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- Chase Pay Yourself Back gets you more value for your points when you redeem toward select purchases.
- You’ll get 50% more value with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and 25% more with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
- Chase has extended certain Pay Yourself Back categories through September 30, 2021.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best Chase credit cards.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, credit card issuers have been changing up benefits and features to meet a broader range of customer needs and to account for the fact that travel perks currently aren’t as relevant.
The Pay Yourself Back program from Chase may just be the most useful shake-up to date, and that’s especially true for people who have quite a few points to burn but aren’t ready to travel yet. This feature is especially valuable for those who have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, because it allows you to redeem points toward select everyday purchases at an improved rate.
Here’s what to know about Chase Pay Yourself Back to help you decide if you want to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points this way.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
Chase Pay Yourself Back: How it works
Chase Pay Yourself Back lets certain cardholders redeem rewards for a higher rate than the 1 cent per point normally offered for cash-back redemptions. The eligible categories and bonus value vary depending on the card:
|Chase card||Pay Yourself Back categories||Bonus in points value|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Grocery stores, dining, home improvement stores, eligible charities||50% (1.5 cents per point)|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Grocery stores, dining, home improvement stores, eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||Eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||Eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Eligible charities||25% (1.25 cents per point)|
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can currently redeem your Ultimate Rewards points with bonus value toward purchases in the following categories through September 30, 2021:
- Grocery stores
- Dining (including restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services)
- Home improvement stores
- Eligible charity purchases
Other Chase cards, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, currently only have select charitable organizations as a Pay Yourself Back category, through December 31, 2021. Eligible charities include:
- American Red Cross
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Feeding America
- Habitat for Humanity
- International Medical Corporation
- Leadership Conference Education Fund
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- National Urban League
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
- United Negro College Fund
- United Way
- World Central Kitchen
If you have a card that eligible for Pay Yourself Back, here are the steps you need to take to redeem your points.
How to use Chase Pay Yourself Back
- Log into your Chase account online
- Navigate to the Chase Ultimate Rewards landing page
- Click on “Pay Yourself Back” under the “Earn/Use” dropdown menu
- From there, you’ll be taken to a list of your purchases from the last 90 days that qualify for Pay Yourself Back
- Select any purchases you’d like to redeem points for
- You’ll be asked to enter the cash value of points you want to use, since you can use points to cancel out a portion of a purchase, in addition to redeeming points for the full purchase value
- Hit “Confirm & Submit” to complete your points redemption
You’ll receive a statement credit equal to the cash value of the points you redeemed within three business days.
What to consider before you use Pay Yourself Back
Being able to redeem rewards for a higher-than-usual rate is always a good thing, but Chase Ultimate Rewards points are also incredibly valuable for travel. Here’s everything you should consider before using Chase Pay Yourself Back:
If you might travel in the future, consider the value of Chase travel partners
While it may be tempting to cash in Chase points to cover your grocery bill, don’t forget about the long-term value of these rewards if you plan to travel in the future.
Let’s say for a moment that you have 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your Chase Sapphire Reserve® account. You could use the Pay Yourself Back feature to cover $750 in grocery purchases made with your card (1.5 cents per point), but you could also transfer these points to over a dozen airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio to get more value.
Insider values Chase Ultimate Rewards points as worth, on average, 1.8 cents apiece, but the return you’ll get depends on the partner and specific redemption.
For example, 50,000 points are often enough to cover a round-trip flight to Europe when you transfer them to Air France-KLM Flying Blue — and that ticket might cost well over $1,000 otherwise.
That said, the advice to save points for future travel is really only applicable if you do plan to travel later. If finances are tight, then it’s likely scoring $750 in groceries or using Chase points for other non-travel redemptions would help you considerably more in the short term.
You’ll still earn rewards on any purchases you erase with Pay Yourself Back
Remember that the Pay Yourself Back feature is just another way you can redeem your rewards, so it won’t affect the earning rates you have with your Chase card. You’ll still earn 3x points on travel (after earning the $300 travel credit) and dining with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and 2x points on travel and dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You’ll also earn 10x points on Lyft rides with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and 5x points on Lyft rides with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card through March 2022.
You can also still click through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal to earn bonus rewards on online purchases made with participating stores. To do this, log into your Chase account, head to the Ultimate Rewards landing page, and click “Earn Bonus Points” under the “Earn/Use” dropdown. Then, select the store you want to make a purchase with, and click through.
For example, Home Depot sometimes offers bonus points through the Chase portal, so you could make a purchase and erase it with points because it’s in the home improvement store category.
Pair Chase cards for even more value
If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you should also consider applying for another Chase card that could help you maximize this benefit. Chase lets you combine points between accounts, so by moving all of your points to the card with the best redemption options, you’ll get the most value.
For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you could pair it with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to earn 1.5% cash back (1.5x points) on non-bonus category spending, or with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to earn 5% back (5x points) on up to $1,500 spent (then 1%) in quarterly rotating bonus categories after activation.
Both of these Freedom cards also offer a substantial welcome bonus of $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening. You could use these cards to rack up more rewards over time, then move your points to your Chase Sapphire account to take advantage of the Pay Yourself Back feature in more categories.
Holly Johnson is a credit card expert, award-winning writer, and mother of two who is obsessed with frugality, budgeting, and travel.
Jasmin Baron is an associate editor at Personal Finance Insider, where she helps readers maximize rewards and find the best credit cards to fit their lifestyles. She has covered credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs for over seven years, and she’s a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.
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