November 21, 2022
6 mins

A Full Review of Afterpay in Canada

Afterpay Canada

The idea of being able to shop at your favourite retailer and paying only a part of the cost upfront sounds enticing. Then, the cherry on the cake—you don’t pay a single cent more than the item’s MSRP and split the payment into interest-free payments. Welcome to the Afterpay Canada party!

What is Afterpay Canada?


Afterpay Canada is a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service that allows you to split your payments interest-free without hitting your credit scores. The service started in Australia in 2014 and has been in Canada since 2020. Afterpay Canada services are available on their website and the app. The app is available for iPhone, Mac, Windows, and Android devices.

The company employs about 1300 people worldwide and has a presence in the European Union (as Clearpay), the United States, the UK, New Zealand, and Canada. In 2022, the company was acquired by Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ). Block, Inc. is the parent company for popular products like Square (payments platform for businesses), Cash App (mobile payments app), and TIDAL (subscription-based music, podcast, and video streaming service). Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey started Block, Inc. in 2009.

Afterpay boasts 85,000 big and small retailers and brand tie-ups, and it also has several local Canadian brands on board – Blondo, Dolce Vita, Fragrance Canada, HAVEN, Pilgrim, Vessi, and VSP.

How Afterpay Canada Works

Using Afterpay services is as easy. Simply:

  • Open your Afterpay Canada account.

  • Pay for your favourite item using the Afterpay Canada credit facility at the point of sale.

  • Split your payments into four parts, paid monthly.

Yes! It is as easy as it sounds. We tested it! Afterpay splits expensive purchases into affordable partial payments. Using Afterpay services does not affect your credit, but you must qualify for their eligibility requirements. These requirements include the following:

  • You must be 18 years old.

  • Afterpay Canada doesn’t set a minimum purchase amount, but your retailer does.

  • You’ll need to link your credit or debit card to your Afterpay account.

  • No need to share your SIN.

  • The Afterpay Canada signup process asks for your name, email, address, DOB, and phone number.

Who is Afterpay Canada’s Ideal Customer

Afterpay Canada does not run hard credit checks, nor does a late payment affect your credit score. Therefore, it is an ideal service for:

  • People with bad credit who can not borrow otherwise.

  • People who are looking for short-term financing.

  • Those who want to take a loan but do not wish to pay interest.

  • Those who commit to paying their installments on time.

What is the Actual Cost of Afterpay’s Services

Afterpay Canada does not charge any interest on the money you borrow, which translates into zero APR—literally no hidden charges! Just pay your installment on time and never get charged. What’s more, you can even change the due date of your payments. You can do it on the website or app. We tried it on the app. Go to orders, and tap the payment you wish to reschedule. Then, in the menu on the top right corner, tap “Change Next Payment,” set the date, and you’re done!

Afterpay does not ‘blacklist’ you for missing a payment. However, they will surely freeze your account and not allow you to buy anything before clearing past payments.

Salient Features of Afterpay Canada Services

The offering is straightforward. Buy an item, split the cost into equal parts, and pay over a set number of weeks. Let us explore the most convenient features for Afterpay Canada:

  • No interest or hidden cost as long as you pay on time.

  • Easy signup—provide personal information except for your SIN during registration.

  • Buy instantly at point-of-sale—no waiting for approvals.

  • Easy credit management on the app or website.

Where can I use Afterpay in Canada?

Use your Afterpay Canada account to pay for items at top retailers like UGG, CAT Workwear, Adidas, Nike, and more. Other Canadian retailers include Roots, Aritzia, SHIEN, Boathouse, Viacchi, American Eagle, Lush, Ardene, Steve Madden, and many more. Check the complete list of retailers here.

Does Afterpay Canada Affect my Credit Score?

For new users, Afterpay Canada will run a soft credit check, which means your credit score remains unaffected. Such checks are not visible to your other lenders or creditors. Afterpay does these soft checks to ensure their new customers’ initial spending limit is set at an appropriate level.

However, if you choose the “Pay Monthly” option, your credit check will be done to ascertain the applicable APR in your case. So rest assured, your Buy Now, Pay Later payments will not affect your credit score. Other factors that impact your overall credit limit are:

  • Payment source—credit or debit card.

  • Timely past payments.

  • Buying trends and frequencies.

  • The timing involved in repaying missed payments.

What Happens if I Face Financial Hardship?

Afterpay Canada has a Hardship Policy that addresses an unexpected change in your financial situation. In case of job loss, natural disaster, etc., Afterpay team members will work closely with you to find the most suitable repayment solution.

Pros of Afterpay Canada

  • Fast approvals.

  • Soft credit checks that do not affect your credit score.

  • No interest or hidden costs.

  • Split purchases into four convenient payments.

  • Use credit facility at point-of-sale.

  • Relationships with most Canadian stores.

  • App notifications and reminders for upcoming payments.

Cons of Afterpay Canada

  • Max credit limit of $1,500.

  • Payment is typically fixed into four installments split over six weeks.

  • Missing or late payments will freeze your credit facility.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later promotes impulse buying by reducing the upfront cost of expensive items.

In Closing

Afterpay solutions are used by 14.6 million users worldwide. They have more than 85,000 big and small brands and retailer relationships. Afterpay Canada has policies that cover Hardship situations.

Afterpay Canada presents itself as a promising, convenient payment solution. It is a fair way to pay for items from your favourite retailers and brands. It does not affect your credit score when you qualify for Afterpay Canada services. In addition, interest-free installments make it a preferred choice when buying items with high upfront prices.

Afterpay takes care of your finances by approving only to the limit which you can afford to pay later. The limit goes up to $1,500 as you continue to make your payments. Sign-up is as easy as signup for an email address.

You can read more about Buy Now, Pay Later on Creditpicks. Please also subscribe to our blog to receive regular Canadian personal finance tips in your inbox.

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