American Express, the credit and charge card juggernaut, recently pushed a new mobile app feature live on August 30 for many of its most popular credit cards. The feature, Pay It Plan It, allows cardholders to approach debt repayment in a couple of new ways according to a press release from American Express.
On a charge card, American Express’ predominant financial product, outstanding balances on a given card are typically due in full by the end of the month or billing cycle. With a credit card, payments are allowed to roll over from cycle to cycle while generating interest and occasional fees. Pay It Plan It utilizes both of these facets and offers American Express members with a credit card the flexibility to choose between the two: Pay It or Plan It.
Here is how the Pay It feature works. On any given balance, cardholders can access their mobile app are pick out separate transactions from the billing cycle. On transactions that are lower than $100, cardholders can select and pay these off immediately at the touch of a button. With multiple smaller transactions paid off in full, the overall balance on a credit card can be reduced, limiting the chance of a fee or rollover.
The second new addition is the Plan It feature. With this, cardholders can select transactions that are greater than $100 and select a monthly payment plan for the selected balance. Payment plans can range from three to 24 months, and the option comes with a fixed fee instead of interest charges.
Alongside these new features, cardholders still have access to the old system of repayment, namely making payments at the end of the month.
The feature is certainly interesting because it allows users to select specific transactions with flexibility. The greatest asset of this feature is perhaps the lack of interest charges on the Plan It feature. While there is some information missing such as the magnitude of that fixed fee, all users will be able to see any fixed fees before selecting a given payment plan.
At any rate, this move makes American Express credit cards more flexible than most other cards, and it’s helpful to those who may be struggling with credit card basics. Now, a confused card holder does not have to worry as much about incurring a late payment fee or interest because he or she can either knock off a part of the balance early or establish a clear path forward for repayment.
Any card issued before June 1, 2017 will have the feature by now, but cards issued afterwards will receive the capability by 2018.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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