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A big milestone for many families is a wedding. Of course weddings range in size and cost from the courthouse drop-in to Kardashian level mega-events. Mine was of the Vegas variety, but even that cost some real cash once you get passed the “drive thru wedding” options. Like with everything, I strongly encourage you to earn miles from wedding expenses so that you can afford an awesome honeymoon (or even first anniversary trip) courtesy of miles and points. Goodness knows you will have spent enough cash by the time the honeymoon rolls around!
I was recently interviewed for an article on this very topic for this month’s issue of Inside Flyer, which you should absolutely read even if you don’t have a wedding on the horizon as many tips can apply to leveraging having to pay for any large purchase or event. A statistic in that article references that the average wedding in the United States now costs $30,000. $30,000, seriously – that’s the average?!
Okay, the bad news is that is a ton of money. Way too much money if you ask me, but you didn’t, so the good news is that that is a lot of money you can earn miles and points on.
- You could hit minimum spending limits on new rewards credit cards with ease.
- You could take advantage of category bonuses if a chunk of your expenses are billed as restaurant or hotel costs.
- You could trigger annual spending bonuses on a card that would normally be unattainable via “regular” spending.
If you are getting married or hosting a reception at a hotel such as Hyatt for example, you could even earn extra points based on the amount you spend there. Say you indeed spent $30,000 at a Hyatt on the wedding/reception, that would translate to 120,000 bonus Hyatt Gold Passport points via their Hyatt Weddings program. That is enough for four nights at any Hyatt in the world (at 30k points per night), and potentially many more nights than that if you aren’t at a Category 7 property. Of course that is on top of whatever bonuses you are earning by paying your bill with a rewards earning credit card (hopefully that earns a bonus at hotels).
Starwood has a similar wedding program (also earn points based on how many rooms your guests book), as does Marriott, and several others. If you use even a tiny bit of strategy it would be pretty easy for the cost of the wedding be all it takes to earn the miles and points you need to take an epic honeymoon.
As for me, we actually enjoyed both our wedding and our honeymoon in Las Vegas, so no extravagant wedding or around-the-world honeymoon for us. However, we try really hard to take a fun trip to celebrate every year thereafter. The first anniversary was again spent in Vegas just like the wedding, the second in New Orleans, and the rest have all been documented here.
How have miles and points played into your wedding(s) and anniversaries?