fund wedding with credit card

How to fund your wedding with a credit card

Information verified correct on January 22nd, 2017

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.

Rates last updated January 22nd, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
$250 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card - Balance Transfer Offer
A low interest rate on everyday purchases and a long term balance transfer rate offer of 0% for 24 months.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard
Enjoy an introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 21 months (2% balance transfer fee applies). Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info

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 January 22nd, 2017.

Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card

0% p.a. for 24 months balance transfer offer has been extended until 30 April 2017.

January 12th, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer

30,000 bonus points and 0% balance transfer offers have been extended until 28 February 2017

January 16th, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer has been extended until 28 February 2017.

January 16th, 2017

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Annual fee
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points 2 $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card
1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
1 0 $149 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0.66 0 $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points 1 0 $199 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points 0 1 $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card
7,500 bonus points 0 1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
30,000 bonus points 1 0 $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0.66 0 $129 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
1.25 0 $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black - Exclusive Offer
Westpac Altitude Black - Exclusive Offer
100,000 bonus points 1.25 3 $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
30,000 bonus points 1.5 0 $279 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
1 2 $225 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Platinum
ANZ Rewards Platinum
50,000 bonus points 1 2 $95 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
7,500 bonus points 0 1 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
15,000 bonus points 0.5 1 $95 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
American Express Qantas Premium Card
30,000 bonus points 0 1 $249 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
40,000 bonus points 1 $295 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
50,000 bonus points 1 0 $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
American Express Platinum Business Card
100,000 bonus points 0 1 $1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
American Express Gold Business Card
10,000 bonus points 0 1 $169 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
30,000 bonus points 1 0 $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Classic
BankSA Amplify Classic
1 $79 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Classic
St.George Amplify Classic
1 0 $79 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum
St.George Amplify Platinum
30,000 bonus points 1 0 $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Signature
St.George Amplify Signature
30,000 bonus points 1.5 0 $279 p.a. Go to site More info

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 January 22nd, 2017.

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card

Purchase rate offer has been changed to 0% p.a. for 6 months and is valid until 30 March 2017

January 5th, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer has been extended until 28 February 2017.

January 16th, 2017

Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card

Balance transfer and $100 cashback offers have been extended until 28 February 2017.

January 16th, 2017

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
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. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months with a 3% transfer fee.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $90 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
0% p.a. for 15 months 19.99% p.a. $149 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee 18.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 16 months, a low annual fee, interest-free days on purchases and a low minimum credit limit.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $30 p.a. Go to site More info

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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