Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
UFB Secure Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Up to 5.25% APY on one of our top picks for best savings accounts plus, no monthly fee
Accredited Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Accredited Debt Relief helps consumers with over $30,000 of debt
LendingClub High-Yield Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for best savings accounts for its strong APY and an ATM card with no ATM fees
Choice Home Warranty
Learn More
Terms Apply
Protects 25+ systems & appliances. Free quote + $50 off + 1 month free
Freedom Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Freedom Debt Relief can help clients get started without fees up front
Select independently determines what we cover and recommend. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links. This commission may impact how and where certain products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
Loans

How to finance an engagement ring

Five ways to pay for a ring without breaking the bank.

Share

While most couples have moved on from the idea that an engagement ring should cost three months' salary, it's still a fairly significant purchase. In 2023, the average amount spent on a ring was $5,500, according to The Knot

As with any big-ticket item, it's important to do your research before buying an engagement ring. Proper planning can make the whole process less stressful and more affordable.

If you're gearing up to pop the question, CNBC Select has five ways to finance that engagement ring.

How to pay for an engagement ring

1. Save up the cash

Depending on your income and expenses, you'll need several months or even a few years to save up the money for an engagement ring.

The best strategy is to start by deciding how much you want to spend and when you want to propose. Then divide the total dollar amount by the number of months you have to reach that goal. So, if you want to spend $5,500 on a ring and propose in a year, you'd need to put aside $458 per month. (Setting up automatic monthly transfers into a special savings account can help.)

Don't forget about sales tax and insurance, however, which could add a few months to your timeline.

More help: How to insure an engagement ring

If you're in a rush to get hitched, a high-yield Western Alliance Bank Savings Account can supercharge your ring fund. It currently offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.30%, one of the highest available. There's only a $1 minimum deposit required and no monthly fees.

Western Alliance Bank Savings Account

Western Alliance Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    5.24% APY

  • Minimum balance

    $1 minimum deposit

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 transactions each month

  • Excessive transactions fee

    The bank may charge fees for non-sufficient funds

  • Overdraft fee

    No overdraft fee

  • Offer checking account?

    No

  • Offer ATM card?

    No

Terms apply.

If you need help organizing your savings plan, an Ally Online Savings Account lets you make up to 10 different "buckets," each labeled for a unique purpose. You can make a new bucket just for the ring — but be sure to give it a cryptic name if you share the account with your partner and you want to keep the engagement a surprise.

Ally Bank Savings Account

Ally Bank is a Member FDIC.
  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    4.25% APY

  • Minimum balance

    None

  • Monthly fee

    None

  • Maximum transactions

    Unlimited withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle

  • Excessive transactions fee

    $10 per transaction

  • Overdraft fee

    None

  • Offer checking account?

    Yes

  • Offer ATM card?

    Yes, if have an Ally checking account

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Strong APY
  • No minimum balance or deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • Unlimited withdrawals or transfers
  • Option to add a checking account with ATM access

Cons

  • Higher APYs offered elsewhere
  • $10 excessive transactions fee

2. Make extra cash

If you don't want to wait, take a lesson out of LeVar Harris' playbook: Harris knew he wanted to propose to his college sweetheart, Reanne Swafford-Harris. But he was a little tight on cash after buying his first house.

Harris, a private client banker at the time, didn't want to use a credit card to buy a ring because he saw so many colleagues and clients struggling with debt. Instead, he followed the advice of a client who told him, "I never buy the things I want. I buy assets that buy the things I want."

Harris rented out a spare room in his two-bedroom home and, within a year, had saved up $5,000 from rental income.

"I was able to negotiate $200 to $300 off of the ring because I paid in cash, and the jeweler didn't have to pay any processing fees," Harris told CNBC Select.

Harris and his wife share similar cash-saving tips on their Money and Marriage YouTube channel.

3. Use a credit card

Like most major retailers, jewelry stores may have a store credit card that you can apply for. Signing up for a store card might qualify you for a special interest period or an additional discount at checkout, but be sure to look out for deferred interest. If you sign up for a card that charges deferred interest, you could get hit with huge charges if you're unable to pay off your purchase during the introductory APR period.

A 0% APR credit card that also has a sizeable welcome bonus could be an even better option. You can pay over time without accruing interest, while also maximizing your savings by taking advantage of your large purchase to meet a minimum spend requirement.

With the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, you could finance the engagement ring with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening (after, 18.24% - 29.24% variable, see rate and fees), plus earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $2,000 in purchases in the first six months after opening the card.

You could use those points toward a honeymoon or as a statement credit to cover a future balance.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    2X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1X), 1X Membership Rewards® points per dollar spent on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you make $2,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    18.24% to 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Competitive intro period on purchases
  • 20% extra point bonus when you make 20 or more purchases in a billing period

Cons

  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

4. Buy now, pay later

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) and other point-of-sale (POS) financing options are basically one-time installment loans that give you a flexible, pay-over-time option. These loans, from companies like Affirm and Afterpay, often come with 0% interest periods.

One of the few BNPL providers that has long-term financing options with a 0% APR, Affirm offers loans of up to $25,000 with terms ranging from one month to five years. There are no late fees but if you don't make on-time payments it could impact your credit score.

Affirm gets high marks for its widespread availability: In addition to the hundreds of thousands of merchants who accept it, consumers can use it with any retailers that aren't partners through Affirm's website or mobile app.

Affirm

  • Interest rates

    0% to 36%

  • Loan terms

    One to 48 months

  • Fees

    There are no late fees, but making late payments can affect your ability to get a loan in the future and possibly your credit score.

  • Return policy

    Customers are only refunded the principal amount, so if you don't have a 0% loan, you won't be refunded for the interest you paid before making the return.

  • Available merchants

    Affirm has more than 245,000 merchants including Amazon, Peloton, adidas and Target. Through affirm.com or the Affirm app, consumers are also able to use the BNPL option at any retailer, either online or in-store, that aren't integrated with the company. Consumers will receive a single-use virtual card to pay for their purchases.

  • Loan amounts

    Up to $25,000 on a purchase.

Afterpay offers a financing option with four installment payments due every two weeks over a six-week term. Customers make a down payment at the time of purchase (typically 25% of the total cost) and then pay the rest over six weeks.

Afterpay

  • Interest rates

    0%

  • Loan terms

    Afterpay only offers 1 loan option: Customers can make 4 installment payments over 6 weeks. You have to make one down payment (typically 25% of the order), and then a payment once every two weeks.

  • Fees

    Afterpay does charge late fees: $8 or 25% of the transaction, whichever is less.

  • Return policy

    In order to return items, you'll have to go through the merchant first. Since you don't pay interest on your Afterpay loan, you don't have to worry about not being refunded for interest. Afterpay also offers partial refunds on orders. However, you will still be on the hook for payments until the merchant has accepted and processed the return.

  • Available merchants

    Approximately 100,000 merchants globally. Consumers can also use the Afterpay Card to pay for purchases in store. However, this is only available for some customers to use at select retailers such as Amazon, CVS, Target, Nordstrom and Macy's.

  • Loan amount

    The amount of credit you can access depends on how long you've been an Afterpay customer and on whether you're making your payments on time and in full. A new user will be able to spend less than someone with a longer history. The more you use Afterpay, the more you can spend with it.


With any POS program, be sure that you're clear on the terms and conditions with any kind of promotional deal. If you're offered low or 0% interest, make sure you can pay it off within the allotted timeframe and that you know the regular interest rate you would have to pay if you couldn't.

5. Take out a personal loan

While generally more expensive than using 0% financing or paying in cash, personal loans are becoming a more common way to finance large purchases.

A personal loan can give you a lower interest rate and more time to pay than a credit card. In November 2023, the average annual percentage rate (APR) on a two-year personal loan was 12.35%, according to the Federal Reserve, compared to an average credit card APR of 21.47%.

Just be on the lookout for an origination (sign-up) fees. In addition, some lenders only let you borrow cash for particular uses, such as debt consolidation or refinancing.

LightStream, the online lending arm of Truist Bank, offers low-interest loans with flexible terms for people with good credit. There are no origination or late fees and few restrictions on how you can use the money.

LightStream Personal Loans

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

    7.49% - 25.99%* APR with AutoPay

  • Loan purpose

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, auto financing, medical expenses, and others

  • Loan amounts

    $5,000 to $100,000

  • Terms

    24 to 144 months* dependent on loan purpose

  • Credit needed

    Good

  • Origination fee

    None

  • Early payoff penalty

    None

  • Late fee

    None

Terms apply. *AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Excellent credit required for lowest rate. Rates vary by loan purpose.

Bottom line

Planning your proposal can be romantic, but paying off debt is anything but. Start your marriage on solid financial footing by making smart decisions about the engagement ring you buy. Do your research, save money and make the right choice for you and your partner.

Don't miss: The best 0% APR credit cards

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Subscribe to the CNBC Select Newsletter!

Money matters — so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of financial products.

While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best financial products.

Information about the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

For rates and fees for the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, click here

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Chime
Learn More
Terms Apply
Chime offers online-only accounts that minimize fees plus, get paid up to 2 days early with direct deposits
Find the right savings account for you
Learn More
Terms Apply
Help your money grow by finding the savings account that offers the best rates and features for you