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.
Best for cash back on wedding expenses: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerCiti® 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.
Best for a long 0% introductory period: Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees EverCiti Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever. It boasts a long intro APR period of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% 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.
Image via iStock.