Flava review: Get your groceries now, pay later

Flava offers a pay later service for food, drink and household products. But some customers have been charged a fee they weren't expecting. Here's what you need to know about Flava and its Benefits membership fee.

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Flava is different from others in the buy now, pay later (BNPL) sector as it focuses on food not fashion. Put simply, this interest-free payment service allows you to buy cupboard-staple groceries and spread the cost of these items over 4 weeks in equal chunks. But there’s an optional Flava Benefits membership fee that has caught some shoppers unawares. We’ve set out what this means in practice, and what to bear in mind.

How does Flava work?

Unlike services like Klarna or Clearpay, Flava isn’t a service that kicks in at the checkout of another brand’s site. Instead of doing your shopping at your regular online supermarket and then selecting Flava when it’s time to pay, you do your shopping on Flava’s own website, ordering goods from Flava and paying for them later.

To use Flava, you first need to sign up for an account. All new customers get £100 credit to start with. There are no credit checks involved in setting this up.

To shop, you fill your online basket with the grocery staples you want; there are goods from well-known brands such as Cadbury, Kellogg’s, Heinz and Andrex. You will also see a list of deals on the home page that may or may not be helpful to you. After this, you head to the checkout.

You pay for the goods in four equal payments over four weeks, with a debit or credit card. You select the first payment timing when you place your order and the remaining three payments will be taken on a weekly basis after that. Flava will send your goods two to three business days after you make the first payment.

What else do I need to know?

When you join, you’ll be offered the option to sign up to a free trial of Flava Benefits, which you can cancel at any time. You don’t have to sign up to this – you can choose to skip it. Flava Benefits offers various discounts and free delivery, but it’s worth noting that after the free trial, the price will be £29.99 for the first month and then £7.99 a month. We’ve had feedback from shoppers who weren’t aware they were signing up for this subscription. It’s worth noting that you can choose a basic account, or, if you opt for the free trial, you can cancel before the 14 day trial is up (always worth putting a note in the diary with a reminder).

With the free account, you must spend a minimum of £30 (with a top credit limit of £40) to place an order. There is also a standard delivery charge for all orders, which is set at £3.99, and this must be paid alongside your first payment.

Features of shopping with Flava

  • Zero interest. Each purchase made through Flava is interest-free.
  • Pay over 4 weeks. Spread your purchase across 4 weeks.
  • Grocery focussed. Flava is the first UK buy now, pay later service allowing you to shop and pay later for grocery items.
  • No credit check. You don’t need to pass any form of traditional credit check to shop at Flava. All that is required is for you to create an account and have a valid debit/credit card in order to make future payments.
  • Basket credit increases as you repay. All new customers receive an initial basket credit of £40 per order when they sign up for a free account. If you continue to repay on time, this credit will increase to a maximum of £100 per order.
  • Late payment charges. Flava charges £3.99 for your first late payment and the same again if you still don’t pay the following week.
  • Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, contact the MoneyHelper.

How much does Flava cost to use?

If you choose the free standard account, and make your payments on time, the only fee you will be charged on top of the amount for your items is £3.99 for delivery. Flava does not charge interest.

If you want the Flava Benefits account – which gives you free delivery, discounted items and daily deals – it will cost you £29.99 and then £7.99 a month.

What happens if I can’t make a Flava payment?

Flava charges late fees. You’ll get charged a late fee of £3.99 if you have received goods but fail to pay; and you’ll continue to be charged £3.99 “per overdue period” (weekly) until you pay the overdue amounts in full and your acount is up to date. If you can’t make 1 or all of your scheduled payments, call 037 0777 9957 or use the contact form to get in touch with the team who will help you re-schedule the amount for a date that works better for you.

Does Flava perform a credit check?

On its website, Flava states that you don’t need to pass any form of traditional credit check to use its service.

How to sign up for Flava

On flava.co.uk you will be asked for basic details such as your name, address and date of birth. After this, you will be given the choice to sign up for a free account, or the Flava Benefits account, which costs £29.99 and then £7.99 a month.

What can I do if something goes wrong?

If you encounter a problem with Flava, there’s a list of frequently asked questions on the site. Otherwise, give Flava a call on 037 0777 9957, or send a query via the contact form.

Pros and cons of Flava

  • Buy it now, pay for it later. You can order your chosen items when you want them and cover the full cost later on, without having to wait until payday.
  • Interest free. Flava never charges shoppers interest.
  • First pay later service for groceries. Allows shoppers to browse cupboard staples from key brands such as Heinz, Andrex and Cadbury.
  • No credit check. Unlike some other providers, Flava claims it does not run any form of credit check on you before allowing you to use the service.
  • No late fees. The only time you will pay more than the items themselves is for delivery, or if you choose the Flava Benefits account when you sign up.
  • No fresh food. The foods that are available are cupboard staples like baked beans, super noodles, cereal, sweets and biscuits.
  • Not always cheaper. Flava offers big-name brands only and these are often slightly more expensive than the same item sold in traditional supermarkets.
  • Delivery fee. If you sign up for the free account, you’ll pay £3.99 for delivery, which is more expensive than many of the major supermarket delivery charges.
  • Flava Benefits cost. The £29.99 first month’s charge for Flava Benefits is a hefty sum, and some shoppers told us they signed up without realising.

The verdict

Flava is the first provider we’ve seen offering a pay later service specifically for grocery items. While it boasts some key benefits, we expect it will be challenged fairly soon on a few of its shortfalls, in particular the available grocery items.

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