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Buying into Gen Z’s Favorite Way to Pay: Understanding Uplift

If you’re not offering your Zoomers the option to buy now, pay later, you’re missing out on sales.

As tapped into the digital zeitgeist as they come, Generation Z has lived their lives on the internet: scrolling through social feeds, playing Minecraft, streaming Netflix. Answers and entertainment are instant—and so is travel inspiration. With global experiences only a Reel or TikTok away, Zoomers can start planning their next getaway in seconds.

And that’s where travel advisors come in.

Over the past few months, ALG Vacations® has talked a lot about the value advisors bring and why would-be travelers should Plan with a Pro. Part of that is your ability to put vacations within reach, taking them from dreams to solid experiences, by making them affordable.

BUT FIRST, LET ME TAKE A VACAY

At 26, even the oldest Zoomers are in the early days of their careers or homemaking—not to mention dealing with rising inflation and student loan debt—making your Gen Z clients more likely to be budget conscious when planning their travels. Yet, as an age group that’s grown up buying with the click of a button, they don’t want to give up convenience or expediency for affordability. They still want to take their vacation … but they want to pay for it later.  

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) plans, microloans paid off in equal installments, have quickly become younger travelers’ go-to payment method. In a recent tracking study by research company PYMNTS, 60% of consumers, most notably Gen Zers and Millennials, preferred BNPL to credit cards. And that number shows no signs of slowing down. 

So, how can ALGV help? Through our partnership with Uplift, we give customers of every generation the financial flexibility they want, and expect, from using a Pro.

HOW IT WORKS

No matter the life of the loan, all of our Uplift BNPL plans follow the same basics:

  • They can be used with any of our six brands—Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, Southwest Vacations®, Blue Sky Tours, and United Vacations®—and on FIT or contracted group bookings.
  • The departure date must be at least 12 days away. Closer in, another payment method will have to be used.
  • Only one passenger on a reservation can pay with Uplift. The loan amount will be for the full vacation, not per person, cost.
  • Applying only takes a few minutes and doesn’t impact credit scores. Uplift only requires a soft credit check, meaning your customer’s score won’t be impacted AND they’ll have their answer in seconds. Just click the “Payment Request” link in VAX to send them an invite to apply (valid for 72 hours).
  • Interest rates are the best available based on your client’s credit score.
  • The monthly payments are a fixed cost. Although the first payment, due when accepting the loan, may be higher if you’ve added Travel Protection Plus or if the total package cost is over $15,000, the remaining payments will all be a set equal amount.
  • Payments are automatically charged each month to the debit card used for the down payment, meaning no late fees or penalties to watch for. Plus, if the balance is paid off early, there’s no fee.
  • Your client can still opt for Uplift after making an initial payment. As long as there’s a balance of between $300 and $15,000, they can apply for a monthly plan even after using a credit card for their deposit.
  • The price can decrease, but not increase. If you add tours or upgrades—or any extra expense—to the booking, your client will need to pay the difference separately; it can’t be added to their loan. If the package cost goes down, your client will be issued a refund to the card they use for their monthly payments.

Of course, we all know there’s no benefit like special rates, and so to keep boosting your peak season sales, we’re offering exactly that. Now through April 30, 2023, if your clients use Uplift for a vacation at a participating Inclusive Collection, part of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, property, they can put zero down and pay interest-free!

RESPONSIBLE SELLING

BNPL is great because it eases the upfront cost for travelers who want that vacation now but need a little more time to pay for it. Still, whenever you recommend a loan as payment, it’s important to make sure your customers have read and understand the terms, including what happens if they cancel their trip. Be careful not to offer any financial advice, however; just answer their questions about their selected plan (Pro tip:  send them our consumer guide to Uplift!).

Paying for travel shouldn’t be any different from anything else Gen Z buys. And if you can make that happen for your Zoomers, if you can give them that flexible experience on top of your expertise, you very well might have a customer for life.

If an Uplift loan is approved, your client will be provided with a confirmation with their trip price, finance charge, total cost, and monthly payment amount and will be able to select the timeframe for the loan. All payments will be applied to the debit card on file; credit cards are not accepted.

Terms for loans are based on credit score and other factors. Not everyone is eligible, and some states are not served, including IA and WV. Most loans offered through Uplift are issued by CBW Bank, a Member of FDIC. Loans made in Colorado may be issued by Uplift, Inc.

Have questions on Uplift? Find our FAQ and step-by-step booking guide here.

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