Klarna is a popular buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform offering flexible repayment options for small or large purchases. Klarna works with most online merchants and also offers exclusive deals and rewards to help you save money.
While there’s a lot to like about Klarna, other buy now, pay later (BNPL) apps may offer more competitive rates or other benefits Klarna doesn’t, like various discounts and rewards, flexible payment terms, and higher purchase limits. In this article, we explore no fewer than eight apps like Klarna, to help you decide which one is best for you.
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What Is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) App?
Buy now, pay later apps enable consumers to finance small purchases over a few weeks or months, often without having to pay any interest. Many BNPL apps feature a pay-in-four option, which breaks your purchase into four equal payments, usually bi-weekly. With most apps, you can also choose to pay in monthly installments, but you will likely have to pay interest.
The following BNPL apps are solid alternatives to Klarna and offer 0% interest, Pay in 4 plans at many online stores. You can get instant approval on extended repayment plans for both online and in-store purchases.
Some programs allow you to earn rewards and cash back that stretch your purchasing power. We’ve listed the following BNPL options alphabetically, and we recommend that you check out each one to find the best interest repayment terms for when you cannot pay in four biweekly payments.
Affirm is one of the most popular alternatives to Klarna due to its membership benefits and payment options. The minimum purchase amount is usually $50 but varies by merchant.
Affirm lets you estimate your purchasing power at checkout and compare repayment plans. The monthly plans do incur interest, but you can calculate your total fees upfront before you complete your purchase.
Users can request a physical or virtual Affirm Card to enroll in payment plans before checking out or up to 24 hours after the purchase. Using the Affirm mobile app or Google Chrome browser extension, you can compare sales and merchant discounts.
Another unique feature is Affirm Savings, a high-yield savings account with up to $250,000 in FDIC coverage from Cross River Bank (FDIC cert# 58410). There are monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.
With Affirm, you can enjoy interest-free financing and earn a competitive yield on your long-term savings. You can read our Affirm review to learn more.
👉 Learn more about Affirm
Afterpay lets you compare BNPL loan options with exclusive in-app offers for merchants like Columbia, Nike, Macy’s, and Under Armour. However, as with other BNPL apps, you may have to compare offers at the merchant’s checkout screen, which can be more time-consuming.
Shoppers can also search for in-store offers within the Afterpay mobile app and pay with a virtual Afterpay card. After selecting a Pay in 4 plan, follow the prompts in the Apple or Google Wallet to finish. The interest-free Pay in 4 is the best repayment option.
Afterpay performs a soft credit check to determine a shopper’s buying potential. If you need more time to pay, you can opt for a six or 12-month plan that charges interest. Competing BNPL loans may have more term options and allow you to find a more affordable minimum payment and fees.
👉 Learn more about Afterpay
Apple Pay Later
If you shop online through an iPhone or iPad, Apple Pay Later offers interest-free financing for purchases between $75 and $1,000. But unlike the other BNPL apps on our list, the only payment option is four equal payments over six weeks.
You can activate this feature by paying with Apple Pay and comparing payment options if you’re not ready to pay in full. It’s possible to have multiple loans at a time, with the app listing the upcoming due dates in calendar and list formats.
Apply Pay Later is the most convenient BNPL option if you’re already using Apple Pay. However, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need a monthly payment plan over a longer term. Just know that interest charges and late fees may apply with these alternatives.
If you’re loyal to the Apple ecosystem, you may also consider the Apple high-yield savings account that earns competitive interest rates and is FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The account requires being an Apple iPhone owner and having an Apple Card credit card to apply.
👉 Learn more about Apple Pay Later
PayPal Pay in 4
The PayPal Pay in 4 feature lets you make four interest-free payments biweekly for purchases between $50 and $1,500. If you’re comfortable paying interest, the Pay Monthly option has six, 12, and 24-month payment plans on purchases between $199 and $10,000.
PayPal has become a versatile digital wallet with the ever-present “Pay with PayPal” button available at many online merchants. It lets you pay with funds from a linked checking account or credit card. Whether you pay over time or pay now, you are eligible for purchase protection, which may provide peace of mind to long-time customers.
In addition to flexible repayment options, PayPal lets you earn shopping rewards online or in the app. And by using the PayPal Honey shopping rewards platform, you can also apply promo codes at checkout for instant savings.
👉 Learn more about PayPal in 4
As mentioned, most buy now, pay later apps only offer interest-free financing with the Pay in 4 six-week payment plan. That’s not the case with Sezzle. In addition to Pay in 4, it provides a Pay in 2 plan that splits the purchase between two weeks for those who prefer an accelerated pay-off option.
If you’re willing to pay interest, you can also spread your payments between 3 and 48 months. You can compare payment plans online and in the Sezzle app.
It’s possible to add the Sezzle Virtual Card to your Apple or Google Wallet for in-store purchases. Simply download the mobile app and find participating merchants.
There is no charge for Sezzle’s Pay in 4 plan. However, if you prefer to pay in monthly installments, you’ll need to sign up for a $3 monthly paid subscription. The premium plan includes other perks, like shopping rewards, exclusive discounts, and the ability to reschedule one free payment per order.
Sezzle’s paid subscription may not be worth it for many users, but if you sign up and choose to pay in monthly installments, Sezzle does report your payments to the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Shoppers who need to rebuild their credit history may appreciate this feature, as it can be more flexible than getting a secured credit card while producing similar results.
👉 Learn more about Sezzle
Splitit lets shoppers with Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and UnionPay credit cards enroll in equal payment plans without interest. Credit cards offer buy now, pay later options with fixed interest payments instead of a variable rate. However, Splitit doesn’t charge additional interest and charges a portion of the order total monthly.
There are no additional fees to use Splitit, but your credit card’s rates and fees may still apply if you don’t pay the monthly installment in full. Your purchasing power depends on your available credit limit.
Consider Splitit if you use an existing credit card for the purchase protection it offers. BNPL apps offer purchase protection, too, but credit cards can have more robust coverage, and the reimbursement process can be less strenuous.
Another reason to consider Splitit is to earn credit card rewards, while having access to higher credit limits. And unlike Sezzle’s paid plan, there are no monthly fees to worry about.
👉 Learn more about Splitit
Uplift is one of the best buy now, pay later apps for travel purchases. Uplift partners with several airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, cruise companies, online travel agencies, and third-party booking sites.
Interest rates range from 0% to 36% with fixed monthly payments, which could result in you paying high interest charges. While you’re free to travel before the loan is fully paid off, Uplift recommends that you book trips well in advance to verify the reservation and financing approval.
While you will pay interest on most travel purchases, you can avoid the hard credit checks required by personal loans. For transparency, Canadian residents must undergo a hard inquiry when accepting a credit offer, but Uplift only requires a soft check to determine a borrower’s eligibility.
👉 Learn more about Uplift
Zip is a BNPL app that allows you to choose interest-free weekly and biweekly payments along with interest-bearing monthly payment plans. You can opt for either plan as long as you pay at least $40 per month of your outstanding balance ($80 minimum with an outstanding balance above $1,000).
Most Zip merchants offer a Pay in 4 no-interest payment plan to repay the balance over six weeks. After agreeing to the initial plan, you may be able to modify the repayment frequency in the Zip app.
An installment fee of up to $7.50 applies to each purchase, and the charge is split equally over each repayment. Most apps like Klarna don’t charge a prepaid finance charge, so it’s worth comparing the total borrowing costs to find the lowest offer.
You can make in-store purchases by adding the virtual Zip Card to your digital wallet and tapping to pay is possible. The app has several exclusive online partners, with most being clothing brands that let you pay directly with Zip from the merchant’s checkout screen.
With a simple button click, you can also install the Chrome browser extension to find shopping discounts and financing offers.
👉 Learn more about Zip
Buy now, pay later loans like Klarna are growing in popularity as they help shoppers make their purchases today without having to worry about paying upfront or facing high-interest charges.
However, that doesn’t mean that BNPL apps are a wise decision. For starters, having access to flexible financing may prompt some shoppers to make impulse purchases. Also, you need to make sure that you can afford to make the installment payments. If you can’t, it can leave you in a cash crunch or face high-interest charges on a balance that you’re unable to pay off.
Ultimately, we don’t recommend BNPL apps for many shoppers unless you have a specific plan to pay off the balance in full within the Pay in 4 period. Or, you have the cash available in another location and are simply using the BNPL app for convenience purposes.
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About Josh Patoka
After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.
He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.
Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.