Want to travel but strapped for cash?
These 5 apps and websites listed below will allow you to book your travel now for free or very little payment upfront! However, before you rush to book, please note that almost all of these apps provide their lending services for a fee, some of them even require credit checks. Nonetheless, if you need some financial flexibility in times of need, you might find some of their offerings helpful. So let?s check them out one by one.
App Name: Affirm
Available Countries: USA (except Iowa or West Virginia residents)
Financing backed by: Affirm
Based in: San Francisco, CA, US
Booking search engine: Expedia and Cheap Air.
Credit Check: Yes, soft credit check
Additional Fees: No, except for interest
Comments: Affirm is actually a financing firm that offers installment loans to consumers at the point of sale. This San Francisco startup is growing fast and recently raised funding on a near $2 billion valuation. With Affirm, when you make a purchase of $100 or more, you can pay back over 3, 6, or 12 month periods. To use Affirm?s service to travel for free, you can simply search for your itinerary on Expedia and Cheap Air and choose Affirm as the payment option at checkout for your eligible booking.
App Name: Airfordable
Available Countries: U.S
Based in: Chicago, IL, US
Booking search engine: Expedia, Google Flight, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, Vayama + Any airline website except Spirit.com
Credit Check: No
Other constraints: Your flight needs to be more than $200.
Fees: One-time service fee at booking, anywhere from 10?20% service fee, depending on demand, the date of travel, and ticket price.
Comments: Airfordable stands out as an option as they let you find your own flight on eligible sites. To reserve your ticket, you have to upload the screenshot of your itinerary to their site and pay an upfront deposit. Airfordable will proceed to reserve your ticket for you and you will receive the ticket after your last payment is made. This process means that you have to finish paying for your ticket before you travel. Airfordable offers payment plans up to 3 months. In the event of a default, the payment plan and the ticket will be canceled. The initial deposit paid is non-refundable, but any other payments made by the customer can either be refunded in cash or used as a credit towards their next booking. So far, the company claims they served over 10,000 people with a 95% repayment rate.
App Name: Flymble
Available Countries: UK Only.
Financing backed by: Fly Now Pay Later (https://flynowpaylater.com/)
Based in: London, UK
Booking search engine: Kiwi.com
Credit Check: Yes
Fees: 10.5% ? 17% service fee, depending on the payback period + financing fee (representative APR is 51.8%, variable. Yeah we know?)
Booking constraint: To book with Flymble:
- You must be over 18 in order to pass the credit check.
- You must be a resident of the UK in order to apply.
- You must have a UK mobile phone in order to apply.
- You must have a UK Debit or Credit Card.
- Maximum order values are 2000
Comments: Flymble allows you to purchase flights with only 1/10th of the cost upfront. So for a 500 flight, that means at the time of booking, you will pay 50 + ~10?17% service fee. All flights are booked through the Kiwi search engine. The app is only available to UK residents and the fees are rather high. It?s worth noting that their financing partner Fly Now Pay Later also supports a handful of other flight booking sites in the UK that you can book your flights with on payment plans.
#4: Bliss (Beta)
App Name: Bliss
Available Countries: US. The company is currently in beta.
Based in: San Francisco, US
Credit Check: Yes
Fees: Payment interests
Comments: Bliss is a new ?travel for free? app that is currently in its beta phase. The app will let you book your flight instantly and pay for it in monthly installments. Payment options are up to 12 months with varying interest rates depending on the result of your credit check. Bliss claims that they do not charge a premium on top of the flight prices you book with them. The only additional charge will be the monthly payment interest.
#5: STA Travel
App Name: STA Travel
Available Countries: UK, Australia, France, and possibly in more countries.
Based in: UK
Booking search engine: STA Travel
Comments: STA provides all types of travel deals that include flights, tours, and accommodations, with a focus on students. Life as a student can be tough and travel sometimes can feel like a distant dream. STA lets you travel by placing an upfront deposit for your trip. For flights, it requires a $299 upfront deposit. For some airlines, it allows you to book a flight with only $49 deposit. However, similar to Airfordable, the trip must be paid in full sixty (60) days before departure. If you are in Australia, the local version STA also offers a $99 deposit option for flight purchases.
Bonus: Credit Card!
App Name: Not really an app, just the good ol? credit card
Comments: Don?t forget that good ol? regular credit cards also work for you to book your flight/travel now and pay it back later with monthly payments. The benefit of using credit cards over other payment options is that lots of credit cards offer the first year 0% APR. You also have the benefit of accumulating points for eligible purchases if your credit card offers rewards. However, if you do decide to apply for a new credit card, please watch out for the possible annual fee and set up automatic payments as soon as possible.
There are also few airlines that allow you to book with payment plans for selected flights such as Hawaiian Airline, Qantas Airways, Tigerair, and British Airway (with flight + car and flight + hotel package only).
Please always be financially responsible when you are using services that let you enjoy now and pay later as they always inevitably involve (sometimes large) fees. Do your own research, check out the payment terms, and always know what you will be responsible for before booking!
Originally published at blog.flightdealshound.com.