Wedding Season! Rule #76-C: Use Credit Like a Champion
I have incredible news on the personal front.
In just three short months, both of my brothers have gotten engaged to incredible women. I could not be happier and more excited for our family to expand.
There is nothing better than getting a bunch of friends and family together for awful dance moves and some fun. However, we know with the excitement of every invitation comes a simultaneous cringe with what we know will happen to our finances. Attending the weddings can be expensive. From travel, a bachelor party, the gift, and potentially a new suit, the dollars start adding up.
After my first summer of multiple weddings, finances became front of mind. I found an interesting tip online that was incredibly useful to help curb the impact of these major wedding costs.
Since I knew I would be traveling a lot (all of the weddings were out of state), and my wife and I love to travel, I applied for a new travel reward credit card with 0% APR for 12 months.
(Update) Since initially publishing this article, a number of readers have asked, what about airline specific cards?
An airline card can be especially beneficial if you live in a city where that airline has a major presence. For example, Delta in Atlanta or United in Chicago. When living in NYC and DC, I benefitted by having an American Airlines reward card with their frequent flights out of Laguardia and Reagan. Of course, something to consider is if you move away from the hub, the card won’t be as effective. LendEDU published a helpful guide specific to carrier cards that not only covers the cards’ traditional point system, but also the in-flight savings and bonuses the cards provide.
After we picked our card, we put all of the expenses for the various weddings we’d be attending on the card in bulk – flights, hotels, suits, dresses, gifts – you name it. Front loading our purchases on the card allowed us to earn substantial reward points. Since these expenses were outside our normal spending, it was also helpful to be able to go a few extra months maintaining a card balance without having to pay the 25% plus interest due to the introductory offer.
Paying off your credit card balance is one of my fundamental good financial habits.
I am an advocate of getting your balance to zero each month to avoid any interest fees. In fairness, this can be extremely difficult when you have substantial expenses in a small timeframe for wedding season. The no-interest window from a new credit card provides a rare opportunity to carry a balance a little longer than you otherwise would without getting penalized with significant interest costs.
Using the card responsibly, not only allows you to avoid interest charges, but now you’ll have accumulated points to use as you please. We are already eyeballing our next trip courtesy of these new-found points. If thinking about a new card, I suggest taking a look at this article before taking the plunge to know what impacts your credit score. Assuming you are already in a strong credit position, think about taking advantage of the points opportunity wedding season provides.
Maintaining a high credit score and using credit appropriately can change your life. That is not an exaggeration. Many of the most significant purchases you will make will involve credit. Your mortgage, auto loan, or a business loan to name a few. If you feel you aren’t taking advantage of opportunities or know where to start, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.
Rule #76-C: No Excuses, use credit like a champion.