Zip (previously Quadpay) is one of several buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) options available to consumers. These services have grown in popularity over the last couple of years. A May 2021 survey from the Mercator Advisory Group predicts the BNPL industry will jump from $55 billion in 2021 to $114 billion in 2024.
Zip’s concept is simple: Make a purchase today and split the payment into four equal interest-free installments. Shoppers can use Zip for both online and in-person shopping. Learn more about how it works and if it’s right for you.
How Does Zip Work?
Zip lets you split any purchase into four payments. Once you download the app and link your payment source (a credit or debit card), you can use Zip to pay for your purchases. Then, Zip bills your payment source four times—one on the date of purchase and three more times every two weeks afterward.
Zip also offers the ability to use an app for in-store and online purchases anywhere Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover are accepted.
Is There a Minimum Purchase Size When Using Zip?
Zip doesn't set a specific minimum purchase amount. Instead, individual merchants can choose to have or adjust the minimum and maximum spending limit that they will accept via Zip.
Is There a Maximum Purchase Size When Using Zip?
Yes. Zip determines what your spending limit is when your application for an account is approved. Depending on the plan, transactions will be denied if they take you over your limit.
For certain purchases, you may be given the option to leave a down payment if the purchase price exceeds your approved limit. So, if the purchase is $150 and you have a $100 limit, Zip may give you the chance to pay $60 upfront.
This brings your balance ($90) down below your limit of $100. The remaining installments would be split into three $30 payments.
Do Products Bought With Zip Ship After First Payment?
Once you complete your transaction, your items will ship the same way they would if you used a different payment method.
Can I Use Zip to Pay Bills?
Yes, if the entity accepts BPAY. However, BPAY is only available for customers with bank accounts in Australia.
Is There a Credit Limit?
Zip gives each user an available balance they can use for any purchase. While there is no limit to the number of items you buy or places you shop, you are limited by how much your available balance is:
- Zip Pay: There's a maximum spending (credit) limit of $350–$1,000. You can request an increase of up to $1,500 six months after your first purchase.
- Zip Money: You can be approved for a limit of $1,000. Additionally, if you apply for a line of credit through a merchant, you might be approved for more than $5,000.
Zip allows you to pay your balance back early to replenish your available balance faster.
Does Zip Affect Your Credit Score?
Your credit score won’t get dinged when you sign up for Zip, but late payments might hurt your credit if the company sends an unpaid bill to collections.
Does Zip Check Credit?
Zip does not use a hard credit check during the approval process, which means your credit score will not be affected when you sign up. However, Zip states that it does use credit-related information in connection with your application and account use.
Does Zip Report Your Activity to Credit Bureaus?
Though some buy-now-pay-later services may help improve your credit, Zip does not report on-time or late payments to credit bureaus. However, your Zip account may be reported to credit bureaus if you don’t make payments and your account goes to collections.
Also, keep in mind that you can use a credit card to pay your Zip balance. Zip bills your credit card, so if you don’t make your credit card payment on time, your credit card issuer may report your late or delinquent payments to the credit bureaus.
On the other hand, your credit card issuer will also likely report on-time payments to the bureaus, which can help build your credit.
Zip notes that accounts go to collections mainly because payment cards on file are expired and can’t be used to make an installment payment. You can keep this from happening by adding a backup card to your Zip account.
What Credit Score Do You Need to Use Zip?
Zip does not list a minimum credit score requirement. Your credit information plays a part in Zip’s application decision, but the company doesn’t share the details of its decision process. This makes it hard to know how much of a role your credit plays in your approval.
Does Zip Charge Interest?
Zip Pay's installment plans are interest-free. If you choose Zip Money instead, there is a promotion for an interest-free three-month period, which changes to a 19.9% APR (annual percentage rate) after the period expires.
Does Zip Charge Fees?
Each time you use the Zip app for a purchase, you will incur a $1 platform fee per installment payment. This means that if you make four payments, you'll pay $4 in platform fees in addition to the price on the tag and taxes. If your payments are late, Zip charges fees of $5, $7, or $10, depending on the state you live in.
Zip Pay and Zip Money both have a monthly account keeping fee of $6, only charged if you have an outstanding balance at the end of the month. Higher credit limits might incur additional fees on outstanding balances with a Zip Money account.
If you use Tap & Zip overseas, the app feature for contactless payment, you'll be charged an additional 1% fee for an international transaction.
Is Zip Safe?
When you sign up, Zip asks for your name, address, date of birth, a U.S. mobile number, and your payment method (either a debit or credit card). Then, when you use the app for a purchase, you get a virtual card number for one-time use. This is a secure way to complete an online transaction since the virtual number is not tied to your actual personal account information.
As far as your finances go, your installment payments are set automatically so you don’t have to remember to pay every two weeks. Just be sure you have the funds to cover your payments and that you have a backup card on file to ensure payments are made on time and your account avoids collections.
Do not save your Zip virtual card as your preferred payment method on any website. Since it’s a virtual card number unique to just one purchase, it won’t work for future transactions.
Stores That Accept Zip
You can use Zip with over 22,000 merchants, including:
- Famous Footwear
- Fashion Nova
- Best Buy
How to Use Zip Online
To use Zip online, you need to access the stores through the app. Search the app to see if the retailer is listed. If you find the store you want, do your shopping as normal within the app, and then click the “Pay with Zip” button at checkout. Zip will generate a virtual card you’ll use to pay for your purchase. Then, you’ll receive the details of how much your payments will be and when they’re due. Once you accept these terms, you’ll enter your virtual card information and complete the payment.
You can see your balance in the app, and the amount will adjust as you make new purchases and payments, just like with a credit card.
How to Use Zip on Amazon
To use Zip on Amazon, you’ll need to access Amazon through the Zip app, just like any other retailer. You’ll have to add a new payment method in the checkout screen and then select “Pay with Zip.” Follow the steps, and the Zip virtual card number should autofill into the Amazon form. Click “Add your card,” and then click through to confirm the payment method and purchase.
How to Use Zip in Stores
You can use Zip for in-store purchases, too. In the app, choose the “In Store” tab (it’s right above your balance). Then, complete the rest of the transaction by requesting enough funds to cover taxes and other fees. Once you agree to the estimated installment plan, you’ll get a virtual card number that you can pay with. You can either provide that information to the merchant or add the card to Apple Pay or Google Pay and use your phone.
Zip's Tap & Zip card is the virtual card on your phone. It is setup when you set up the app. Follow the prompts for adding the card to your digital wallet, and you're done.
How Do Returns Work When Using Zip?
If you need to return merchandise, work with the retailer directly to get your refund. Once it’s initiated, you’ll be reimbursed the amount you’ve paid so far to Zip, and any future installments will be canceled. If you have a remaining balance on the account, Zip will apply the refunded amount toward it.
Zip notes that Fashion Nova is one retailer that may give you a store credit for returns rather than a refund. In that case, you’ll still be responsible for paying the Zip loan.
How Do I Pay Zip?
The debit or credit card you give Zip will pay your installments. Zip does not accept pre-paid cards, PayPal, ACH bank transfers, or money orders as a payment source.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay Zip?
If you fail to pay, Zip will send your account to collections. In this case, you will likely be reported to the credit bureaus.