Wedding ExpensesIt’s no secret that weddings are expensive, but did you know the price is steadily increasing? The results of The Knot Real Weddings Study showed that the national average cost of a wedding is $35,329 (note that this doesn’t include the honeymoon costs) — that’s $2,688 higher than last year’s national average of $32,641. While your options to pay for a wedding are seemingly limitless, as you can choose to pay in cash, check, debit card, credit card or personal loan — yes, there is such a thing as a wedding loan — many don’t realize that a credit card is one of the best ways to pay for your wedding. Keep reading to find out why and see some of our top credit card options for covering wedding expenses.

Why you should use a credit card to cover wedding expenses

There are a handful of reasons why you should use a credit card to pay for your wedding, including …

1. 0% intro APR periods give you plenty of time to pay off the balance interest-free. Although you can certainly save money for your wedding, it may be challenging to save enough in time for the big event. That’s where a 0% intro APR credit card can help. These cards offer long 0% intro APR periods on purchases, which means you can pay for your wedding with the card, then pay it off all at once after the wedding or make payments over time — just make sure you pay the balance off before the 0% intro period expires so you won’t pay an interest. If you want to avoid interest on your wedding purchases, you’ll want one of these cards in your wallet:

Citi Diamond Preferred Card

credit cards to pay for your weddingOffering one of the longest 0% intro APR periods we’ve seen, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser) is a great card for wedding purchases. Cardholders will get a 21-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee). On top of paying no annual fee, you’ll get 24/7 access to Citi Concierge for help in booking hotels, flights and more — perfect for booking your honeymoon! Other perks of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card include free access to FICO scores, $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi Identity Theft Solutions.

Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever

credit cards to pay for your weddingAnother card offering one of the longest 0% intro APR periods we’ve seen is the Citi Simplicity Card – No Late Fees Ever. This card offers a 21-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee), which means you won’t pay any interest until 2019! If you’re someone who occasionally pays your credit card bill late, the Citi Simplicity Card has some features you’d appreciate, as it charges no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee — ever! Cardholders also have the ability to set their own bill payment schedule, which means you can align your bill with your paychecks.

2. You can earn cash back while you pay for your wedding. How would you like to earn cash while you pay for your wedding? Cash back credit cards can make this a reality. By using a card that earns a fixed cash back rate on every purchase, you can be sure that you’re earning cash back on all of your wedding expenses. For example, if you use the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard (detailed below), which earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, to fund your $30,000 wedding, you’ll earn a total of $450 cash back — that’s $450 more than you’d have if you paid for your wedding with cash. On top of that, the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard offers a $200 bonus when cardholders spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, which means you’d get a total of $650 back! What’s more, a number of cash back credit cards combine these fixed cash back rates with a generous intro bonus and long 0% intro APR periods, making them an even more impressive option. Here are three cards offering exactly that:

Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard

credit cards to pay for your weddingAs we noted in our example above, the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard earns cardholders 1.5% cash back on all purchases and offers a $200 intro bonus after cardholders spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Additionally, you’ll get a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers completed within 45 days of account opening (with a 3% balance transfer fee). Every time you redeem your rewards, you’ll get a 5% rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption. Rounding out the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard is no annual fee. Something to note about this card is it’s only available to those with excellent credit, which means if you have less-than-perfect credit, you may want to consider one of the two cards detailed below that require excellent/good credit for approval.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Wedding ExpensesThe Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is another top option for paying for your wedding. Similar to the card we previously mentioned, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card earns 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases and offers a $200 bonus to cardholders who spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Cardholders who use Apple Pay or Android Pay will earn 1.8% cash rewards in qualified mobile wallet purchases made it the first 12 months from account opening, which means you should opt to pay with mobile wallet if your vendor accepts it. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card also offers a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% intro balance transfer fee for 12 months, then it’s 5%) and provides up to $600 in mobile protection against damage or theft (up to 2 claims per year) if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Wedding ExpensesThe final cash back credit card that’d be a good choice for funding your wedding is Chase Freedom Unlimited. This card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase and offers a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Adding to that is a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee), giving you plenty of time to pay off your wedding expenses. Closing out Chase Freedom Unlimited is no annual fee.

It should be noted that travel rewards credit cards can also be used to fund wedding expenses, but we opted not to include them in this post because a number of top-rated credit cards do not offer 0% intro APRs on purchases. Still, if you’d prefer to earn travel rewards, there are a handful of cards to choose from, including Discover it Miles and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card. Visit our reviews of the best travel rewards credit cards to learn more.

3. Credit cards offer the most fraud protection. While we’ve talked about this before, it’s an important point to make again: credit cards offer the most fraud protection. On top of laws that provide added fraud protection and less fraud liability for credit card purchases, as detailed by the FTC, most credit card issuers also extend $0 fraud liability to cardholders, meaning cardholders are completely off the hook for a fraudulent charge.

4. You’ll get more financial flexibility when unexpected expenses arise. If you’ve had any friends or family get married, they likely warned you that unexpected expenses will arise a couple weeks before your wedding, and if you don’t plan for them, you may find yourself in quite a pickle. While you can plan for these expenses, there’s no way to know how much they cost until they land in your lap, which means you may not know how much you need to set aside. By using a credit card for wedding-related purchases, you can be sure that you have the money to cover the last-minute expenses, and if you opt for a card with a long 0% intro APR, you can know that you don’t have to count your pennies to pay the purchase off immediately.

Even though they are joyous occasions, weddings can also be a financially-stressful time. Luckily, credit cards can alleviate some of the stress and give you a little more time to breathe. Visit our reviews of the best credit cards to learn more about the cards detailed in this post and see how they compare to other top options on the market. Also, if you recently just paid for your wedding with a high-interest credit card, you’ll want to check out our guide to paying off debt to see how you can rid yourself of that debt and avoid interest.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.