Amex Plan It review: what’s the catch?

American Express has entered the Buy Now, Pay Later world

This month, Amex has launched “Plan It”, a feature that lets you pay for something over £100 in instalments. We’re not huge fans of Buy Now, Pay Later in most cases, and this one certainly doesn’t match up to other providers available. Here’s what we think of the new feature. 

What is Amex Plan It?

Plan It is American Express’ new Buy Now, Pay Later feature. It’s more of an add-on feature to its credit cards rather than a brand new product. It lets you pay for a transaction and later split it into three, six or twelve instalments for a set monthly fee. 

It’s very similar to Monzo Flex, as you can split the transaction after making the payment. Similar alternatives are Klarna and Clearpay, which let you pay in instalments and both have cards, allowing you to pay at any retailer, not just the ones that offer the option at checkout. The main drawback of Amex’s Plan It compared to these options is that there’s no interest-free choice.

How does Amex Plan It work?

Amex Plan It is a new feature that’s been added to the Amex app and your online account — most Amex customers will have it available already, but there are a few exceptions, detailed below. You don’t need to opt in or do anything to get it.

When you make a payment that’s over £100 using your American Express card, you’ll see the “Plan It” option in the app, which means that it can be split into instalments. 

You can choose a plan, and it’ll detail the amount that it’ll cost you per instalment and the monthly payment you’ll have to pay. You simply choose the one you want, and you’re good to go.

Here’s an example in the app when Andy had the option to pay in instalments for his Wimbledon tickets.

What you’ll see in the Amex app

When it comes to making a payment, your monthly instalment plan is automatically included in your minimum due each month.

Who can get Amex Plan It?

First you’ll need one of these cards:

  • Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card
  • Platinum Cashback Credit Card
  • American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card
  • The Platinum Card (credit card)
  • Nectar Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • Vitality American Express Credit Card
  • British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card

Amex assesses your eligibility to determine whether or not you’ll be able to create an instalment plan. To be eligible you need to: 

  • Hold one of the above American Express cards
  • Have your account in “good standing order” – this essentially means no missed payments or late payments. 
  • Have an eligible purchase or balance on your current statement or posted to your account – this needs to be £100 or above

If you don’t have Plan It as an option, it could be because:

  • You’ve recently withdrawn cash using your Amex
  • You’re enrolled in a Financial Support program with American Express
  • You don’t have an eligible purchase or balance amount — this needs to be a transaction of at least £100
  • You have an American Express Charge Card – these customers can’t use Plan It

Can I pay off Amex Plan It early?

Not exactly — you can’t overpay your instalment plan. If you want to repay early then you have to cancel the instalment plan and make the payment to your main account balance. Any fees you’ve already paid won’t be refunded to you. 

Amex Plan It fees

Amex Plan It isn’t free, unlike a lot of other Buy Now, Pay Later options (Klarna, ClearPay and Monzo Flex are all interest and fee-free when you pay over three months.) 

When you’re first making the plan with Amex, you’ll be presented with a fixed monthly fee. This fee is added to each instalment. There’s no additional interest. 

The fixed fee is generally lower than if you didn’t use the plan and paid interest instead, but not by much – as you can see in the below example, you’d only save about £1.56 on a £180 payment. 

There’s a calculator on the website, which uses an assumed annual rate of 30% on your credit card, so it may not reflect exactly what you’ll be offered in the app, but you’ll get an idea. 

We’ve used the calculator to create the below example, using the amount of £180 as in Andy’s example above. The amounts are slightly different, but you get an idea of how much you can save. 

Using Plan ItWithout Plan It
Plan/payment schedule£180 in three instalments£180 paid over three months
Monthly payment£61.93£62.45
Monthly fee or interestFee of £1.93Interest of £2.45

Is a hard credit search made?

While there is a hard credit search when signing up for Amex, there’s no hard credit search when you make an instalment plan with Amex Plan It. Amex does assess your eligibility for the service, but this is done with your prior Amex use. 

Amex Plan It limit

Your Amex Plan It limit is the same as your Amex credit limit. You can have up to ten instalment plans at one time, though this depends on your eligibility, according to Amex.

Do you still get Section 75 protection with Plan It?

Yes! You’ll still be paying on your credit card, so you’re protected with Section 75 as usual. If you’re not familiar with this protection, Editor-in-chief Andy has written a guide on it before

Do you still earn cashback and rewards when you use Plan It?

You’ll still get to earn rewards on your purchases as usual. This does give it a little edge over other BNPL options, but the fees outweigh this massively.

Amex customer reviews from Smart Money People

It’s too early to know what customers think of the new Plan It feature, so we’re sharing customer opinions of American Express in general here. Amex scores 4.4/5 in customer reviews over at Smart Money People

Positive reviewers like the high credit limits and the chance to earn rewards on their spending. They also value the Section 75 protection and feel that it’s easy to raise disputes. 

Negative reviewers don’t like that not all places take Amex as a method of payment. Some feel that their cashback and rewards aren’t always tracked and feel like they’re constantly chasing. A few noted the huge annual fees for the cards.   

For customer service alone, Amex scores 4.59/5. 

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Pros and cons of Amex Plan It


  • Split payments into instalments
  • Continue to earn rewards
  • Get Section 75 protection


  • No free option
  • You don’t know if you’re eligible until you try to use it

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Summary: is Amex Plan It worth it?

Amex’s new Buy Now, Pay Later feature isn’t the best option on the market to split a payment into instalments — you can do it for a lot cheaper with other providers, and even free when splitting into three instalments. Here at Be Clever With Your Cash, we don’t really rate Buy Now, Pay Later products, and this one doesn’t change this view, particularly.

It’s pretty good that you can continue to get rewards with your purchases, but the charges will wipe out any cashback or points you earn.. 

What’s a better alternative to Amex Plan It?

If you need to spread out the cost of a purchase, the best alternative to Amex Plan It would be a 0% purchase credit card, in which you commit to paying it back in full before the 0% purchase offer comes to an end. 

You could also use a different BNPL service that doesn’t charge, like Monzo Flex or Klarna, which let you split your payment into three instalments interest-free or Clearpay, which lets you pay over six weeks interest-free. You’ll have to pay fees for longer plans, though. You wouldn’t be able to earn rewards with these, but you’d still get the Section 75 protection. 

You could use another Buy Now, Pay Later product, such as Klarna or ClearPay, however these wouldn’t have Section 75 protection and you’d have to have the option at checkout, rather than splitting the payment retroactively.

Ideally though, you’d either save up in advance before buying, or if you’re using a reward credit card, clear the balance completely before interest is charged.

Best American Express credit cards

Andy Webb, Editor-in-chief

Though Plan It isn’t a feature we’d recommend, I’m a big fan of the cashback and rewards available from American Express. 

All cards earn you points or money back on spending, and there are often decent additional offers you can activate to save even more, such as the annual Shop Small promotion.

Amex cards also have the highest welcome offers, especially when boosted at different points in the year. Rules state you can’t have had an Amex in the last 24 months, there are hacks to potentially get as many as three.

You can find out which American Express card we recommend as your first card here.

One thought on “Amex Plan It review: what’s the catch?

  1. If you have set your direct debit to be paid in full each month and you choose to use plant it. As you haven’t paid the plan it item in full do you pay interest on that the next month?


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