compare it against an overall limit to see your credit utilization.

Someone checking their credit score on a smart phone

Still, some American Express cards, such as the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, do have credit limits. In this scenario, a purchase split up across six months using Plan It will show up on the monthly statement and will be a balance you owe that can be compared against your overall credit limit.

If you have an Amex Plan It financing plan in place simultaneously, your statement balance will always reflect a portion of your credit line being used. Be especially careful having multiple Amex Plan It plans in place simultaneously. If you’re utilizing more than 30% of your credit line because of them, It can cause a dip in your credit score.

Related: Credit utilization ratio: What it is and how it affects your credit score

Is Amex Pay It Plan It worth it?

The option to use Amex Plan It to buy large qualifying purchases now and pay later gives cardholders flexibility and peace of mind. At times, Amex Plan It offers promotional rates of $0 for the monthly Plan It fee. If you come across such an offer and want to make a large purchase and pay It off gradually, this can be an excellent choice.

However, Amex Plan It typically incurs a fee, so you’ll save more money by getting a credit card with a 0% intro APR if you know you’re about to make a large purchase and want to pay it off over time. This option will give you a period of several months in which you won’t accrue interest, and you won’t be charged any additional fees.

Man using a phone with a credit card

On the other hand, Amex Pay It can be helpful if you’ve made a large group purchase that you want to pay down as soon as possible. Typically, though, you’re better off leaving your money in an account where it can earn interest and then paying off your balance at the end of the month.

Bottom line

Even though TPG advises readers to always pay their credit cards in full each month, we know that that isn’t always the case. American Express Plan It is an option for cardholders who want (or need) to make a large purchase with their card and have the option to pay it off in monthly installments for a fixed fee. If you need time to pay off a purchase, Amex Plan It is a good way to avoid accruing interest on it.