Booking a flight but don’t have the funds to pay for it right away? You’re not alone. With the rising costs of airfare, many travelers are looking for ways to lock in flight prices now and pay later. The good news is that there are several options that allow you to book a flight first and pay for it at a later date.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Many airlines and online travel agencies like Expedia, Priceline and CheapOair offer pay later flight options through partnerships with lending companies like Affirm, Uplift and Afterpay.
You can book now and split up payments over several months, usually with 0% interest if paid off on time.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about booking flights now and paying later. You’ll learn about different pay later flight programs, fees and eligibility requirements, and tips for getting approved and managing payments.
Types of Pay Later Flight Programs
When it comes to booking a flight and paying later, there are several options available to travelers. These programs offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to secure your flight without having to pay the full amount upfront. Here are the three main types of pay later flight programs:
Airline Payment Plans
Many airlines now offer payment plans that allow customers to book their flights and pay for them in installments. These plans are often interest-free and can be a great option for those who want to spread out the cost of their travel expenses.
With an airline payment plan, you can secure your flight and pay a deposit upfront, with the remaining balance due at a later date. This option is particularly useful for travelers who are booking well in advance and want to lock in their ticket price.
Third-Party Lenders (Affirm, Uplift, Afterpay)
In addition to airline payment plans, there are third-party lenders that specialize in providing travel loans. Companies like Affirm, Uplift, and Afterpay offer financing options specifically tailored to the travel industry.
With these lenders, you can choose your flight, select the pay later option at checkout, and then repay the loan over a set period of time. This allows you to manage your travel expenses more effectively and avoid the burden of paying for your flight all at once.
Another way to book a flight and pay later is by using a credit card. Many credit cards offer promotional offers such as 0% interest for a certain period of time or flexible payment options. By using a credit card with these features, you can charge your flight to the card and then pay off the balance over time.
It’s important to note that this option may come with interest charges if the balance is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period.
It’s worth exploring all of these options to determine which one best suits your needs and financial situation. Remember to read the terms and conditions carefully, including any interest rates or fees associated with the pay later program.
By understanding your payment options, you can secure your flight and start planning your travel without worrying about immediate payment.
Airline and OTA Payment Plan Options
When it comes to booking a flight and paying later, there are several options available through airlines and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). These payment plans can be a great way to secure your travel plans without having to pay the full amount upfront.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular options provided by major airlines and OTAs:
Delta offers a flexible payment plan called “Pay with Miles,” which allows you to use your Delta SkyMiles to cover a portion or all of your ticket cost. This option is available for Delta-operated flights and select partner flights.
It’s a convenient way to use your reward points towards your travel expenses.
United Airlines provides a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option through their partnership with Uplift. This allows you to finance your flight and pay it off in monthly installments. The application process is quick and easy, and you can enjoy the flexibility of spreading out your payments over time.
American Airlines offers a similar payment plan called “Fly Now, Pay Later” in partnership with Affirm. With this option, you can choose a payment plan that suits your budget and pay for your flight over time. It’s a convenient way to manage your travel expenses.
Southwest Airlines does not offer a specific payment plan, but they have a unique feature called “Hold My Fare.” This allows you to reserve your flight at the quoted price for up to 72 hours. During this time, you can make your payment and confirm your booking.
It’s a great way to secure your desired flight while you finalize your travel plans.
Alaska Airlines provides a convenient option called “Fly now, Pay later” through their partnership with Affirm. This allows you to split the cost of your flight into easy monthly payments. It’s a flexible way to manage your travel expenses and book your flights without any immediate financial burden.
Frontier Airlines offers a payment plan called “Buy Now, Pay Later” in partnership with Affirm. This option allows you to finance your flight and pay it off over time with easy monthly payments. It’s a convenient way to book your flights and manage your budget.
Spirit Airlines does not offer a specific payment plan, but they have a unique feature called “Hold My Fare.” This allows you to reserve your flight at the quoted price for up to 24 hours. During this time, you can make your payment and confirm your booking.
It’s a great way to secure your desired flight while you finalize your travel plans.
Expedia, one of the largest OTAs, offers a “Book Now, Pay Later” option for select flights and hotels. This allows you to reserve your travel arrangements without making an immediate payment. You can pay later at a convenient time within the specified timeframe.
It’s a flexible option for those who want to secure their bookings without upfront payment.
Priceline also provides a “Book Now, Pay Later” option for select flights. This allows you to reserve your flight without immediate payment and pay later within the specified timeframe. It’s a convenient way to secure your travel plans and manage your budget effectively.
CheapOair offers a “Book Now, Pay Later” option for select flights and hotels. This allows you to reserve your travel arrangements without making an immediate payment. You can pay later within the specified timeframe. It’s a great way to secure your bookings and manage your travel expenses.
These payment plan options provided by airlines and OTAs offer flexibility and convenience when it comes to booking your flights and managing your travel expenses. Whether you choose to use reward points, finance your flight, or reserve your booking without immediate payment, these options can make your travel planning process a lot smoother.
How Pay Later Flight Programs Work
Pay later flight programs offer a convenient option for travelers who want to book a flight immediately but prefer to pay for it at a later date. These programs allow you to secure your flight booking without having to make an upfront payment, giving you more flexibility with your travel plans.
Here’s a breakdown of how these programs typically work:
Before you can take advantage of a pay later flight program, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the program and the airline, but typically include factors such as your credit score, income level, and employment status.
Airlines may also consider your travel history and previous payment record when determining your eligibility.
Fees and Interest Rates
When you choose to pay for your flight later, you may be subject to additional fees or interest rates. These fees and rates can vary between different programs and airlines, so it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions before committing to a pay later option.
Some programs may charge a flat fee for using their pay later service, while others may charge interest on the outstanding balance.
Pay later flight programs typically offer flexible payment schedules, allowing you to spread out the cost of your flight over a set period of time. The length of the payment schedule will depend on the program and the airline, but it can range from a few weeks to several months.
It’s important to make note of the payment due dates and ensure that you have sufficient funds available to make each payment on time.
It’s essential to understand the cancellation policies associated with pay later flight programs. While these programs offer flexibility in terms of payment, they may have strict cancellation policies in place. If you need to cancel your booking, you may be subject to cancellation fees or penalties.
Be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions regarding cancellations before finalizing your booking.
Tips for Getting Approved and Managing Payments
When booking a flight and opting to pay later, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get approved for a payment plan and effectively manage your payments. Here are some important considerations:
Check Your Credit Score and History
Before applying for a payment plan, it’s important to check your credit score and history. Lenders often consider these factors when approving payment plans. If you have a good credit score, it increases your chances of getting approved for a flexible payment option.
On the other hand, if your credit score is not ideal, don’t worry! Some airlines and booking platforms offer payment plans that cater to individuals with lower credit scores.
Compare Payment Plans
Not all payment plans are created equal. It’s important to compare the different options available to you before making a decision. Look for plans that offer low or no interest rates, flexible payment terms, and reasonable fees.
Some airlines even offer installment plans that allow you to spread your payments over a few months without any extra charges.
Understand All Fees Upfront
When booking a flight and paying later, it’s crucial to understand all the fees associated with your payment plan. Some plans may have upfront fees, late payment penalties, or other charges. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and ask any questions you may have before finalizing your booking.
This will help you avoid any surprises or additional expenses down the line.
Set Payment Reminders
To stay on top of your payments, it’s a good idea to set payment reminders. This can be done through your phone’s calendar or using specialized financial management apps. By setting reminders, you’ll ensure that you don’t miss any payment deadlines and avoid any unnecessary fees or penalties.
Pay Off Full Balance Early If Possible
If you have the means to do so, it’s always a good idea to pay off your full balance early. This will not only help you avoid any interest charges or additional fees but also improve your credit score.
By paying off your balance early, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your flight is fully paid for and you won’t have any outstanding debt.
By following these tips, you can navigate the process of booking a flight and paying later with ease. Remember to be responsible with your payments and enjoy the flexibility and convenience that comes with this option!
The Pros and Cons of Pay Later Flight Bookings
Booking a flight and paying later can be a convenient option for travelers who may not have the funds readily available at the time of booking. This payment option allows them to secure their flight without having to make a full payment upfront.
However, like any other financial arrangement, there are pros and cons to consider before opting for a pay later flight booking.
- Flexibility: Pay later flight bookings offer flexibility in terms of payment. Travelers can reserve their flights without having to pay the full amount upfront, making it easier to manage their finances.
- Emergency Situations: Pay later options can be a lifesaver in case of emergencies. If you need to book a last-minute flight due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a family emergency or a sudden business trip, paying later can provide you with the necessary flexibility.
- Convenience: Pay later flight bookings eliminate the need to search for immediate funds or credit availability. It allows travelers to secure their flights quickly and conveniently.
- Financial Planning: Pay later options can be useful for those who prefer to plan their finances in advance. By booking a flight and paying later, travelers can allocate their funds for other important expenses and pay for their flight at a later date.
- Interest Charges: One of the downsides of pay later flight bookings is the potential for interest charges. Depending on the payment plan and provider, travelers may incur additional fees and interest on the outstanding amount, which can increase the overall cost of the flight.
- Limited Options: Not all airlines or travel agencies offer pay later options. This means that travelers may have limited choices when it comes to selecting their flights. It’s essential to research and find reputable providers that offer this payment option.
- Missed Payments: Failure to make timely payments can result in penalties or even cancellation of the flight booking. It’s crucial for travelers to stay organized and ensure that they make payments on time to avoid any disruptions to their travel plans.
- Financial Responsibility: Pay later flight bookings require travelers to take on the responsibility of managing their payments effectively. It’s essential to keep track of payment due dates and ensure that sufficient funds are available to make the payments when they are due.
While pay later flight bookings offer convenience and flexibility, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons before opting for this payment option. Assess your financial situation, compare the terms and conditions of different providers, and make an informed decision that aligns with your travel plans and budget.
Pay later flight booking options allow you to lock in flight prices and dates now, while giving you the flexibility to make payments over time. Just be sure to compare plans, understand all fees, and pay off balances early if possible to avoid interest charges.
With a little planning, booking flights now and paying later can make air travel more accessible and affordable.