Wedding season is here again, and brides and grooms everywhere are busy calculating the expenses of their big day. When you're paying for your wedding expenses, you might decide to use a credit card to enjoy some of the rewards. Before doing so, keep in mind that you should only charge what you can pay off immediately. It's not worth going into debt for just one day, no matter how special it is.
That said, if you know you can pay off what you owe (preferably within a month!), charging the expenses on credit cards will be a neat way of earning back cash and other rewards. Here are some good options:
Best Overall Cash-Back Card
Pick the Chase Freedom card for more change in your pocket.
- You get $200 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months of signing up for the card.
- No annual fee.
- Five percent cash back up to $1,500 in certain categories that rotate each quarter. Here's the calendar for 2012:
January to March: Gas Stations, Amazon.com
April to June: Grocery Stores, Movie Theaters
July to September: Gas Stations, Restaurants
October to December: Hotels, Airlines, Best Buy, Kohl's
When planning your wedding, aim to charge your down payment to the restaurant from July to September. And perhaps if you want to buy wedding favors or knickknacks from Amazon.com, January to March would be a good time to do so. If you're planning on using the same card for your honeymoon, you should opt to buy tickets and add hotel charges onto this card during the last quarter of the year.
- One percent cash back on everything else.
- The APR rate is zero percent for the first 15 months, then 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent.
Read on for more.
Best Overall Travel Reward Card
Rack up travel points for your honeymoon with the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card.
If you're loyal to an airline, you might want to check out what rewards you can reap with the airline's credit card. For example, if you're planning on traveling locally, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card offers a free round-trip flight after your first purchase. Bear in mind that the card has a 15.24 percent APR rate from the get-go, so you better be paying off the entire balance by the due date.
As always, be careful when you're using credit cards, and if you don't have the means to pay for your wedding in full, you should consider spending less.