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For our followers, I posted on our Facebook page that I recently got engaged! Very exciting news to share with you all. It looks like our wedding is going to be June 2018 in Los Angeles! Here’s how I’m going to credit card hack my wedding. Comment if you would like an invite!
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How I’m going to credit card hack my wedding!
Now, comes planning a wedding. While her father is footing the bill, I will be racking in points and miles! He will be simply paying me to swipe away as he doesn’t believe in credit cards, so I will be cashing in.
The Wedding Cost
I evaluated many heavy spend credit cards for our wedding. And this is my preliminary plan to divide and conquer the cost of a wedding. For this example, I am not looking at what costs are “coded”, just looking at dollars.
On average, a wedding costs about $25,000. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. However, with that number in mind, these are the cards I plan on using to get the best value based on sign-up bonus offers.
Let’s go on a metaphorical shopping spree – yay!
Wedding on multiple credit cards
Chase Sapphire Reserve
This card is perfect to start off with. Let’s meet the minimum spend, $4,000.
- 50,000 points in travel ($750)
- +4,000 points for $4,000 spend (roughly $80)
- TSA Global Entry ($100)
- Annual Travel Credit ($300)
- Priority Pass Enrollment ($399)
- Annual Fee (-$450)
- Total profit on $4,000 spend = $1,179 return!
Chase Sapphire Preferred
This is the little sister to the Reserve, but nothing to be laughed at. Let’s spend another $4,000 here!
- 50,000 points in travel (value $625)
- +5,000 for authorized user purchase (value $100)
- +4,000 points for $4,000 spend (roughly $80)
- Total profit on $4,000 spend = $805 return!
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
This is a great airline credit card. Let’s spend another $3,000 here!
- 60,000 miles (value $900)
- Total profit on $3,000 spend = $900 return!
American Express Platinum
This card has a large annual fee of $550, but the value absolutely comes back. Let’s spend $5,000 here!
- 60,000 AmEx Membership Rewards Points ($1,200)
- $200 in Uber credits ($200)
- $200 airline fee credit ($200)
- $100 Global Entry ($100)
- Fine Hotels & Resorts Benefits ($550) – Debatable, let’s make it $400.
- Global Lounge Access ($500)
- More benefits including Hilton Honors Gold Status and SPG Gold, which I’m not attaching a value to in this scenario.
- Annual Fee (-$550)
- Total profit on $5,000 spend = $2,050 return!
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier and Business Cards
This 1-2 punch is nothing to mess around with! With the Companion Pass, there is TONS of value here and this essentially doubles point value!
I’m combining the cards in these numbers. Let’s spend $3,000 on the Business Card and $1,000 on the Premier Card.
- 100,000 points ($1,600 = value doubles with Companion Pass = $3,200)
- 4,000 points for $4,000 spend ($64 x 2 = $128)
- Companion Pass (value added above)
- Annual fee ($99 x 2 = -$198)
- Total profit on $4,000 spend = $3,130!
Chase Ink Business Preferred
To wrap up our $25,000 shopping spree, lets finish it off with another $5,000.
- 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards ($1,000)
- +5,000 points for $5,000 spend ($62)
- Annual fee (-$95)
- Total profit on $5,000 spend = $967 return!
The Final Numbers
After spending an average of $25,000 dollars on a wedding and with this plan, I can earn roughly $9,000 in travel value!
An approximate return of 35% on costs in travel value is amazing. Plus, all of these travel perks will definitely come in handy as we plan our honeymoon.
If anyone has suggestions for destinations, let me know in the comments or vote in our Facebook group poll!
This is just a preliminary plan based on dollars. I will definitely could look deeper into how to organize specific costs based on how they will be coded to earn even more points. For example, catering could be a restaurant cost, which can earn further points with the Chase Sapphire cards.
A Note of Caution
Banks are tightening down the ability to apply for bunches of cards. I will apply for cards strategically to bypass these rules as much as possible and to increase my chances of approval.
For example, Chase has the dreaded “5/24 Rule” where they won’t approve you for most cards if you’ve had more than 5 new credit cards from ANY bank within the last 24 months. My fiancé will join in the fun of applying for cards to help ensure we bypass this rule.
The Bald Thoughts
The numbers may not be exactly on the dot perfect but it does paint the picture to how profitable credit card hacking can be. This is my preliminary plan to maximize the value we receive from planning a wedding.
I’d love to hear how you financed your special day or any other recommendations on heavy spend credit cards you love.
Let’s hear it in the comments!