Last fall, in time for the 2020 holiday season, Chase introduced My Chase Plan, a flexible way for credit card holders to pay off select purchases over time with a fixed monthly fee instead of interest. With the 2021 holiday season approaching, here’s a look at the what the bank calls a digital “buy now, pay later” feature, with some advice on how and when to consider using it.
The payment plan charges a fixed monthly fee instead of interest like most other card transactions.
While you won’t pay interest, there are still costs to keep in mind.
My Chase Plan is a fixed payment plan that lets Chase credit card holders pay off certain purchases in installments rather than as part of their regular balance.
Similar to the Pay It, Plan It feature from American Express, My Chase Plan charges a fixed monthly fee instead of interest.
My Chase Plan is available on purchases of $100 or more. Depending on the transaction amount, your creditworthiness, and your account history, you may get from three to 18 months to pay off the balance.
For example, let’s say you have a purchase of $689.85 that’s eligible for My Chase Plan. Chase might offer you three payment options:
Three payments of $232.18 with a $2.23 monthly fee.
Six payments of $117.56 with a $2.58 monthly fee.
Twelve payments of $60.59 with a $3.10 monthly fee.
Once you choose an option, you’ll continue to make your monthly credit card payment, and the My Chase Plan payment will be added to your minimum amount due.
One benefit of My Chase Plan is that you’ll continue to earn rewards on your purchases. Also, if you want to pay off your balance early, there’s no penalty. Finally, if you have an introductory 0% APR promotion on your account, there won’t be a monthly fee if you opt for My Chase Plan payments.
On the surface, My Chase Plan sounds like it could save you money because the fixed monthly fee is rather low. But keep in mind that the fee stays the same even as your balance drops, unlike interest which would decrease with the balance over time.
Before you decide to use My Chase Plan, run the numbers.
For example, let’s take the $689.85 purchase above and use the 12-month plan. With this plan, the fixed monthly fee would cost you a total of $37.20.
Now, let’s say your interest rate is 16.99%. If you were to pay the balance off over 12 months, you’d end up paying $65.12 in interest, so My Chase Plan would save you money.
But if the scenario were different–with higher monthly fees or a longer repayment period, the cost of the fees could exceed the interest charges.
My Chase Plan could also be helpful for anyone who struggles to make more than the minimum payment on their credit card every month. With fixed monthly payments like an installment loan, you can’t procrastinate in paying off the balance.
That said, if you can afford to pay off your balance in full every month, it’s best to avoid any payment plan that would cost you extra money, whether in interest or fees.