Through September 30 Chase has a feature on its Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® called “Pay Yourself Back” which lets you redeem points against purchases you’ve made on the card.
Historically you could transfer points to travel partners, redeem for rewards like gift cards, redeem for cash at 1 cent apiece, or redeem to pay for travel directly through Chase’s travel portal (currently served by Expedia) at a premium over cash.
And of course if you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards you can transfer those into one of these premium cards to then move the points into airline miles or hotel points, or redeem them through the Chase travel portal at either 1.25 or 1.5 cents apiece depending on the card you have.
The “Pay Yourself Back” feature lets you use points at the higher ‘travel portal’ rate against charges at grocery stores, home improvement stores and restaurants (including take-out and delivery services).
This is brilliant because it keeps rewards relevant while people aren’t traveling as much. It also encourages cardmembers to use their cards for grocery stores, home improvement stores and restaurants in order to have eligible charges to redeem their points against.
Miles to Memories reports that Chase has confirmed to him that “Pay Yourself Back” will not end September 30, though the categories could change. That would be another brilliant move, rotating categories to encourage cardmembers to use their cards on a variety across a variety of different merchant types – to keep the card top of wallet – to gain maximum value for their points.
The Chase PR team confirmed via email that the program will last longer than September 30th, when the promo was scheduled to end. They said it will likely be revamped with new categories at that time. It may also roll out to other cards (currently only the Sapphire products).
I haven’t used the Pay Yourself Back feature. For sure, anyone using their points through the Chase travel portal (at 1.25 or 1.5 cents apiece) should do so, because cash is better than purchasing future travel witih Expedia. I still save my points for future premium cabin airline award redemptions and Hyatt suite redemptions.