Affirm's buy now, pay later technology is now available through Amazon Pay in the US, the online retail giant said Wednesday. Merchants can add the Affirm option to their Amazon Pay button so customers can choose BNPL, short for buy now, pay later.
Affirm, whose app CNET recommends as the best BNPL app for most shoppers, says 16 million people actively use its service. The offering gives you biweekly and monthly payment options starting at a 0% annual percentage rate, or APR, and will be available through Amazon Pay for purchases over $50.
The addition of Affirm comes ahead of Amazon's expected annual Prime Day in July.
How to use Affirm BNPL through Amazon Pay
If you want to use Affirm when you buy something through Amazon Pay, you'll have to go through a fast approval process the first time, which makes sure Affirm can lend to you. Affirm says the checking and approval process is free, real time and has no impact on your credit score.
Amazon Pay is available for Amazon customers. If you visit a website with an Amazon Pay button, you'll be able to click it and use whatever address, email and payment methods you've already got stored in your Amazon account.
Should you use BNPL options?
In addition to Affirm, Apple recently started offering a BNPL service called Apple Pay Later, available within Wallet, the iPhone's digital wallet app. Other popular BNPL services include Afterpay, Klarna and PayPal Pay in 4.
As credit card debt rises and interest rates remain high, the average APR on a credit card is currently 20.23%. BNPL could be a good way for you to avoid going into debt while you slowly pay off bigger purchases at a lower interest rate (and in some cases, interest-free).
Using buy now, pay later plans can run the risk of you getting in over your head and overspending, however. Unlike credit cards, they may also not improve your credit score if you pay on time -- but they could bring your score down if you pay late. Their late fees may sometimes also be higher than those on credit cards. Make sure to consider whether you'll be able to meet your scheduled payments for an item, and read the terms and conditions on late fees and interest rates before agreeing to use their service.
If you can't afford a purchase in full, consider budgeting for it by moving money to a high-yield savings account each payday, and earning interest as you save toward your goal.
Here's more on what you need to know about how BNPL plans work.
Read more: Buy Now, Pay Later vs. Credit Cards: Which Is Right for You?