Oddly enough, there are many things I find rewarding about financing our wedding. Probably at the top of the list is pride- just like with my college education, I am very proud to say we are doing this on our own. Paying for everything ourselves also means that we can have what we want- we don't have to worry about making sure everyone else is happy. Although the latter honestly hasn't been an issue at all- everyone has been amazing with letting us do exactly what we want.
While paying for the wedding ourselves definitely has its benefits, we knew that we'd eventually have to stop spending from our bank accounts/savings and start dipping into credit... which is where the more literal meaning of this post title begins.
We have enough credit cards. I have one that helped support me through school that I'm now slowly paying back, and Brian has one for gas and one for business purchases. But none of these cards really did anything for us, outside of the obvious benefit of a credit limit. None of our cards offer any rewards or benefits. Since we knew we were about to be spending some pretty big bucks, Brian and I started researching credit cards that did.
Holy cow is that market overwhelming! What did we want the rewards for? Travel? Cash? Amazon credit? Did we want a card with a fee, usually meaning it had more perks? Or would we settle for a few less perks to avoid an annual charge? Did we want to be able to access our rewards at any time? Or just at the end of the year? What about quarterly bonuses? The list went on and on and on.
We spent a big chunk of the drive home from the lake discussing options. We quickly decided that we wanted the rewards to be in travel points- even though we won't earn much by the honeymoon, there are still many places we want to see! The options immediately decreased, but there were still a ton. Did we want to earn general travel points, or points towards a specific airline? That was pretty easy, as points towards general airfare, hotels, and rental cars seemed more beneficial to us.
I could go on and on about the ins and outs of all the cards we looked at, but it would surely scare you off if you haven't left already. Long story short, we ended up between the Captial One Venture Card and the Captial One VentureOne Card. Seems a bit redundant, no? But these cards are really quite different, and in the end the Capital One VentureOne Card won the battle. Here are a few quick reasons why:
1. Although you only earn 1.25 miles per dollar spent compared to 2 miles per dollar spent on the Venture Card, it offered 0% APR on purchases until May 2013! While we are going to do our best to pay off purchases as quickly as possible, it was nice to know that we had a bit of time to pay big contracts off interest free. While the Venture Card had some of the lower interest rates available, there was no interest-free period.
2. When interest does kick in, rates were 1-2% lower than the regular Venture Card- lower interest pretty much always wins!
3. No annual fee! Granted, with the Venture Card you get more miles per dollar, not having an annual fee is a big perk for us.
Plus, both cards offered a 10,000 mile bonus if you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months of having the card, something we'll easily do with upcoming wedding payments.
And, with either card we had the option of a basic design, or we could upload our own photo for free! Obviously we chose that option, but it was one time that having a professional photographer as a fiance made things way more difficult- there were SO many good photos to choose from. In the end, we went with this:
It has always been one of my favorite photos Brian has taken, and since it will be used mainly for wedding purchases it seemed appropriate that it was taken at the state park where he proposed. Cue the "awwwwes." In the end, it was just a photo I could see myself liking for the long haul instead of one I might think is cool now but hate in a few months.
So, that is a way-too-long story of how we came upon the idea of a rewards card, researched, and conquered! Well, I guess I forgot that last part, which basically involved me applying for the card and then adding Brian on as an authorized user. Thrilling.
Who knew that such a long post about wedding planning would actually involve credit cards? Oh well, I guess it can't all be dresses and flowers!
Psssst- We are in no way, shape, or form associated with Capital One and we are not being paid/rewarded/perked for this post. Our decision to apply for a Capital One card was solely based on our independent research and needs. Just sayin'
Pssssssssst- The above photograph is copyright Brian Powers: B Powers Photography. I know his work rocks, but it is not to be used without permission outside of this post.