American Express launches installment payments for Canadian card members
By Tracy Brackman | Published: November 1, 2016
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American Express Canada has launched a new installment payment plan aimed at giving card members more control over their finances. Referred to as “American Express Installments,” this built-in feature allows Canadian card members to pay for large purchases in equal monthly installments, while still earning rewards points.
Aileen Kheraj, vice president of lending products and partnerships at American Express Canada, explained in a news release, “Whether our card members are getting married, planning a trip, starting a family or renovating their home, our research shows that they could definitely use this type of solution when managing larger purchases.”
According to a recent omnibus survey conducted by American Express, 47 percent of Canadians say they have trouble saving for large purchases. Over the next year, 47 percent of those surveyed plan to travel, 29 percent plan to move or conduct renovations, and 21 percent plan to buy expensive electronics – of these individuals, 42 percent say they prefer to pay for large purchases over time.
Choose your repayment terms
Unlike traditional credit cards that require the cardholder to pay interest on unpaid balances, American Express Installments charges a minimal fee based on the length of the installment term.
To participate in American Express Installments, an eligible card member must first enroll in the program, and then set his or her preferences. The card member can select a repayment term of three, six or 12 months, and a minimum purchase amount of $250, $500 or $1,000. Any eligible purchase made over the minimum amount will automatically be set up as an installment plan.
Depending on the length of the payment term chosen by the card member, he or she will be charged an installment fee ranging from 2 percent to 5 percent. A three-month term carries a 2 percent fee, a six-month term carries a 3 percent fee, and a 12-month term carries a 5 percent fee. For example, if a card member purchases a television for $750, the installment payments will be broken down as follows:
|Sample Payment Plans ($750 purchase)|
|Payment term||Installment fee||Payment per month||Total amount paid|
|3 months||2% ($15)||$255||$765|
|6 months||3% ($22.50)||$128.75||$772.50|
|12 months||5% ($ 37.50)||$65.63||$787.50|
American Express Canada card members can enroll in the installment program using their current cards, and manage installments online or through the Amex Mobile app. Installments can be cancelled at any time.
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