Chase Pay Yourself Back: What You Need to Know

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Originally rolled out as a temporary redemption option during the pandemic, Chase has made Pay Yourself Back a staple for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points.

Until recently, cashing out your Ultimate Rewards points netted you a poor 1 cent per point in value. However, Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature changes that for eligible purchases. Depending on which Chase card you have, Pay Yourself Back will net you more value: up to 1.5 cents per point.

Essentially, this works similarly to how you redeem Chase points for cash back, but with a few key differences. Only purchases in a rotating list of categories are eligible, and you’ll have to manually select the purchases you’d like to pay yourself back on.

Chase Pay Yourself Back Eligible Categories

Pay Yourself Back is available on all Chase Ultimate Rewards credits cards. That includes Chase credit cards in the Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink portfolios.

Of these, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can redeem points at the highest rates and for the broadest categories. Typically, cashing out your Ultimate Rewards points is done at 1 cent per point; redemptions with Pay Yourself Back represent an additional 10%-50% in redemption value.

Numerous Ultimate Rewards Cards

Redeem your points through December 31, 2021 with Chase Pay Yourself Back on donations to eligible charities paid for with your card. Here are the redemption rates:

Sapphire Cards

Your Ultimate Rewards points are worth 25% more with the Sapphire Preferred and 50% more with the Sapphire Reserve.

For example, you can use 1,000 points to pay yourself back $12.50 or $15 on an eligible purchase with the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, respectively.

Chase Pay Yourself Back: What You Need to Know
Pay Yourself Back options on the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Here are the latest categories for these cards:

  • Eligible dates: October 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022.
  • Eligible purchases:
  • Redemption rates:

In addition, you can use Pay Yourself Back to offset your annual membership fee now through December 31, 2021.

Chase Freedom Cards

The Freedom family of cards now only has one category: charity donations. Redemptions are worth 25% more in this category and can be done through December 31, 2022.

Chase Pay Yourself Back: What You Need to Know
Pay Yourself Back redemption option with the Freedom family cards

Ink Cards

Chase Ink-branded business credit cards are also eligible for Pay Yourself Back. However, the eligible categories and rates depend on which type of card you have.

Chase Pay Yourself Back: What You Need to Know
Pay Yourself Back options for the Ink Preferred

Along with the charity donations outlined above, you can redeem for the following:

Ink Preferred and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

  • Eligible dates: October 1 – December 31, 2021.
  • Eligible purchases:
    • Shipping
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Redemption rate: 1.25 cents per point

Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited

  • Eligible dates: October 1 – December 31, 2021.
  • Eligible purchases:
    • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Redemption rates:
Chase Pay Yourself Back: What You Need to Know
Pay Yourself Back options for the Ink Cash

Full or Partial Redemptions

You can redeem points for up to 90 days after purchase via the Ultimate Rewards website or Chase app and redeem your points for the entire transaction. Thus, a $150 restaurant purchase will cost 10,000 points to Pay Yourself Back if you use the Sapphire Reserve.

However, you're not out of luck if you don't have enough points to cover a purchase in full or you don’t want to use too many points. For instance, if you can only spare 5,000 points, you’ll be able to Pay Yourself Back $75 from that restaurant tab when using the Sapphire Reserve. That flexibility is awesome!

How to Use Chase Pay Yourself Back

First, log on to the Ultimate Rewards website and choose the card you used to make the purchase.

Then click on the menu button/toggle on the upper left-hand side and select “Pay Yourself Back”. Or, try clicking this link.

select Pay Yourself Back from the Chase Ultimate Rewards side menu

Then you’ll see a list of all of the eligible purchases. You’ll notice how things are listed based on how many days are left before each transaction is no longer available.

Chase lists all of the transactions eligible for Pay Yourself Back

Select a purchase. Once you select a transaction, you’re given the option to enter a dollar amount that you want to get back and you’ll then see the corresponding amount of points required. You can also choose to pay yourself back for the entire purchase.

Use Pay Yourself Back to redeem points for a partial or full purchase

Click confirm, and then you’re done. Congratulations! You just paid yourself back! Isn’t payback sweet?

Bottom Line

Pay Yourself Back effectively allows you to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points at the same rate as redeeming for travel through the Chase travel portal. If you’re accustomed to booking travel that way, you’re getting the same value for your hard-earned points.

I think it's great that Chase is allowing people to have more options to redeem their points. This started when fewer people were traveling and some were questioning whether they should keep their travel cards. Pay Yourself Back allows cardholders to use their points in more relevant ways and has been extended several times. While the categories have changed, the concept and how to use Pay Yourself Back has remained the same.

Chase Pay Yourself Back stands in addition to and as another option for your points, aside from transferring to Ultimate Rewards travel partners.

Are you redeeming Ultimate Rewards points through Chase's Pay Yourself Back?

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  • Paying the annual fee is one way I can justify having a card with an annual fee. Free points, no matter big or small, are always welcome!

  • I’m definitely going to pay my annual fee with points. Once I have done that, then I don’t even have to justify the annual fee. I know that all uses of points above those used for the annual fee demonstrate directly that the card’s benefits outweigh the fee. I do this with other travel cards like my Barclay Arrival Plus also.

  • Glad they didn’t get rid of the feature completely.

  • The 1.5 cents Reserve value is great. It adds value to the card despite its high annual fee now.

  • nothing will be downgraded and removed once the normality returns.

  • Chase pay yourself back is a great option now that many people are not traveling as much Chase really wants to keep our business

  • I thought groceries was one of the categories. Was that just temporary?

  • Chase really needs to simplify this program, its way too much work to keep track of.

  • Doing this with airbnb!

  • Could they make this any more complicated? Only credit card hacks are going to understand this.

  • Regarding the charities, my understanding is that you have to donate directly from the charity’s website using your chase card. Donating through, say, Paypal or any other service – even if to the approved and listed charity – will void the Chase UR Pay Urself Back.

  • Chase is always one of the best at rewarding their card holders. Sometimes it easiest to pay yourself.

  • The only thing that concerns me with the pay yourself back is that I’ll somehow be banned or scrutinized by redeeming so many. The travel portal is useless, unfortunately, but I like seeing the ultimate rewards balance there, too.

    • There is nothing in the terms to suggest there is any limit on redemption, so you should free yourself from that particular concern. 🙂

  • Great option to have and one they have been lacking compared to AMEX for a long time…Chase is closing the gap on AMEX while maintaining their advantage in travel partners.

  • Hopefully, nothing will be downgraded and removed once the normality returns.

  • I hope this becomes permanent. Cashing out through the travel portal is a no go. Chase’s travel portal is NOT to be used.

  • I love redeeming Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents since our traveling is down this year with the pandemic and our new edition to the family.

  • Agree with the general sentiment here. It may not be the best value for me, since I plan trips. But kudos to Chase for not devaluing this option more than their travel portal option.