Afterpay review: Interest-free payments on online purchases

Afterpay works like a no-interest loan, but watch out for late fees.

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More than 7,200 stores use Afterpay, a financing option that allows you to evenly divide your payments over time. Shoppers can score no-interest financing without fees — so long as the balance is paid on time.

Sound too good to be true? Well, kind of. There are risks involved — like getting overwhelmed with debt and late fees. We took a closer look at the pros and cons of Afterpay and how to avoid those pesky charges.

How does Afterpay work?

Start shopping with Afterpay by signing up and linking your debit or credit card. Then select Afterpay as your payment option at checkout.

At the time of purchase, you’ll need to pay the first quarter of the total amount. The remaining three quarters are paid back every two weeks after that. You’ll receive reminders before payments are due, and payments are automatically processed.

Unlike other financing services, Afterpay doesn’t perform a credit check. But your spending amount at any one time is subject to approval, and you don’t always know what it is ahead of time.

Afterpay uses an automated system to approve you on a purchase-by-purchase basis. According to Afterpay, the longer you’ve held an account and the more purchases you successfully repay, the more likely you’ll be approved for a higher amount.

Features of shopping with Afterpay

Interested in using Afterpay as a payment method? Here are some nifty features the service offers.

  • No extra cost. It works like a no-interest loan. You have several weeks to pay, and you don’t owe a cent more than your purchase price.
  • Borrow what you need. Short on cash while shopping? Choose to pay for only part of the purchase yourself and use Afterpay for the rest.
  • Immediate use. The signup process takes only a few minutes, and you can start using Afterpay right away.
  • Manage your account. Sign in to see your upcoming payments, orders and account information.
  • Reminders. Get notification when a payment is coming up and the total amount due.
  • Automatic deductions. Each installment is automatically deducted from your debit or credit card.
  • Refunds and more. Changed your mind? You’ll still get a refund or partial refund for purchases you’ve made with Afterpay, according to each store’s refund policy.
  • Pay in advance. Repay installments early at no extra cost.
  • Market-leading security. Afterpay uses high-level security for both your card details and your personal information.

How much does Afterpay cost?

Afterpay is a free service. There are only two costs involved: your total purchase price and late fees for missed installments.

You get several text messages before a payment is withdrawn. If a payment is unsuccessful, you’ll receive notification with the option to choose an alternate payment method. If you don’t pay by the grace period indicated on your payment schedule, Afterpay charges an initial $10 late fee.

The only potential additional charges come from failing to make a payment. Late fees are capped at 25% of the purchase value. Charging customers late fees is one main way Afterpay earns revenue. The other way is charging its partner retailers fees for offering the service.

Having trouble making your payment? Try reaching out to Afterpay directly.

Opt to change payment methods at any time or set up multiple payment options.

Who can use Afterpay?

The only criteria to use Afterpay is you must be 18, have a credit or debit card you can use to link to your account, and have a working mobile phone to confirm your account.

If you live in the state of Alabama, you must be 19 to use Afterpay.

Is there a limit to how much you can spend with Afterpay?

Yes, but the spending limit varies customer by customer. Afterpay states that it considers a variety of factors when determining someone’s spending limit, but doesn’t specify what those factors are. The more times you use Afterpay and pay for your purchase successfully, the more you’ll be able to spend. Each time you make a purchase with Afterpay, it makes a fresh decision about your spending limit, so there’s always room for growth.

Is Afterpay safe?

Afterpay is touted as a new way to pay from traditional credit products. But remember that Afterpay is still a type of credit. Afterpay may report defaults to credit reporting bureaus such as Experian or Equifax.

When it comes to your data, Afterpay is a PCI DSS Level 1 certified compliant Service Provider organization. This means it abides by the comprehensive set of requirements to keep your information secure.

Does Afterpay hurt your credit?

No. Afterpay does not report to any credit bureaus, so your score will stay the same even if you miss a payment. But, you can still get saddled with debt if you fail to pay on time.

How to sign up for Afterpay

To sign up for Afterpay, you need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old and capable of entering into a legally binding contract (19 in Alabama)
  • Have a valid and verifiable email address and mobile number
  • Have a credit or debit card

Afterpay is not a store credit application. You don’t have to sign anything or fill out an application form. Simply read the details, sign up online and you’re good to go.

Where can I use Afterpay?

Currently, Afterpay is working closely with the URBN family of stores, which includes Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropologie. The list of stores that accept Afterpay is constantly expanding, so don’t be surprised if you see it pop up as an option at your favorite online retailers soon. For a complete list of stores where Afterpay is accepted, check out our full listing.

Afterpay reviews and complaints

Afterpay has racked up an impressive 4.9/5 stars from Trustpilot. Customers applaud the service for allowing them to budget expensive purchases and compliment the company’s convenient, easy-to-use payment process.

At the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company fared far less well, with a slim 1.47/5 rating. Shoppers complained that they had a hard time getting refunds, encountered problems with customer service and dealt with a glitchy interface.

Compare buy now, pay later services

For a direct look at how Afterpay stacks up to the competition, select up to 4 services and click “Compare” to check out each services’ features.

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Convenience fee Payment term Number of merchants
Perpay
$0
Varies
1,000+
No credit check required. Small payments from your paycheck. A simple way to build credit.
Zip
$1
6 weeks
51,000+
Split any purchase into 4 installments over 6 weeks with Zip.
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Alternatives to Afterpay

Afterpay is a flexible payment system that can help take the stress out of making larger or unexpected purchases. It’s free and its user-friendly interface makes managing your account a snap. But watch out — late repayments can limit future spending amounts while racking up some high late charges.

Not sold on Afterpay? Compare other similar options that offer no-interest financing:

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8 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Aven
    August 2, 2019

    So if I pay for something with Afterpay like shoes from GOAT.com will the shoes will be delivered before after or during I start my payment installments??

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      August 2, 2019

      Hi Aven,

      Thanks for your question. When you make a purchase at a website where it has Afterpay, your item will be processed and sent for delivery on the promised delivery date as shown on the website after checkout. The schedule of your Afterpay payments won’t affect the delivery time of your item.

      Hope this helps and enjoy your purchase!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Jacquilyn
    July 24, 2019

    I just used AfterPay. Will it be on my credit score?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Bella
      July 25, 2019

      Hi Jacquilyn,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      As I checked, if you fail to make repayments, Afterpay could report it to a credit reporting bureau, which may affect your credit score.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  3. Default Gravatar
    Storm
    June 25, 2019

    Does Afterpay charge payments monthly?

    • Default Gravatar
      nikkiangco
      June 26, 2019

      Hi Storm,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      When using Afterpay, stores are allowing a purchase to be paid for in four equal instalments, due every 2 weeks. At any time, you can log in to your Afterpay account to see your payment schedule and make a payment before the due date. Given this Afterpay doesn’t have monthly payments at the moment.

      Hope this was helpful. Should you need any clarifications, feel free to message back and we can advise you accordingly.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    Sam
    April 29, 2019

    When using Afterpay, how soon do you receive your purchase?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Mai
      April 30, 2019

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      You should receive your item depending on the specified delivery time frame of the seller whom you purchased your items. When you do your purchase, you can check the delivery information so you know when you are expecting to receive your order.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,
      Mai

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