Afterpay vs Zip: Which One Is Better?

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In recent years, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) industry has gained significant popularity, revolutionizing the way consumers make purchases. Two prominent players in this space are Afterpay and Zip. With millions of users worldwide, both platforms offer similar services but with unique features and approaches. In this article, we will delve into the details and compare Afterpay vs. Zip to help you decide which one is better suited to your needs.

Afterpay vs. Zip: What are they?

Afterpay and Zip are BNPL providers that make it easier for you to buy things from brick-and-mortar or online stores using short-term credit. When you pay with a BNPL provider in-person or through online shopping, you can get what you bought now and then repay the outstanding balance in equal installments, often interest-free, in minimum biweekly or minimum monthly repayments.

So, how are Afterpay and Zip different?

Afterpay vs. Zip: What are the differences?


Afterpay was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2014.

Zip is an Australia-based BNPL provider founded in 2013. It acquired US-based payment installment platform Quadpay in 2020.

Countries of operation

Afterpay operates in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Zip operates in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE, and the United States.

Accepted by

Nearly 86,000 merchants around the world—including Kmart, Target, and Sephora—accept Afterpay.

Nearly 26,000 merchants around the world—including Best Buy, Airbnb, and Sam’s Club—accept Zip.


Afterpay offers a pay-in-four model, which is a standard payment system across most Buy Now Pay Later providers. With this model, you divide four interest-free payments over six weeks. The minimum repayment due at checkout is a quarter of the total purchase price.

Zip also offers a pay-in-four financing model, which is a standard payment system across most Buy Now Pay Later providers. With this model, you divide the purchase price into four interest-free payments over six weeks, with the first, upfront payment due when you make the purchase.

Rescheduled payments

You used to not be able to reschedule payments with Afterpay. However, the service changed its policy to allow customers to reschedule payments. There are certain stipulations, though.

  • Afterpay does not allow you to move the payment date on certain purchases.
  • You can only move one payment per order.
  • You are technically only allowed to move the second and third payments through Afterpay to align with your cash flow; if you need help moving your first or last payments, you should contact Afterpay customer service.
  • Once the payment is overdue or due within 24 hours, you cannot reschedule the payment.
  • If you have been an Afterpay customer for 42 days or less, you cannot access the rescheduled payment feature.
  • Customers already taking advantage of a hardship repayment arrangement cannot access the feature.

Zip offers various repayment schedules. You can choose to pay your installments weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on what works best for your cash flow. You can also allow Zip to automatically personalize your repayment schedule based on repayment behavior and spending habits.

You can modify your repayment schedule from within the Zip app. However, modifications take 24 hours to go into effect. This means that if you need to reschedule an upcoming payment, you should do so more than 24 hours in advance in order to avoid a late penalty. The payment can be made up to 7 days late without penalty. When you move a payment date, future payment dates will also be adjusted.

Credit limits

With Afterpay, you can have a balance of $2,000 on your account at any given time; each individual purchase can be a maximum of $1,500.

Afterpay likely won’t extend the maximum limit to new users. They will start you out with a smaller credit limit, and once you prove that you are a good BNPL customer, Afterpay can increase your credit limit.

Zip Pay is a short-term credit option with a credit limit of up to $1,000. You may be able to increase your credit limit to $2,000 on eligible purchases after being a loyal customer for a certain period of time.

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All sales made through Afterpay are subject to a 4.17% merchant fee. Customers don’t have to pay any hidden fees or account-keeping fees unless they miss a payment or make it late. (An account-keeping fee is simply a fee that you pay in order to keep your account open.)

When you miss a payment, Afterpay charges $10 late fees, plus another $7 fee if your account is not brought current after seven days.

When using BNPL, it’s important to use some sort of budgeting tool to ensure that you are avoiding a late payment and unnecessary fees.

Zip is promoted as interest-free and does not come with a monthly fee. However, you will be charged a $1 convenience fee per installment. The company also charges late payment fees between $7–$10, depending on your state of residence, if you miss a payment.

Soft credit check or hard credit check

Afterpay and Zip do not do hard credit checks when you make a purchase using the service. Zip runs soft credit checks to get a sense of your credit history and determine if you are eligible for a short-term loan. Soft credit checks provide enough information to give the BNPL services a sense of your creditworthiness without penalizing your credit score with a hard inquiry.

Afterpay, on the other hand, does not run a credit check at all.

Afterpay vs. Zip: Which is better?

The answer: Well, it depends.

It all comes down to your personal preferences and requirements. It is not a matter of which Buy Now Pay Later service is better. Rather, it is important to consider whether BNPL is the right choice for you at all.

The service that you use as a customer depends on which merchant or company you are purchasing from and in what country you are located. All brick-and-mortar and online retailers don’t partner with all BNPL companies.

Before deciding to make a purchase with BNPL, it’s important to consider: how much you really want or need the product or service, your budget, and cash flow.

Recommended articles:

How to Use Buy Now Pay Later Responsibly

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services allow consumers to make purchases online or in-store by breaking up larger ticket items into a small number of fixed installment payments. BNPL is attractive to consumers because purchases are typically interest-free and don’t involve many of the fees that come with bank accounts and credit cards.

The popularity of BNPL has grown exponentially in recent years—and for good reason. These payment options provide more opportunities for people of underserved and underbanked populations. However, there are also a number of potential risks involved.

Advantages of Buy Now Pay Later

  • You get easier access to goods and services
  • Customers pay low-to-no fees and interest charges on their payment plan
  • You can maintain and build your credit score

Disadvantages of Buy Now Pay Later

  • It is easy to overspend
  • There are potential fees or interest charges and credit score damage
  • Buy Now Pay Later can be difficult to manage


How to Sign Up for Afterpay

You can sign up for Afterpay using the Afterpay app, at, or by choosing Afterpay as your payment method at checkout.

  • Go to the Afterpay website or download the app
  • Enter your email address, phone number, date of birth, valid ID, and a credit or debit card, or bank account number
  • Complete sign-up

zip pay

How to Sign Up for Zip

There are a couple of different ways to sign up for Zip: download the Zip app or choose Zip as your payment method during the checkout process.

  • Download the Zip app or select Zip as your payment method when checking out with a partner merchant
  • When prompted, provide proof that you live in the U.S., are at least 18 years old, have a valid mobile phone number, have a valid U.S. debit or credit card, and have a valid U.S. mailing address
  • Complete sign-up
Last Updated on January 01, 2024
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. Consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your specific situation.

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