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
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
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
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.