fund wedding with credit card

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 June 23rd, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Gain access to Visa Global Customer Assistance Services and add an additional cardholder at no cost.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$55 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program, and the ability to pay with Apple Pay.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
Features platinum insurance covers including Extended Warranty, Price Guarantee and Purchase Cover Insurance.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Receive exclusive ticket and lifestyle offers through Visa Entertainment and the security of Falcon Fraud protection.
Bankwest Breeze Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Receive up to 55 day interest-free on purchases and free worldwide emergency card replacement.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
13.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Offers a long term balance transfer rate of 0% for 24 months and up to $25 off your first Uber ride.
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
12.24% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$45 p.a.
A basic low fee, low ongoing rate card that calculates interest from the monthly statement date.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Add one additional cardholder at no extra cost and enjoy the protection of secure shopping and fraud monitoring.
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
11.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$100 p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Includes four complimentary travel insurances, concierge service and complimentary purchase insurance covers.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Get peace of mind with ANZ Falcon security protection and Mastercard's Zero Liability Guarantee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
Take advantage of overseas travel insurance, purchase cover insurance, price guarantee cover and extended warranties.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and receive a $50 credit when you meet the eligibility criteria.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Choose to get the protection of CreditShield Edge and enjoy the convenience of Visa payWave.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Get an additional cardholder at no extra cost and take advantage of Visa PayWave and Samsung Pay.

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 June 23rd, 2017
Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
Receive complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance, unlimited airport lounge access and a 24/7 personal concierge.
75,000 bonus points
2
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
75,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Consolidate your debt with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months and a host of platinum privileges.
1
0
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
100,000 bonus points
0
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
50,000 bonus points
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy an annual fee refund every year if you meet the spend requirement, plus prestige services including a personal concierge service.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Amplify Signature
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Amplify points on eligible spend and earn up to 3 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
60,000 bonus points
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Earn up to 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months plus $0 in the first year.
50,000 bonus points
1.5
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas Rewards
Fly faster with up to 1.000 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
40,000 bonus points
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
40,000 bonus points
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
St.George Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
60,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Qantas American Express Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
50,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.500 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
60,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and instantly become a Visa Luxury Hotel Collection member.
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
25,000 bonus points
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Westpac Altitude Black
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude points when you reach a minimum spend of $5,000 on eligible purchases. Offer ends 28 June 2017.
80,000 bonus points
1.25
3
20.24% p.a.
$195 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
BankSA Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and redeem for a wide range of products including flights.
1
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
Earn up to 3 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive an additional card at no extra cost.
60,000 bonus points
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Take off sooner with up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent and earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
30,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Amplify Platinum
Choose between Amplify or Qantas rewards program and enjoy uncapped points earning. Plus, receive up to 40,000 bonus points on eligible spend.
40,000 bonus points
1
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Receive a complimentary return domestic flight when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
1.5
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
A no annual fee frequent flyer credit card which lets you earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
1
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
40,000 bonus points
1
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers.
0.5
1
19.99% p.a.
$150 p.a.
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Earn from 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on selected purchases and get a 2 airport lounge visits per year.
50,000 bonus points
0.5
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
American Express Platinum Business Card
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
100,000 bonus points
0
1
$1,500 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature
Earn up to 3 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent, receive complimentary travel insurance and access to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection.
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
American Express Gold Business Card
Take advantage of no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB accounting software and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
10,000 bonus points
0
1
$169 p.a.
American Express Platinum Card
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
80,000 bonus points
0
1
$1,200 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
This card comes with a low balance transfer rate and the ability to earn up to 1 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
0.5
1
19.99% p.a.
$250 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
Get two cards and pay one annual fee plus enjoy a low introductory rate on balance transfers. Earn Velocity Reward points on every $1 you spend on eligible purchases.
0.5
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
A dual Amex and Visa card that allows you to earn up to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase protection insurance.
0.5
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB flybuys Rewards Card
Earn flybuys points plus a low interest rate for 6 months on balance transfers.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card
Get 75,000 bonus Reward Points on your first eligible purchase. Convert them to Qantas Points.
75,000 bonus points
1
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Citi Prestige Card
Receive 70,000 bonus points on eligible spend. Option to earn opt-in to the Qantas Rewards program and earn Qantas Points.
70,000 bonus points
3
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
David Jones American Express
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
30,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 July 2017.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)

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 June 23rd, 2017
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Product Description Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Vertigo Visa
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.25% p.a.
$55 p.a.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, special offers from Visa Entertainment and Tap and Pay capabilities.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.99% p.a.
$59 p.a.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
A long-term balance transfer offer with the Citi Rewards Platinum Card. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
0% p.a. for 20 months
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel and purchase insurances and a 24/7 personal concierge.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
NAB Low Fee Card
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
Offers up to 1 Velocity point per $1 on purchases, combined with complimentary insurance covers and a concierge service.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$150 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
This dual Amex and Visa card offers up to 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and special Visa Entertainment offers.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
A dual Amex and Visa card that allows you to earn up to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase protection insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Collect 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 July 2017.
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)

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.

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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