American Express is this country’s premier issuer of personal and business charge cards. Charge cards enable consumers to rack up purchases over a certain period of time as long as payment is made on the outstanding balance at the end of that period (usually monthly).
Of course, American Express also issues credit cards which give holders the ability to space out payments with the minimum statement balance payment option. What you may not know, is that American Express offers this luxury to their charge card users as well, with a trio of “Pay Over Time” features.
In this guide:
How Do Pay Over Time Features Work?
According to American Express, Eligible Charge Card Members are able to choose at the end of the month whether to pay their balance in full, pay the minimum amount due, or anything in between. American Express will charge you a variable interest rate on unpaid balances, but there are no late fees as long as you make the minimum payment.
The three programs with Pay Over Time features are:
- Extended Payment Option: Eligible charges over $100 are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance. You can pay any amount between the minimum amount due and the full balance each month.
- Select & Pay Later: You can manually select charges of $100 or more to be moved to your Pay Over Time balance. The standard limits and exclusions apply.
- Sign & Travel: Eligible charges of any size involving travel are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance. Eligible charges include hotel stays, airline tickets, cruises, car rentals, and foreign charges. The standard limits and exclusions apply.
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Benefits of Pay Over Time
By taking advantage of the Pay Over Time feature, you can utilize these benefits:
- Flexibility of extended payments over time.
- You decide how much of your balance to pay each month, subject to minimum payment requirements.
- No fee to enroll in the Pay Over Time program.
- You use one card to receive all your American Express Membership Rewards Points, whether or not you utilize the Pay Over Time feature.
- You may qualify for extra Member Rewards Points to join the Pay Over Time program. Amex runs promotions periodically in which it offers a chunk of points when selected cardholders enroll in the Pay Over Time program. You earn the bonus even if you always pay off your balance each month.
If you find that you are not eligible for the American Express Pay Over Time program, you do have other options. For example, you can apply for a regular credit card from American Express or another provider.
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The most likely reason for being denied by a creditor is having a Low FICO score. There are multiple solutions to this problem. First, in order to learn your FICO score, you can request it for free from American Express. Then, you can take the following steps to boost your FICO score.
- Order and review all three of your credit reports (from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian)
- Consolidate and reduce your overall debt
- Pay your bills on time
Living a responsible financial life will help improve your perceived creditworthiness and grant you access to more appealing financing opportunities.