Chase Ultimate Rewards are popular with travelers because the points are so flexible. Savvy cardholders use them to book travel through the Chase travel portal or transfer to one of the many Chase transfer partners for additional value. However, with most people staying home during the coronavirus pandemic, redeeming points for travel isn't as appealing.
Chase recognized this and added a limited time offer called Chase Pay Yourself Back to encourage cardholders to continue spending on their cards. In this article, we'll explain how Chase Pay Yourself Back works, what it's really worth, and whether you should use it.
What is Chase Pay Yourself Back?
Chase Pay Yourself Back is a limited time feature added to some of the best travel credit cards, as well as business cards and cashback cads. Although numerous Chase credit cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, only a few are eligible to use Chase Pay Yourself Back:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Plus Business
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Freedom Flex
This feature was added by the credit card issuer due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because so many people are staying home and focusing their spending on the basics, Chase Pay Yourself Back was designed to be more in alignment with current spending habits. This feature allows you to redeem your points for a better rate than a typical statement credit, though how the redemption works varies depending on the card you have.
Normally, you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1 cent per point for cash back or gift cards. With Chase Pay Yourself Back, you can redeem your points for either 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point to directly erase these sorts of purchases, which is an increase of 25% to 50% of the normal redemption rate.
You have up to 90 days from the date of your purchases to erase your spending with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. This gives you extra time to earn additional points so you can erase more of your purchase.
Another big difference between Chase Pay Yourself Back redemptions and other redemption options is that you'll also earn Chase Ultimate Rewards on the original purchases. When you use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel, transfer to an airline or hotel partner, or get cash back or gift cards, you don't earn any points for those redemptions.
Let's look at the specific cards now so you know how to make the most of your Chase credit card.
Chase cards in the Pay Yourself Back program
Chase Sapphire cards
These Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards are now able to redeem Chase points to erase eligible purchases at an increased redemption value formerly reserved for booking travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred can now get you a value of 1.25 cents per point and the Chase Sapphire Reserve can get you 1.5 cents per point on specific redemption categories.
With the new Pay Yourself Back benefit, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases in the following categories if you have one of the two Sapphire cards:
- Grocery stores
- Dining, including restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services
- Home improvement stores
- Select charitable contributions
Sapphire cardholders have access to the Chase Pay Yourself Back program through Apr. 30, 2021.
Chase Ink cards
The Chase Ink Business Preferred and Ink Plus Business can now get you a value of 1.25 cents per point if you use them to erase purchases in the following categories:
- Online advertising
- Shipping expenses
- Select charitable contributions
Ink cardholders only have access to the Chase Pay Yourself Back program from Oct. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020.
Chase Freedom cards
The Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Freedom Flex can now get you a value of 1.25 cents per point if you use them to erase spending on select charitable contributions. Freedom cardholders have access to this redemption option through Dec. 31, 2020, though it is possible that deadline may be extended.
How does Chase Pay Yourself Back work?
Here are the steps to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points using the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
- Go to the Chase Pay Yourself landing page, then log into your Chase account with your standard username and password.
- Your eligible purchases from the past 90 days will show on the screen. Select one (or multiple) and click "Continue."
- Enter the cash value of how much of your purchase you would like to erase with Chase Yourself Back. You can choose any amount, from 1 cent to the full amount of your purchase. The screen will show you many points you are redeeming, including the bonus value you receive of either 25% or 50% depending on which card you have.
- After clicking "Confirm & Submit," your redemption will proceed and you'll receive a confirmation.
From there, the points will be deducted from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account balance.
And a credit for Chase Pay Yourself Back will post to your transaction history.
Is Chase Pay Yourself Back worth it?
With few people traveling and so many jobs lost due to coronavirus, having the option to redeem your credit card points for more than 1 cent each is a great opportunity. To understand the potential value of Chase's new feature, let’s walk through an example.
Let's say you order takeout for dinner this Friday night for your family. It's a special occasion, so you splurge a little and the bill comes out to $150. You pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve because you earn 3X points for every dollar you spend on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and at restaurants. Plus, you know this restaurant purchase is eligible for Chase Pay Yourself Back when using the Sapphire Reserve.
In this example, you earn 450 points on your $150 dinner purchase. To entirely erase the $150 purchase, you redeem 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points as each Sapphire Reserve point is worth 1.5 cents using this redemption method ($150 divided by 1.5 cents = 10,000 points). But because you also earned 450 points on this purchase, you really only put out 9,550 points to pay for your dinner. This then further increases the value of your points to 1.57 cents each ($150 divided by 9,550 = 0.0157).
When you consider that without Chase Pay Yourself Back your other option to recoup your dinner costs would have been to redeem your points for a statement credit at a value of 1 cent per point, this new redemption benefit is definitely worth it.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points bonus categories
If you're looking to earn extra Chase Ultimate Rewards points to redeem with Chase Pay Yourself Back, it pays to compare credit cards and notice how different Chase cards earn bonus points. That’s because if you have other cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, you can still use those points with Pay Yourself Back.
Here's how to make all your Chase cards pay yourself back:
- Make eligible purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- Transfer Ultimate Rewards points from your other cards to your Sapphire account.
- Erase the eligible purchases from your Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card.
Remember, points can transfer from one Ultimate Rewards account to another for free. You can transfer points within your household and from your business to your personal account, and vice versa. If you already know about the Chase Trifecta, then you can use it to make Chase Pay Yourself Back a powerful tool.
Here are the Ultimate Rewards earning Chase cards that are available and their bonus categories:
|Card name||Rewards rate|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases, plus 5% on Lyft rides, and new cardholders earn 5% on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year)|
|Chase Freedom Flex||5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases, plus 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and new cardholders earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|Chase Freedom||5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases, plus 5% on Lyft rides|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else|
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited||1.5% cash back on all spending|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, or phone services (up to $25,000 combined annually); 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 combined annually); and 1% cash back on everything else|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else|
These credit cards range from personal to business credit cards, and while some have annual fees others do not. So there is a card for everybody. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders also benefit from limited-time COVID-19 perks where they can earn points on additional select purchases.
Chase Pay Yourself Back is a limited-time redemption option in which points are worth up to 1.5 cents each when used toward eligible dining, grocery, and home improvement purchases. You have 90 days from the date of purchase to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
This promotion won't last forever, so there is a limited time frame to cash out your points. With points valued the same as booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Chase Pay Yourself Back is a great opportunity to erase some of your everyday purchases while you can't make travel plans.