Afterpay vs Klarna: Which one is the best choice for you?

Panna Kemenes
06.11.21
6 minute read

Klarna and Afterpay are payment services that offer customers financing options for shopping.

If you want to buy now but pay later, Klarna and Afterpay are two options worth looking at.

Neither charge fees nor interests (unless you’re late on payments), so you don’t have to shell out extra for your order.

While Klarna has gained traction in many European countries, Afterpay is a more popular option in North America.

Shopping internationally? Take a look at Wise 💰

📝 Table of contents

Afterpay vs Klarna: Quick comparison

FeaturesAfterpayKlarna
FeesLate fees after 10 days, up to 25% of the value of the order¹Late fees of up to $7 and up to $35 per missed month with a financing account²
Repayment timeFour installments, due every 2 weeks³Flexible month-to-month and planned payment options⁴
Payment methodOnline and in-storeVia the Klarna app

How do Afterpay and Klarna work?

Apps like Afterpay and Klarna offer financing options for orders but through different payment plans.

How does Afterpay work?

With Afterpay, you can pay for products you find online in four installments. The payments will be due every two weeks, and all you need to do is sign into your account to start shopping.⁵

Does Afterpay affect your credit?

No, using Afterpay’s services will not affect your credit rating. This is because Afterpay does not perform credit checks.⁶

You can also read the guide on whether Afterpay is safe to use to find out more.

How does Klarna work?

Given that they offer similar services, does Klarna work like Afterpay?

Yes and no.

With Klarna, you can do all your online shopping through one convenient app. Through the free app, you can find exclusive deals and choose to buy now and pay later.

Though Klarna is the same as Afterpay in that you have four payments, which you will have to pay every two weeks.⁷

Does Klarna affect credit?

Klarna does checks to assess your financial standing, though its soft credit check will not affect your credit score. However, if you use one of the services’ financing options, this could impact your credit rating.⁸

Does Klarna affect credit

Afterpay vs Klarna limits

A common question about payment services such as Afterpay and Klarna is how much one can spend before going over the limit.

Afterpay spending limits

Afterpay generates a spending limit estimate for your account, based on various factors. This includes how much you use the account and your standing with Afterpay.⁹

There might also be another limitation according to the merchant you are buying from.

There is no minimum for how much you need to spend on Afterpay’s end, but some merchants will apply one.¹⁰

Klarna spending limits

Klarna will assess each purchase you make. It considers factors such as the order size, your standing with Klarna, and your successful repayments.¹¹

Klarna customers have to spend at least $10 with each order.

Klarna vs Afterpay repayment schedules

The repayment schedule can make all the difference, and both services offer similar financing options.

Afterpay

Afterpay has you pay the first installment the moment you place an order. Though, if you have a good standing with the service, you may be able to defer it for two weeks.¹²

There are four installments in total, with payment due every two weeks.

Klarna

Klarna payments are also usually paid in four installments. You also have the option to pay now, in 30 days, or over six months (with interest).¹³

Klarna repayment schedule

Online and in-store use compared

While both services lean towards online shopping, they offer in-store payment options too.

Afterpay

Shopping in-store with Afterpay, you can use the same payment method as you can online - four payments with payment due every two weeks.

Download the Afterpay mobile app, register an Afterpay card, and then use Google Pay or Apple Pay at checkout.¹⁴

To request a refund online, contact the retailer for instructions. If you paid in-store with the Afterpay card, you could return an order through the app.¹⁵

Klarna

To pay in-store with Klarna, download the app, and then you can use Google Pay or Apple Pay to create a Digital card. Once you have the Digital card from the Klarna app, you can connect it to either payment service.¹⁶

To request a refund, you will have to read the store’s returns policy and reach out to the merchant if necessary. Once processed by the merchant, Klarna will take care of the rest.¹⁷

Afterpay vs Klarna fees

Account fees

Afterpay¹⁸Klarna¹⁹
NoneNone

Late fees

Afterpay²⁰Klarna²¹
Capped at 25% of order value$7, or $35 for every missed month with a financing account

Interest rate

Afterpay²⁰Klarna²¹
Interest-freeInterest-free, unless you use the 6-36 month financing option

Afterpay vs Klarna fees

Pros and Cons of Klarna vs Afterpay

There isn’t much to separate Klarna and Afterpay, and both offer excellent financing options for online and in-store shopping. Yet they aren’t without fault, so here are the pros and cons of each service:

Afterpay pros and cons

ProsCons
  • There are no account fees or interest
  • Easy account setup
  • Late fees can amount to 25% of the original order cost.

Klarna pros and cons

ProsCons
  • Interest-free and no account fees
  • Shop at any US retailer even if Klarna isn’t listed as a payment option
  • The financing account can affect your credit score

Afterpay vs Klarna: Which one should you choose?

If you’re sat on the fence wondering which payment service to go with, here are the highlights of each:

  • Klarna offers more payment plan options, though the 6-36 month financing plan will accumulate interest.
  • Afterpay is ideal for smaller purchases, but this makes it easy to succumb to impulse purchases.
  • You can only use Afterpay at partner stores, whereas Klarna is available at any US retailer.²²⁻²³

Save money on international purchases and more with Wise

Afterpay and Klarna are available for stores across the US. However, if you often shop from international stores, you can also consider some ways of saving money, to minimize the need to spread costs.

For example, you can use your Wise account when you make purchases from foreign online shopping sites.

Local banks often charge currency conversion fees and can add a markup to the exchange rate. This means you could be paying more than you should for your purchase.

Wise offers customers the real exchange rate and no currency markup. So you can buy from an online store in another country, without paying too much for the conversion.

Sounds great? Give it a try today!

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You can also use your Wise account to send and receive money in different currencies. And if you want to spend while traveling, the Wise debit card is an easy way to spend around the world with no foreign transaction fees.

Save money with Wise

Sources:

  1. How do payments work? – Afterpay
  2. What happens if I can't pay on time? - Klarna
  3. How does Afterpay work? – Afterpay
  4. What is financing, and how does it work? - Klarna
  5. How does Afterpay work? – Afterpay
  6. Is using Afterpay bad for my credit score? – Afterpay
  7. Buy now pay later – How it works | Klarna
  8. Does Klarna affect my credit score?
  9. How much can I spend with Afterpay? – Afterpay
  10. Is there a minimum on in-store Afterpay purchases? Is there a maximum? – Afterpay
  11. What's my credit line, and how much am I eligible to spend? - Klarna
  12. When will my first payment be taken? - Klarna
  13. When is my payment due? - Klarna
  14. How do in-store purchases work with Afterpay? – Afterpay
  15. How do I return something I purchased? - Afterpay
  16. How do I pay in-store using Klarna?
  17. How and when will I receive my refund? - Klarna
  18. Is there a cost to using Afterpay? – Afterpay
  19. How do I open a Klarna account?
  20. Is there a cost to using Afterpay? – Afterpay
  21. What happens if I can't pay on time? - Klarna
  22. Where can I use Afterpay? – Afterpay
  23. Klarna stores → Shop at your favorite merchants

All sources checked 11 June 2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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