Best credit cards for weddings and honeymoons
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Have you and your betrothed set a wedding date? Are you actively browsing wedding rings? Are you surreptitiously planning to pop the question when the moment is right?
I’ll tell you now, if the answer to any of those questions is yes, it’s time to open a travel credit card. Big expensive life events are a good time to earn hundreds of thousands of miles and points. You can get literally thousands (and thousands) of dollars in value just from opening a card and using those big purchases to earn gigantic welcome bonuses. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to stop at one card.
Here our choices for the best credit card for wedding-related purchases (like big diamond rings and far-flung honeymoons).
Best credit cards for weddings and honeymoons in 2020
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card: Best credit card for honeymoon flights
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best credit card for big purchases
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best credit card for a large sign-up bonus
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best credit card for non-bonus spending
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Can you pay for a wedding with a credit card?
You absolutely can pay for a wedding with a credit card. Just about everything you need can be purchased with plastic, including most wedding venues. My wife and I used a Southwest credit card to reserve our venue, and it helped us to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which we used to save $900+ on our honeymoon to Mexico.
Some venues may charge a fee for using a card, but if you’re chasing a big bonus, the fee can be well worth it.
Other expenses surrounding a wedding, such as catering, hotel accommodations, and of course the honeymoon, can not only be reserved with a credit card, but welcome bonuses and spend on the best travel credit cards will reward you handsomely. Those are prime bonus categories, and you could find yourself with hundreds of dollars in free travel just from these purchases you planned to make anyway.
Here are our top picks.
We estimate that a Southwest points value is 1.5 cents for flights, so this bonus is worth around $1,200 in Southwest airfare.
This is the card to open when you’re preparing for your engagement, wedding and honeymoon. Earning the full bonus will net you the famous Southwest Companion Pass — a perk that allows you to bring a friend or family member (YOUR NEW SPOUSE) for only the cost of taxes and fees (usually $5.60 one-way when traveling domestically). You can use this an unlimited amount of times for the rest of the year that you earn it, as well as the entire following year!
In other words, if you earn this bonus in August, your Companion Pass is valid until December 31, 2021.
Benefits and perks
This is the best Southwest credit card for earning points because you’ll get triple points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners; 2x points on social media and search advertising purchases, internet, cable and phone service purchases, and 1x Southwest points on all other purchases.
In addition, every year you’ll get 9,000 bonus Southwest points on the anniversary of cardmembership (worth ~$135 in Southwest flights).
Using Southwest points is incredibly easy. There’s no Southwest award chart; instead, if there’s a seat for sale, you can book it with points. The price of an award flight is tied to the cost of a paid ticket, so if there’s a Southwest fare sale, you’ll need fewer points.
This card is also loaded with benefits and perks like four upgraded boardings per year (when available), up to 365 $8 Wi-Fi credits per year, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (worth up to $100), and 1,500 tier-qualifying points after every $10,000 in purchases (on up to $100,000 in purchases every cardmember year). Plus if you use it overseas you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.
This card has a $199 annual fee.
The highest annual fee of all the Southwest cards, but if you make the most of the perks (9,000 points each card anniversary, four upgraded boardings, inflight Wi-Fi credits and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit), you’ll come out way ahead.
It’s worth a hard look for anyone who flies Southwest because you only need to earn 125,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year to get the coveted Southwest Companion Pass – and earning the full bonus will get you all the way there.
If you earn this card’s full bonus, you’ll have 125,000 Southwest points. That’s worth $1,875 in Southwest flights according to our estimations. And if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you can bring along your new spouse for every flight you take, making your points twice as valuable! You could easily get $3,750+ in free airfare from this card.
You’ll earn the Amex Business Platinum card’s 100,000-point bonus after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, making it one of the best small business credit card offers.
With the Amex Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 Amex Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+ (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year). Reserving wedding venues, catering and decorating, or even booking a luxury honeymoon is a fantastic time to take advantage of this 50% bonus.
Airfare and prepaid hotels booked through the Amex travel portal will earn 5 points per dollar, and other purchases earn one point per dollar.
The ability to earn 5 Amex points per dollar on airfare or prepaid hotels is the best earning rate for those categories for any American Express small-business credit card. This card also now has a solid mix of travel insurance protection, like trip delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption coverage.
And the card comes with lots of perks, including:
- 35% of your points back for all first-class or business-class flights booked through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points
- 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the Amex travel portal using Pay With Points (up to 500,000 points per calendar year)
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, inflight food and drink, etc.)*
- Up to $200 annual Dell statement credit ($100 from January to June, $100 from July to December)*
- Ability to book hotel stays through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Amex Platinum Concierge*
- Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, Escape and American Express Centurion Lounges)*
- Bonus points or statement credits when taking advantage of an Amex Offer*
- Elite car rental status with Avis, Executive status with National Car Rental and Gold Plus Rewards with Hertz*
- Hilton Honors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)*
- Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status*
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100)
- Terms and limitations apply
*Enrollment required for select benefits.
The card comes with a hefty fee, but it can certainly make sense for those who will actually use the Amex Business Platinum benefits and perks.
If you can qualify for business credit cards and meet the minimum spending requirement, this is a “platinum” card that is actually worthy of the name. It is always a strong pick, especially for frequent travelers, because it is easy to offset the annual fee with the welcome bonus, perks and benefits.
We estimate Amex points value to be 2 cents each, making this 100,000 point bonus worth $2,000 in travel. Add on the unbelievably generous lounge membership (easily worth $500+ annually), and the gaggle of statement credits, and you’re looking at a savings of $2,400 the first year — and that’s AFTER paying the $595 annual fee.
Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. This is the highest public offer we’ve ever seen for this card. And the spending requirement isn’t difficult when you’re funding a wedding and buying an expensive ring!
When you pay for your cell phone bill with the card you’ll get cell phone protection for up to $600 per claim (up to three claims per year) against covered theft or damage with a $100 deductible.
The Ink Business Preferred card earns 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year). You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022 and one Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases.
The card has an array of travel coverages including, rental car insurance (primary when renting for business purposes), baggage delay insurance, trip delay protection and lost luggage coverage. Also, eligible purchases will get extended warranty coverage of an additional year when the original warranty is three years or less.
And having the Chase Ink Business Preferred allows you to transfer Chase points to travel partners, which can be invaluable.
The Ink Business Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.
The Ink Business Preferred is our overall best business credit card because, in addition to the huge introductory bonus, it also has generous bonus spending categories and great built-in insurance. MMS staff and readers alike have saved by using perks like the card’s trip delay coverage, rental car insurance and cell phone insurance.
If you like basic cashback, the 100,000-point bonus offer is worth $1,000 (when redeemed for cash), but can be worth more when it’s used for travel. For example, with this card your Chase points are worth 1.25 cents each toward travel booked through the Chase travel portal. That’s $1,250 in flights, hotels, rental cars or activities from one bonus.
However, we estimate Chase points value to be 2 cents each, because of super valuable Chase transfer partners. That makes this bonus worth $2,000 in travel. That means after you pay the $95 annual fee, you’ll still have saved more than $1,900 the first year you have the card.
Unfortunately, the Citi Double Cash comes with no bonus, though the card has offered one in the past. We’ll let you know if it has one again. In the meantime, this is still hands down one of the best cash back cards on the market.
This card earns more cashback than most no annual fee cards. But you can also convert your cashback into points and transfer them to valuable airline partners if you also have a qualifying Citi ThankYou points-earning card. In other words, you can use your rewards for straight cash back, or you can redeem them for award flights on airlines like Turkish Airlines, Avianca, Flying Blue (the loyalty program of KLM and Air France), and more.
Benefits and perks
The Citi Double Cash earns the easiest rewards to use — cash. You won’t have to worry about award seats or blackout dates when redeeming your cash, and you don’t need to pay attention to complicated rotating bonus categories, either. The card offers a total of up to 2% cash back — You’ll receive 1% when you make a purchase, and 1% when you pay your bill. For example, if you use your card to buy a $700 TV, you would earn $7 cash back for swiping your card at the store. Then, when you pay off your $700 balance, you’d earn another $7 cash back. That’s it!
Why it’s worth it
Earning 1% cash back for purchases and 1% cash back for paying your balance is great. There are quite a few credit cards with $95 annual fees that earn a flat 2% back, after all.
There is no cap on the amount of cashback you can earn, so if you use your card for, say, $15,000 of spending toward your wedding/engagement ring/honeymoon, you’ll receive $300 back. And if you have other Citi ThankYou points earning cards with annual fees, you could convert those points into airline miles and take a fun trip! It costs just 15,000 Turkish Airlines miles to fly round-trip to Hawaii — that’s an amazing deal. Read our Citi Double Cash Card review.
How to plan a honeymoon on miles and points
There are two ways to go about booking free airfare:
- Use cash back/fixed value points (book your flights with your credit card and then offset those purchases later with credit card rewards
- Use airline miles to reserve award flights
We almost exclusively take the route of award flights, because the value proposition is exponentially higher. There are some downfalls, though, such as available award seats and blackout dates. Read our post on how to book an award flight for everything you need to know about booking an award flight.
Similar to booking free air travel, you can book free hotels by:
- Redeeming cash back or fixed value points to effectively “erase” your hotel bill
- Use hotel points to reserve reward nights
Reward nights are also subject to availability and blackout dates. To learn how to book reward nights like a pro, read our post on hotel award booking tricks.
How we chose the best credit cards for weddings and honeymoons
The truth is, the best credit cards to use for your wedding and honeymoon are cards with which you’re trying to earn a welcome bonus! If you know you’ve got big expenses on the horizon, apply for cards beforehand. Here’s how we decided which cards to include in our list.
Three of these cards have fantastic ongoing card benefits that are sure to help you and your spouse have a much more comfortable (and free) honeymoon. From the Southwest Companion Pass to hotel elite status to priority boarding to top-notch airport lounge access.
Value of rewards
Not all points are created equal — 100,000 points issued by one program could be literally 1/4 the value of 100,000 points from another. We examined the potential value of the points you can earn and only included the best
Ease of use
All credit card rewards on this list are very easy to use. They can take you far without requiring you to be a miles and points expert.
Huge welcome bonuses mean lots and lots of free travel. Three of these cards have bigger bonuses than anyone else right now.
Weddings are expensive, so make sure to make the most of all your purchases by putting them on a card that rewards you. Then, use those points and miles to plan an unforgettable honeymoon!
Let us know which card you opened (or plan to open) before a wedding, honeymoon, engagement pictures, the purchase of a wedding ring, or any other big expense! And subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this delivered to your inbox.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum, click here
The Business Platinum Card® from American ExpressAPPLY NOW
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s an extra half point per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
Breeze through security with CLEAR® where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your Card.
Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
Pay Over Time Option: A flexible payment option to help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more.
14.24% – 22.24% Variable
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)