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How To Pay For Your Wedding With Credit Card Points

Weddings can be costly. Here’s how to pay for a wedding using credit card points, plus a few other money-saving strategies.

April 27, 2022

Weddings are expensive. If you’re researching how to pay for a wedding, you might find yourself in a bit of shock. The average current wedding cost in the U.S. is $34,000 when you factor in the cost of the engagement ring. 

Are you wondering how to save for a wedding or how to pay for a wedding in creative ways? This guide explores using credit card rewards to reduce wedding costs and other inventive ways to cut back on the expenses of your special day.

How to pay for a wedding using credit card rewards

Credit card rewards are earned on every purchase you make. For example, if you have a 2% cash back credit card, you’ll earn 2% back on every purchase you make — a $100 purchase would earn you $2 in rewards. 

Theoretically, you could save up enough credit card rewards to pay for many wedding expenses. But, given that the average wedding costs $28,000, that’s a whole lot of credit card spending in the process. 

For some perspective, you’d have to spend $1,400,000 on a 2% rewards credit card in order to earn $28,000 in rewards. Yikes… 

Put simply: Paying for an entire wedding using solely credit card rewards is not all that realistic — though it’s technically possible. 

Cash sign-up bonuses

You could boost your wedding savings fund by applying for credit cards that offer signup bonuses. Some cards will have an offer like “spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and earn a $300 cashback bonus.” These rewards are in addition to the standard rewards you would typically earn.

Some people enjoy “churning” credit cards, which is the hobby of signing up for multiple cards in order to earn the signup bonuses. This could theoretically help you save some money on wedding expenses, but it’s not necessarily the right strategy for everyone. 

Reducing wedding costs with credit card rewards

A more realistic example is paying for some wedding costs using your rewards. 

For instance, you might be able to save up to $1,000 or so in rewards, which could cover the cost of the DJ or the groom’s suit. 

Every dollar helps. If you’re planning ahead, you can focus on saving up money and racking up rewards, so you can cover as many wedding expenses as possible.

Earning credit card rewards for wedding expenses

Another strategy to consider is trying to maximize the rewards you earn while paying for your wedding expenses. 

Many items in your wedding budget could probably be paid for with a credit card, such as decor, outfits, flowers, food and alcohol, to name a few. 

Bigger-ticket items like the catering company or the venue may charge a fee to process credit card payments (often 2-4%). If this is the case, it’s better to pay cash/check to save on fees. 

To maximize the rewards you earn, it’s smart to use a cash back credit card. There are many cards that earn 1.5% to 2% cash back on all purchases. 

You could also sign up for new cards in order to earn signup bonuses. 

The dangers of credit cards

Before you put anything on a credit card, understand that it’s wise to only use credit cards if you can pay them off in full.If you plan to carry a balance, the interest you pay will almost certainly outweigh any rewards you might earn. 

Credit card debt can be a slippery slope. Strive to only use credit cards for wedding expenses if you have the savings to quickly pay off the debt in full. 

Do you have existing credit card debt? Tally† might be able to help. Tally helps qualifying applicants consolidate their credit card payments, so they can potentially save money on interest payments.

Paying for your honeymoon using credit card rewards

Another helpful strategy to consider is using credit card rewards to fund your honeymoon.

Many cards offer travel rewards like airline miles or hotel points. These can be used to cash in on complimentary travel for your honeymoon.

Plus, since you’ll be spending money on wedding expenses, this could be a good opportunity to rack up some extra miles. If you plan ahead, you could likely earn enough rewards from wedding expenses to pay for a solid chunk of your honeymoon. 

How to pay for a wedding without spending a fortune

Learning how to pay for a wedding on a budget will typically involve multiple strategies. While credit card rewards can play a role, there are several other methods to consider: 

A cheaper venue: The venue is often the biggest line item in a wedding budget. If you can opt for a cheaper or even complimentary venue (like a city park or a friend’s property) you can potentially save a small fortune. 

Self-cater: Catering is another large expense. If you’re hosting a relatively small wedding, self-catering — or keeping food very simple — is an option. Another budget food solution could be hiring a food truck to come out, instead of paying for full catering service. 

Host a daytime or morning wedding: Many weddings take place in the afternoon, with an evening reception to follow. This usually means you’re expected to host a dinner, provide alcohol and potentially pay for two venues (wedding + reception). Opting for a morning wedding followed by a light brunch could help you save some money

Keep things simple: Society may expect you to put on a huge, extravagant, expensive wedding. But ultimately, it’s your special day, so you can do whatever you want. Keeping things small and simple can help drastically cut wedding costs, while also reducing the stress of planning and paying for the wedding. 

Wrapping up

Credit card rewards can have their place in how you pay for your wedding, however, using credit cards is only recommended if you’re responsible with credit. 

Ultimately, learning how to save for a wedding and utilizing other money-saving strategies will have a bigger impact than strictly relying on credit card rewards. 

†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. Based on your credit history, the APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% - 29.99% per year. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.