Chase Extends Pay Yourself Back, Expands to Ink and Freedom Cards

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With September ending and the last quarter of 2020 looming, we're faced with some good news and bad news. The bad news: after months of lockdown, traveling still isn't a viable option for many people. The good news: Chase sees this too, and is ensuring that your travel-centric credit cards continue to provide value as they did in the pre-COVID era (“P.C.E.”?). In response, Chase has extended its popular ‘Pay Yourself Back' feature, while also expanding it to include certain Ink small business credit cards and Freedom cards.

Pay Yourself Back for dining in or takeout

Chase ‘Pay Yourself Back' Overview

In May 2020, Chase unveiled the ‘Pay Yourself Back' feature in response to diminishing travel demand. It allows Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders to redeem points to offset purchases made at select merchant categories.

Initially, the categories included dining (including delivery and takeout), grocery stores, and home improvement stores. In July, Chase added select charities to the list of Pay Yourself Back-eligible transactions.

Points are worth 1.25¢ and 1.5¢ each for the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, respectively. For example, if you buy $150 worth of groceries on your Sapphire Reserve, this feature allows you to use 10,000 points (within 90 days) to offset the purchase.

Pay Yourself Back example

Chase originally announced that this feature would end on September 30, 2020.

Extended and Expanded

In addition to pushing back the end date, Chase has also introduced the feature to select Ink and Freedom cards, with new deadlines dependent on the card.

Pay Yourself Back on Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve

  • Available — through April 30, 2021
  • Eligible Merchant Categories — grocery stores, dining (including delivery and takeout), home improvement stores (including Lowes and Home Depot), and select charitable contributions*
  • Point Value — 1.25¢ per point for Sapphire Preferred cardholders and 1.5¢ per point for Sapphire Reserve cardholders
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 80,000 point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Pay Yourself Back on Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

  • Available — October 1 to December 31, 2020
  • Eligible Merchant Categories — Select online advertising and shipping expenses, and select charitable contributions*
  • Point Value — 1.25¢ per point
  • Other Notes — Existing Ink Plus Card and Ink Preferred cardmembers can also earn five total points per dollar spent on shipping and select advertising purchases made on social media and search engines on up to $10,000 in combined purchases through Oct. 31, 2020
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer New Offer! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The most valuable Ultimate Rewards signup bonus on offer and our top pick for small business rewards cards. Business owners earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 450,000 points per year on a wide range of 3X bonus categories.
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • 3X points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

Pay Yourself Back on Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Available — starting October 1, 2020… with no end date specified
  • Eligible Merchant Categories — Select charitable contributions*
  • Point Value — 1¢ per point

*Current eligible charities include:

  • 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
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

Our Take

Overall, given its popularity, I'm not at all surprised that Chase has opted to extend ‘Pay Yourself Back'. The feature's interface and usability are fantastic, leading me to assume that Chase devoted a fair amount of resources to its development. All that effort for a short-term offering never made sense, which is why I expected it to stick around.

Sapphire Cards

I am pleasantly surprised to see Chase sticking with the same 1.25$ and 1.5¢ point value for Sapphire cards. These rates match the value cardmembers receive when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. That gives grounded cardmembers a great way of cashing out points when hotel and airfare bookings aren't an option.

Freedom Cards

The expansion to Freedom cards is intriguing, although this new option doesn't provide any additional value. The notion of cashing in Ultimate Rewards for charitable contributions is nice, but the rate is at the same 1 cent per point cash-out rate that you can get for other purchases.

Ink Cards

That leaves Ink Plus Card and Ink Preferred cardholders, who can offset select online advertising and shipping purchases. These are undoubtedly popular purchase categories among some small businesses—and for them, this feature could be massively valuable.

However, there are also many businesses that don't make a lot of online advertising and shipping purchases. Ergo, with limited categories, the value of this feature is equally limited for cardholders. But, maybe we'll see Chase adjust these eligible purchase categories more in the future.

How do you feel about Chase's ‘Pay Yourself Back' feature?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    I’ve burned all my UR through this promo, and picked up a bunch more via promos. I’m glad they extended through April, but hoping they extend to more categories for holiday shopping. Still, it’s not hard to spend wherever you want with gift cards from grocery stores.

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    Awesome! I don’t ever want to use Chase Travel again.

    What are the temporary bonus categories on CSR through tomorrow? And are there new ones next month?

  • Avatar

    The inclusion of the line of Freedom cards feels like a total bust. I doubt THAT many people are donating to charity right now to make it a useful feature, especially since most people I know are either still out of work and are struggling or have had to shutter their businesses. The bigger value would be in the features included with the Sapphire cards like grocery stores.

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    I love that this option became available when nobody could travel.

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    Pay yourself back has returned Sapphire Reserve to the top of my wallet for dining. I prefer to use the card for categories where I earn more than one point per dollar and a lot of those categories that do qualify for pay yourself back only earn one point per dollar for spend. I will have to keep in mind the shipping category for the Ink Preferred card as well.

  • Avatar

    Nice, agree that this is a good feature that many can actually take advantage of. I like the “PCE!”

  • Avatar

    This feature is probably nice for longtime cardholders who don’t have any travel plans until 2022+, already have a ton of points, don’t have a cashback setup, or are financially stressed. Chase is making a good play to reduce AF card cancellations during COVID.

  • Avatar

    The extension to the end of April 2021 on the Sapphire cards is great… perhaps this will even become a permanent benefit given the popularity.

  • Avatar

    Just what I needed to hear! I used the Pay Yourself Back last week and I was hoping that they would extend it.