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American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

iced
Valued Contributor

American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

I received an email bribing me with 10,000 MR to enroll in pay over time. I'm not really sure I want to do this.

 

I spoke with a rep today who tells me pay over time doesn't change anything in terms of how the card is reported to bureaus or how payments are made as I would continue to PIF and ignore the pay over time feature. They made it sound like this is one of those offers where I get points for doing nothing more than clicking a button. That seems a little too easy to me. I'm looking for the catch.

 

I'm a trust-but-verify type of person, so... do charge cards enrolled in pay over time still report as charge cards with $0 limits? I would prefer not to suddenly have the card converted into a credit card or have some other obnoxious restriction placed on me for this. There must be something in it for them, or else they wouldn't be throwing points at me to get me to enroll.

Message 1 of 11
10 REPLIES 10
jdbkiang
Established Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

I didn’t get a Pay over time offer, however on a credit card I did get a plan it for no fees offer, which looks to me like a 0% APR for 9 months to me. It seems like just marketing to me.





[2/2019]
Message 2 of 11
Steve891
Senior Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

I would enroll in POT to get the 10k MR points. Free points. You don't have to use POT. Smiley Very Happy




Message 3 of 11
NRB525
Super Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

I am jeleaous. 

Take the offer. Enjoy the points. No change to the charge card reporting. 

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
March 2021 $33k on $312k EQ 796 TU 798 EX 801
May 2021 Paid all Installments and Mortgages, one new Mortgage EQ 761 TY 774 EX 777
Message 4 of 11
Time2letgo
Regular Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

You had me checking my email to see if I got one too Smiley LOL That's a great offer, signing up doesn't mean you have to use it. Just read the fine prints to be sure.

Work In Progress:
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Gardening Until Dec 2019 or Until All Scores are back above 800s

Message 5 of 11
ImTheDevil
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

The “what’s in it for them” is that in using POT, you’re paying interest on those charges. Since Amex only makes money from swipe fees and AFs for its charge cards, this is a way to open another revenue stream for them on these cards.


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Message 6 of 11
iced
Valued Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?


@ImTheDevil wrote:
The “what’s in it for them” is that in using POT, you’re paying interest on those charges. Since Amex only makes money from swipe fees and AFs for its charge cards, this is a way to open another revenue stream for them on these cards.

The rep assured me no interest would be charged unless I carried a balance past the due date, same as it works with all other cards I have. That is, as long as I pay the statement balance each month before the due date, I should never accrue interest. If that model changes for Pay Over Time, that's a dealbreaker for me.

Message 7 of 11
ImTheDevil
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

Correct - if you PIF everything monthly, POT really doesn’t factor in, whether or not eligible charges are placed into the POT pool. My understanding is this:

You have $500 of charges due at end of cycle, and $500 in POT. You’ll pay a portion of the POT balance plus all of the non-POT balance. The remainder of the POT balance will remain, and Amex will charge interest on it. They break it up into 3 or 6 months or some other timeframe and you pay equal amounts per month against the POT balance until it’s paid off. Interest applies to each month’s residual POT balance.

Note that this is how I infer that it works - if it’s different, somebody please correct me.


Platinum NPSL | Rose Gold NPSL | BCP | Delta Gold | Hilton Surpass | Hilton Honors | FNBO Prime Visa | PenFed PCR | Navy cashRewards | Navy Platinum | Apple | IT Cash | IT Chrome | GHSFCU Visa Plat | Quicksilver | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Sams MC | Firestone | Overstock | Kohl’s | Key Bank auto loan (2017 Audi A6 Premium Plus S-Line)





Message 8 of 11
iced
Valued Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?


@ImTheDevil wrote:
Correct - if you PIF everything monthly, POT really doesn’t factor in, whether or not eligible charges are placed into the POT pool. My understanding is this:

You have $500 of charges due at end of cycle, and $500 in POT. You’ll pay a portion of the POT balance plus all of the non-POT balance. The remainder of the POT balance will remain, and Amex will charge interest on it. They break it up into 3 or 6 months or some other timeframe and you pay equal amounts per month against the POT balance until it’s paid off. Interest applies to each month’s residual POT balance.

Note that this is how I infer that it works - if it’s different, somebody please correct me.

That's how I inferred it, too. As originally stated, I would continue to PIF, so hearing that paying interest is a side-effect of this perked my ears. There is no scenario I can think of where I would carry a balance unless they decided to make the APR less than 2.1%.

Message 9 of 11
arkane
Established Contributor

Re: American Express Pay Over Time - what's the catch?

I got the same offer, the fine print says this:

 

To be eligible to earn Membership Rewards® points, you must be enrolled in the Membership Rewards® program at the time of enrollment in Pay Over Time Direct. Only one offer per Card account is permitted, and points will be credited to your program account within 8-12 weeks after your Pay Over Time Direct enrollment is approved. Maximum 10,000 points per account.



Doesn't say anything about having to spend x amount or carry a balance with POT, just that you have to enroll in POT and you'll get 10K MR. Good enough for me so I went ahead and tapped some POT goodness. Smiley LOL

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6/8/20:

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