Buy Now, Pay Later Plans vs. Credit Cards – Which Is Better?

You are currently viewing Buy Now, Pay Later Plans vs. Credit Cards – Which Is Better?

WealthWire is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers.

Two different ways to get items now and pay for them later, which is king?

Have you ever wanted to buy something but couldn’t justify shelling out the cash? It’s human nature to want instant gratification, getting what we want now and avoiding paying until later. 

Credit cards have traditionally allowed us to do this by charging the account, allowing you to wait and pay when it’s due. But now there are many companies that offer buy now, pay later plans (BNPL) so people can stretch their payments in smaller installments. 

Here is our breakdown of BNPL vs. credit cards — consider these factors before making your next big purchase! 

Buy Now, Pay Later

BNPL plans are a type of financing option that allows consumers to purchase items and pay for them at a later date in installments. There usually aren’t any upfront payments or interest charges. These plans are typically offered by online retailers and can be used to purchase a wide range of products, including clothing, electronics, and home goods.

One of the main advantages of BNPL plans is that they allow consumers to make purchases they wouldn’t be able to afford upfront. However, it’s important for consumers to be mindful of the terms and conditions of BNPL plans so you understand the potential risks and costs associated with them. 

Some BNPL plans come with high fees or interest rates. This can make the plans more expensive than other financing options. It’s also important to make sure that you can afford the payments and pay the balance in full by the agreed-upon date to avoid any late fees or damage to your credit score.

If you are looking for a BNPL provider, we recommend you check out Klarna. Many people are financing all sorts of items – just be sure to stay on track with payments. 

Credit Card

When buying an expensive item, many people turn to credit cards because they make it easier to pay a large cost upfront while making smaller payments over time. The pros of using a credit card include rewards like cash-back or points, plus it helps increase your credit score. 

If you are looking for a new credit card, check out the tool below. You are able to get pre-approvals for the top credit cards and get matched with the card that best fits your needs.

So Which Is Better?

When it comes to buying an item and paying for it in the future, it all depends on what you’re looking for. BNPL plans usually make more sense when you’re buying an item that takes more time to pay off, you want a fixed payoff plan, and you don’t want it on your credit card. 

Paying with a credit card makes more sense if you’re looking to earn rewards on your purchase, you can pay off the statement balance within a month, or want to build your credit. 

Bottom Line

BNPLs and credit cards are both great options to purchase items and pay for them later. We recommend checking out Klarna when purchasing an item you want to put under a BNPL plan.

When purchasing items to pay off later, be sure to stay current on all payments. Not paying on time will tank your credit score and result in harsh penalties. Do your research before signing up, and happy shopping!