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How Zip Works for Buy Now Pay Later Financing

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  • Post last modified:15.03.2024

Zip allows you to spread payments for your purchases directly at checkout and through alternate methods with no hard credit required.

This platform is one of the popular buy now pay later with no credit check process that will impact your bureau profile as it utilizes a soft inquiry.

With its payment plan option enabling pay-as-you-go shopping at several merchants, you can use it for convenient installments in handling the purchase of essential needs.

Zip Pay


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Tip: Zip can grant you up to $1,000 in purchasing power for financing your orders with repayment required every two weeks up to a maximum of four installments within six weeks.


Zip is among the widely used buy now pay later apps, thanks to its good merchant coverage and a suite of complementing features that enable the use of your purchasing power outside its network of retailers.

It is known for its Pay in 4, a plan that you can utilize for a bi-weekly installment for up to six weeks, with the first due on the day of the order.


Read more about Zip

The platform does not perform any hard checks hence, it will not have any negative impact on your credit score when you are approved to use it for financing since its soft inquiry is done for informational use.

Despite its direct presence across several shopping sites, it offers alternative methods you can use its services where it is not accepted. One such is being one of the providers of buy now pay later virtual cards.

This card can be connected to any of the popular digital wallets for checkout financing online and in-store conveniently.

You can also enjoy your purchasing power outside its network by installing the Zip Chrome extension which can be activated for payment plans when you are on the shopping websites of your favorite retailers.

If you have Microsoft Edge installed, this feature is in-built and you may see the Zip option when shopping on your browser.

The platform also offers a good collection of buy now pay later gift cards that you can apply for to be used for shopping at different brands, including to enjoy payment plan purchases on groceries and restaurant eat-outs.

Its Pay in 4 plan also extends to financing services like Straight Talk subscriptions, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Duke Energy, and more which makes it one of the top solutions you can use to pay bills in 4 installments.

As common to many of the split payment providers, Zip also has a feature for shopping through its app, enabling buy now pay later for Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and a host of others that do not support it directly.

Despite its wide features for a good shopping experience, the platform has a fee every time you use it for payment which is $4 flat per order.

There is also a late payment fee of $7 but you can avoid paying that much through its ‘extend due date’ feature which will allow you to change your next payment date for a fee of $2.

Where to Use Zip for Financing Purchases

Below are popular online stores that accept Zip directly at checkout:




Sears is a well-known retail store offering different products in several categories, including appliances, electronics, clothing, and home goods. It is one of the top destinations to enjoy your Zip purchasing power on a range of items.

Best Buy

Best Buy

Best Buy is a leading retailer of consumer electronics, appliances, and entertainment products. With a vast selection of products, it is a go-to destination for all your tech-related needs.



TickPick is one of the popular sites to enjoy buy now pay later concert tickets and with its support for Zip at checkout, you can utilize your purchasing at ease.



Shein is a popular online fashion retailer known for its affordable and trendy clothing, accessories, and beauty products. With a wide range of styles and frequent new arrivals, it caters to fashion-forward shoppers worldwide.



LensDirect is an online retailer specializing in contact lenses and eyewear products. Offering a wide selection of brands and prescription options, it provides convenient ordering and competitive pricing for vision care needs.

Features Available On Zip Pay

Below are some of the features available on the Zip Pay platform:


Pay in 4 Installments

Zip is a pay-in-4 financing option that can be used to spread payments of your orders for up to six weeks.

This means you will be required to pay back on a bi-weekly basis with the first charged on the same day of the order.

When you utilize its option, the cost is divided into four equal payments, and if the order is within your assigned purchasing power, it will be 25% each.


Interest-free Financing

There are no interest charges when using Zip Pay to finance your purchases with its bi-weekly installment only requiring 25% of the four payments and the applicable finance charge.

This is a common practice by most of the buy now pay later services like when utilizing PayPal for financing, Klarna, Affirm, and others.


Soft Credit Check

Zip eligibility check is entirely through a soft inquiry hence, you do not have to worry about utilizing it for payment plans having an impact on your credit score.

This process will only pull basic details like your score which the platform will combine with other factors to determine the spending limit to be assigned to your profile.


Late Payment Fee

While some of the buy now pay later services do not charge any fee when you delay your due repayments, this platform does.

Zip has a late payment penalty fee of $7 and you may be required to pay this alongside the overdue amount after the grace period.

Considering it has one of the highest in terms of such fees when compared to the charges applicable to alternatives like Sezzle and others, you should try to avoid being a victim and enjoy the service without paying any extra.


Payment Extension

You can extend your payment due dates when using Zip Pay and this could help you avoid the high fee that applies to paying late.

 However, this is not a free feature as there is a fee of $2 every time you extend your due date through the Zip app.

Despite the charges, it is better than paying the $7 late payment charge which is more than thrice the fee you will pay for an extension.


Zip Pay Card

You can also generate a virtual card that can be used to complete payments when shopping on your favorite retailer’s website.

This feature is available on the Pay tab when logged into your Zip app and this card is only valid for one-time purchases hence, you will need to generate a new card every time you want to utilize the option for checkout at merchants that do not accept it directly.


In-store Shopping with Zip Card

You can also use Zip in-store by connecting the single-use card to any of the popular digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

With this, you can not only utilize it for financing products but also for enjoying buy now pay later foods at a restaurant of your choice that supports tap and pay.


Vast Gift Cards Inventory

One of the alternative ways to use your assigned purchasing power at retailers that do not accept Zip directly is by purchasing any denomination of gift cards from its inventory.

The platform has a vast collection to choose from including top retail outlets in travel, electronics, appliances, restaurants, and more.


A Large Network of Merchant

There are so many online stores that accept Zip Pay for consumer financing hence, a good option you can have an account with to use when needed.

This wide network of merchants increases how you utilize your assigned purchasing power as the alternate channels like virtual card and browser extension complements this good spread.


Good Spending Limit

At most of its retail partners and through the secondary financing channels, you will be able to buy products on a payment plan for up to a limit of $1,000.

However, there is a possibility to enjoy up to $5,000 or more when shopping at select retailers, especially those that use the remote order functionality available through the Zip merchant dashboard.


Bill Payments

Zip Pay is one of the best platforms you can utilize to pay bills in 4 installments, thanks to its direct support for services that include Straight Talk, Spectrum, Optimum, and many others.

All the billers are available when you are logged in to your dashboard hence, you do not necessarily need to go through the step of generating a one-time use card to utilize your purchasing power for bill payments..


Browser Extension and Microsoft Edge Support

While there are several retailers that you can buy directly from when browsing through the Zip app, it is possible a preferred merchant is not available from its list of in-app supported stores.

In such case, you will have to use any of its alternate channels with the extension being a top choice if you like shopping through your browser.

With this, you only need to install the Zip extension for Chrome and when you want to make a payment at your choice retailer, the extension can be activated to generate a single-use card.


Zip Pay Boost

The Boost is a feature that will enable you to use Zip for orders above your purchasing power.

With this, you will pay a higher first installment if the order total is above your available spending limit and the rest into three equal payments spread out on a bi-weekly basis.


Frequently Asked Questions on Using Zip Pay for Financing


Below are some of the top frequently asked questions on using Zip Pay for payment plan purchases:

Does Zip check credit?

Yes, the platform will conduct a soft inquiry to determine your eligibility. This will not have any real impact on your credit score since it is done for information use and will not be visible to other lenders.

How many times can I use Zip?

It has no limit to the number of open orders you can have on your account but once you exhaust your purchasing power, you may only be able to utilize the platform through a direct debit to your payment source (the connected debit or credit card on your account).

Does Zip affect your credit?

When you apply to use Zip for payment plan purchases, it will not affect your credit as it uses a soft inquiry to determine your creditworthiness.

This soft check will not show on your report when it is being reviewed by other financial institutions.

However, note that it reports late payments to the major credit bureaus hence, this could have an impact on your bureau profile.

How many payments is Zip?

With Zip, there is a total of four payments which are collected on a bi-weekly basis for up to a maximum of six weeks.

Note that the first payment is usually on the day of the order with the rest three spread out within the subsequent weeks.

What is the highest limit for Zip?

For most users, the highest spending limit available to access when using Zip is $1,000.

However, you may be able to access up to $5,000 or more at some stores, especially if the retailer has access to the remote order feature on the merchant dashboard.

Does Zip have a virtual card?

Yes, there is the Zip Pay virtual card which you can generate for payments online and when you visit retail locations.

The platform utilizes the virtual card for financing through its alternate channels that include in-store shopping, browser extension, in-app access, and payment plans through the Microsoft Edge browser.

Can I pay off Zip early?

Yes, you can pay off your open orders before the due date without incurring any charges.

When you pay off early, this can help improve your trust level on Zip and could lead to increased purchasing power.

Is Zip interest-free?

Zip has no interest-bearing plans hence, you will pay no extra in interest when using the platform.

However, understand that there is a finance fee that applies to every order which is $4 flat.

Some other fees you might be interested in knowing include the charge of $2 for due date extension and $7 for every late payment.

What is the minimum amount to spend on Zip?

The required minimum cart value of $35 is required before you can use Zip for financing your orders.

Where the worth of your cart is less than that, the transaction might be charged in one go through the connected debit or credit card on your account.

Why has Zip declined me?

If your attempt to use the Zip platform has been declined, there are several potential factors that could have contributed to this outcome:

Unsupported Retailer: It is essential to verify whether the retailer you are attempting to make a purchase from is supported by Zip. Some merchants may not be included in Zip’s list of supported retailers for virtual card payments.

Spending Limit Exceeded: Your purchasing power may not be sufficient to cover the cost of the product you are trying to purchase. Ensure that the price of the item aligns with your available purchasing power to avoid a decline.

Payment History Issues: Instances of missed payments or defaults on previous orders may result in a decline. This could lead to restricted access to financing options until any outstanding issues are resolved or a specified period has passed.

Changes in Credit Profile: Zip conducts periodic soft inquiries on your credit profile. Negative changes, such as a decline in your credit history, may temporarily restrict your access to financing options if they raise concerns about your ability to use the service responsibly.

Card Limitation: If you are using the Zip Pay card, it is crucial to ensure that it is set up correctly and that its balance covers the total amount of your purchase, including any associated fees. Insufficient funds may result in a decline, as the card operates more like a prepaid card than a traditional debit card.

Why is Zip charging me a high down payment?

Users typically have access to up to $1,000 when utilizing the option, with some merchants allowing a maximum of $5,000 through the remote order feature.

If your order exceeds the maximum spending limit, the additional amount will be included in your initial payment, resulting in a down payment larger than subsequent installments.


While Zip Pay is a good option you can utilize for payment plan purchases at several merchants, ensure to avoid late payments as this could lead you to pay fees and have the platform affect your credit score since it reports payment activities to the major bureaus.

Lois Samari
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