My husband and I asked our friend Bob to officiate our destination wedding in Italy. In his speech, he said, “Most of you probably got here on points or miles or using a credit card that Nicole either set up for you or recommended you to get”.
It’s no secret that travel hacking is my jam.
(Do people still say “my jam”? I swear I’m not that old.)
Weddings can rack up many expenses, and if you’re going to be paying for them, you may as well use a credit card that will get you some points and miles so that you can travel in the future!
Couples are starting to plan their weddings and with that comes the need for a wedding budget. One of the most important things to include in your wedding budget is how you will be paying for it.
There are many ways that couples can pay for their wedding, but one option is by using credit cards.
Steps to pick a credit card for your wedding expenses
TL;DR: If you’re flying out from Boston, which many of my couples are, I really like the Chase United Mileage Plus and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- First, identify how you will be spending your points, whether on flights or hotels.
- If you chose flights, figure out a few locations that you’d like to fly to.
- Then, do some research as to which airlines can fly you there (Ie: Flying from Boston to Ireland via United Airlines)
- Lastly, select a card that will gain you points on the airline that you wish to fly.
Why do you like Chase cards for flying out of Boston:
The Chase United Mileage Plus and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are my two favorite credit cards, especially if you are flying out from Boston.
Chase Airline Partners:
This means that through chase, you can earn points to redeem flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue (loyalty program of Air France and KLM), Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.
I fly Aer Lingus, Air France, and KLM to Europe (Ireland, UK, Italy, France)
I fly United and Singapore Airlines to Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taipei)
I fly JetBlue for most domestic flights, because I like their snacks.
I know a lot of my friends also really like Southwest.
Chase Hotel Partners:
This means that through Chase, you can earn points to redeem flights on Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott.
I typically do not stay at hotels because I like airbnbs and VRBOs, but in a pinch, there’s pretty much a Hyatt or a Marriott anywhere.
Why do I need a credit card for my wedding?
First off, I do not think any couple should go into debt for a wedding.
I do believe in paying off credit cards each month, or as quickly as humanly possible because of high APR.
However, if you’re going to be making big purchases, you may as well get some points out of it!
You’re getting married—congratulations! You might be feeling excited, or anxious. One thing that can help ease the tension is to have a clear idea of how much your wedding will cost before you start planning it.
In 2019, the average Boston wedding budget for our couples is between $65,000-$150,000. Keep this in mind when setting budget guidelines with your partner and family members!
What are the benefits of using a credit card for your wedding expenses?
0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
If you’re looking for a new credit card that offers long periods of 0% introductory APR, look no further. Cards available right now offer lengthy 0% APR periods, so it’s easier to pay off your balance over time without incurring any interest charges. This is especially helpful when couples need some extra help with their budgeting!
Miles & Points bonuses
With a honeymoon right around the corner, many couples use the points and miles they accrue from their wedding expenses to travel hack their way into fancy hotels and upgraded flights! One way you can do this is by getting a credit card with sign-up bonuses before your big day. These cards typically offer cash or points as an incentive for spending more than a certain amount in a specific time frame.
I never promote couples going into debt for their wedding, but for some, it’s their preference. It is important to understand what options you have when it comes to obtaining a loan. Banks may offer personal loans but sometimes lenders will not provide small amounts, which can make things difficult for those in need of financial help with their wedding. Credit cards are another option that lets people borrow an instant amount without having to request the specific dollar amount they would like from banks and similar lending institutions. Credit cards allow for more flexibility on how much money you want through customization instead of committing to the loan at once.
My favorite 4 Credit Cards for Wedding Expenses
Chase United Mileage Plus
This is my #1 card I recommend to beginners because it’s $0 for the first year, and then $95 per year after.
It’s a great gateway drug because it’s low-cost, easy to digest and you get a whole ton of perks with it, especially if you fly United often.
I really like flying United to Europe and Asia from Boston, and most of the US as well.
I know right now (May 2021), there’s a 65,000 rewards points bonus after you spend $4,000 within 3 months.
Why I love the Chase United Mileage Plus:
- 2X miles on United purchases
- 2X miles on dining – Including eligible delivery services
- 2X miles on hotel stays when booked with the hotel
- 1X mile on all other purchases
- United ClubSM access with 2 United Club one-time passes per year. This is so great, because you can lounge and eat snacks while you wait for your flight. I’ve taken many people to lounges, and many had no idea that there was this awesome relaxing oasis within airports!
- United perks when you’re on the plane – Relax in comfort while waiting for your flight with complimentary beverages, snacks, high-speed Wi-Fi and more. You also get 25% back on United inflight purchases
- More United perks: Free first checked bag – For you and a companion, save up to $140 per roundtrip.
- Priority boarding
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit**
- No foreign transaction fees – Really ideal when you use this credit card while traveling
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
It’s my most expensive yearly fee card at $550.
However, it’s not really $550 because there’s a $300 annual travel credit (gas stations, Ubers, Lyft, lodging, etc.), so it’s actually $250.
In comparison to other fee cards in this price range, this Chase Sapphire Reserve is top notch.
(Actually, the only other one with a yearly fee this high is the American Express Platinum)
I like recommending it when they offer 60,000 bonus points (or more). They often run 80,000 or if you’re lucky, 100,000 point bonuses.
Usually the above requires “$x,000 on purchases in the first x months from account opening”, so I time it when I need to make a big purchase.
Why I love the Chase Sapphire Reserve:
- 3x points on dining at restaurants worldwide – including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.**
- 3x points on travel worldwide – immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit
- Complimentary Priority Pass at 1,000+ airport lounges. I use this quite often too!
- DashPass subscription and $60 statement credit – I prefer to order my delivery directly from restaurants because Dashpass and Uber Eats take such a big percentage from restaurants, but in a pinch, this is very useful.
- Earn $120 back on a peloton membership including full access to their workout library in the Peloton app.
- Lyft – 10x points on Lyft Rides through March 2022 and a year of Lyft Pink – I use this very often!
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with free personal concierge that helps you plan the big day. From flowers to venue bookings, they’re a helpful resource for some of your legwork during the planning stage.
American Express Gold Card
This is a great card to use for dining or stocking up on groceries.
When planning your wedding, this card can help you accrue large amounts of bonus points when booking restaurants and catering services. With 4x the points for every dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery, you will be able to eat out with a ton of rewards every time.
Not to mention that the same bonus applies to U.S. supermarkets and Uber Eats too!
Why I love the American Express Gold
- 4x points on Restaurants worldwide and Uber Eats purchases
- 4x points on purchases in US Supermarkets
- 2x points when you book travels directly through the airline’s website or through the Amex travel site.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® if you spend $4000 within the first six months
- $10 monthly statement credit if you use the Amex Gold Card for meals at The Cheesecake Factory, Seamless, Grubhub, Boxed, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.
- Access to American Express transfer partners and the American Express Hotel Collection.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Among the best credit cards for wedding expenses is the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. This is the perfect card for those who want to earn travel rewards. If you’re getting married, why not turn your honeymoon into a free trip to Rome? All it takes is one swipe of this credit card!
You can earn double the miles without having to worry about spending on the right category of expenses. Place all wedding expenses on the card and use the miles to redeem for cruises, airline flights, car rentals, hotels, and more! As an added bonus, the card doesn’t charge you an annual fee for a year after opening your account.
Why I love the Capital One Venture Rewards
- 0% APR for the first 15 months on balance transfers and purchases.
- 2X unlimited miles on every purchase.
- Redeem your miles at travel-from vacation or car rentals.
- Transfer your miles to over 10 travel loyalty programs.
- Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first year of opening the account.
- You can still earn half the amount in bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account.
- Miles that you earn do not expire during the life of the account.
Cons of Using a Credit Card for Wedding Expenses
Higher Interest Rates (if you don’t pay it off at the end of each month)
As mentioned, I never advise anyone to go into debt for their wedding!
When I was younger, I was always taught to pay off credit cards each month, like a charge card!
High rates can be daunting. If you don’t snag a 0% intro APR offer, the interest will shoot up if you wait to pay off your expenses immediately after purchase and you can go into serious debt. It’s important to be careful and practice self-control when using credit cards, as it can be very difficult to get out of credit card debt if you are not responsible.
Hurting Your Credit Score
Hard bounces, when opening several credit cards at once, can bring your credit score down. Which, in turn may affect you if you’re looking to purchase a home in the near future!
Charging a large amount on your credit cards typically increases your credit utilization ratio, hurting your credit score. Sustaining a balance every month is the same. If you are looking to buy a house shortly after getting married, you may want to consider if lowering your credit score will be worth it.
I hope you found this blog post helpful and informative. Let me know if there are any questions by sending me an email. In addition, feel free to let us know what credit card you’re using for your wedding expenses or share with us some of your favorite tips. Our team is here and happy to help you find a way to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!
Interested in learning more about how you can better plan your wedding? See our blog for more useful tricks just like this!