Have you been putting off that big home improvement project? Join the club. The new Chase “Pay Yourself Back” feature may be just the push we all need to finally get them done.
Last week, Chase announced new benefits on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. And through September 30, Chase will now allow Sapphire cardholders the ability to pay yourself back with points for purchases at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and dining establishments.
And you’ll be able to use your points at the same rate as booking flights or hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. That means you get 1.25 cents each if you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and 1.5 cents each if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That’s some excellent flexibility and a great deal.
If you have Chase points (or even if you don’t yet) this new benefit could be the push you need to finish up a project while spending less. We’ll highlight how this new benefit works and how you can take advantage of it to drastically lower the cost of your next home improvement project (or grocery or restaurant bill).
Using Chase Points to Pay for Home Improvement Projects
If you have a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points – or even if you decide to open a Chase Sapphire card as a new member – you can use these points to cover home improvement store purchases through Sept. 30 – though there are rumors that this benefit may become permanent.
If you’re familiar with how the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature works, this new Pay Yourself Back feature will be easy. All you need to do is use your card to make a purchase.
After making that purchase in one of the specified categories (home improvement stores, grocery stores, and restaurants), you can simply log into your Ultimate Rewards account on a desktop or through the Chase mobile app and select “Pay Yourself Back” from the drop-down menu.
Once here, you can select from recent eligible transactions from up to 90 days prior and choose to redeem points for all or a portion of the purchase.
Since this works at home improvement stores, you can see I can select two recent transactions I made at Home Depot and quickly apply Chase Ultimate Rewards points to remove them from my statement.
To give you an example of what that might look like, if I were to spend $100 at Home Depot, it would cost me 6,666 Ultimate Rewards points if I hold the Sapphire Reserve (redeem at 1.5 cents) and 8,000 points if I held the Sapphire Preferred Card to remove the charge from my statement.
That’s a great deal – especially at a time when travel is largely not possible.
After selecting a transaction (or transactions) you want to redeem Chase points for, you’ll be given the option to use points to cover all or part of the transaction. Once you make that decision, you can hit “Confirm & Submit.”
How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
There are many methods and credit cards that will help you earn Ultimate Rewards points. But in order to take advantage of this new Pay Yourself Back promotion while it lasts, you must hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That said, Chase has said other cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points will get this benefit in the future.
To start with, The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our favorites. It earns 2x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants and travel expenses. And through the end of June, it also earns 3x points per dollar spent at the grocery store on up to $1,500 spent.
You’ll also earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. And considering the card has only a $95 annual fee, you can come out way ahead on the initial investment if you use the points to offset the cost of your next home improvement project.
When you use them this way, they will be worth $750. That means if you can get approved for the card and have the financial means to meet the $4,000 spending requirement in three months to earn the bonus, you can come out $655 ahead on your purchase at Home Depot, Lowes, or any other Home Improvement store after subtracting the $95 annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Then there is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the premium version of the Sapphire Preferred Card with many more travel-focused features that makes the annual fee on the card $550 each year.
With that higher annual fee, you get more premium benefits. You’ll also earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants and travel expenses. And through the end of June, it also earns 5x points per dollar spent at the grocery store on up to $1,500 spent.
And for opening the card and spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership, you can earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. But since the points redeem at a value of 1.5 cents each, these points will be worth up to $750 towards travel, groceries, restaurants, and even at home improvement stores.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you are thinking about taking advantage of the new Pay Yourself Back feature from Chase and opening one of the Sapphire Cards, it makes sense to start with the Sapphire Preferred Card.
For starters, you’ll earn more points (60,000 after spending $4,000 in the first three months) and your upfront annual fee costs less. And at a time when travel is off the table, shelling out big money on an annual fee whose value largely comes from being able to travel makes little sense.
Not to mention, before your second annual fee is due, you could always upgrade to the Reserve card and your Ultimate Rewards points would ultimately be worth more.
So if your primary goal is to lower your out of pocket cost on that home improvement project you have been putting off, the Preferred is your best bet.
It’s not yet clear whether Chase will extend this benefit beyond Sept. 30. But at a time when travel is largely off the table, this new benefit is a great opportunity to use your points for other purchases to help you save.