Transform Your Wedding Spending Into Travel Rewards

Alisha McDarris
By Alisha McDarris 
Edited by Mary M. Flory

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Weddings are festive, joyful — and sometimes expensive — occasions. If your wedding planning involves big spending, it can also involve big rewards if you play your cards right. And big rewards can mean free flight upgrades, free hotel stays during your honeymoon, and other discounts and freebies.

To be sure, when it comes to weddings, costs (and therefore travel rewards), can add up fast. So get rewarded as you plan your big day. Here’s how to get travel rewards for your wedding spending.

Use a travel rewards card

Start by paying for everything you can, from florals to footwear, with your travel rewards card. Use it for deposits, rentals, even seemingly small-ticket items like guestbooks or picture frames, because it all adds up. Just make sure to only spend what you’ll be able to pay off at the end of every month or the interest fees you’ll pay will cancel out whatever points you earn.

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Sign up for a new card

If you need a little more time to pay off the balance but still want to earn major points and miles with your wedding spending, consider signing up for a new card with a 0% interest introductory rate. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, for example, offers 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply.

A card like that will allow you to earn travel rewards while also offering extra time to pay off the balance without incurring interest fees. Just be sure to pay off the balance by the end of that introductory period to avoid paying interest.

You can also make the most of all the wedding spending you’re about to do by signing up for a new card with a large bonus. Even if the spending threshold seemed out of reach before, you’ll likely be able to spend the $1,000, $3,000 or $4,000 dollars required to earn that 20,000- to 50,000-mile bonus in no time.

Keep track of bonus categories

If you have several travel rewards cards, it pays to know which ones offer bonus points or miles for which categories. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, for example, offers 3x points on dining, which may include your caterer, or at the very least, your rehearsal dinner.

Likewise, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offers 5x points for hotel purchases when booked and prepaid on Terms apply. Sometimes all you have to do is use the right card for the right purchase to earn more rewards without spending an extra dime. Check your card’s list of bonus categories to find out what wedding spending might qualify.

Use a shopping portal

Check to see if you could score extra points and miles by ordering wedding goods online. That includes shoes, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, jewelry — you name it. Just be sure to use a travel rewards portal to get more than just the points and miles your credit card offers. Use a portal dedicated to the airline of your choice (like AAdvantage Shopping for American Airlines or United MileagePlus Shopping for United), or a more generic aggregator like Evreward. You can earn cash back to use on travel, or up to 15 miles per dollar or more for items you were going to buy anyway.

Frequent flyer programs also tend to offer bonus miles through partner purchases listed on their program page. For example, you can earn an extra 1x mile per dollar when you send a Lyft to pick up family from the airport or extra points when you book an Airbnb through your Skymiles account. Likewise, Delta and Hawaiian are just a couple of airlines that offer bonus miles for car rental reservations made through their portals.

The bottom line

Americans shell out over $33,000 on average on wedding spending. That’s a lot of travel rewards potential for those wanting to really rack up points and miles before their big day. Use travel rewards cards wisely, sign up for new cards with big bonuses or 0% interest rates and use a shopping aggregator to earn even more points and miles, and you’ll be on your way to cashing in those rewards for the honeymoon of your dreams.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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