For many of us, the countdown to February 14 brings with it an increasing level of stress as we struggle to find a great present, make a reservation at the right restaurant and, most importantly, find a way to pay for it all.
In support of your plight, CardHub has identified a number of ways to ease the pain that love inflicts on your wallet. From seasonal discounts for existing cardholders to new cards offering the kinds of low rates and lucrative initial rewards bonuses you need to cure Cupid’s hangover, we’ve got you covered!
Card Hub surveyed the nation’s largest credit card issuers to determine how they plan on expressing their love for their dear customers this Valentine’s Day. Here’s what we learned:
New travel promotions are available via Amex Offers:
- Offer: Get a one-time $100 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to make a single purchase of $600 or more for a prepaid hotel booking at AmexTravel.com by 3/15/16. Excludes the Fine Hotels & Resorts. See terms for additional exclusions. Booking Dates: 1/15/16 – 3/15/16
- Offer: 20-40% off select hotels in the U.S., Mexico and Caribbean. Terms apply. Book By Date: 2/29/2016
|1800Flowers.com||Spend $50+ get $15 back||3/25/16|
|Exhale Spa||Spend $125+ get $25 back||2/29/16|
|Shari’s Berries||20% off||2/15/16|
Barclaycard account holders can earn up to 10 points per $1 spent on special “Valentine’s Day promotions” through the Barclay RewardsBoost online shopping portal. In addition, Barclays is offering a number of Valentine’s Day discounts. For example:
- 50% Off: FromYouFlowers.com (roses)
- 20% Off: Proflowers (flowers and gifts)
- 15% Off: Personal Creations, 1-800-FLOWERS, Blue Nile (select jewelry)
Quicksilver cardholders can still get 20% on Uber rides through April 2016, so whether Valentine’s Day calls for your usual UberX or a ride in style with UberBLACK, you’ll still get 20% back!
Venture cardholders can use their Visa Signature Benefits to access the Luxury Hotel Collection with premium benefits, upgrades, and credits to make their Valentine’s Day getaway or staycation even better.
Chase Freedom Cardholders earn 5% cash back or up to $1,500 in combined Gas Stations and Local Commuter Transportation (including UBER and taxis) purchases from January 1 – March 31, 2016. ChaseFreedom cardholders also have access to the following via Shop Through Chase:
- Extra 10% Cash Back: ProFlowers, ProPlants, FTD, Cherry Moon Farms, Shari’s Berries, and Restaurant.com
- Extra 5% Cash Back: Sephora, Perfume.com, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Avon
Discover is offering a 5% CashBack Bonus on Gas and Ground Transportation this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases, when you sign up. Plus, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, cardmembers can earn cash back by shopping online through Discover Deals, the company’s online portal. For reference, below is the full list of merchants showcased in the Discover Deals’ Valentine’s Day category:
- 25% CashBack Bonus: Magazines.com, ProFlowers online, FTD online
- 20% CashBack Bonus: 1800Baskets online, PersonalCreations.com
- 15% CashBack Bonus: Under Armour online, Fruitbouquets.com
- 10% CashBack Bonus: Bloomingdale’s online, Lord &Taylor online, Saks Fifth Avenue online, Macy’s online, Anthropologie online, Kiehl’s online, Saks Off 5th online, Zales online, Aveda online, Jos. A. Bank online, Lancome online, LivingSocial online, Clinique online, Darphin online, Bumble and bumble online
- 5% CashBack Bonus: Apple online
- 20% off: 1-800-flowers.com
- 20% off a purchase of $49 or more: The Popcorn Factory
- 20% off a purchase of $49 or more: Cheryl & Co.
- 15% off: Edible Arrangements
PenFed Visa cardholders can take advantage of these three great Valentine’s Day merchant deals in just a few clicks:
- FTD.com: For flowers in hours, FTD offers you 20% off your purchase sitewide when you use your Visa Card from now through February 15, 2016.
- fromyouflowers.com: Save up to 50% on your order of flowers and other seasonal specials when you use your Visa Card from now through December 31, 2016.
- Regal Entertainment Group: Take your Valentine to the movies! Get a $10 Regal Entertainment eGift card when you spend at least $20 with your registered Visa credit card at Regal Entertainment Group.
Wells Fargo credit card customers can earn rewards and enjoy special offers while shopping at their favorite online and in-store retailers through the Earn More Mall® Site. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, offers through the Earn More Mall Site include discounts on flowers, travel, gourmet treats and more for truly special gifts. Customers can earn up to 10% and shop their choice of over 10,000 popular merchants, including SpaWeek.com, See’sCandies.com and ICE.com.
You won’t be able to get a new credit card in time for Valentine’s Day, but if you’ve been planning to go big with your present this year, you can certainly set yourself up for savings down the road. Whether it’s a balance transfer deal that prevents Valentine’s Day interest from haunting you for months to come or an initial rewards bonus that enables you to afford a spring or summer vacation, these cards will score major points with both your Valentine and your bank account.
- Paying Off Debt: Slate Card from Chase – This card offers 0% on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months and doesn’t charge either a balance transfer fee (for transfers made during the first 60 days) or an annual fee. You can therefore transfer any debt that you incur in the coming days to this card in order to avoid interest in the holiday’s aftermath.
- Getting Some Extra Cash: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Charging $4,000 to this card in the first three months will get you a 50,000-point initial rewards bonus, redeemable for $625 in travel accommodations (when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) or a $500 statement credit. That means you can use it to either effectively subsidize what you spend now or better afford a promised present down the line.
- Scoring a Free Trip: Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card – Spending at least $3,000 in the first three months that you have this card will get you 40,000 bonus miles, which you can redeem for $400 in travel expenses. You also get a 10% mileage discount when you redeem for travel statement credits, which gives this card a slight edge over the Venture Card from Capital One’s similar rewards structure. Ultimately, this Barclaycard is a great way to make up for a lackluster Valentine’s Day with a nice weekend getaway! There is no annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter).
- Saving Everyday: Citi Double Cash — This card will give you 1% cash back on all purchases, plus another 1% when you pay your corresponding monthly bill, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee. By using this card to save a little bit every day, especially if you pay your bill in full every month, you’ll be able to afford that family vacation or V-Day present you’ve had your eye on for a while now.
Improving Your Credit: Capital One Secured MasterCard – There’s nothing sexier than a good credit score! Truthfully. Good credit signals responsibility and saves you money – a lot of it. In fact, 30% of women and 20% of men say they wouldn’t marry someone who has bad credit.
With that in mind, the Capital One Secured MasterCard can certainly help put you on the path to love. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, and pretty much anyone can get approved for it as long as they can afford to place a refundable security deposit that could be as high as $200. More specifically, you will be required to place a deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your credit standing, and you will receive a spending limit of $200 to $3,000. That’s what makes this card “partially secured,” which means your credit line could exceed the amount of your deposit – a rarity. As long as you pay your bill on time every month, the information that gets reported to the credit bureaus will be positive, and both your credit standing and date-ability will improve as a result.
- Try to Beat Average: The average person Valentine’s Day celebrator is expected to spend $146.84 this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Make it your mission to spend less than that amount. In so doing, you’ll be giving yourself a budget and turning frugality into a competition.
- Celebrate During the Day: Celebrating while it’s light out opens up a number of cost-effective activities, from picnics to scenic hiking. Things like restaurant reservations are also easier to come by.
- Buy Discounted Gift Cards: Most people love gift cards, judging from the more than 60% of people who say they want one each holiday season. If you decide to get one for your sweetheart, make sure to shop at an online gift card exchange (like the one Card Hub offers) in order to pay well below face value.
- Cook & Eat Out the Following Night: Not only is cooking for your partner a gift in itself, especially if you aren’t the one who usually does it, but staying in on high-traffic Valentine’s Day will also enable you to beat the crowds and get the reservation you want the next night.
- Use Credit Card Rewards: When was the last time you redeemed your credit card’s cash back, miles or points balance? If it’s been awhile, consider using your earnings to celebrate your love. This is especially beneficial if you’re dealing with points or miles, as it will enable you to avoid rewards devaluation.
- Recreate Your First Date: Chances are your first date was relatively inexpensive. That means recreating the time sparks first flew is not just a thoughtful, romantic gesture – it’s also a frugal one. Just make sure not to blow it this time around!
- Think Thoughtful, Not Expensive: Yes, some people love material items. And if you’re married to one, good luck to your wallet. For everyone else, keep in mind just how far imagination and sentimentality can take you. There are countless ways that you can woo your boo on a budget. Just think about the most special times you’ve spent together, inside jokes you share, important occasions, common interests, etc., and the ideas will start coming to you.
- Sell Your Reservation: There probably isn’t time to do this in 2016, but if you really want to take things to the next level next year, think about what restaurants and attractions will be most popular on Valentine’s Day and book reservations well in advance. Then, when the place inevitably fills up, you can offer to sell your spot to another couple that you know. If you play your cards right, you’ll be able to pay for your own celebrations.
- Relax with Redbox: Watching a movie at home, whether it’s On Demand or a Netflix and chill situation, is great way to bond with your sweetheart at very little expense. It’s also an opportunity to turn the lights down and get your cuddle on!
- Look for Daily Deals: While you might be growing tired of endless e-mails from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, paying especially close attention to them for at least one week could really pay off. Countless Valentine’s Day specials are going to be offered; you just need to be decisive when the right one catches your eye.
Ask The Experts: Examining the Economics of Love
- Do you have any tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day celebrations?
- What do you believe recent Valentine’s Day trends say about consumer spending habits?
- Is Valentine’s Day, in its current form, based more in history or corporate influence?
- To what extent is Valentine’s Day a major marketing/branding success?
- Is Valentine’s Day losing its luster?