Is Chase “Pay Yourself Back” Worth It? (2021)

OMAAT offers a referral bonus to anyone who has been approved by using the links below. This is in the interests of full disclosure. These are the best public offers we found (terms apply). These opinions are solely the author's and not the views of any bank, credit card issuer or airline. They have not been approved or endorsed by any entity. For more information about our partners, please see our advertiser policy. Thank you for your support!
Card issuers added a variety of temporary perks in 2020, depending on the circumstances. Premium travel cards have seen this happen, as people needed to justify the high annual fees.

Chase has done an excellent job adding temporary perks to credit cards. The Chase Pay Yourself Back feature is particularly popular among consumers. The best categories are set to expire September 30, 2021. So what's the latest?

The Chase Pay Yourself Back option has been extended to some cards but not to others. Weve also noticed some changes in the eligibility of purchases. This post will provide details about the most recent.

Chase, Pay Yourself Back basics

This is perhaps easiest to explain using an example of the card with the best Pay Yourself Back function. One of the most well-known travel rewards cards is Chase Sapphire Reserve. There have been two ways to increase Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Transfer them to Chase Ultimate Rewards or hotel partners

They could be redeemed for 1.5 cents each toward a Chase travel portal purchase

There are many other options to redeem Chase points, such as at one cent per statement credit. But those are the most efficient.

The Pay Yourself Back feature allows you to quickly redeem points for purchases that are not travel related for a short time. You can use your points to pay for daily expenses, or you could also redeem them for travel.

Let's look at the updated bonus categories to see how we can break this perk down by card type.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Pay Yourself Back benefit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card's Pay Yourself Back (review):

Redeem points for Airbnb, Away and dining purchases up to March 31, 2022 at a rate of 1.5 cents per.

Points can't be redeemed for 1.5 cents per purchase at grocery stores or home improvement stores (this expired September 30, 2021).

Although it is not as handy as it used to be, it's still very useful to be able redeem points at 1.5 cents per for dining. This is a large category for many.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Pay Youself Back Benefit

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers the Pay Yourself Back option (review).

Redeem points for Away and Airbnb purchases until March 31, 2022 at a rate of 1.25c each

Points can't be redeemed for 1.25 cents per point towards food, grocery, or home improvement store purchases. This ended September 30, 2021.

This is definitely a hugely reduced version of what we used to see. Both Airbnb and Away have niche redemptions and are travel-related redemptions.

Chase Ink Business Pay Yourself Back Benefit

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has the Pay Yourself Back (review).

Redeem points up to 1.25 cents per order for shipping, select advertising, internet and cable services until December 31, 2021

You can redeem your points for select charities until December 31, 2022 at a rate of 1.25c each

These are still useful bonus categories for companies and, in some ways, they're even better than what we used to see.

Chase Ink Business Cash and Unlimited Pay Yourself back benefit

The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card (review), and Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card (review).

Redeem points for internet, phone, and cable services until December 31, 2021 at a rate of 1.1c per point

You can redeem your points for select charities until December 31, 2022 at a rate of 1.25c each

Chase Freedom Flex & Unlimited Pay Yourself Back benefit

The Chase Freedom Unlimited (review), and Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card(review) offer the Pay Yourself back feature.

You can redeem your points for select charities until December 31, 2022 at a rate of 1.25c each

FAQs: Chase Pay Yourself Back

These are the essentials. However, let's answer some common questions about Pay Yourself Back.

Where can Chase points be redeemed?

Chases Pay Yourself back feature allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for statement credit against purchases in these categories (with bonus categories varying depending on your card).

Takeout and dining, as well as eligible delivery services

Eligible charities

Airbnb bookings

Purchases on the Road

Make online shipping and advertising purchases

Choose from internet, cable and phone service purchases

What Chase points can you earn?

Chase points can be combined between accounts. The value of each point will depend on which premium card you have.

Chase Sapphire Reserve members can redeem Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents per for eligible purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred members can redeem Ultimate Rewards points at 1.25 cents each for eligible purchases

In other words, if your Sapphire Reserve card is active, you can redeem points for Sapphire, Ink or Freedom cards at a rate of 1.5 cents per transaction towards dining (and other) purchase.

What is the validity of this feature?

Pay Yourself Back seems to be continuing, but the offers are changing and seem to be getting worse. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is currently the most lucrative offer, which is valid until March 31, 2022.

Please note that the end date depends on the time you request reimbursement and not on the purchase date.

What must be the date of purchase to qualify for reimbursement?

You can use Chase Pay Yourself Back to redeem points for eligible purchases made within the last 90 days.

Are there any minimum points that you must redeem?

You can use your points to redeem points for a portion or all of eligible purchases. This means you can:

To get $1.25-1.50 back, redeem 100 points

To get $12.50-15.00 reimbursement, redeem 1,000 points

To get $125.00-150.00 reimbursement, redeem 10,000 points

What charities are eligible?

You can see that the Pay Yourself Back function on all cards is available for donations to charities. These are the eligible charities

American Red Cross

Equal Justice Initiative

Feeding America

Habitat for Humanity

International Medical Corporation

Leadership Education Fund

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

National Urban League

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

United Negro College Fund

United Way

World Central Kitchen

Does this feature exist on other Chase cards as well?

The Pay Yourself Back option is currently only available for Chase Sapphire, Ink and Freedom cards. I expect this to stay the same. This feature would not be available on co-brand credit cards. Rewards with these cards are usually earned with partners.

What does Chase Points Redeeming have to do with points Earning?

This redemption opportunity has an interesting twist.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3x points for dining and travel. Normally, if you want to redeem these points for travel at 1.5 cents per points, you would have to forfeit Ultimate Rewards points.

Also, 10,000 points can be used to redeem points for a $150 travel purchase.

Anecdotally, however, it seems that you are still earning points when you reimburse Chase transactions using the Pay Yourself Back feature. That's what I see for transactions. Or, in other words:

Imagine that you spend $150 on dining

Earn up to 3x points and earn 450 Ultimate Rewards points

To wipe out the purchase, you could redeem 10,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase does not seem to reverse the 450 Ultimate Reward points you have earned. This means that your net out of pocket for a $150 purchase is 9,550 points, or 1.57 cents per Ultimate Rewards point.

It seems that it is working so far, but that could change. Please let me know if you have conflicting data.

What are Chase points worth in value?

Although this is subjective, I personally value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7c each. This is due to the possibility to transfer points to airline or hotel partners. I receive an outsized value (under normal conditions) for first, business and luxury class flights as well as luxury hotels.

Guide to Chases redemption

How does Chase's Pay Yourself Back feature work to redeem Ultimate Rewards points? Log in to Chase and navigate to Ultimate Rewards homepage. Then, click on Pay Yourself Back.

The next page will show all eligible transactions. They start with transactions that were 90 days or less ago. The amount of each transaction will be listed along with the number of points required to erase the purchase.

You can choose how many points to redeem for a transaction when you select it. Depending on how many points and what amount you have, you can redeem for anything from one cent up to the entire transaction.

The statement credit for all purchases should be updated the next day.

This is a good way to use Chase points.

Since I believe this to be the most lucrative opportunity, let me concentrate on the Pay Yourself Back option on the Sapphire Reserve.

I should note that historically, I have primarily used my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to redeem them for travel purchases by transferring them into airline and hotel partners.

The Pay Yourself Back option is far better than the 1.5 cent redemption of points towards travel purchases.

You can still redeem points towards travel, but you won't earn any points on purchases made with this redemption option.

I prefer to have purchases refunded after the fact than booking travel through Chase, which can be restrictive.

Because of the frequent changes in airline schedules, I would avoid booking travel via an online agency (including Chase portal), as it adds more complexity if you need change or cancel a flight.

Bottom line

The Chase Pay Yourself Back feature, which is available on all travel credit cards except the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, is undoubtedly the most lucrative redemption opportunity we have seen for non-travel redemptions. Although this offer was supposed to expire September 30, 2021 it has been extended in limited quantities.

Although it is not as lucrative as the past, you can still redeem points for 1.5 cents per meal.

This is not a great redemption option for people who transfer points to hotel and airline partners. However, I think it's a better option than redeeming points towards travel expenses for the reasons stated above.

You should definitely take advantage of Ultimate Rewards points if you often redeem them towards travel expenses. It might be more difficult to transfer points to your partners if you do this often.

What do you think of the Pay Yourself Back function? Are you familiar with it?