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- Chase Pay Yourself Back offers a higher value for your points when you redeem for eligible purchases.
- You’ll get 50% more value with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and 25% more with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
- Chase has added or extended certain Pay Yourself Back categories for a limited time.
- Read Insider’s guide to the best Chase credit cards.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, credit card issuers have been introducing new 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®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit 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.
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:
Eligible charities for Chase Pay Yourself Back 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 is eligible for Pay Yourself Back, here are the steps you need to take to redeem your points.
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 bills, 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 dining 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.
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 using Chase points for 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 5x points on air travel and 10x points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after earning the $300 travel credit) and 3x points on all other travel and dining with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2x points on all other travel purchases, and 3x points on 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.
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 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Plus, new cardholders can earn 5% cash back (5x points) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending during the first year of account opening (then 1x).
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. In addition to serving as contributing editor for The Simple Dollar and writing for publications such as Bankrate, U.S. News and World Report Travel, and Travel Pulse, Johnson owns Club Thrifty and is the co-author of “Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love.”
Jasmin Baron is an editor at Insider, responsible for credit card coverage on Personal Finance Insider. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).Before joining the Insider team, she was a senior editor at The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets, covering credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs. Her expertise in maximizing travel rewards grew from over two decades of experience in the aviation industry, including 18 years working as a pilot and flight instructor in her native Canada.You can reach Jasmin at [email protected]. Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »