American Express launches Plan It, a new Buy Now, Pay Later scheme

4 min Read Published: 29 Feb 2024

American Express launches Plan It, a new Buy Now, Pay Later schemeAmerican Express has launched a new Buy Now, Pay Later scheme that allows cardholders to pay for purchases in instalments over 3, 6 or 12 months. Amex Plan It is an alternative to clearing your balance incrementally and paying interest on what you owe. Cardmembers can use Plan It to pay off individual purchases on their statement or a portion of their monthly bill.

There will be no interest charged if you spread the cost with Plan It, but you will have to pay a fixed fee based on how much you are repaying and over how long. The amount you need to pay each month will be included in the 'minimum due' on your statement. The scheme can be applied to account balances over £100 and below 85% of your credit limit. Only cardholders who are up to date with their payments will be able to use the scheme and there is no additional credit check involved.

How much does Plan It cost?

The exact cost of using Plan It depends on how much you have spent and how long you want your repayment period to last. Amex has an online calculator to help you compare the cost of using the Plan It scheme against paying interest on what you owe. For example, spreading a £1,000 balance over 12 months would cost £94.03 per month through Plan It. This would be made up of an £83.33 capital repayment and a £10.70 fee. Paying your balance off steadily over the course of a year would cost around £95.59 a month, assuming an interest rate of 30%. This works out as an £83.33 monthly repayment plus an average of £12.26 per month in interest.

You can see that there is not a significant difference in cost, with Plan It being £1.56 per month cheaper in this example. It is worth keeping in mind that the more you spend, the more you will save through Plan It. The less you spend, the lower the amount you save.

Is Amex Plan It a Buy Now, Pay Later scheme?

A Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) scheme allows users to pay for something in instalments over a period of time, rather than paying a big upfront cost. Plan It follows a similar principle, though it offers a longer repayment period than many BNPL plans. However, there are many BNPL schemes that do not charge a fee, unlike Plan It. Of course, you will not pay any interest if you pay the full balance on your Amex within 56 days.

Which Amex cards can you use Plan It with?

Plan It covers most of the major American Express cards, including:

  • Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card
  • Platinum Cashback Credit Card
  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card
  • The Platinum Card (credit card)
  • Nectar Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • Vitality American Express Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card

For Amex’s rewards credit cards, you will still earn points as usual if you use Plan It.

How to use Plan It

Moving your balance over to Plan It can be done online or through the American Express app. You will select a particular transaction or an amount from your most recent statement, then choose which duration period you would like – 3, 6 or 12 months – before being shown the total monthly payment and the monthly fee.

Keep in mind that using Plan It will result in what you need to pay each month going up. This is because the Plan It monthly payment will be higher than the minimum payment on your card. The shorter the term on your Plan It, the bigger the difference will be between your new monthly payment and the minimum payment on the card. If your Plan It instalments only include a portion of your card balance, you will need to continue paying the minimum amount due on your existing balance too.

Just paying the minimum payment is a slow and expensive way to clear credit card debt, so paying more is not necessarily a negative. However, you should make sure you can afford the monthly payment before you sign up to Plan It. Missing one payment will mean that amount is added to your next credit card statement. Missing a second payment will result in the plan being cancelled, a late payment fee being charged and a missed payment appearing on your account.

Alternatives to Plan It

Below we provide some examples of alternatives to the American Express Plan It feature:

Setting a fixed monthly repayment rather than paying the minimum

While American Express has billed Plan It as a flexible alternative to paying off your credit card balance, one could argue that there is greater flexibility in simply paying a fixed amount each month until you clear your debt. This means that you can reduce the payment if you are short of money – so long as you pay at least the minimum – without triggering any charges or penalties. Additionally, the savings through using Plan It are underwhelming, especially for smaller amounts.

Make a transfer to a balance transfer credit card

If you have a decent credit record then you may want to consider getting a balance transfer credit card. A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer a balance (or portion of a balance) from one credit card to another. Most balance transfer credit cards come with an offer period, some offering as many as 28 months interest free. Moving a balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card can therefore work out significantly cheaper. Bear in mind, however, that you will likely still have to pay a balance transfer fee, usually 2.5% to 3.5%.

Use an alternative Buy Now Pay Later service

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services such as Klarna and Clearpay allow you to spread the cost of a purchase, typically in weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments. Used responsibly, BNPL may be a better option for some, as repayments are usually interest free, however, the maximum repayment period is likely to be 3 - 6 months which may not be enough for some people. Those at risk of missing a repayment may wish to avoid BNPL as the late fees can quickly mount up and doing so could impact your credit score.


Plan It does allow you to separate certain purchases from your overall balance, which may be a good psychological tool for some users looking to pay back a particularly big spend. There are, however, several alternatives that you could consider, many of which are likely to work out cheaper. You can find out more about American Express cards, see the latest rates and rewards, and check your eligibility in our article ‘Which is the best American Express credit card?’.