American Express has two types of cards to offer – credit cards and charge cards. You may have used their credit cards that come with a credit limit. You have to pay interest if you don’t repay the balance in full every month. Charge cards are different, and the American Express Pay Over Time is one of their charge cards.


This is a program Amex customers with charge cards can use. The program offers you the benefits to confidently make purchases, knowing you can pay back the amount over time like with credit cards. In short, the program lets your charge card function as a credit card where the balance amount is carried to the next month.

In other words, it’s more a program that lets you extend your payment by a few months and not a few years. It is better to use the program to cover short term time situations where you won’t be able to fully pay off your bill.

What is American Express Pay Over Time and How Does it Work?

American Express Pay Over Time is one of Amex’s charge cards which gives you a chance to earn rewards. Charge cardholders can use the card to make purchases over some time. They have to make a payment towards the pending balance amount at the end of the period. This is usually on a monthly basis.

However, unlike credit cards, not everyone can get the benefits of a Pay Over Timecard. It’s Amex who first makes a 10,000 bonus offer to their targeted customers for enrollment. These points are worth a considerable amount of money, about $200, tempting anyone to enroll for the card!

This targeted bonus amount offer may vary and is released from time to time. You, however, don’t have to use it just because you want the bonus. While the bonus may seem lucrative, remember that you have to pay the balance in full at the end of every month. The points accrued through the cards are not worth the interest amount you have to pay to get them!

You get a confirmation email once you are approved or otherwise endorsed. This email tells you your Pay Over time limit and interest rate. The interest rate is relatively high and can range anywhere between 14-25%.  This means that if you have to carry a balance on a card, it’s better to look for a 0% APR credit card. These cards don’t charge interest, which saves you lots of money.


But you may get some special promotional APR rates which give you a reason to use the Pay Over Time system. It, however, is safe if you know you can make a payment towards the entire balance amount by month-end. Remember, you have to pay interest only if you carry a balance to the month.

American Express charges a variable interest for any unpaid balances. However, the good news or benefit is that there are no late fees apply if you pay the minimal amount. Besides,  the system has its perks. It gives you a lot of flexibility in paying your eligible charges over time.

You can make payments either in full, only the minimum amount due or any amount in between the minimal and full amounts. It’s recommended to make a full payment because interest accrues only if there is a balance at the end of the month.

You can find out if you are a target customer for the promotion by:

  • Checking for American Express emails. The subject will usually be something like ‘Congratulations (xxx0 You’ve been selected to enroll in a Flexible Payment Option’ or “Congratulations Card Member. You’ve been selected to enroll in a Flexible Payment Option on your Card’.
  • Checking your physical mail for American Express mailers.
  • You know you are not targeted when you receive a message stating that no cards are presently eligible for enrollment.

 Eligible Purchases

Most purchases made are eligible. It’s usually charges of $100 or more that are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance every month. You can make a payment towards the balance by the end of the month. There are some accounts where the eligible charges are equal to, or more than $200, $500 or $1000. There however are some terms and conditions set by American Express about eligibility to follow.

The payment of $100 or more should be approved by Amex. Some charges are considered ineligible for Pay Over Time. They include express cash and cash advances, casino and other gambling transactions, Travelers Cheques and other cash equivalents and any pending American Express fees, except for foreign transaction fees.

It’s not possible to charge a purchase to your Pay Over Time balance if it makes your balance exceed your Pay Over Time limit. You can check your account dashboard to know your limit.

Different types of Pay Over Time


There are a total of three different Pay Over Time programs to choose from. They are:

Pay Over Time Direct

According to this option, all eligible charges of $100 or more is automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance. You can choose how you plan to make a payment towards balance over time. You have the choice of paying the minimum amount that’s due, the full monthly balance or any amount in between.

Pay Over Time Select

As the name suggests, Pay Over Time Select lets you manually choose and add the eligible charges of $100 or more to your Pay Over Time balance. You then just have to pay the minimum amount due. Of course, if possible, you may pay the entire amount due too or any amount in between.

Pay Over Time Travel

Amex’s Pay Over Time Travel lets you pay all eligible travel-related expenses to be paid over time. These eligible charges can be of any amount, as long as it’s designated by American Express as travel related.

This includes payments made for airline tickets, hotel stays, cruises, car rentals, and foreign country charges. The charges are automatically moved to your Pay Over Time balance.

Eligible Cards

You may be eligible for the Pay Over Time system and its benefits if you have the following cards:

·       Platinum Card from American Express

·       American Express Gold Card

·       Business Platinum Card from American Express

·       Business Green Rewards Card from American Express

·       Premier Rewards Gold Card

·       Business Gold Rewards Card

Other charge cards are ineligible. You can log into the Amex site or mobile app for more information about eligible cards, benefits, and your limits and balances.

It is interesting to know that it is not your credit-score that determines if you will be sent an invitation. The cards are generally considered to be eligible only after they have been open for three billing cycles.

In other words, it is how you spend, and how long you have maintained your Amex account that is considered.  As long as you have not had a massive drain your credit-score, you need not worry about your credit score much. Besides, the benefit of paying overtime isn’t automatic for everyone who has an eligible card. Amex is the final authority on determining your eligibility.


What is your American Express Pay Over Time Limit?

You have to check your monthly billing statement to learn about your available limit. Amex can, however, get generous at times when it comes to your limit. There have been cases where cardholders have had limits of up to $35,000. Just remember that this limit applies to all charge cards and not only to individual cards.

Amex, however, has the authority to increase or reduce your limit once they get accustomed to how you spend. They, however, will inform you if any changes are made. Besides, any charges that lead to your total balance amount exceeding your Pay Over Time limit has to be paid in full.

Can you Pay Over Time with Amex Gold?

No, it’s not possible to Pay Over Time with this card. This is because the card has the embedded benefit to Pay Over Time.

How to Sign Up for Pay over Time?

No one can just opt to sign up for Pay over Time. You have to be first invited for it by American Express, and even be approved or otherwise endorsed for it.

The rule that Amex generally follows is to select people who have been using their charge cards for a fixed period. It’s usually a few months, about 6 months. This is when they extend an invitation or may even approve of you when you make an application.

There are some rare cases where you may be able to enroll in American Express Pay Over Time much quicker than 6 months. If you are lucky, you may not even have spent much on your AmexCard for eligibility. This is a situation where YMMV, which is the acronym for Your Mileage May Vary, is applicable.

This varies based on each cardholder’s terms and conditions, absence of clear-cut approval requirements or if the offer is available for a short time to selected people. The best way to find out if you are an eligible candidate is by visiting the Amex website. There have been cases where Amex has automatically endorsed and enrolled some people into the program. So keep checking because you never know when you may be one of the lucky few!


The Pay Over Time program is indeed a great way to earn rewards. So keep watching your email because you never know when you may get invited to join the program. The program lets you make purchases that you can pay over a fixed period.

There is no need to worry about paying interest as long as you pay the entire amount at the end of the month. In fact, American Express Pay Over Time is a great credit option if you are financially stretched one month, and need emergency funds. This is better than taking the risk of falling into credit card debt because it’s cheaper.