Imagine this: you’ve found an enticing flight deal for your dream destination, but you don’t have the funds currently in your account. You’ll need to wait until your next paycheck – but by this time, the deal would have passed. If this sounds familiar and you’re looking to give the credit card a break, there are other options to purchase flights with several airlines that could offer you a better interest rate.
Uplift is an option for travelers that provides a buy now, pay later option, with some loans collecting zero interest if you qualify. It allows you to spread the cost of your purchase over fixed monthly payments that you agree to with no late fees or prepayment penalties. The application is straightforward and only takes a few minutes, unlike the approval processes known with some credit cards.
Uplift has partnered with a variety of airlines for a buy now, pay later option and recently just added Emirates to its portfolio. Beyond flights, it can also be used on purchases from accommodations to cruises, tourist packages, and retail.
Which Major Airlines Offer Buy Now, Pay Later With Uplift?
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- United Airlines
You can see the full list of other airlines here.
How Does It Work?
Once you’ve found a flight with one of the participating airlines above, you go through the booking process as you would normally if you were paying for a flight. When you reach the payment screen, the airline will give you the option to select Uplift as a payment option, where you will then fill out a few personal details (like your mobile number, date of birth, if you are a U.S. resident, and your Social Security Number).
Uplift will then provide your payback rate, which can range from 0% to 36%, based on things like your credit history, purchase amount, current loan activity, and more. You will also be presented with different payment plans that work with your budget and timeline, which varies from 3 months to 2 years.
Once you choose the plan that works for you, you will be able to complete the payment. You can arrange automatic payments with the plan to ensure that you are never late or miss a payment, while Uplift also sends emails and texts to remind you.
Will Uplift Affect My Credit Score?
For both U.S. and Canadian residents, Uplift uses a “soft” credit check to verify your identity and determine your credit history, which doesn’t affect your credit score. For Canadian residents, once you submit the application, the soft credit inquiry is updated to a hard credit inquiry, which could affect your credit score.
Uplift also reports your payments to the credit bureaus, so if you are late on payments, this will impact your credit score. It also means you can build credit if your payments are on time.
Who Can Qualify For Uplift
- Be a resident of the U.S. or Canada
- Be aged 18 years and over
- Have a valid U.S. number
- Can submit a few personal details
What If My Flight Circumstances Change?
If you have a change of plans and decide to cancel your flight, the process works just as if you paid with your own funds. You will need to arrange for a refund with the airline and find out what their cancellation policy is (you can get a full refund within the first 24 hours on all U.S. flights).
If the airline allows you to get a refund, Uplift will apply the full refund amount to your account balance within ten days of receiving the funds from the airline. If you are not eligible for a refund, you will still be responsible for repaying the payment in full.
How Does It Differ From Credit Cards
Some credit cards will charge interest on interest, while Uplift charges simple interest, which is only on the principal amount and it has no additional fees. Unlike credit card statements, the amount you need to repay with interest is very clear, and it makes it easier to predict your payments (some credit cards also have a plan it option, but you should check the fine print on what the interest rate is to compare). You can also pay off an Uplift loan early without incurring prepayment penalties.
Keep in mind that since you are taking out a loan, you won’t earn rewards, points, or miles as you would with using a credit card, and certain credit cards also offer additional benefits, such as trip insurance, delayed/lost baggage protection and trip delay per diem.
At the end of the day, the best way to avoid additional fees is the money you already have, but Uplift provides an option for travelers when you need it.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com