If you need to make a large purchase on Amazon, you may wonder how you’ll afford it. If you don’t have credit cards or don’t want to use them, but don’t have the cash saved up, what should you do?
Amazon Monthly Payments may be an option for some. The plan isn’t available on all products, and not everyone is eligible. Understanding how to find eligible Amazon monthly payments products and how you can become eligible can help you determine if it’s right for you.
What is Amazon Monthly Payments?
Amazon Monthly Payments is a program for certain products, allowing you to pay in installments rather than paying the full amount upfront. It’s available on certain products and for certain customers – not everyone is eligible.
Amazon adds new products to its Monthly Payments option often, with hundreds of products now available. Amazon offers the option selectively based on your Amazon purchase history and the price of the product.
How Does it Work?
If Amazon Monthly Payments is available to you and the product you’re buying, you’ll see ‘Monthly Payments’ on the product’s page or when you checkout.
If you already have a Monthly Payments account outstanding, it may limit your opportunity to get it again. It depends on your payment and purchase history and varies by customer.
The Down Payment
To use the Monthly Payments option, you’ll make a down payment. The amount you must put down depends on the item’s price, as well as tax and shipping charges. You must pay all ‘fees’ upfront along with the initial down payment which is the monthly payment amount you’ll pay for the remainder of the installment period.
The down payment is charged when the item ships. For example, if you buy the item today, but it ships in 3 days, your payment method will be charged in 3 days.
The total cost of the item is split equally into installment payments. For example, if you are eligible for 6-month installment payment, your cost would be equally divided among 6 payments with the first being your down payment and the remaining 5 due in equal increments.
You must have an eligible payment method on record with Amazon. They will automatically charge the amount to your chosen payment method on each due date. You must always have an eligible payment method on record.
If Amazon tries to charge your primary payment method and it doesn’t go through, they’ll charge your backup payment method. As a part of the agreement you sign, you commit to keeping a valid form of payment on record at least 20 days after your last payment so they are always able to charge you for the installment payment.
When do you Make Payments?
Like we said earlier, your first payment is made when the item ships. You’ll get a notification from Amazon that it shipped and that is when your card gets charged for the first installment.
From there, you’ll make your remaining payments every 30 days. Most payment plans are for 5 months, so they are as follows:
- 1st payment on the shipment date
- 2nd payment 30 days after the shipment date
- 3rd payment 60 days after the shipment date
- 4th payment 90 days after the shipment date
- 5th payment 120 days after the shipment date
What if you Don’t Pay?
If you don’t pay your installment payments, Amazon has the right to take measures to rectify the situation. This could include deactivating your Amazon account and/or deactivating your ability to access any Amazon content on devices purchased with a Monthly Payment plan.
Does Amazon Charge Interest?
Amazon does not charge interest on its Monthly Payment Plan. The amount you pay in total is equal to the total cost of the product including shipping and taxes. However, if you use a credit card to make the payments and you don’t pay the balance in full, the amount you charged could be subject to interest (not from Amazon).
What Items are Eligible?
Amazon changes the products eligible for their Monthly Payments plan often and it’s impossible to narrow them down in one place, but here are a few examples of products you can buy and pay interest-free over time.
Kitchen appliances can get costly, but Amazon makes it easy to afford some of the most wanted products including the following:
- Nostalgia Popcorn Cart – Regular price $250 or 5 monthly payments of $50
- Ninja Air Fryer – Regular Price $349.99 or 5 monthly payments of $70
Laptops are a necessity, especially if you work from home or are a student, but they can get costly. Amazon makes it easy to afford them with monthly payments like the following:
- HP 15-inch Laptop – Regular price $532.48 or 5 monthly payments of $106.50
- Lenovo Chromebook – Regular price $200.62 or 5 monthly payments of $40.13
Exercise equipment can make it a lot easier to work out at home rather than belonging to a gym. Many of the exercise equipment products Amazon sells is eligible for monthly payments including:
- Horizon Fitness Treadmill – Regular price $699.99 or 5 monthly payments of $140
- Schwinn Elliptical – Regular price $799.99 or 5 monthly payments of $159.80
It’s easy to spot the items that are eligible for monthly payments once you search for a product or category. As you scroll through the available items, you’ll see the regular price or the monthly payment price. You must be logged into your Prime account to see this option though.
Who is Eligible for Amazon Monthly Payments?
It’s not hard to become eligible for Amazon monthly payments, but not everyone is eligible. The good news is they don’t check your credit so it’s not dependent on that. Instead, it depends on how often you shop at Amazon along with the following criteria:
- You must be a US citizen
- You must have had an Amazon account for at least 12 months
- You must have a good history on Amazon
- You must have a valid credit card linked to your account
How your Credit is Affected by Amazon Monthly Payments
Because Amazon doesn’t check your credit or report your payment history to the credit bureaus, your Amazon payment plan is not a part of your credit history. This means future creditors won’t know you have the payment plan, and it won’t count against your debt ratio when you try to apply for other loans.
Keep in mind, though, if you don’t make your payments as promised, Amazon can take action against you. Even though it won’t hurt your credit, it can hurt in other ways. Plus, if you don’t make your payments to your credit card that Amazon charged the payments to, it could hurt your credit since most credit card companies report to the credit bureaus.
What if you’re Not Eligible?
Not everyone is eligible for Amazon Monthly Payments, but that can change. Like we said earlier, they base your eligibility on your purchase history. If it’s been a while since you shopped on Amazon or you didn’t make good on a payment, rectify the situation.
Make small, frequent purchases on Amazon to boost your ratings again and make sure you make all payments required right away.
If you think you should be eligible and are not, you can reach out to customer service to find out the reason. Sometimes it’s a mistake and other times, Amazon customer service can give you more insight into the reason.
Alternatives to Amazon Monthly Payments
If you aren’t eligible for Amazon Monthly Payments or can’t afford the amount, an alternative is an Amazon Credit Card. You’ll need good credit to get approved for the card, though, as this is a credit card and not just an installment plan through Amazon.
If you’re approved, you’ll receive 5% cashback on all Amazon purchases. That’s $5 for every $100 you spend at Amazon. Good credit customers may also get an offer for 0% introductory financing for 6 – 18 months. This can help if you’re making a large purchase, but make sure you’re able to pay it off before the 0% APR expires or the interest will accrue at the regular rate.
Amazon Monthly Payments can help you afford products you can’t pay for in full and don’t want to pay interest on if you charged it on a credit card.
Not everyone is eligible, but it’s not hard to become eligible. First, you must be an active Amazon shopper and have a good payment history. They don’t check your credit, so it’s easy to qualify for and it can help you afford more expensive items.
Don’t get in over your head in debt, though. Make sure you can comfortably afford the 5 monthly payments and that you won’t incur interest on the payments because they’ll sit on your credit card with only the minimum payment made. When done right, Amazon Monthly Payments can be a great way to afford the items you need or want!