You've got less than a week to book Airbnb stays with your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Two years ago, Chase added a new Pay Yourself Back feature that allows travelers with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® to use their points to cover some everyday purchases. Adding Airbnb as an eligible Pay Yourself Back category last year was a huge win for travelers, but that is set to lapse in less than a week.
Chase has quietly extended the ability to use Pay Yourself Back for Airbnb stays throughout this year, which is now currently set to expire Dec. 31, 2022. But this time around, it seems unlikely Chase will extend it again.
So if you have Chase points you are hoping to use for an Airbnb stay, you'll want to make sure you book it before the current deadline: this Saturday, Dec. 31 … though you might want to do so even sooner, just to be sure your purchase hits your account before this ends.
After some changes, additions, and extensions throughout the pandemic, Airbnb has become a fixture in the stable of Pay Yourself Back categories – and also the most exciting. That's because it solves such a critical pain point: Since Airbnb doesn't have its own loyalty program, there's been no way to redeem points for a free night through Airbnb – at least not directly. This is the best option by far.
With this Airbnb Pay Yourself Back redemption, your Chase points have the same value as they do through the Chase Travel Portal – 1.25 cents each with the Preferred Card and 1.5 cents each with the Reserve. That means you could cover a $500 Airbnb stay with 40,000 points from the Preferred Card … or just 33,333 points on the Reserve.
Let's walk through how you can use the Pay Yourself Back feature of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program to book an Airbnb stay with points.
How Chase Pay Yourself Back Works
It's called Pay Yourself Back, and through December 2022, you can use your points to pay yourself back for purchases at Airbnb. If you hold the Sapphire Reserve, you can also use points to cover dining purchases. And both cards can also use their points to donate to select charities.
If you've got the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, each point will be worth 1.25 cents. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, each point gets you 1.5 cents. That means you could cover the entire cost of a $500 Airbnb stay using 40,000 Chase points if you hold the Preferred – and just 33,333 points if you hold the Reserve card.
If you have a pile of Chase points, here's how you can use them to book an Airbnb.
Make a Purchase Directly with Airbnb
In order to use your Chase points to book an Airbnb, all you need to do is make a purchase directly with Airbnb and pay with your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card.
Once that charge officially posts to your Sapphire card statement, it will then be eligible for the Pay Yourself Back benefit. This typically takes two to four days to post. You will not be able to redeem points via Pay Yourself back while the purchase is still pending.
You've got through Dec. 31, 2022, to make a purchase at Airbnb on your Chase card before this option ends, which means you could book a future Airbnb stay far out in 2023 so long as you purchase before 2022 ends. But you might want to do so at least a few days prior to ensure that purchase hits your account before the end date.
I recently used the Pay Yourself Back benefit to book an Airbnb Experience for a trip to Puerto Rico. It cost $25 per person and I booked it for three.
Using Pay Yourself Back to Erase the Airbnb Purchase
I made the charge for the Airbnb Experience on a Friday afternoon. By Monday morning, the charge had officially posted to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card account and thus it was eligible to erase using Pay Yourself Back.
To use the benefit, simply log into your Chase online account and head to the Ultimate Rewards homepage. From here, you will see the Pay Yourself Back feature listed as one of the options in the top navigation bar.
Once you select Pay Yourself Back, you will see a list of transactions on your card from the past 90 days that are eligible to remove with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Airbnb transactions through Dec. 31 will be eligible.
But you've only got 90 days from the date your purchase posts to your account to remove it with the Pay Yourself Back feature. If you don't use Pay Yourself Back within 90 days of the transactions posting to your account, they will no longer be available.
When you find the transaction you want to pay yourself back for, simply select the “Apply Full Amount” checkbox, or select any cash value that you would like to credit yourself back for and Chase will calculate the appropriate amount of Ultimate Rewards points that it will cost.
Since I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, 5,000 points covered my entire $75 purchase. If I held the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, it would cost me 6,000 points to remove the purchase since the points redeem at 1.25 cents each.
Once you click the blue “Redeem” box, you will receive a statement credit to erase the charge via Pay Yourself Back. Chase indicates that it will take up to three business days for you to see the credit. But my experience is that it comes much quicker.
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 Airbnb option, you must hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
To start with, The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our favorites. It earns 3x points per dollar spent on dining, including eligible delivery services, 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), and 3x points per dollar spent on select streaming services. You'll also earn 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases, and up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Make sure to read our post on great ways to use the points bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Then there is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the premium version of the Sapphire Preferred Card with many more benefits that brings the annual fee on the card up to $550 each year.
With that higher annual fee, you get more premium benefits like a $300 travel credit, and airport lounge access. You’ll also earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants and travel expenses.
And for opening the card and spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership, you can currently earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. But since the points redeem at a value of 1.5 cents each, these points will be worth a minimum of $900 towards travel or using the Pay Yourself Back benefit.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Since Airbnb doesn't have a points program of its own, using points for an Airbnb stay had been difficult. This solves that, but only for a few more days.
For years, the best option had been to use Capital One Venture miles to pay for an Airbnb and then via their tool to cover travel purchases with miles, you could remove the charge at a rate of 1 cent = 1 mile. So a $500 Airbnb would cost you 50,000 Capital One Venture Miles. And that's still an option today.
But with this Pay Yourself Back redemption category, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the clear-cut best way to book Airbnb stays with points.
The ability to book Airbnb stays or experiences using Chase Ultimate Rewards points has been an option for the Pay Yourself Back benefit for many, many months. But that option is set to disappear soon.
If you have Chase points and are looking to book an Airbnb stay, you'll want to take advantage within the next few days.