3 minutes

Ikea added buy now, pay later for orders ranging from $40-$500. Why now and why the $500 limit? The retailer weighs in.

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) allows consumers to pay for products or services in a series of interest-free installments. Housewares and home furnishings retailer Ikea added the payment option in September 2023.

“We know we’re a little late to the game with BNPL. But we really wanted to see how it was going to play out,” says Christine Briganti, financial services deployment project leader, Ikea

“After looking at BNPL, we’ve structured it in a thoughtful way to service a demographic at Ikea we weren’t serving properly,” Briganti says.

That demographic included consumers that don’t want an Ikea credit card or don’t qualify for one. Ikea already offers a private label Visa credit card that starts at $500.

“We wanted to make sure that the BNPL option wasn’t in direct competition with that,” she says.


Ikea uses Afterpay to offer customers the ability to pay using BNPL for purchases ranging from $40-$500.

Other retailers like Wayfair LLC began offering BNPL in 2016. Amazon.com Inc. in 2018 through Amazon Pay and then through Affirm in 2021, Walmart Inc. offered Affirm in 2019, and Target Corp. through Sezzle and Affirm in 2021.

“We know this is an inflationary time and coming out of this pandemic where people have lost jobs or taken jobs that pay less and they’re maxing out credit cards. We wanted to make sure that if you were not qualified for traditional credit, that this would help the consumer not overextend themselves,” Briganti says.

BNPL vs. credit cards

Unlike Afterpay, consumers that want to use a higher-amount-limit Ikea Visa must go through a traditional credit check and approval process. “Not everyone can qualify for a Visa card,” Briganti says.


“We had been approached by several vendors about offering a higher credit limit change. We might reevaluate in 2-5 years and bump it up,” Briganti says. “But for starting out, we have noticed quite a bit as default rates have gone up with higher limits that we did not want to risk the financial health of our consumers.”

The Ikea shopper is generally 20 to 40 years old, “and that demographic loves technology,” Briganti says. “So, we always wanted to bring BNPL to market. It just took us a while to evaluate what the rest of the market was doing.”

BNPL helps Ikea steer sales

With a lower limit, Briganti says BNPL helps the retailer “steer sales,” she says. “If you were going to buy a living room coffee table and you saw one for $100, but maybe there’s another for $200-$300, you might opt for the higher-priced table if you’re not paying cash for it upfront,” she says.

Jewelry, automotive parts, and apparel retailers most likely to offer BNPL

While more than half of the Top 1000 retailers offer BNPL, the top retailers differ in which  pay-in-installment vendor they offer. 18.3% of Top 1000 retailers offer PayPal credit, one of PayPal’s versions of BNPL, 14.7% offer Affirm, 13.3% offer Klarna, and 11.9% offer AfterPay, with other services coming in behind. 18.9% of retailers offer multiple BNPL vendors.


Jewelry, automotive parts, and apparel retailers are the most likely to offer BNPL. Food and beverage companies are the least likely, according to Top 1000 data.

Ikea is No. 7 in the Europe Database. The database ranks the region’s largest online retailers based on their web sales.

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