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:
- American Express
- Barclaycard US
- Capital One
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union
- Wells Fargo
- Blue Nile & Godiva Sync Offers: Connect your eligible Amex Card through Sync and get $50 back when you spend a total of $250 or more online at bluenile.com.Get $7.50 back 1x when you spend a total of $50 or more at Godiva boutiques or godiva.com with your connected Amex Card. (Bluenile Exp 3/17/14, Godiva Exp 2/14/2014)
- American Express Travel: Currently offering a sale for Valentine’s Day travel. Book between Feb 2 – 6 and travel between Feb 4 – 17. Sale includes discounts and added amenities. You can learn more at www.amextravel.com
Barclays is offering a number of Valentine’s Day discounts in partnership with Upromise. For example:
- 15% Off: Proflowers
- 12% Off: FTD Flowers & Gifts, Shari’s Berries, Red Envelope
- 10% Off: Under Armour, 1-800-FLOWERS
Capital One’s World and Signature customers can use the company’s concierge service to book reservations at restaurants or order flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Chase Freedom cardholders have the opportunity to earn additional cash back throughout the year with Chase Freedom’s Cash Back Boost, which handpicks offers from popular retailers to make it easier to find something rewarding for every shopping season. The following offers are available for Valentine’s Day:
- Extra 15% Cash Back: ProFlowers
- Extra 5% Cash Back: Blue Nile, Godiva, FTD, Victoria’s Secret, Hotels.com, Holiday Inn, Marriott, IHG
Discover is offering 5% cash back at restaurants and movie theaters this quarter. Plus, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, cardmembers can earn cash back by shopping online through ShopDiscover, the company’s online portal offering 5-20% cash back. For reference, below is the full list of merchants participating in the ShopDiscover promotion:
- 25% Cash Back: H&R Block, ProFlowers, Restaurant.com
- 20% Cash Back: 1800Flowers, Bliss, FTD, Shari’s Berries, Teleflora, RedEnvelope
- 15% Cash Back: AllPosters, Art.com, Brookstone, Fossil, Jewelry.com, Kmart, Lobster Gram, PUMA
- 10% Cash Back: Bloomingdale’s, Godiva, Hanes, Macy’s, SaksFifthAvenue, Sears, Sephora, Starbucks, The Body Shop, Zales
PenFed Visa cardholders can take advantage of two great Valentine’s Day merchant deals with Shoebuy.com or bluenile.com when they enroll in V.me by Visa.
Credit card rewards customers can shop their favorite online retailers through Wells Fargo’s Earn More Mall® site to build rewards points balances and take advantage of special offers. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the online mall prominently features offers, such as discounts on flowers, travel and other treats, which are themed for this special occasion. There are over 900 online merchants to shop and cardholders can earn up to 16 bonus points per $1 in net purchases and take advantage of hundreds of discounts updated daily.
You obviously 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 give the gift of a spring or summer vacation, these cards will score you major points with both your Valentine and your bank account.
- Paying Off Debt: Slate Card from Chase – This card offers 0% on balance transfers for 15 months and doesn’t charge either a balance transfer fee 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 $3,000 to this card in the first three months will get you a 40,000-point initial rewards bonus, redeemable for $500 in travel accommodations or a $400 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 Card – Spending at least $1,000 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.In other words, this is a great card for making 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: Blue Cash Preferred from American Express — You get 6% cash back at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations and department stores, 1% everywhere else, and a $100 initial bonus for spending at least $1,000 during the first three months with this card.By using this card to save a little bit every day, 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: Harley-Davidson Secured Card – There’s nothing sexier than a good credit score! Truthfully. Good credit signals responsibility and saves you money – a lot of it. They Harley-Davidson Secured Card can help put you on the path to such perks.It doesn’t charge an annual fee, and anyone can get approved for it as long as they place a refundable security deposit of at least $300. The deposit will serve as your credit line, ensuring you won’t overspend, and as long as you pay on time every month the information that gets reported to the credit bureaus will be positive.
Set a Budget: It’s easy to overspend and difficult to prioritize if you aren’t sure how much you can afford to spend on a given item or occasion. That’s true not only for Valentine’s Day, but for the rest of the year as well. So, take stock of your disposable income, consider other savings goals, and settle on a number. Then look for gifts that will fit the bill. The upside of this is that it encourages creativity in the face of price constraints, which can therefore lead to more thoughtful (and effective) gift giving.
- Cash in Your Rewards: If you’ve got a treasure trove of rewards stowed away (and I don’t just mean credit card rewards, by the way), now might be the time to put them to use. In exploring this option, make sure to determine which method of redemption offers the most value. For example, you’ll typically get more out of your points or miles by redeeming them for travel accommodations or gift cards than you will by putting them toward electronics or other specific goods.
- Buy Discounted Gift Cards: You can buy gift cards at discounts of up to 25% (sometimes even more) through an online gift card exchange, like the one Card Hub operates. You just might be able to get what you need in time for the big day too, since some of the gift cards will inevitably be sold by individuals in your area or will be available via e-mail.
- Comparison Shop: Unless you’re in the market for something extremely rare, the odds are good that more than one merchant will offer whatever it is you’re looking for. One of the easiest ways to save money is therefore to shop around for the lowest price before proceeding to checkout.
- 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 more week could really pay off. Countless Valentine’s specials are going to be offered; you just need to be decisive when the right one catches your eye.
Most Popular Valentine’s Day Gifts By Year & Type
|Year||Jewelry||Gift Cards||Candy||Flowers||Evening Out||Greeting Cards||Clothing||Other|
*Reflects projected spending
** Numbers may exceed 100% in total due to double counting.
Projected Spending for Valentine’s Day 2014
|Type of Gift||Total Spending (in Billions)*|
|Gift Card/Gift Certificate||$1.16|
To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate
- 46.2%: Of adults DO NOT plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year
- 26%: The amount by which the number of non-celebrators has increased since the start of the financial crisis in 2007
- 49.1%: Of Midwesterners are not planning to celebrate this year – the highest percentage of any region.
- 1913: The Year Hallmark first offered Valentine’s Day cards
- 1,200: Types of Valentine’s Day greeting cards are being offered by Hallmark in 2014 (a 14% decrease from last year)
- 142 million: Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year
- 2nd: Biggest greeting card event, behind Christmas
- 45%: Of men believe flowers are an adequate Valentine’s Day present
- 4%: Of women agree
- 64%: Of men buy flowers for Valentine’s Day
- 36%: Of women buy flowers for Valentine’s Day
- 224 million: Estimated number of roses grown for Valentine’s Day in 2013
- 20%: Amount by which the price of roses tends to increase around Valentine’s Day, based on supply and demand
- 1868: Year Richard Cadbury introduced the chocolate box
- 33%: Of women want jewelry
- 40%: Want a day at the spa
- 20%: Of men want tickets to a sporting event
Travel & Dining
- 37%: Of couples are planning an evening out in 2014
- $3.54 billion: The amount they’ll spend on the festivities
- $74.19: Average amount spent for an evening out on Valentine’s
- 11%: Of Americans plan a weekend getaway for Valentine’s Day in 2014
- $303: Average amount that Americans planning a Valentine’s weekend getaway will spend
- $131: Nightly hotel rate in Las Vegas – the most popular Valentine’s Day destination in 2014
Looking for Love
- 112: Single men in their 20s for every 100 women of the same age
- 49: Single men 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same age
- 393: Number of dating services nationwide
Data in this report is based on CardHub analysis as well as information from the National Retail Federation, Hallmark, OpenTable.com, American Express, and news reports.
Ask The Experts: Examining the Economics of Love
- Is Valentine’s Day 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?
- Are V-Day spending trends indicative of consumer sentiment & economic well-being?