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Afterpay is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) app that is great for those looking for a convenient and easy way to pay in installments. There is no credit check required to use Afterpay and payments are interest-free. However, those who struggle to pay their bills on time should reconsider using this app because it does come with late fees.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
No credit impact
Wide network of retailers
Easy to use
Late payment fees
Can’t use it to build credit
25% of purchase price is due at checkout
Small initial spending limit
Can encourage impulse spending
- Afterpay is a BNPL service that offers four interest-free installment payments due every two weeks. The first payment is due at the time of purchase, and the minimum purchase amount is $35.
- Afterpay charges late fees that start at $8 and are capped at 25% of the order value.
- Afterpay can be used at more than 74,000 retailers in the U.S. including Sephora, GAP, Lululemon, and Anthropologie.
- Credit Limit $150 on first use, $1,000 after you demonstrate responsible use
- Amount Due at Purchase ~25% of the purchase price
- Number of Installments 4 installments over 6 weeks
- Interest No interest
- Credit Check Required No credit check required
- Minimum Credit Score None
- Reports On-Time Payments to Credit Bureaus Doesn’t report
- Late Fees Start at $8 and capped at 25% of the order value
- Other Financing Products No other products offered
- Company Website https://www.afterpay.com/en-US
Afterpay is an Australian-based BNPL app that allows customers to pay off their purchases using interest-free installment payments. We reviewed several Afterpay features including available repayment terms, interest rates, and fees to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Afterpay is a BNPL app that was launched in 2015 in Sydney, Australia, and has expanded across Australia, the U.S., Canada, the UK (where it is called Clearpay), and New Zealand with millions of global customers and thousands of retail partners.
As of 2021, Afterplay is looking to expand across the European market into countries like Spain and Italy.
Afterpay’s mission is to help its customers create financial freedom through responsible spending and prevent customers from getting deep into debt. Thus, Afterpay starts customers off with a small credit limit that increases based on a history of responsible use. If a customer misses a payment with Afterpay, they won’t be able to use Afterpay again until all of their payments are taken care of.
How It Works
Afterpay is an app that allows eligible shoppers to make a purchase and pay for it at a later time. You can split your payments into four equal, interest-free installments. The first payment is due at the time of checkout, and you then have six weeks to pay the remaining balance.
You can use Afterpay online at checkout or in a store. To use Afterpay in-store, you must create a digital Afterpay card on the app. This card can be added to Apple Pay or Google Pay which enables you to use your mobile wallet app to make your purchase. The Afterpay app can also be used to check your balance and the timeline for when your next payment is due.
There is no formal application process to open an Afterpay account. You simply need to register with the service at the time of purchase.
Afterpay does not require a soft or hard credit check for approval and there is no minimum credit score. However, you must be 18 years of age to open an account (and 19 in Alabama or if you are a ward of the state of Nebraska). You must also provide a valid email address, phone number, and mailing address and be a resident of the U.S. residing within one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
When determining which orders are approved, Afterpay considers several factors including how long you have shopped with Afterpay and the number of orders you have successfully repaid. To increase your chances of getting approved, Afterpay encourages customers to consider the following:
- If they have sufficient funds on their card
- How long they’ve used Afterpay, as there is a stricter approval process during the first six weeks
- How much of their balance is left to repay
- The cost of the order they’re trying to place
Be aware that Afterpay does not approve 100% of orders.
Afterpay does not impact your credit score since it doesn’t require a credit check and doesn’t report late payments to any credit bureaus.
Interest and Fees
Afterpay does not charge any interest or upfront fees. However, it does charge late fees and if you aren’t careful, they can be expensive. Late fees start at $8 and are capped at 25% of the order value. If you miss a payment, it will affect your future spending limits (i.e., they might be lowered). Additionally, your account will be suspended until all of the late payments are made.
If you want to pay your balance before your payment deadline, this is fine as Afterpay does not charge prepayment fees.
Mobile App: Highly Rated
The Afterpay mobile app can be downloaded for free from the Apple or Google Play stores. After downloading, you can set up your Afterpay Card which can then be added to your Apple Wallet or Google Wallet. When you are ready to make a purchase with Afterpay, simply activate your Afterpay Card in the app and follow the directions to add the card to your Google Pay or Apple Wallet.
The Afterpay app is highly rated by users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. As of June 2021, Afterpay has a 4.9 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store with 619,800 ratings, and on the Google Play Store, it holds a 4.8 out of 5-star rating with 113,327 reviews.
If you need to get in touch with Afterpay to discuss refunds, payments, or account management, or if you’re a merchant who needs assistance, Afterpay customer service is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT as well as Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT. To speak with a customer service representative you can call 855-289-6014.
If you don’t need to speak directly with someone, you can also get in touch with Afterpay by sending them a message via the website. You will be taken to a page where you can choose from a series of help options including:
- Help with refund/return
- Help with payments or hardship support
- Help with login or managing account
- Merchant help
- How Afterpay works
- Closing your account
- Verify ID
- Unauthorized transaction or activity
- Reduce spending amount
Each option will take you to a pre-formatted form where you can fill in personal details and write a note about your issue. You are also able to upload any relevant attachments.
If you have a complaint, you can fill out a complaint form on the website as well as upload an attachment to your complaint form.
Afterpay also has several resources in its help center that can answer customers' questions.
Customer Satisfaction: A Great Experience
Third-party reviews indicate that customers love how easy the Afterpay app is to use. It is convenient and makes shopping incredibly easy. Plus, shoppers enjoy the variety of stores and products available in the Afterpay network. Users appreciate the ability to break up their payments so they can better manage their monthly expenses and make purchases affordable. Customers also value the friendly payment reminders they receive a couple of days before their payments are due.
The main customer complaints stem from refunds as there seems to be some confusion about where refunds come from. While customers believe that Afterpay is responsible for returning the money for refunds, Afterpay consistently states that it is the responsibility of the merchant to issue refunds. Afterpay says that they pay merchants upfront and in full for approved orders so it is then up to the merchant to repay customers for any refunded items.
To avoid a frustrating interaction with customer service, read Afterpay’s Installment Agreement where you can learn about everything from the details of your installment agreement to Afterpay’s refund policy.
As of June 2021, Afterpay does not offer any other financial services.
How Afterpay Compares to Other Buy-Now-Pay-Later-Apps
Afterpay can be a great BNPL app for people with bad credit because it doesn’t require a credit check for pre-approval. While some other BNPL apps such as Splitit also don’t call for a credit check, many others require at least a soft credit check for approval.
Afterpays payment terms which require customers to pay in four installments are comparable to many other BNPL apps including Zip (formerly Quadpay) and Sezzle, but other BNPL apps offer longer-term financing options. A great feature of Afterpay is that it doesn’t charge any interest. However, this feature is also shared by several other BNPL apps including Splitit and Sezzle.
Afterpay does charge late fees for missed payments but not all BNPL apps do. If you want to avoid late fees, check out BNPL apps such as Affirm which do not charge for late payments.
When it comes to choosing a BNPL app, Afterpay is comparable to its competitors. However, the BNPL app that is the right fit for you will depend on your specific needs.
Afterpay vs. Affirm
Both Afterpay and Affirm offer customers the ability to make a purchase now and pay later and have a large retailer network, but these companies also have some notable differences. While Afterpay is more careful about offering a large credit limit to customers, Affirm offers a credit limit of $17,500 (or more).
Another key difference is in the amount of money that is due at the time of purchase. While Afterpay requires 25% of the purchase price at the time of checkout, Affirm doesn’t require any money to be paid initially. And when it comes to repayment terms, Afterpay splits payments up over a six-week period while Affirm provides a variety of repayment timelines: three, six, or 12 months.
With Afterpay, there are no interest payments. Affirm, on the other hand, does charge interest on some of its plans with rates that range from 0% to 30% based on factors like credit score, payment history, and how long you've held an Affirm account. On the other hand, Afterpay comes with late charges which start at $8 and can go as high as 25% of your purchase price. Affirm does not charge any late fees.
Ultimately, Afterpay is the better choice due to its extensive network of retailers and zero interest, plus it does not impact your credit score.
|Credit Limit||$150 for initial use, $1,000 after demonstration of responsible use||$50 to $17,500+|
|Amount Due at Purchase||~25% of the purchase price||$0|
|Repayment Terms||Payments due in four installments over six weeks; first payment due at checkout||Variable; usually 3,6, or 12 months|
|Interest||0%||0% to 30% APR|
|Credit Impact||No credit impact||Soft to pre-qualify; some loan payments may be reported to a credit bureau (Experian)|
|Minimum Credit Score||No min credit score||Not available|
|Late Fees||Start at $8; maximum of 25% of purchase price||None|
|Number of Retailers||74,000+||11,500+|
|Standout Feature||No interest payments||With responsible use, may be used to improve credit score|
In general, customers find the Afterpay app easy to use and love its convenience. Afterpay provides a straightforward payment plan that allows customers to split their payments into four equal installments over six weeks. Those who can make their payments on time to avoid late payments are good candidates to take advantage of the 0% interest rate. However, those looking for a high credit limit or longer financing terms should check out a different BNPL app.
All of our reviews of buy now, pay later companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s credit options, fees, and overall availability. To rate Afterpay, we developed a buy now, pay later app review methodology that compares credit options offered, repayment terms, interest rates, mobile app features, and borrower requirements to help us provide insights into the user experience.