Fly Now Pay Later: What to Know

In general, it's better to plan travel that you can pay for upfront — interest on travel loans can be quite high.
JT Genter
By JT Genter 

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Whether you're taking a long-awaited vacation or need to book travel urgently for an emergency, you may not currently have all of the funds necessary to book a trip. Enter a service like Fly Now Pay Later that lets you "buy now, pay later" for flights, hotels and other travel expenses.

But you may be wondering how Fly Now Pay Later works or if it's legit. Let's dive into the details and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the deferred-payment service.

What is Fly Now Pay Later?

Not to be confused with a general term for deferring travel costs, Fly Now Pay Later is a company offering services that allow you to spread the cost of your vacation over time. After you are approved, Fly Now Pay Later will pay for the travel upfront and charge you monthly installments. You can choose to split up the cost of your trip over a time period of up to 12 months.

At the time of writing, the interest rate on these installments is between a 9.99% and 29.99% annual percentage rate, depending on your credit.

You can use Fly Now Pay Later to pay for all types of travel expenses. You can buy now and pay later for:

  • Attractions.

  • Cruises.

  • Flights.

  • Hotels.

  • Vacation packages.

Who can use Fly Now Pay Later?

U.S. residents hoping to use Fly Now Pay Later must be 18 or older. If you reside in Alabama and Nebraska, you must be at least 19 years old. You'll also need a debit card and a mobile phone with a U.S. number, as the Fly Now Pay Later service is currently only available through its app. You'll also need a driver's license or passport to verify your identity.

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A debit card is the only accepted form of payment for Fly Now Pay Later.

You’ll also need to undergo a soft credit check, which doesn't affect your score. Fly Now Pay Later doesn’t disclose its credit score requirements. But it recommends checking your score before applying, so you may want to double-check your credit profile for any mistakes and make sure your credit accounts aren’t frozen in order to be eligible.

In addition to being available to United States residents, Fly Now Pay Later is also currently available to residents of the United Kingdom and Germany.

How does Fly Now Pay Later work?

To start using Fly Now Pay Later, you'll need to download the app and set up an account. As part of setting up a new account, Fly Now Pay Later will run a credit check to determine your eligibility, interest rate and credit limit. Then you can use the app to find the flights, hotels or travel packages you wish to book.

Depending on which airline or hotel you want, you may be able to book the trip directly through the app. For example, you can buy now and pay later for flights with American Airlines, United, Qatar Airways or TAP Portugal through the app. For other travel purchases, you'll be issued a virtual card that you can use to pay for the travel expenses.

After making your travel purchase or during the process of issuing the travel card, Fly Now Pay Later will prompt you to choose the number of installments you want to pay. You can spread the cost of your trip across — and up to — 12 months.

Your first installment is due one month from the date your account was set up, and subsequent payments will be taken on the same day each month after that. However, you can change your payment date by contacting Fly Now Pay Later customer support.

Is Fly Now Pay Later legit?

Fly Now Pay Later is legit. Its payment options are provided by Pay Later Financial Services Inc. in partnership with an FDIC member bank Cross River Bank.

Fly Now Pay Later mostly receives positive reviews from customers, carrying a 4.2 Trustpilot rating. However, negative reviews of Fly Now Pay Later focus on the difficulty of contacting a representative when something goes wrong and also on issues using Fly Now Pay Later's virtual payment card to book directly with travel providers.

Downsides to Fly Now Pay Later

Using Fly Now Pay Later may sound appealing. After all, you only have to pay a deposit now to book your travel. However, there are several downsides to using Fly Now Pay Later — and similar deferred travel payment plans:

  • High interest rates: At the time of writing, Fly Now Pay Later charges between 9.99% and 29.99% APR on installments. You may be able to pay a lower interest rate by using a low- or no-interest credit card instead of Fly Now Pay Later for your purchase. Other BNPL options, including Uplift, could offer as low as 0% APR for certain eligible applicants.

  • A credit check is required: As part of the process of setting up an account, Fly Now Pay Later checks your credit to determine what interest rate to charge.

  • Requirement to use the app: Fly Now Pay Later has a splashy, well-designed website. However, you can't actually use the service on the website. Instead, you have to download and use the Fly Now Pay Later app.

  • Issues booking with the virtual card: For some types of travel expenses, Fly Now Pay Later issues travelers a virtual card that they then can use to book travel with a travel provider. Some travelers report having their virtual card declined by travel providers.

  • Lack of travel protections: You won't get travel protections offered by travel rewards credit cards — such as trip delay insurance, delayed baggage insurance, and trip cancellation insurance.

  • No rewards on travel purchases: As you'll be paying a travel provider through Fly Now Pay Later, you won't earn any rewards on the purchase. Additionally, Fly Now Pay Later only accepts payments through debit cards. So, you won't earn rewards when paying your balance unless you use a debit card that earns rewards.

Is Fly Now Pay Later worth it?

Fly Now Pay Later is an appealing service for avoiding having to pay your travel expenses immediately. Just note that there are several downsides to doing so — everything from having to pay interest to losing out on credit card rewards and travel protections.

If you're OK with these tradeoffs and don't have a better alternative, using Fly Now Pay Later can be a good option. Just make sure to set realistic payment goals to balance minimizing interest and avoiding late payment fees.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

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