The past 12 months have been busy for American Express, which has been making large pushes to expand its presence in the lending space. The newest launch applies to owners of Amex’s consumer credit cards. The Pay It Plan It feature enables cardholders to pay off part of their balance, and defer larger transactions for a small fee that amounts to considerable savings when contrasted with card interest rates. The firm’s mobile app and private site feature links to make small payments to an overall card balance (Pay It), or initiate a payment plan for a purchase over $100 (Plan It). The new Pay It Plan It service comes on the heels of American Express’ massive efforts to get creative with its lending; the past year has seen promotional below-market interest rates, loans and flexible payment vehicles for personal and small business customers alike. A detailed page on the feature profiles the benefits and affordability, with FAQs.
Plan It Offer from Private Site
Plan It Interface – Private Site
Plan It Interface – Mobile App
While the Amex service is not the first time we’ve seen firms market flexible payment solutions, the option bears the most direct impact to interest saving. Similarly, Chase’s BluePrint and U.S. Bank’s FlexControl payment programs promote indirect savings by specifying payments to be applied to spending categories. Selecting the Plan It option, however, for an eligible transaction allows card holders to defer payment of a single purchase (up to 10 can be active at a time) over $100 and effectively remove it from the balance subject to interest rates. For example, in the purchase highlighted above, the plan fee of $3.87 calculates to less than 1% (0.71% to be precise) of the original purchase amount, considerable savings as compared to the listed card’s best available APR of 13.99%. While Amex offers an analog for small business card holders, offering plans along a similar structure would be a boon for the company and firms alike to take advantage of the great savings feature.