Wedding season is nearly upon us, which means that engaged couples everywhere will soon be racking up a very extensive list of charges on their credit cards. According to Learnvest, an investment tutorial website, a traditional wedding costs around $30,000 – and that’s just for the essentials. If you want the full horse-and-carriage experience, you’ll spend far more than that.
Luckily, if you’re planning to tie the knot this year there are a few credit cards on the market that can help make your final bill a little easier to bear. Here are a few that soon-to-be newlyweds should strongly consider applying for before they open the credit floodgates.
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The British Airways Visa Signature Card
If you’re going to be dropping a mint on your wedding, you might as well get some free tickets for your honeymoon in the bargain. The British Airways Visa Signature card offers a staggering 100,000 bonus miles and a free “Travel Together” voucher if you spend $30,000 in the first year of owning the card. That’s good for two round-trip business-class tickets from New York to London. Granted, the card charges a $95 annual fee – and after the wedding, earning more rewards will get pretty expensive. But at least you’ll always have the memory of those nights gallivanting carefree through Brick Lane, right?
The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card
If you’re trying to plan for life after the wedding, you should look into the Citi Dividend Platinum Select. You’ll get a $100 bonus to help offset costs after you spend $500 in three months, and from May 1st through June 30th you can get 5% cash back on home and garden purchases for your new pad. Most importantly, you’ll get to enjoy a full year of 0% interest on the card, so you can take your time paying off the marital bill. That’s not the longest interest-free period that credit issuers offer, but it’s a nice add-on to the cash-back bonuses.
The Slate Card from Chase
If you’re one of the many Americans struggling with debt, you can put your payments on hold while you cover the costs of the wedding with the Slate Card from Chase. The card doesn’t charge an annual fee and comes with a 0% APR for 15 months after the account is opened. That might be par for the balance-transfer course, but here’s the kicker – the Slate Card doesn’t charge any balance transfer fees. It’s basically a temporary “get out of jail free” card for your debt. Just remember not to charge anything to it after you open your account, since new purchases open a second interest-accruing balance in your name.
The Starwood Preferred Card by American Express
This credit card is no longer available
The Starwood Preferred Card is the hottest travel-based credit card on the market right now, and for good reason. You can earn up to 25,000 Star Points for spending $5,000 in the first six months after you open an account. That’s good for two free nights at the Westin in San Francisco or the W in Boston. Additionally, you can get five nights for the price of four and $100 in resort credit if you book your honeymoon in Hawaii or French Polynesia. And if you’d rather just use your points to travel, that’s cool too – any Star Points can also be redeemed for plane tickets.
As far as credit card rewards go, no single piece of plastic is going to cut your wedding bill in half. But with a little forethought and some good organization, you can use one of these credit cards to make your wedding more affordable overall by deferring your current debt or scoring a free honeymoon. And if you don’t want to keep the card, you can always just cancel it afterwards. In the long run, isn’t that a lot better than just writing a check and accepting the expenses?