Update 7/22/20: More people targeted with no fees.
Late last year American Express started testing something called ‘Plan It‘ on some credit cards. The idea behind Plan It is to give you some flexibility to pay off large purchases over a period of time, when you make a qualifying purchase with Plan It you then pay it off in equal monthly payments over a time period chosen by you. Rather than paying interest, you pay a monthly fee instead.
American Express is now offering some ‘Plan It’ offers where you don’t pay that monthly fee. Effectively this gives you an interest free period on those purchases. Think of it as AmEx offers but instead of getting a statement credit, you pay no interest on those purchases instead. For example here is one offer on Hilton purchases:
It seems that the offers are primarily on travel plans. My issue with these types of interest free period offers is that it can cause consumers to spend more than they typically would and when the interest free period ends the interest rates skyrocket. I guess in this case it looks like you’d have the full debt repaid during the interest free period, but there is still the chance of overspending and defaulting. At the end of the day each individual is responsible for making sure that doesn’t happen to them, but I always like to pay my balances in full at the end of each month that way it’s very clear what my current financial position is. Additionally rather than the type of offer above, I’d much prefer a typical AmEx Offer for Hilton that offers straight cash or points back.
Hat tip to FM
- Update 4/12/20: More people targeted with no fees.
- Update 12/8/19: Looks like American Express is pushing this hard again.