Using credit cards can be a high-risk, high-reward proposition. Use them the wrong way, and you can end up like the millions of Americans struggling to pay down expensive debt. Use them the right way, however, and you can finance a never-ending vacation like Pedro Pla and Grace Cheng. Since January, the couple and their two children have been flying around the world for free.
Pla, 35, and Cheng, 36, are co-founders of the website GET.com, which aims to help people maximize their credit card air miles and rewards. They launched the site in 2011. According to the company, it made eight-figures within the first two years and has remained profitable ever since.
CNBC Make It spoke with Pla and Cheng to see how two self-described "credit card geeks" worked the system, turning points into an international adventure for their family, as well as into a multimillion-dollar business.
Q: How did you get the idea to travel for free using points, and how long did it take to turn the idea into your reality?
Pla and Cheng: Over the years, we frequently redeemed our credit card points for short-haul flights. As 2017 marks the 10th year of our first round-the-world journey, we decided we should travel around the world again, but this time with our two toddlers in tow.
Within a year, we reached our goal of earning a million air miles from our credit cards — enough for our family of four to fly to five continents on business class. In October 2016, we used 960,000 miles out of our million-plus miles to redeem for four round-the-world air tickets on business class to five continents, worth $54,000, through Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program.