Amex Pay Over Time 10K Bonus
American Express is well known as a bank with a good selection of “charge cards”. While they have certainly diversified their portfolio of products to add many credit cards, charge cards still seem to be the base of their business. So what is the difference between a “credit” and a “charge” card? It is quite simple. The ability to pay over time.
To further confuse things, American Express has a program for their charge cards called “Pay Over Time”. This program essentially changes your charge card into a credit card for large purchases. Here is how Amex describes the benefits:
- No fee to enroll.
- Added flexibility to pay eligible charges over time with interest.
- Simply choose each month to pay in full, the minimum amount due, or anything in between. It’s your choice.
- All eligible charges of $100 or more can be paid over time.
Pay Over Time Formula
Now, let’s tackle the elephant in the room. You should NEVER PAY OVER TIME. NEVER NEVER NEVER.
Actually there is a simple formula that may explain it better:
- Paying over time = Interest
- Interest = Bad
- Paying Over Time = Bad
Remember that credit card debt is evil and paying off your bills in full each month is essential to actually getting any benefit from credit card rewards. So then, why would I enroll two of my American Express OPEN Business card accounts in Pay Over Time? Because they paid me too!
Targeted 10,000 Point Offer
This morning I logged into my Amex Business Platinum account to look for offers and I saw the following:
I have seen this offer covered on blogs before from time to time. Each and every time a link has been posted or someone has talked about it, I haven’t been eligible. Thus, I was excited to see this in my account. Additionally, this is the first time I have seen this type of offer in my Amex Offers section. Naturally I clicked “Learn More”.
Prime + 15%? Ouch! Amex definitely isn’t doing you any favors for paying over time. Still, 10,000 points just for the option works for me. Funny enough, when I clicked to enroll, I noticed that this offer was applicable on my Green Card as well. So I went through and enrolled my Business Platinum card and then the Green Card.
Key Offer Terms
There are of course some terms to this offer. I did manage to save them and I’ll post the key terms below for those of you interested. Notice you can get this offer once on each OPEN account if it is eligible.
1. Offer valid through 11/01/2016. To be eligible to earn Membership Rewards points, you must be enrolled in the Membership Rewards program at the time of enrollment in the Extended Payment Option feature. Only one offer per American Express OPEN Business Card account is permitted, and points will be credited to your account within 6-8 weeks after enrollment is approved. Maximum 10,000 points per account.
2. Card Member must be eligible to enroll in the Extended Payment Option at the time of requesting enrollment. This enrollment offer is only available if you complete the online request for enrollment. The Extended Payment Option is issued by American Express Bank, FSB (“Bank”).
I do not believe I will incur a hard inquiry for this, although I suppose it isn’t guaranteed. Nowhere in the terms did it explicitly state they would check my credit and a search seems to indicate that most/all people who have done this before have reported that their credit wasn’t checked. I also have credit monitoring in place and didn’t receive a notice of an inquiry. I’ll assume no check was run, but will update you if that is wrong for some reason.
American Express is paying me to open up my card to an option to pay over time. I don’t carry credit card balances, but I suppose they hope something will happen where my business needs some time to pay. Nothing is impossible I guess, so why not sign-up for the program considering the generous bonus? Getting the offer on a second account was icing on the cake and I am happy that my Membership Rewards balance is soon to be 20K fatter.
Have you received this or a similar offer on your account? Please let us know in the comments.