Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and this is the weekend to sort out your plans. Treating your significant other to a new piece of jewelry or a special meal can come at a high cost, but if you use the right credit card, it's easy to save some money.
More than half (55%) of Americans plan on celebrating Valentine's Day and expect to spend an average $196.31 on flowers, cards, candy and various other gifts for their significant other, family, friends, pets and more. That's a 21% increase from 2019, according to the annual survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics.
Below, CNBC Select reviews several ways a credit card can help you save money on Valentine's Day expenses.
The best rewards credit cards offer cash back, points or miles at a rate over 2X per dollar spent. These rewards can add up over time and Valentine's Day can be a fun time to redeem them.
Here are a few ideas of how to use credit card rewards to your advantage for various Valentine's Day plans.
Dinner and a movie
If you have a cash-back card that awards extra rewards for restaurants and/or entertainment, such as the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card (4% cash back), redeem cash back as a statement credit to offset your bill.
You can also redeem rewards for Fandango or AMC Theatres gift cards and save on costly movie tickets to the latest blockbuster.
Cooking a romantic dinner
Many grocery rewards credit cards provide added value on supermarket purchases that can save you money on cooking a special meal at home. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers an industry leading 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). If you spend $100 on a groceries, you'll receive $6 cash back.
Read more: Learn how credit card issuers classify purchases for bonus rewards.
Purchasing a gift
Accumulated rewards can be used to purchase merchandise or gift cards. You don't usually get the best value redeeming rewards for merchandise, so consider redeeming them for gift cards. Then you can use the gift card to purchase jewelry, apparel or other gifts for your sweetheart.
If you haven't booked a Valentine's Day getaway yet, consider redeeming any points or miles you have for travel arrangements, such as airfare and hotels. Check out our guide on how to make the most of your airline travel miles.
Some cards offer annual statement credits for travel or dining purchases that can add up to big savings. Here are some of our favorite offers:
To take advantage of these credits, simply charge eligible purchases to your card and expect to receive the credit on your account within a few weeks (though it often comes sooner).
Many credit cards offer exclusive shopping discounts on eligible spending that typically give you either a percentage or set dollar amount of cash back, credited to your account. Offers may provide a credit for spending a certain amount at a restaurant or bonus rewards at select retailers.
If you play your cards right, you can rack up various shopping and dining discounts you can take advantage of this Valentine's Day. Just keep in mind that you must activate the offers before making a purchase. Offers vary based on location and are usually only available for a certain period of time. There are typically minimum spending requirements and maximum earning benefits.
Card issuers that provide these offers include American Express, Chase and Bank of America.
If you plan on making a big purchase for Valentine's Day that you can't afford to pay off right away, it may be in your best interest to charge it on a 0% APR card. Credit cards with intro 0% APR periods can offer no interest for over a year, which helps you pay off a balance without incurring interest charges.
Before opening a 0% APR card and making a large purchase, make sure you have a repayment plan in place and that the purchase isn't outside of your budget. You should aim to pay off your balance in full before the intro 0% APR period ends.
Here are some intro 0% APR cards, which also have no annual fee and offer rewards.
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining (including takeout) and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
0% for the first 15 months on purchases
14.99% to 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, 1.25X miles per dollar on every purchase
20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
0% APR for 12 months on purchases
15.49% to 25.49% variable
3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR
3X points on dining out and ordering in; gas, rideshares and transit; flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals; and popular streaming services. 1X points on all other purchases
20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
14.49% to 24.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Introductory fee of 3% ($5 minimum) for 120 days, then 5% ($5 minimum)
Information about the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, and Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the cards prior to publication.