“Buy Now, Pay Later” Gaining Traction in Travel

by Jim Corridore , Senior Analyst 2 Min.
October 10, 2022 | Updated October 11, 2022

U.S. airlines have seen growing web traffic since adding BNPL option

One of the major consumer finance trends of 2022 has to be the rise of “Buy Now, Pay Later” where consumers can buy an item and not have to pay for it until a later date. This differs from traditional credit cards financing in that there is generally no application process and is typically free to the consumer, with the financier taking a cut of the sale to make their money instead. This trend has recently been rising among U.S. airlines as well. 

Key takeaways 

  • Between May 2022 and August 2022, traffic to BNPL content on travel sites grew 160%, a sign of growing interest in the trend amongst travelers.
  • Over the same period, traffic to BNPL travel-specific site Uplift grew by 58%.
  • Visitors using the BNPL filter when searching on have grown rapidly, according to Similarweb data.

BNPL gaining traction among travelers

As the below chart shows, each time a U.S. airline added a BNPL option for their customers, visits related to BNPL content on travel sites increased. There were clear vectors of increased interest in April 2021 when Southwest enabled Uplift for BNPL, again in October 2021 when American started using Affirm, and yet again in May 2022 when Delta launched BNPL through American Express Plan It.

As consumers continue to face inflationary pressures and an uncertain U.S. economy, it’s clear they are considering BNPL as an option to allow them to continue to have travel experiences without having to shell out their hard-earned dollars right away.


BNPL growth in travel

Consumer intentionality for BNPL has grown

Not only has traffic to BNPL travel content grown, but consumers have shown an increased desire to seek out travel experiences with a BNPL option. The chart below shows the increasing use of the BNPL filter on when consumers are shopping for travel-related experiences. While still small as a percentage of overall site traffic, the growth in this trend is unmistakable.

Usage of BNPL filter on Expedia grew YoY during summer 2022



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Report By: Jim Corridore, Senior Insights Manager


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