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Citi CashReturns: Our Wedding Spending 5% Discount Secret Weapon

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I actually feel kind of stupid for not thinking of this earlier but my friend mentioned the Citi CashReturns card the other day and how he used it to take a 5% discount off his entire wedding. He took the CashReturns promotion of 5% cashback (no annual limit), put all of his wedding spending on it, and got himself a nice fat check for 5%. It was so easy that I felt stupid for not having thought of it first. I dismissed the card entirely from my mind when I heard it was 5% for only 3 months, I’ve written in the past about how those types of time limited cashback promotional offers suck [3] but this time it’s different.

Why is it different? It’s because it’s 5% on everything and because we’re going to have a tremendous spike in spending for the next three months as all the wedding expenses get combined with all sorts of honeymoon expenses for a wonderfully expensive quarter. Let’s say the wedding catering costs approximately $15,000. On a conventional credit card, that’s still a nice fat $150 (not fat compared to the cost of course) cash back which is nice. At 5% that amount blossoms to $750! While it won’t replace typical wedding cost cutting strategies, it’s certainly nice to get a little off the top just for using a credit card.

The fine print says “Your Citi CashReturns Card account (“Card Account”) will receive a rebate based upon eligible transactions appearing on your current month’s billing statement.” Which reads to me like you can charge the maximum, pay it off mid-month, then charge some more, pay it off; and have every transaction count towards cashback. The credit limit we have on the card simply isn’t enough to cover all the charges in the short period of time so our mid-billing period payments still have to go if we want to maximize the returns. Lastly, another thing we’ve done is consolidated all of the Citi accounts [4] into that card to increase the credit limit to the max.

There you have it, a slap-my-forehead-its-so-obvious type of idea my friend suggested that should help us out just nicely.

Incidentally, I find it amazing that vendors aren’t willing to cut you a price break to work with cash or check considering the fees they have to pay, oh well, our gain anyway.