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Zilch with a Unique Buy Now Pay Later; How It Works

Zilch lets you spread shopping costs up to 6 weeks or enjoy split payments over 3 months with a feature that could help you build your credit score.

It is one of the top buy now pay later apps available to users for checkout financing at many retailers spread across different categories like sofas, electronics, appliances, restaurants, and more.

Through its unique virtual card, you can buy what you need and complete the order process using the flexible instalment feature when shopping online or visiting a physical retail outlet.



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Tip: Zilch operates through its virtual card that combines the features of a debit and credit card with options to spread payments either over a six-week instalment or up to 3 months. It comes with amazing add-ons like rewards for transactions and reporting to the bureaus to boost credit scores.


Its interest-free three-month payment plan option is similar to VeryPay and in terms of length, it offers more time to repay when compared with PayPal Pay in 3.

The platform operates through its buy now pay later virtual card which is an interesting payment tool considering that it can either be a debit card or you utilize it as a financing method.


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When you apply for an account on Zilch, you are required to connect a valid debit card that will be used to handle your payments.

This card is actually linked to its virtual Mastercard which will be created for you once your account is approved.

By default, using the Zilch card for handling purchases will charge your connected debit card and not your assigned spending limit.

Considering that most people who sign up to use the service are more interested in its pay in six-week instalments, this option is only interesting when you have enough funds in your bank account.

It comes with an advantage using the direct debit feature as you will enjoy rewards in the form of cashback every time you utilize your Zilch card for such other than splitting order costs.

However, using it for flexible payments is not difficult either as you only need to pre-plan your purchases by logging into your app and creating a transaction before your virtual card can be utilised.

As common to many of the split payment providers, Zilch will run a soft credit check during the eligibility stage which will not have any real impact on your credit score.

The only time the platform will consider a hard check is when you are qualified for its financing and before you can set up a transaction, this check will be performed to get more details and it can be visible to other lenders when reviewing your bureau profile.

It offers the Zilch Up program, a feature that can help you increase your credit score through on-time payments but this usually involves a higher first instalment of 50% of the order total.

Though you can improve your credit score using the service, you may also suffer a negative impact if you do not pay your due instalment as Zilch reports payment activities to the major credit bureaus.

However, Zilch provides a snooze feature in case you are not able to make your regular instalment payment on time and this will shift your due date by an extra four days.

There are two payment plan options when using Zilch including its widely used pay in six weeks and the credit-based pay in four months.

While both are collectively called Pay in 4 (the first option is bi-weekly and the second is monthly), you will need to pay fees for using any of them for financing with a representative APR of up to 22.6%.

Where to Use Zilch for Payment Plan Shopping


Zilch card is eligible for use at several retailers, including the below:




Amazon is a leading online retailer offering a vast selection of products, including electronics, books, clothing, and more. With fast shipping, competitive prices, and a user-friendly interface, it has become a go-to destination for online shopping.



Wowcher is an online marketplace offering discounted deals on a variety of products and services including travel, dining, electronics, and more. Users can browse and purchase vouchers for savings on experiences and goods.



Temu is a shopping portal offering budget-friendly prices on fashion, homeware, electronics, and more. With free UK shipping and a generous 90-day return policy, it caters to budget-conscious shoppers seeking affordable options.



eBay is a popular online marketplace where users can buy and sell a wide variety of products, from electronics and collectables to clothing and home goods. With millions of listings and competitive prices, it offers a diverse shopping experience for consumers.



The Apple Store is a retail destination offering a wide range of iOS products, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and Apple Watches, as well as accessories and services. The platform provides a premium shopping experience for Apple enthusiasts.

Features You Can Access on Zilch

There are amazing features provided by the platform and below are some of the top to know about:


Spread Payments Up to 3 Months

While many of the options provided by some of the well-known buy now pay later services are limited to two months just like how Klarna works, Zilch Pay in 4 can be used for spread payments for up to four months.

This can be advantageous when you require more time to settle the bills of your pending order on the platform.

However, you will need a minimum cart value of £75 to be able to use its Pay Over 3 Months hence, you might have to consider its Pay in 6 if your order is less than that which is suitable for small ticket purchases.

The Pay in 6 is a bi-weekly instalment which requires a total of four payments over a period of six weeks. The minimum cart value required for this is £10.

In case your order value is not up to its required minimum of £10, that will be treated as a Pay-in-1 transaction which will earn you some rewards.


Soft and Hard Credit Check

You will be subjected to a credit check when using most of the buy now pay later options and just like Klarna, Newpay, and others, Zilch follows a similar process.

The only difference you will encounter when using it for financing your purchases is that it does not only perform a soft inquiry as if you are pre-approved for its service, it will proceed with a hard check.

It is different from a hard check which is usually utilized when you are applying for a high-ticket financing or credit card and similar financial products that could leave a short-term impact on your bureau profile.

While both types of credit checks involve accessing a person’s credit report, soft inquiries do not affect credit scores and are typically for informational or pre-approval purposes, while hard inquiries can impact credit scores.


No Late Payment Fee

One of the standout features of Zilch that sets it apart from traditional credit providers and some of the other platforms is its policy of not imposing any late payment fees.

This means that if life throws unexpected challenges your way and you find yourself unable to make a payment on time, you will not have to worry about incurring additional charges or penalties.

However, note that this could be bad for your credit score as the platform reports repayment activities to the major bureaus.


Zilch Snooze

With Snooze, users have the option to extend their payment due date by an additional four days.

This grace period offers users a bit of breathing room, allowing them to address any temporary financial constraints or unforeseen circumstances without incurring late payment fees or penalties.

The Snooze feature is easy to use and accessible to all Zilch users. If you find yourself in a situation where you need a bit more time to make your payment, simply log in to your Zilch account and navigate to your transaction history.

From there, you can select the pending order and click the snooze option to extend your due date, providing you with the flexibility you need to manage your finances effectively.


Zilch Up for Credit Score Building

One of the features that make Zilch a preferred option for some users is its Up program which can help you build your bureau profile.

With Zilch Up, you have the opportunity to build up your credit score, laying the foundation for future financial endeavours.

By making timely payments and managing your credit responsibly, you can demonstrate your creditworthiness to lenders and improve your overall financial standing.

Upon enrollment, you will receive a credit limit ranging from £50 to £1000, providing you with the flexibility to manage your expenses and make purchases with confidence.

This credit limit allows you to access the funds you need, whether it is for everyday essentials or special purchases.

One of the key features of Zilch Up is its unique payment structure. With Zilch Up, you can spread your payments over a six-week period, with 50% of the total amount due upfront.


Zilch Rewards for Pay Now

When you choose the Zilch Pay Now option, you are not only managing your expenses efficiently but also unlocking exclusive rewards that add extra value to your purchases.

With this feature, the platform rewards you with up to 5% back in Zilch Rewards instantly, making every transaction even more rewarding.

The Rewards program is designed to provide users with immediate benefits that enhance their overall shopping experience.

By offering cashback on eligible purchases, it enables you to earn rewards effortlessly while making everyday purchases. Whether you are shopping for groceries, clothing, electronics, or other essentials, every transaction earns you valuable rewards that you can use towards future purchases.

Interestingly, you can connect the card to recurring payments like subscriptions for Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, and similar services including using the card for settling your bills and earning rewards for each debit.

Note that there is a limit of £2,000 per Zilch Pay Now transaction and if your cart value is above this, you may be unable to complete the purchase with your Zilch card.


Multiple Active Orders

When utilizing Zilch, you have the flexibility to manage multiple orders simultaneously, as there are no restrictions on the number of active instalment transactions allowed on your account.

However, it is essential to note that the total amount of your active plans must not surpass your assigned purchasing power or spending limit.

If you try to initiate a new order that would exceed your spending limit and push the total of your pending orders beyond this threshold, the transaction will be declined.

This precaution ensures that you remain within your approved spending limits and helps you manage your finances responsibly.


Virtual Debit and Credit Card

The virtual card provided by Zilch has the features of both a debit and a credit card with the default behaviour being the former.

Once you are approved for an account, the platform will assign a virtual card to you which if used directly for payment will not charge your assigned purchasing power but rather, it will debit your bank account through the repayment debit card you connected at sign-up.

While this behaviour might be why many new users create their accounts, this will enable them to earn rewards with up to 5% in cashback.

To utilize the credit card feature, you will need to first do a pre-planning by selecting the retailer you want to spend at in its directory and setting the needed attributes like the value of your cart and the payment option.

Once you have done this and activated the card for use, it can then be utilized to complete the purchases.


Can be Used Online and In-store

Zilch is not limited to only online purchases as the virtual card can also be used to shop in-store at any of your preferred retailers, including those not on its eligible list through the Anywhere feature.

This card can be connected to any of the popular digital payment wallets like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or Samsung Pay for making contactless payments if your chosen merchant supports it.

Note that you will also need to pre-plan your in-store shopping with the Zilch card to avoid your debit card being charged when used for payments.


Usage Fees

Using Zilch for buy now pay later shopping is not 100% free considering that you will have to pay a fee of up to £3 every time you use your card for flexible instalments.

Depending on the mode of instalment selected and how long it takes for you to complete the full payments, the fee can make you end up paying up to 22.6% in representative APR for Zilch Classic or up to 25.2% when you use the Zilch Up feature.


You Can Use More Than The Default Zilch Credit Limit

While the maximum Zilch credit limit is £1,000, you can purchase and make payments using the card if your order is above this through its Boost feature.

With Zilch Boost, your maximum credit spending limit will still be £1,000 but the extra value of the order will be placed within the Boost bucket.

This extra value will form part of your first payment with the rest spread evenly over the next three installments.

Frequently Asked Questions on Using Zilch for Pay Later


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the use of Zilch for buy now pay later orders:

What is Zilch?

Zilch offers a buy now, pay later service to consumers.

It allows users to split their purchases into manageable instalments, making it easier to afford expensive items without having to pay the full amount upfront.

Does Zilch check credit?

Yes, Zilch conducts a soft credit check during the eligibility assessment process.

This soft inquiry does not have a significant impact on your credit score and is used to verify your identity and assess your financial situation.

However, it is important to note that the platform will perform a hard credit check if you choose to use it for financing your purchases, which could have a minor impact on your credit score.

How many times can I use Zilch for buy now and pay later?

You can use Zilch for buy now, pay later financing as many times as you like, provided that your assigned purchasing power can accommodate the payments.

There is no set limit to the number of transactions you can initiate. However, the total amount of your active orders must not exceed your available spending limit.

If you attempt to make a purchase that would push your pending orders beyond your maximum purchasing power, the transaction will be declined.

Therefore, your usage of Zilch is contingent upon your assigned spending limit and the affordability of your purchases within that limit.

Does Zilch affect your credit?

If you are approved for an account and utilize it for payment plan purchases, it will have an impact on your credit score.

Zilch conducts a soft credit check during the eligibility assessment process, which does not have a significant impact on your credit score. This soft inquiry is used to verify your identity and assess your financial situation.

However, if you are approved for an account and before a spending limit is assigned, a hard credit check will be performed, which could have a minor impact on your credit score.

How many payments is Zilch?

Zilch offers multiple payment options tailored to different purchase amounts and durations.
For Zilch’s Pay in 4 option, users can spread payments over four months, providing more flexibility for settling larger bills.

On the other hand, the Pay in 6 option allows for bi-weekly instalments over a six-week period, totalling four payments.

Additionally, Zilch offers a Pay-in-1 transaction for orders below the required minimum cart value of £10, which still allows users to earn rewards.

Pay-in-1 is similar to Pay Now with the only difference being that the latter is voluntary and not a must.

Therefore, the number of payments with Zilch depends on the specific payment plan chosen and the duration selected for repayment.

What is the credit limit when using Zilch?

The credit limit when using Zilch varies depending on individual financial circumstances and the results of the eligibility assessment.

Generally, the platform assigns credit limits ranging from £50 to £1000.

However, the specific credit limit allocated to each user is determined based on factors such as income, credit history, and affordability assessments conducted during the application process.

Users may be initially approved for a lower credit limit and have the opportunity to increase it over time by demonstrating responsible repayment behaviour and maintaining a positive credit profile with Zilch.

Is Zilch only a virtual card?

Zilch provides users with a virtual Mastercard, which offers the functionalities of both a debit and a credit card.

By default, the virtual card operates as a debit card, meaning that when used for payment, it debits the linked bank account directly rather than utilizing the assigned purchasing power.

This setup allows users to earn rewards, including up to 5% in cashback on their purchases.

To access the credit card feature of the virtual card, users need to engage in pre-planning by selecting the desired retailer from the store directory and specifying details such as the cart value and payment option.

Once these attributes are set and the card is activated for use, it can be utilized to complete the purchase as a credit card, enabling users to spread payments over time.

Can I pay off Zilch early?

Yes, you can pay off Zilch instalments early if you choose to do so.

The platform allows users to make early payments towards their outstanding balance at any time without incurring any additional fees or penalties.

This flexibility enables users to settle their payments ahead of schedule, potentially saving on interest charges and helping to improve their credit scores if they are on its Up program.

How does Zilch work in-store?

To use your Zilch spending limit in-store, follow the steps below:

1. Install one of the popular contactless payment wallets like Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, or Apple Pay

2. Log into your Zilch app and pre-plan your in-store purchases. Make sure the total value matches how much you need to spend on the transaction in addition to any fee

3. Once you are done with the set-up, your Zilch card will be activated and ready for use

4. Log into your chosen digital wallet

5. Click the applicable option to add a new card and once the form page is loaded, simply copy your Zilch card details into the fields (card number, expiry date, and CVV) and save

6. At the checkout desk, locate the appropriate contactless payment point

7. Launch the digital wallet and click the option for payment

8. Simply tap and pay to complete the order

Can I use Zilch on Amazon?

Yes, you can use your card for payment on Amazon.

Simply log into your app and pre-plan the purchase by selecting Amazon and specifying the order details ensuring that the amount matches your total cart value and any applicable fees.

Is Zilch a credit card?

While Zilch is not like a conventional credit card, it has some of the features like being able to earn rewards for your transactions and flexible instalments on purchases.

However, it is more of a direct debit and prepaid card which requires you to first pre-plan your purchases for flexible instalments otherwise, your bank account will be charged when used.

Is Zilch legit?

Yes, the platform is a legitimate buy now, pay later service. It is a registered financial services provider and operates in compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines.

It allows users to split their purchases into manageable instalments, offering flexibility and convenience in managing their finances.

Why is Zilch not working?

There could be many reasons why you are unable to use Zilch for your purchases with the frequent ones being any of the below:

1. For Pay Now, you are limited to a maximum of £2,000 per order and if you attempt to use your Zilch to settle a cart more than this, the transaction will be declined

2. Your order value is above your available spending limit. If you have existing transactions yet to complete the full payments, note that they will reduce your available purchasing power

3. If you are a new user trying to sign up for an account, note that not all users are approved based on the result of the credit check and you may be facing difficulty for not having enough of its required criteria

4. If the issue is with logging into your account through the web but it is not working, you may have to clear your browser cache as a first aid to fixing the issue

5. Note that for flexible instalments, you need to first do a pre-planning by first creating an order on the Zilch app. If you attempt to use your virtual card without this, the platform will attempt to charge your bank account and if you have insufficient funds, this will fail

6. The last reason could be a proxy or VPN-related issue and if you have software or an application of such active on your device or browser, ensure to deactivate it before attempting to use your account


 With its virtual Mastercard and innovative payment options, Zilch empowers users to split their payments into manageable instalments, providing greater control over their spending.

While it may help you to build your credit score, note that late payments can have a negative impact hence, use it effectively for the optimum benefits.

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You are the first in our research hence, we rally around doing rigorous checks, testing and analysis to help you decide on products and services. However, Meedsy is not a lender, broker, bank, financial institution, or FCA-regulated hence, providers' final views are superior to ours and seek professional advice when in doubt.
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