(WHTM) — As you’re shopping away on this Cyber Monday, how will you save money? Buy now, pay later installment plans like Afterpay, Quadpay, and Affirm are really growing in popularity.

“A buy now, pay later services allows you to spread payment on a larger purchase over a certain amount of time usually without paying any interest,” Matt Frankel, a personal financial specialist, said.

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Consumers make a purchase and agree to equal payments over the length of the contract.

“It’s a stand-alone account, meaning you don’t have a revolving credit line, you can’t use it over and over again..it’s for one purchase and one purchase only,” Frankel added.

Frankel adds it is a much simpler process than getting a credit card.

“Buy now pay later services are easy. You’ll see these one-click buttons that say spread this over six months when you’re checking out on all your favorite websites. And it really is that easy,” Frankel said.

A survey shows that three out of five buy now, pay later users think that the service could replace credit cards. But, should they?

“That’s the question. A lot of people know the bad aspects of credit cards. It’s dangerous to get over your head with debt, things to that effect. But they also are ignoring the good things about credit cards, meaning you have the flexibility to pay less each month if you run into hard times. If you get a buy now, pay later service, and spread a purchase over six months, you have to pay 1/6 of that each month or you’re gonna get hit with penalties and late charges,” Frankel explained.

Consumers need to be very careful about using a buy now, pay later services. Most of them are 0% interest if they pay on time, but after that, deferred interests kick in.

“If you miss a payment or don’t pay the entire balance before the term expires, all of the interest that would have accumulated since day one hits your account all at once,” Frankel added.

Buy now, pay later services do not report activity to credit bureaus unless the consumer does something wrong, meaning, they can only hurt the consumer’s credit score, not help it.

“It’s really important to make sure you can make the payments on time every month regardless of what happens in your life or financial situation. If there’s any question about that a credit card is probably the better way to go,” said Frankel.

Both credit cards and buy now, pay later services have their pros and cons. Consumers must make sure they choose the option that is best for them.

“These could be great tools if you know what you’re getting into and you’re prepared to do it right,” he added.

The good news? With so much competition right now, this may be a good time to open a credit card as many are offering special deals.