Update yourself with the latest credit-card offers, as card issuers often offer sign-up bonuses to new customers. Those bonuses could come in the form of additional credit points, cash back or other rewards, like a free night at a hotel or travel miles.
Grace Cheng and Pedro Pla, the founders of credit-card advice site GET.com, took advantage of those rewards to get an epic trip. Through savvy planning, they accumulated enough credit-card points to save $54,000 on airline tickets, which they used to fly to five continents.
"The time spent planning, comparing cards and working toward the goal" of earning 1 million travel miles "was more than worth it," they say. However, they add, beware: "Most card bonuses come with a minimum spend requirement within a certain time period."
Some cards, for example, require you spend a certain amount to get that reward, such as $3,000 or $4,000 within a few months. And "the last thing people should do is overspend to get rewards," according to Schulz. "That's just asking for trouble."