United partners with Uplift for installment payments: Travel Weekly

United Airlines has partnered with point-of-sale financing company Uplift to enable customers to pay for their flights over time. Instead of paying the full cost of the trip at the time of booking, United customers can now use Uplift’s pay-monthly service to pay for their flights for 11 months.

The service, which is available at united.com, has been integrated into the existing payment processes of the website. United customers who want to use the service can use United.com to apply for the loan and will receive an instant decision, Uplift said. The link to the service is now available on the United home page.

Uplift said United is the first of the Big Three US airlines to offer flexible payment options. Uplift, which bills itself as the only point-of-sale financing company focused exclusively on travel, already offers flight financing on Allegiant and Spirit. It also partners with tour operators, including Funjet, Southwest Vacations, and American Airlines Vacations. United Airlines Vacations has been an Uplift partner since 2017.

“Expanding Uplift’s flexible purchasing option to airline tickets now enables even more customers to travel the world and create memories that will last a lifetime,” United vice president of digital and analytics Praveen Sharma said in a statement. prepared statement.

Uplift loans can be as large as $15,000, with APRs ranging from 7% to 36%, Uplift chief business officer Tom Botts said in an interview. The average, he added, is in their mid to late teens.

By comparison, according to the Federal Reserve, business credit card interest rates averaged 15.1% in August, the most recent month for which data has been released.

Uplift doesn’t charge compound interest and has no early or late payment fees, Botts said.

“What we’re hearing from customers is that another key reason they use Uplift is that they think of travel as something different than the everyday things they use credit cards for,” he explained.

During a presentation at the ARC conference in Leesburg, Virginia, last month, Uplift CEO Brian Barth said the company’s analysis shows customers spend 10% to 15% more on travel when they finance through Uplift instead of paying everything up front. . The company already works with some big travel agencies.

“Travel advisors can easily offer monthly payments,” he said.

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