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

Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
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
Save with 13.25% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
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
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
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
A low interest rate on everyday purchases and a long term balance transfer rate offer of 0% for 24 months.
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
12.24% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$45 p.a.
A basic credit card that features low interest rates, low annual fee and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.
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. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$100 p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy access to 7 complimentary insurances.
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
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers and a low ongoing interest rate on purchases.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
Up to 62 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop If you apply, are approved by 30 June 2017 and make a purchase within the first 30 days.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy special offers from Visa Entertainment.
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
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
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
Save with 11.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy the protection of Fraudshield.
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
A simple low interest rate card featuring a low ongoing rate on purchases, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and a low annual fee.
Heritage Bank Gold Low Rate Credit Card
11.80% p.a.
0 interest free days
$0 p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Save with 11.8% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy $0 annual fee.
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
Enjoy a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 14 months and a low ongoing purchase rate from BankSA.

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

Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Earn 1 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores.
80,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months, plus earn up to 1 point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. Also, earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 June 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 30 September 2017.
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. Earn 1 Citi Reward Points for every $1 spent on eligible domestic and international spend.
1
0
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive bonus Qantas Points on selected Qantas products, services and partners.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every year.
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 with a balance transfer offer, high credit limits and prestige services including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum rewards program.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
St.George Amplify Signature
Receive up to 90,000 bonus Amplify points on eligible spend and earn up to 3 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
90,000 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.
60,000 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.
60,000 bonus points
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
100,000 bonus points
0
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 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.
90,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
This card offers 75,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval and $0 annual fee for the first year. Earn up to 2 reward points per $1 spent and unlimited access to airport lounges with complimentary travel insurance.
75,000 bonus points
2
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
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.
90,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent within the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0.66
0
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
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 Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
40,000 bonus points
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
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 up to 3 Altitude Points per $1 spent and enjoy up to four complimentary airport lounge visits each year.
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 receive complimentary travel insurance.
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.
90,000 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 receive 30,000 Bonus Velocity Points.
30,000 bonus points
1
0
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 60,000 bonus points on eligible spend.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases, earn up to 1.5 for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, plus receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within 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.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Fly faster with up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
30,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership.
50,000 bonus points
1
0
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
American Express Platinum Business Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
100,000 bonus points
0
1
$1,500 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature
Earn up to 3 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
American Express Gold Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
10,000 bonus points
0
1
$169 p.a.
Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Credit Card
Earn up to 1.5 Awards points per $1 spent and easily integrate your online accounting software.
1
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$100 p.a.
Commonwealth Bank Business Awards Platinum Credit Card
Earn up to 3 Awards points per $1 spent and stay on track with instantly updated transactions.
1
3
20.74% p.a.
$300 p.a.
American Express Platinum Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
80,000 bonus points
0
1
$1,200 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
1.5
0
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
2
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
David Jones American Express
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a range of in-store benefits at David Jones.
30,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.

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 May 26th, 2017.

St.George Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer period changed to 14 months plus a new offer of $0 annual fee in the first year.

May 3rd, 2017

St.George Vertigo Platinum

Balance transfer offer has been changed to 0% p.a. for 20 months and is valid until 20 Sept 2017.

May 3rd, 2017

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer offer has been changed to 0% p.a. for 22 months and is valid until 31 August 2017.

May 8th, 2017

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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 within 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) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 spent and receive an annual fee refund with minimum spend.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.99% p.a. $99 p.a. 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
St.George Vertigo Visa
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
0% p.a. for 14 months 13.24% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.25% p.a. 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. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy special offers from Visa Entertainment.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee 13.99% p.a. $59 p.a. Go to site More info
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) Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $90 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
A low annual fee card with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $30 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
0% p.a. for 20 months 12.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 11.49% p.a. $99 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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