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What’s a wedding season without a little travel? According to a recent Priceline survey, 79% of Americans are planning on traveling to a wedding in 2022. If you’re planning on spending some money to meet up with your loved ones to celebrate, you may be wondering “What are the best credit cards for booking wedding travel?”
Looking to use a credit card makes sense. Costs can quickly add up when you’re on the road, so opting for a rewards-earning credit card can help trim the price of wedding travel. Here's a look at cards to consider, including those that are best for flights, vacation rentals and buying gifts.
Best credit cards for booking wedding travel
There are a variety of travel credit cards on the market, catering to every kind of traveler. The one that works for you depends on where you spend the most, so here are cards to consider based on your activities.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
If you’re traveling to multiple locations
If you’re planning on traveling to a few weddings this year, there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider.
Second: Where are you going? If your preferred airline doesn’t provide service to one or more of your destinations, you’ll be limited when it comes to earning or redeeming points.
The same can be said for hotels. If a hotel chain doesn’t have a property at your destination, you’ll be missing out with a co-branded credit card.
If this is your situation, you may want to consider a card that provides more flexible earnings. Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example, will reward you with 3x points on all travel and dining. The card offers even more points — 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals — when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
You can also choose to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® to a wide variety of hotels and airlines, including:
If none of those suit your fancy, you can always redeem your Chase points at a rate of 1.5 cents each toward travel in the Chase travel portal.
Don’t forget about the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That's quite a bit of extra value when redeemed within the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal.
» Learn more: Chase Ultimate Rewards® — how to earn and use them
If you’re booking vacation rentals
Hotel rooms may be a little small if you’re traveling with a group, which may mean you’ll be looking for a vacation rental instead.
If you’d like to redeem points for a stay, consider the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Credit Card and its welcome bonus: Earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Free nights can require up to 30,000 points per bedroom at participating properties and are subject to availability. Resort fees may apply and cannot be paid with points.
» Learn more: How to maximize Wyndham points with vacation rentals
Wyndham may not be the company that comes to mind when you’re looking for a vacation rental, but it should be. Thanks to its partnership with Vacasa, you can redeem Wyndham points for homes at a rate of 15,000 points per bedroom, per night.
With a little clever filtering, you can sleep up to six people in a one-bedroom property, meaning that 75,000 points is enough to get you five nights in a full-size vacation home.
If you’re buying gifts
If you’re planning on bringing presents, you may be looking for a card that provides benefits on purchases. There are plenty of these cards, but the ones that’ll suit you best will depend on where you shop.
Are you getting everything from Amazon? In this case, the Prime Visa could be a good option. The card has a $0 annual fee and you’ll earn 5% cash back on all your Amazon purchases.
How about Target? This next recommendation may sound a little surprising, since it’s not a credit card at all. Instead, the Target RedCard debit card nets you a 5% discount on all Target purchases. Since it’s not a credit card, you won’t be faced with a hard pull on your credit report, and acquiring the card won’t take up one of those coveted spots that are part of the 5/24 rule. You’ll also receive free shipping on most items and an additional 30 days to make any returns.
You may still want to opt for a more general credit card to cover everything you buy, in which case a card like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card may be worth looking into. The card will give you a flat 2 points per dollar spent on all your shopping, but also includes benefits such as extended warranty protection and purchase protection.
If you only want to get one credit card
If all this talk of credit cards is making your head spin, we hear you. While you’ll always get the best benefits by mixing and matching a variety of credit cards, it can be hard to know which one to pull out when making your purchases.
A single credit card can be a good option in many cases. When it comes to wedding travel, a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will serve you well.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points can be redeemed across a wide variety of travel partners. You can also redeem points within the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents each.
As a more general travel card, you’ll earn:
5x points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal.
3x points per dollar on dining, online groceries and select streaming services.
2x per dollar on all other travel.
Although you’ll be missing out on a bonus when it comes to shopping, you’ll still earn 1 point per dollar on those purchases and will be eligible for purchase protection benefits.
If you’re looking for a credit card to book wedding travel
Weddings are an exciting time for everyone, whether you’re a guest or a groom. However, traveling out of town for the festivities can quickly become expensive. Opt for a credit card that’ll earn you good rewards on these travel purchases — or even allow you to redeem points and eliminate those costs.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card