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Advice

Amex expands 'Pay It Plan It' and 'Pay Over Time' to consumer Green, Gold and Platinum cards

American Express added ways for select cardholders to pay bills. U.S. consumer Green, Gold and Platinum Cards can benefit from 'Pay It Plan It' and 'Pay Over Time' features.

American Express

If you have an American Express charge card, traditionally you're required to pay your statement balance in full on your due date. But effective August 1, 2020, select U.S. consumer card members have more flexibility on when they can pay their bills with the expansion of Pay It Plan It and Pay Over Time features.

Here are the eligible consumer American Express credit cards:

Pay It Plan It is now available on Green, Gold and Platinum cards, while Pay Over Time is added to the Platinum card — and is already an option for Green and Gold. 

"We're bringing buy now, pay later to these cards because we know our customers want to be in control of how they pay," Rachel Stocks, EVP of global premium products and benefits at American Express said in the announcement.

These new additions come after Amex added new benefits to most of its premium cards (including Green and Platinum) in streaming, wireless, grocery and dining categories, back in May.

Pay It Plan It and Pay Over Time both charge fees/interest, but these features can help you finance eligible purchases on cards that traditionally required you to pay in full. 

Here's how Pay It Plan It and Pay Over Time work, so you can consider alternative payment options for Amex Green, Gold and Platinum cards.

Pay It Plan It

Pay It Plan It is broken up into two features that let you either pay now or pay later. Here's the breakdown:

Pay It

Lets you pay for smaller purchases under $100 throughout the month. This can be helpful if you get satisfaction for paying off specific purchases and lowering your balance. You can do this by tapping "Pay It" on a specific transaction via the Amex mobile app.

Plan It

Lets you split up larger purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest. The monthly plans vary by card member and the purchase amount, but plan periods can range from three to 24 months. Plus you'll know upfront exactly how much the monthly payment is, a breakdown of the plan fees and the total cost (refer to the example below). Use this feature by clicking on an eligible purchase in the Amex mobile app or online and choosing "Plan It."

American Express

Pay Over Time

Similar to Plan It, the Pay Over Time feature also lets you buy now and pay later on purchases of $100 or more. But instead of a fixed monthly fee, you'll incur interest charges. Refer to your card member agreement for the most up-to-date interest rates. When you use Pay Over Time, interest begins on the date you make a purchase.

Latest: Amex expands Pay Over Time auto-enrollment to business Green, Gold and Platinum cards

Bottom line

These new additions make Amex consumer Green, Gold and Platinum cards more flexible for financing eligible purchases.

Pay It is great for people who want to pay off certain transactions under $100 right after they post to their account.

Meanwhile, Plan It is a simple way to see the true cost of carrying a balance since it's a fixed plan and the total monthly payments, fees and cost are shown at enrollment.

Pay Over Time is less helpful in breaking down the long-term payoff plan of large purchases, but it does give you a way to budget for bigger-ticket items over a few months with interest.

Keep in mind that Plan It and Pay Over Time have fees/interest that can add more to the amount you have to repay. If you don't want to incur any additional charges, pay your bill in full.

Don't miss: Amex adds new benefits to most of its premium cards in streaming, wireless, grocery and dining categories

For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.