Even though it falls on the same date every year, Valentine's Day still takes many of us by surprise. If you're in a new relationship, you're trying to figure out how far you can go with gifts, flowers and dinner on the town. And if you've been with the same partner for years, you're probably trying to figure out how to raise the stakes. Fortunately, some of the best rewards credit cards can help treat your loved one to a February 14 they won't forget.
Top Valentine's Day credit card offers
A handful of today's top-rated credit cards can help you pass the Valentine's Day test, but not in the way you think. Instead of putting yourself in debt to bankroll a special evening, consider using your credit card's special features to streamline your planning. Check out a few of our editorial team's favorite love offerings from major credit card issuers:
- Discover Open Road. This version of the Discover Card offers one of the most unusual signup bonuses on the market: a $150 Restaurant.com gift certificate. If you're not familiar with the website, Restaurant.com offers deeply discounted deals to eateries in most major cities. It's not hard to stretch that $150 credit into $300 or more in dining rewards. One caveat: You won't be able to use that credit on Valentine's Day, but you can certainly shift around your "dining out" budget for the rest of the month with help from this special offer.
- Bloomingdale's Ultimate Premier Insider from American Express. As a rule, we generally avoid retail store credit cards. They rarely offer great value, and their interest rates tend to balloon beyond the point of practicality. However, a partnership between Bloomingdale's and American Express means that your frequent shopping trips can help you keep your next gift a secret. Spend $2,500 a year at Bloomie's, and you'll get free gift wrapping and local delivery, plus help from a personal shopper who can help you pick out a great V-Day surprise.
- Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card from Chase. Sometimes, the route to your Valentine's heart leads straight out of town. This travel rewards credit card bestows you with instant Silver Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program. That means you'll have direct access to an experienced guest services professional who can help you plan everything you need for a romantic getaway at any of Marriott's 3,700 hotels and resorts throughout the world. While you dine and play during your trip, you'll earn a 20 percent premium on your Marriott Rewards points, plus enough bonus points to cover next year's surprise trip.
- Citi Gold / AAdvantage Visa Signature. When your romantic getaway means getting really far away, Citi's partnership with American Airlines can help you score some inexpensive plane tickets. Between a generous signup bonus and AA's reduced mileage awards, you can quickly earn enough miles to escape to somewhere really romantic. Plus, the Citi Private Pass program gives you access to exclusive events and hard-to-get tickets for theater, sports and concerts in many cities across the country.
Each of these four cards offers something even better for your relationship than a low interest rate and a money-saving signup offer. All four cards provide access to personal concierge services that can help you plan exciting gifts, meals and experiences for your special someone. Concierges don't always work directly for your credit card issuer: Visa Signature and Discover Card outsource their concierge requests to outside companies. However, their partnerships with ticket agencies, florists, tour operators and restaurants can elevate your date to epic levels.
Credit card concierge can save Valentine's Day
In lieu of a personal assistant, your credit card company's concierge service works as a team to track down gifts and experiences your loved one will adore. If you've ever struggled to come up with ideal gifts or dining suggestions, just provide your concierge with your budget and some baseline ideas. A concierge might suggest some special deals from partner vendors, or reference some recent requests from fellow cardholders. American Express, Citi and Chase all hold event tickets and restaurant reservations for their cardholders, adding value by making a venue's "sold out" sign irrelevant.
Yet, even concierges from the best credit card rewards programs run into challenges filling last minute requests for flowers, chocolates and dinner reservations on Valentine's Day. Instead of relying on a credit card's concierge to save the day, it's best to connect with them early on if you want help planning a truly romantic experience.
The original article can be found at CardRatings.com: