Have you seen commercials for the new American Express credit card feature: Pay It Plan It? At first glance, it sounds great. But is this really a good way to manage debt and credit? Let’s dig deeper into this new credit management tool.
How Does Pay It Plan It Work?
Just like the commercial lays out, the Pay It Plan It program allows it’s users to schedule large purchase amounts over a payment period and pay off small purchases immediately. When used correctly, it can help manage debt and save on interest. You use the feature through the app. It spells out the payment period options and payment amounts available for selection on those big purchases.
According to a great review by Nerd Wallet, Plan It purchases must be over $100. Certain purchases, as well as certain types of AmEx cards, may be excluded from this feature. It also provides more control over the monthly payment amount and repayment period.
Should I Use Pay It Plan It?
Always remember that using a credit card means you are in debt. While you may always pay off this debt at the end of the month, it’s still debt until you pay it off. So should you use this feature?
To me, it seems like a more complicated way to manage credit card debt. Rather than make purchases you know you can pay, for now, it encourages you to make purchases beyond your means. If you struggle to manage credit card debt, then this might not be the right fit for you. Instead of using more credit, you should be avoiding credit cards.
However, if you are a savvy credit user, then this might be a great way to use your credit card. It does take attention and thought. If you would rather just pay off your balance at the end of the month, you’d be better off doing this. Additionally, using the app and payment schedule can help you plan your budget better.
No matter what your credit skill level, the Plan It features delays paying off debt. And this means you are vulnerable. If something changes your financial stability, like a job loss or a major unexpected expense, then you find yourself unable to pay off what you couldn’t afford to pay for in the first place.