If you and your partner are tying the knot soon, consider a credit card that can help you earn rewards on wedding expenses or give you extra time to pay them all off without incurring interest.
Weddings are beautiful expressions of love and family, but they can come with a major price tag.
In the United States, the average cost of getting hitched, including the ceremony and reception, is $34,000, according to The Knot’s annual Real Weddings Study.
Fear not, young couples of the internet. If managed correctly, the best credit cards can take some of the sting out of your wallet. Whether it’s giving you a long interest-free cushion as you pay off the bill or rewarding you with cash back on the numerous expenses, here are the best credit cards for wedding expenses.
U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card: Best for long 0% intro APR period
Why we picked it: Consistently one of the top 0% intro APR cards, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers one of the longest interest-free intro periods on purchases available. You’ll don’t have to pay interest for 20 billing cycles (then it’s 15.24% to 25.24% variable APR), giving you plenty of time to pay off the principal faster.
Even if you apply for this card midway in your wedding planning and have already made several purchases on a high-interest card, that’s OK. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card extends its 20-billing cycle 0% APR to balance transfers as well, though you’ll have to pay a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is higher).
- Flexible payment due date
- Up to $600 cellphone protection (subject to $25 deductible)
- No annual fee
- Free credit score
- High regular variable APR (15.24%-25.24%)
- No rewards program
Who should apply: Couples with a lot of DIY projects for their weddings who are purchasing supplies for crafts will like the leeway the long intro APR gives. If you already made some purchases on a high-interest card, this is a good card to transfer your balance to and pay off that debt.
Who should skip: Those with a lot of money saved up and generally bigger budgets probably don’t need this card’s long intro APR period. If that sounds like you, you should apply for a card that will earn you rewards on your purchases instead.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for destination weddings
Why we picked it: As the wedding draws closer, you’re not going to have time to go online and manage eligible reward categories each quarter. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is wonderfully straightforward: 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on every purchase.
You can also earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months, a goal you should easily reach if you’re planning a wedding. Plus, you’ll have so many wedding expenses coming in, you don’t want a card with too high an annual fee, like the
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, though the Venture X a great option for anyone with a bigger budget.
- No blackout or expiration dates
- Earn unlimited miles
- Miles transferrable to Capital One travel partners
- Hotel or airline purchases redeemable for statement credits
- $95 annual fee
- Airline partners excludes large U.S. airlines
Who should apply: If you’re planning a destination wedding, it’s best to get a card with a high enough sign-up bonus to cover some of your honeymoon expenses.
Who should skip: Soon-to-be newlyweds who aren’t planning for a honeymoon or a destination wedding won’t see much point in getting a travel credit card just for your wedding expenses.
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best for cash back
Why we picked it: Those doing the whole nine yards – cake, lights, dance floor, sound system, open bar and more – are going to have so many expenses, you’ll find it difficult to track which categories you’re spending in. And for the big-ticket items, like the venue, you might have to pay with check or cash. So, for the items you can charge on a credit, you should get a flat-rate cash back card, like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.
You’ll earn 2% cash rewards on purchases with no limit on your rewards. You should know though, the cash back rewards are redeemable only as checks, statement credits, direct deposits or withdrawals from ATMs.
- 2% cash rewards on purchases
- $200 cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in three months
- No annual fee
- No minimum redemption requirement
- Can only redeem rewards as cash back
- Cannot transfer rewards to other programs
Who should apply: The Wells Fargo Active Cash is good for couples who simply want to redeem their rewards as cash to cover their expenses, rather than for travel rewards or gift cards.
Who should skip: If you’re planning a more DIY wedding, with mostly small purchases, you should apply for a card that will give higher rewards.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Best for online shopping
Why we picked it: Perhaps you’re making all kinds of different purchases for your wedding – hosting celebration dinners, booking a short honeymoon and making a bunch of little purchases from Etsy. If so, you’ll like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. Its main selling point is its 3% cash back on a category of your choice, and you can choose among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvements and furnishings.
Bonus: You can change your category up to once a calendar month. You’ll also get 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases. Keep in mind, however, that there’s a $2,500 combined spending cap on the 2% and 3% categories per quarter.
- $200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in 90 days
- No annual fee
- Rewards bumped up 25% to 75% with Preferred Rewards program
- 0% intro APR on new purchases for 15 billing cycles (14.24% to 24.24% variable thereafter)
- $2,500 spending cap on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
- Limited redemption options (check, statement credit or direct deposit)
Who should apply: Those making all kinds of different purchases, whether it’s in dining, online shopping or home furnishings, will enjoy the flexibility provided by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards. It’s mostly good for those throwing mid-size to small weddings because of its $2,500 spending cap.
Who should skip: If you’re clearly making most purchases in one category – like travel – for your wedding, you should skip this one and find a card with higher rewards on your top spend category.
Comparing credit cards for wedding expenses
Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the venue, the guest list and traditions you intend to celebrate. Be sure to get a card that suits your spending so you don’t have to worry about your rewards on your special day. Here are all our favorite picks summarized in a table:
|Card||Rewards||Intro APR period||Annual fee|
|U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card||N/A||20 billing cycles (balance transfers and new purchases) then 15.24% to 25.24% variable||$0|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||N/A||$95|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card||15 months from account opening (qualifying balance transfers and new purchases) then 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable||$0|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card||15 billing cycles (on balance transfers completed in 60 days and new purchases) then 14.24% – 24.24% variable||$0|
How to choose a credit card for planning a wedding
Planning a wedding essentially comes down to making choices among different types of flowers and fonts and colors. To make the decision of which credit card you want to earn rewards on your wedding expenses, consider the following factors:
- Intro APR period: Though you may have saved up for your wedding, they’re always more expensive than people expect. It may turn out that you need some time to pay off all your charges. In that case, determining how long it’ll take to pay off your wedding expenses will help you decide on a card with a long enough intro APR period to help you do that. If you’re having trouble calculating how it’ll take to pay off your current balance, check out our balance transfer calculator.
- Rewards type: Are you planning a honeymoon right after the wedding or looking to move into and furnish a new place? The honeymooners may prefer a card that earns travel rewards, while those moving into a new home will likely need cash back more.
- Annual fee: Weddings already have enough expenses, so why add a credit card annual fee to them? Couples with bigger budgets may find mid-tier travel cards or high-earning cash back cards are indeed worth the annual fee because of all the rewards you get in exchange. If you’re all about saving money and getting a good deal, however, a no-annual-fee card will make a fine addition to your wallet.
- Top category spend: Let’s say instead of a huge ceremony you’re throwing two receptions, one for family and one for friends. In that case, your biggest spend category would be dining, so you should go for a top dining card. If you’re spending money across different categories, go for a more flexible card like the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards or a flat-rate cash back card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash.
Planning a wedding is stressful and mentally taxing enough, so make sure you get a card that will earn you reliable rewards without your having to give a second thought about it.
There are as many different credit cards to suit your needs just like there are different kinds of weddings. Be sure to shop carefully before deciding but after that it should be smooth sailing.