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Amex Pay Over Time: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Last updated 03/15/2024 by

Camilla Smoot

Edited by

Fact checked by

Amex Pay Over Time grants users flexible payment options and the ability to make payments without accruing interest. If cardholders pay off their entire balance at the end of the billing period, they won’t have to pay interest. They can choose to make a partial payment, but they will then have to pay added interest charges.
If you’ve looked into getting a credit card with American Express, you’ve probably run across the term “Pay Over Time.” If you’re unfamiliar with this term, don’t worry. We’ll break down what this is and who might benefit from it.
Pay Over Time is a feature available on specific American Express credit cards. It allows cardholders to have some flexibility when paying off their balance. It does come at a price, though, as you could face large interest charges with Pay Over Time. The good news is that you can avoid these charges by paying off the balance in full at the end of each payment period. So how is Pay Over Time different from regular credit cards or charge cards? Is it the right choice for you? Let’s learn some more about Amex Pay Over Time.

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What is Amex Pay Over Time?

Amex Pay Over Time combines features of charge cards and traditional credit cards. Amex Pay Over Time gives you more time to pay off eligible purchases; you’ll just have interest added. With Pay Over Time, you are given an allotted amount of money you are able to spend at one time. When it comes time to make a payment, you can either make a partial or full payment. If you only pay off part of your balance, you’ll be charged interest. But if you pay off your entire balance, no interest will be charged to your account.
Pro tip: What is a charge card? Charge cards do not have spending limits or annual percentage rates. You don’t carry a balance from month to month on a charge card. Instead, you must pay it off in full each month. While this resembles Pay Over Time, charge cards and Pay Over Time do differ in a few key ways, which we’ll discuss in this article.

How does Pay Over Time work?

American Express automatically enrolls Gold Card, Green Card, and Platinum cardholders in Amex Pay Over Time. If you don’t want to be enrolled, you can contact American Express and opt out.
Cardholders will receive a Pay Over Time limit when they get their cards. This limit is the maximum amount of money the cardholder may spend before paying off the balance. Upon receiving the limit, the cardholder may begin making purchases of eligible items using the card.
When the billing period ends, American Express informs cardholders of the minimum payment they must make. They can then pay their bill in a few different ways: the full amount, the minimum amount, or somewhere between the two. Partial payments will have interest charges added on, while payments made in full will not. A late fee will be added to your balance if you do not pay at least the fixed monthly fee.
You can make payments and review your Pay Over Time balance details through your online account.

Charge cards vs. Amex Pay Over Time

While Pay Over Time may sound similar to charge cards, there are a few important differences between the two, especially when it comes to interest rates.
FeatureCharge cardsAmex Pay Over Time
Interest rates addedCharge cards do not have interest rates.Interest is added onto the Pay Over Time balance if the amount is not paid off in full.
Late payment feesLate payment fees are charged if the amount is not paid in full.If you do not pay off at least the minimum amount, a late payment fee will be added on.
Spending limitThere is no spending limit with charge cards.There is a limit to the amount you can spend with Amex Pay Over Time.
Mandatory monthly paymentsYou must pay off the entire balance each month.There is a minimum amount you must pay each month. You can also pay more than that amount.
Pay in fullThe entire balance of the card must be paid off at the end of the month.You do not have to pay off the balance in full, but interest will be added on.
Annual feeMost charge cards have an annual fee.While it depends on the credit card, many will have an annual fee.

What are eligible charges for Amex Pay Over Time?

If you can use a credit card to purchase it, you can likely use Pay Over Time. Restaurants, travel expenses, groceries, and other daily purchases can be paid for using Pay Over Time. You can also use Pay Over Time to make business purchases. But you cannot use Pay Over Time to pay for cash advances, gambling, traveler’s checks, various fees, and insurance premiums. Foreign transaction fees can be paid for with Pay Over Time.

Pros and cons of Pay Over Time

Is Amex Pay Over Time right for you? One of the best ways to determine this is by reviewing its pros and cons.
Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.
  • Earn rewards — Just like with other credit cards, you can earn rewards and points using Pay Over Time. For example, American Express Gold cardholders can earn membership reward points by making purchases at supermarkets or Uber Eats.
  • Flexible payment options — One of the main things that sets Pay Over Time apart from charge cards is that you don’t have to pay off the balance in full at the end of every month. Instead, you just have to pay off at least the minimum amount due. This added flexibility is one of the best things about Pay Over Time.
  • High interest rates — You could potentially face high interest rates, even if you have good credit. Keep this in mind, not just when you’re considering Pay Over Time, but also when you’re paying off your monthly balance.
  • Must be good at managing debt — While you don’t need to pay off your entire balance each month, the added interest charges can get pricey. If you don’t keep an eye on it and manage it well, you could become overwhelmed with how much you owe.
A relevant resource: On the subject of carrying a balance and the resulting interest charges, credit card users who expect to carry balances should take that into account when choosing a card. If you think you might carry a balance, take some time to read about The 3 Best Credit Cards For People Who Carry A Balance.

What cards offer Pay Over Time?

Many American Express credit cards offer Pay Over Time. As mentioned earlier, you’ll likely be automatically enrolled in Pay Over Time if you have a credit card with American Express. The following credit cards offer Pay Over Time:
If you’re interested in one of these cards, talk to an American Express credit card issuer. Their rep can explain everything you need to know about these cards and help you pick the best one for you.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Is Pay Over Time right for me?

Keep in mind that, depending on which credit card you have, American Express could automatically enroll you in Pay Over Time. So, take this into account when choosing which credit card you want. Pay Over Time offers some great benefits that could work for you depending on your financial situation and ability to manage debts. If you are confident that you can either pay off the entire balance at the end of the month or that you can pay the potentially high interest rates, then Pay Over Time may be a good option for you.

How to enroll

American Express will automatically enroll you in Pay Over Time if you have a card that offers it. You do not need to worry about activating it to start using it.

When should I end my enrollment in Pay Over Time?

Don’t worry; you’re not stuck with Pay Over Time once you start. If you find that the interest rates are becoming too high, you can’t make the monthly payments, or you just don’t like it, you have the option to end your enrollment in Pay Over Time at any time. You can end your enrollment on the American Express mobile app, by calling American Express, or through your online account.


How does Pay Over Time with Amex work?

Pay Over Time is like a mix between a charge card and a credit card. Each month, you have a limited amount of money you can spend using your card. At the end of the month, you can pay off the balance in full, or just part of the balance. If you only pay off part of the balance, you will have to pay interest charges.

Should I turn off Amex Pay Over Time?

If you find that you cannot keep up with the monthly payments and the interest rates are getting to be too much, it may be best to turn off Pay Over Time and use your credit card in the traditional way instead.

Do you get Amex points for Pay Over Time?

Yes. If you’re enrolled in Membership Rewards, you will still earn points for purchases made.

Key takeaways

  • Amex’s Pay Over Time feature allows cardholders to pay off eligible purchases over a long period of time with added interest.
  • Cardholders have the option to pay off the entire balance, the minimum amount due, or somewhere in between the two.
  • If you pay off the entire balance, you are not charged interest. However, if you do not pay off your monthly balance in its entirety, interest charges will be added.
  • American Express automatically enrolls cardholders in Pay Over Time depending on which credit card they have.

Find the best American Express credit card for you

Credit cards are as unique as your own financial needs. American Express has plenty of credit card options to choose from. If you’re struggling to know which is the best for you, check out SuperMoney’s list of the five best American Express credit cards. Here, you can learn more about the blue card, platinum card, and more.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Camilla Smoot

Camilla has a background in journalism and business communications. She specializes in writing complex information in understandable ways. She has written on a variety of topics including money, science, personal finance, politics, and more. Her work has been published in the HuffPost,, Deseret News, and more.

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