Valentine’s Day is expensive. We spend more than $18 billion in the name of love each year, according to the National Retail Federation. That works out to $143.56 per person celebrating. High costs and high expectations can also lead to big problems in relationships. For example, 45% of people expect a $50+ Valentine’s Day gift, according to WalletHub’s 2018 Valentine’s Day Survey. And 40% of people think irresponsible spending is not only a bigger turnoff than bad breath, but also cause for a breakup.
So to help you save money, and perhaps even your relationship, WalletHub examined the many Valentine’s Day credit card specials being offered this year. You can check out the top deals below, followed by more tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day and an expert Q&A about the business of love.
WalletHub 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:
- We are currently running an “Early Bird Beach Sale” through American Express Travel, which gives customers the ability to get up to 20-40% off on select hotels when they book by 2/28/18 for travel by 8/31/18. You can find more details here: https://www.amextravel.com/hotel-offers/thematicsale.
Additionally, through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program, Platinum Card® Members can receive a complimentary 3rd or 4th Night, or Additional Credit, at select properties with new Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings. Platinum Card Members can explore all available offers at https://www.americanexpressfhr.com/fhr/offers.
Beginning January 30, Venture cardholders can earn 10x miles on hundreds of thousands of places to stay, when paying with their Venture or VentureOne card on Hotels.com/venture. The offer works with the Hotels.com Rewards loyalty program – so consumers can collect 10 nights and get one free – and is in addition to the unlimited double miles Venture cardholders earn on every purchase, helping to make a Valentine’s Day getaway or staycation even sweeter. Offer expires January 2020.
PenFed Visa cardholders can take advantage of these great Valentine’s Day merchant deals in just a few clicks:
- FTD.com: Shop world-class flowers, gifts and gourmet treats and save 20% off your purchase sitewide when you use any eligible Visa® Card at www.FTD.com/visa20. Offer good through November 30, 2018.
- Teleflora: Save 25% on hand arranged bouquets from Teleflora when you pay with your Visa® card. To redeem this offer visit www.Teleflora.com/visa and your discount will be automatically applied. Offer good through February 17, 2018.
- Shari’s Berries: Save 20% on product purchased at Shari’s Berries when you pay with your Visa® card. To redeem this offer, visit www.berries.com/visa and your discount will be automatically applied at checkout. Offer good through January 31, 2019.
- Cookies by Design: Cookies by Design offers freshly baked, hand decorated cookie bouquets and treats that can be personalized for any occasion. Save 15% on orders of $40 or more at Cookies by Design when you pay with your Visa® card. To redeem this offer, visit www.cookiesbydesign.com and enter code VISA152018 during the checkout process. Offer good through December 31, 2018.
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, gourmet treats and more for truly special gifts. Customers can earn up to 20% and shop their choice of over 10,000 popular merchants, including FTD.com, ThePopcornFactory.com, Cheryls.com, and Shari's Berries.
- Try to Beat Average: The average person celebrating Valentine’s Day is expected to spend $143.56 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 fact that they’ve been the most requested type of holiday gift for more than a decade. If you decide to get one for your sweetheart, make sure to shop at an online gift card exchange 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 of those people, 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.
- Catch a Flick on the Couch: 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
For more insights and opinions about the financial side of Valentine’s Day, WalletHub posed the following questions to a panel of experts. You can check out who they are and what they said below.
- 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?
Ask the Experts