Paying for Prime Day purchases with Affirm: The Power and Responsibility

Amazon and Affirm have joined forces to offer a “buy now, pay later” feature since August 2021. Last year’s Prime Day marked the first time that members could enjoy this convenient payment option. And now, with the recent integration of Affirm and Amazon shopping, just in time for Prime Day 2023, the partnership has become even stronger. Affirm is now the first Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service directly available through Amazon Pay. This streamlined payment process allows merchants to add Affirm as a payment button, making it easier than ever for shoppers to choose a payment schedule without going through a separate approval process. Notably, this Prime Day also introduces 0% APR when splitting a purchase between $50 and $749.99 across four payments.

The Rise of Buy Now, Pay Later

BNPL apps, such as Affirm, have gained popularity due to their similarities with layaway programs, which were successful until credit cards took over in the ’90s. While traditional layaway requires customers to wait until their final payment to receive the item, BNPL apps like Affirm give you immediate access to your purchase. You can break down the payment into manageable installments, adopting the monthly car payment model for any participating retailer—including Amazon.

Amazon’s extensive selection and efficient shipping already make it a desirable shopping platform. But when combined with Affirm’s interest-free advantage, the appeal becomes even more compelling. This year, Prime Day shoppers can take advantage of 0% APR on purchases ranging from $50 to $749.99 across four installments. No interest and no late fees make this an irresistible offer.

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However, it’s important to be aware of certain factors before indulging in a spending spree. Understanding the differences between Affirm and other BNPL apps, as well as the advantages and disadvantages they present, can help you make an informed decision.

The YMYL Factor: When to Consider BNPL

For significant purchases like a new 4K TV or a premium robot vacuum, using BNPL services makes financial sense. Breaking up the cost into installments can help you manage your budget more effectively, avoiding a sudden large expenditure. Additionally, if your monthly expenses require an upfront payment, like rent, BNPL apps can help you align the timing of your paycheck with your financial obligations.

The decision to use BNPL for necessities like groceries depends on your spending habits. While relying on an installment app for daily expenses can lead to accumulating debt, it can be a practical choice for buying essential items like bulk toilet paper.

Knowing When to Resist Temptation

While the idea of paying in small installments may make purchases appear more affordable, it’s crucial to remember that the full amount will eventually be paid. Impulse purchases made with the help of BNPL apps can lose their initial appeal as the payments start to add up. To break the cycle, consider whether you would buy the item if you didn’t have the option to divide the payment. Creating a wishlist in advance and holding yourself accountable can prevent unnecessary spending.

During Prime Day, it’s easy to get carried away by enticing recommendations and sales. However, it’s essential to stay mindful of your savings goals and not let impulse purchases negate your efforts. Think twice before opening new tabs from “explore more,” “related products,” or “customers also bought” sections. Avoid buying something just to meet Affirm’s $50 minimum requirement.

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The trustworthiness and convenience of BNPL apps, when used responsibly, can enhance your shopping experience. By understanding the advantages and limitations they offer, you can make informed decisions while enjoying the benefits of paying for Prime Day purchases with Affirm.

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