Weddings are expensive, right? You spend a small fortune on the venue, dress, flowers, invitations and all the other extras in between. So why not make a little extra to help offset the cost of your wedding? Credit cards are a good way to earn some extra rewards, especially when you are using them for big-ticket items, like a wedding.
"A lot of credit cards give cash, travel or other rewards when you use the card," said Catey Hill, author of Shoo, Jimmy Choo! The Modern Girl's Guide to Spending Less and Saving More. "So if you're going to be buying wedding stuff anyway, it can definitely be smart to put the items on your rewards card and then earn cash and rewards."
Hill also points out that using credit cards to make your wedding purchases gives you an "electronic record of everything you buy" so you can keep track of how much money you are spending.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to not use credit cards in place of actual money when paying for your wedding. Make sure you can pay off what you are charging to your credit card, otherwise you will be paying interest on your balance, and that cancels out any benefits you get from the rewards.
"Credit cards are not free money," explains Elle Kaplan, CEO of Lexion Capital Management, "and couples should be aware that digging themselves into a financial hole with credit card debt is not a positive way to start their new life together."
If you are looking to get a new credit card that offers great rewards or a stellar introductory APR, here are a few suggestions:
Best cash back card to offset the cost of the wedding: If you're going to be spending a small fortune on this wedding, shouldn't you get something back? If you are looking to make a little extra cash back from your wedding spending, a cash back credit card is the perfect option. Just remember to look at the fine print when it comes to cash back cards. Most cards offer higher cash back percentages on things like groceries or gas, which won't help you much if you are using the card for wedding purchases, like flowers and wedding invitations.
The Capital One Cash Rewards card offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases (0.5 percent of that comes in the form of a 50 percent bonus annually) plus $100 cash back after spending $500 in first three months. Also there are no foreign transaction fees so if you are having an international destination wedding or honeymoon, you don't have to worry about paying an additional fee. As an added bonus, this card even has a 0 percent introductory APR for the first 12 months, so if you need a little extra time to pay off some of those purchases, you won't have to pay any interest.
Best travel rewards card to help pay for the honeymoon: Some people give up their dream honeymoon to pay for their dream wedding, but why can't you have both? Paying for your wedding with a travel rewards credit card can help you rack up enough points to get the honeymoon of your dreams.
The best travel rewards card that we've seen is the Capital One Venture Rewards card. It gives you double miles on anything you buy, and lets you spend those miles on any airline or hotel and at any time. You also get 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months, which should be easy with wedding expenses.
Best balance transfer card to postpone paying off your wedding debt: If you've already maxed out your credit cards with wedding expenses, it might be a good idea to look at a balance transfer credit card to help you pay off some of your wedding debt. If your APRs on your other cards are high, transferring those balances to a balance transfer card with a zero percent introductory APR can help you pay off the debt without being hit with extra interest. It can also give you extra time to pay off your wedding expenses, especially if you are expecting a lot of cash from wedding gifts.
If you have a balance that you think you'll be able to pay off within a year or so, you should check out the Slate from Chase card. It has a zero percent introductory APR for the first 15 months, as well as no annual fee and no balance transfer fee, so you will only be paying down your balance for the first 15 months -- you won't accrue any interest.
If you have a higher balance that will take several years to pay off, a better choice is the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard. It has no annual fee and no balance transfer fee, and it also has the lowest ongoing APR of any card we've seen at eight percent. While it doesn't have a zero percent introductory APR, the eight percent ongoing APR will actually save you money in the long run if it will take a few years to pay off your balance.
Best rewards card for those with average credit: If your credit score has already taken a hit from your wedding spending, try applying for an average credit credit card that still offers you rewards. Be careful to not choose a card that gives you maximum rewards on things like groceries or gas, since that is not what you'll be using the card for.
The Capital One Cash Reward - Average Credit card gives you 1.5 percent back on all your purchases, which is perfect for wedding spending since you could be using the card for any number of expenses. It also has a zero percent introductory APR that will give you a little extra time to pay off the balance before you start getting charged interest.