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Steaks and Sign-up Bonuses: How Credit Cards Can Help You Save on Your Wedding

You’re getting married — congratulations! Now let’s talk about smart ways to pay for it. The average U.S. wedding cost $35,329 in 2016, according to an annual survey by The Knot. But don’t worry, the Nerds have found three great cards for you, so you’re covered whether you want to earn rewards on your wedding purchases or you want extra time to pay off the cases of Champagne you ordered.

Best card for the honeymoon: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Many brides and grooms think planning the honeymoon is just as exciting as planning the wedding. If this sounds about right, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great card to consider. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining out and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Usually, points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 1 cent apiece, but if you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, their value goes up by 25%.

To get you started, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a signup bonus you could earn just with your wedding expenses: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

You also have the option of transferring your points to a participating frequent traveler program at a 1:1 ratio. Chase’s partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Hyatt and Marriott. If you’re savvy at travel hacking, you could score a couple of award tickets to your honeymoon destination for free. This, of course, would really help bring down the overall cost of your trip.

If you’re thinking of an overseas honeymoon, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card charges no foreign transaction fees.

The card charges an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. All in all, it’s a great card for newly engaged travelers to have on hand.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • A large bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Cool factor - metal card
    • Earn more points on travel and dining at restaurants
    • Premium travel protection benefits

    Cons

    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, after that $95 per year

    Annual Fees

    $0 for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
    • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Best for cash back on wedding expenses: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

If you’re going to be shelling out thousands of dollars, you might as well rack up rewards in the process. Enter the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, the cash-back card that rewards you for paying off your balance. You earn 1% cash back on every purchase and another 1% back when you pay them off — great motivation to pay down your balance as quickly as possible.

You can start redeeming your cash back once you hit $25, so you can use your rewards to whittle away at the cost of your big day even as you spend for it. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has an annual fee of $0.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • 0% APR period on balance transfers

    Cons

    • No sign-up bonus
    • No 0% APR for purchases
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
    • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Best for a long 0% introductory period: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

If you want or need extra time to pay off your wedding expenses, take a good look at the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. It boasts an industry-leading APR period of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. Plus, if you slip up and pay your bill late, you won’t be punished with a late fee or a penalty interest rate. (That said, always aim to make your payments on time. It’s a good habit to get into, since most creditors aren’t so forgiving, and late payments may show up as negative items on your credit report.) There’s also an annual fee of $0.

Nerd tip: Pay off your credit card balance in full before the 0% introductory APR expires to avoid owing interest. If your wedding is too expensive to do this, we encourage you to reevaluate your budget. This should be a happy occasion, not one that causes you stress due to debt long after the honeymoon is over.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No late fee
    • No annual fee
    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months

    Cons

    • No rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months
  • Additional Information
    • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee…EVER
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99% based on your creditworthiness*
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
    • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month