bride and groom doing online shopping

How to fund your wedding with a credit card

Learn more about how a credit card could help you say “I do”.

It’s no secret: weddings are expensive. A survey conducted my MoneySmart in 2012 put the average cost of a wedding at $36,200. It also found that about 60% of respondents got a loan to cover the costs and 18% used a credit card.

The cost today could be more or less, but either way, there is a good chance that you’ll need a large sum of money to pay for your big day. If you’re considering using a credit card to help cover the costs, read this guide to learn about your options and the key details you’ll need to consider when deciding if paying with plastic will work for you. If you are looking for a personal loan, you may consider comparing wedding personal loans.

Types of credit cards you could use to fund your wedding

Photography, venue hire, food and flowers are typical wedding expenses. Whether you’re using a low rate credit card so you can buy now and pay later, or a rewards credit card so you can honeymoon on the points, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of card.

Low or no interest credit cards

Low or no interest credit cards are characterised by either a low ongoing purchase rate of interest or low or no interest on purchases for a limited period of time. For expenses relating to a specific event, such as a wedding, you may want to consider credit cards with 0% purchase rate promotional offers for more than one year. This allows you to charge the cost of purchases like catering to the account when you need to and gives you time to pay off the balance without accruing interest.

Keep in mind that some low rate cards don’t offer extras or rewards. So if you want to take advantage of these features for your honeymoon (and beyond), you may want to consider a low rate platinum credit card or look at cards in different categories.

Compare low or no interest credit cards

Rates last updated February 24th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate Product Description
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Offers a 0% p.a. for 14 months balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
With a low minimum credit limit of $1,000, this no frills card allows you to add up to 3 additional cardholders for $0.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$45 p.a.
A no-frills card with a competitive annual fee, a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. and a $250 cashback offer.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Offers a long-term balance transfer, $0 first year annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Pay 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 6 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$55 p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
This card offers a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases. Plus 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$29 p.a.
Exclusively for customers aged 18 to 25 years, this card gives you up to 55 interest-free days and a low variable interest rate on purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Compare low or no interest on purchases

Rewards credit cards

If you use a rewards credit card to pay for your wedding, not only could you earn points on your necessary wedding costs, you could then use the points to redeem rewards to pay for the cost of domestic and overseas flights, accommodation and travel packages for your honeymoon. Plus, some cards offer bonus points on signup, which could really help bolster your points balance.

There are two main types of rewards cards on the market: frequent flyer credit cards and rewards credit cards. A frequent flyer credit card gives you frequent flyer points when you make eligible purchases, and a rewards credit card gives you points with a dedicated provider program, such as CommBank Awards.

The main difference between these two options is the scope of rewards. Frequent flyer rewards programs such as Qantas or Velocity provide travel-focused rewards whereas rewards programs such as CommBank Awards or Citi Rewards have an equal focus on merchandise rewards as well as flights with a number of partner airlines. So if you’re loyal to one airline, such as Qantas or Virgin, a frequent flyer credit card might be the right choice. If you want more flexibility with your rewards, consider a rewards credit card that you can use to redeem rewards for cashback, merchandise from the online store or flights with one of the bank’s partner airlines.

Some of these cards also include perks such as complimentary international travel insurance, which could save you hundreds of dollars on purchased insurance for your destination wedding or honeymoon. As rewards credit cards tend to have higher annual fees and interest rates, it’s important to make sure that the value of the rewards you redeem outweighs this cost.

Compare rewards credit cards

Rates last updated February 24th, 2019
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Qantas Premier Platinum
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 70,000 bonus Qantas points when you meet the spend criteria and 30,000 more after the first year (100,000 total). Ends 30 April 2019.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Bonus Points Offer
100,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Citi reward Points when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, save with a $49 first year annual fee.
More info
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of card approval. Plus, a $50 first year annual fee.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
60,000 bonus points
Suncorp Bank Rewards Program
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% balance transfer offer and earn up to 60,000 Bonus Suncorp Reward Points. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee when you apply online.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, a $295 annual fee in the first year.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
80,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.49% p.a.
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
60,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus points in the first 3 months and save with a $64 first year annual fee. Plus, a long-term balance transfer offer.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
50,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent.

Compare up to 4 providers

Maximise points through rewards credit cards

High credit limit credit cards

Rewards, frequent flyer, gold, platinum, diamond, black, Signature and Prestige credit cards typically offer higher credit limits than no annual fee and low rate credit cards. Whichever card you choose, just be sure the credit limit is high enough to cover your expected expenses. You can view the product’s maximum credit limit by reading our credit card review and application pages.

Note that the actual credit limit you get is calculated based on your income and expenses. The more you earn and the lower your expenses, the more you can borrow. If you have other credit cards, the credit limit on these products will reduce your borrowing power if you want to apply for more credit. This is especially important if you’re looking at balance transfer credit cards.

Balance transfer credit cards

If you have already paid for some of your wedding costs with a credit card, you may want to consider a balance transfer credit card. This type of card can save you money on interest repayments by giving you a promotional interest rate for a limited period of time. Use your existing credit card to pay for your wedding expenses and apply for a balance transfer credit card so you can transfer the debt and get a lower interest rate.

The balance transfer period starts from when you activate the card. The balance transfer rate of interest reverts to the purchase rate or cash advance rate of interest, which will be applied to any remaining debt at the end of the promotional period.

Compare credit cards with balance transfer offer

Rates last updated February 24th, 2019
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
12.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 14 months balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a yearly annual fee refund when you spend $6,000 and 2 lounge passes per year.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 15 months
12.49% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Save with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers for 15 months with no BT fee. Plus a low 12.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Citi reward Points when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, save with a $49 first year annual fee.
More info
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Pay 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 6 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% balance transfer offer and earn up to 60,000 Bonus Suncorp Reward Points. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee when you apply online.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus $0 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.

Compare up to 4 providers

Balance transfer credit cards with rewards programs

Mistakes to avoid when using a credit card for your wedding

  • Spending more than you can afford to repay. Budgets do get blown; in fact, 35% of respondents to an ASIC wedding survey said they spent above their budget for their big day. Credit cards can make it easy to forget about debt, but charging more to the card than you can afford to repay is going to put you on the financial back foot down the track.
  • Late repayments. Late payment fees are the obvious consequence of late credit card repayments, but think about your credit history and standing with the bank too. If you have a history of missed credit card repayments, financial institutions will be reluctant to give you other forms of finance such as a home loan.
  • High interest charges. If you use your credit card to finance your wedding and carry a balance, you may end up with a bigger debt due to interest charges. Keep this in mind when considering your budget and comparing credit card options so that you can choose a card or other payment method that’s affordable for your circumstances.

A credit card is a short-term cash flow tool that could help finance your wedding. Features such as interest-free periods, rewards and balance transfers can help take the financial burden off your special day. But remember to consider the ongoing costs of the card, and the standard rates and fees that could apply at the end of promotional periods so that you can decide if this is an affordable way to fund your special day.
Images: Shutterstock

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards and frequent flyer expert by day and music maven by night.

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