Pay Yourself Back allows cardholders to use their Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards everyday expenses. Through Sept. 30, 2021, you can use points to cover purchases at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and on dining. And although it’s only set to last through September, Chase has indicated that it isn’t going anywhere – potentially becoming a permanent benefit with rotating categories.
Critically, your points are worth the same as if you book flights or hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal: 1.25 cents each if you hold the Sapphire Preferred Card and 1.5 cents each if you hold the Sapphire Reserve.
We’ll highlight how Chase Pay Yourself Back works and how you can take advantage of it to drastically lower your grocery bill, restaurant tab, or house projects.
How Does Chase Pay Yourself Back Work?
Instead of using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel, you’re using them to cover everyday expenses.
Even if you decide to open a Chase Sapphire card as a new member, you can use those points at the grocery store, grocery delivery services like Instacart and even restaurants and food delivery platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats through Sept.30. As we mentioned, Chase has no plans to remove Pay Yourself Back – but we may see new eligible categories on Oct. 1, 2021.
At its core, it works like this: Put your grocery, restaurant, or home improvement store charge on your Sapphire card, then go back and cover the charge with points. If you are familiar with the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature, this new Pay Yourself Back feature from Chase works much the same.
First things first: All you need to do is make a purchase at a grocery store, a restaurant, a home improvement or hardware store, and even some purchases at Target and Wal-Mart will qualify.
After making a purchase in one of the select categories, you can simply log into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account on desktop or through the Chase mobile app and select “Pay Yourself Back” from the drop-down menu.
From there, you will be able to select from recent eligible transactions up to 90 days prior to the purchase and choose to redeem points for all – or just a portion – of the purchase.
After selecting a transaction, you’ll be given the option to use points to cover all or part of the transaction. Once you make that decision, just hit “Confirm & Submit.”
And just like that, your points will be deducted from your balance of Chase Ultimate Rewards points and you should see a statement credit on your card account within a few days to cover the charge. You can even use points to cover the annual fee on your card if you choose to do so, thanks to a recent addition to the Pay Yourself Back Benefit.
What Credit Cards are Eligible for Chase Pay Yourself Back?
When Chase first introduced Pay Yourself Back in May 2020, it was only available to Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders. Starting in October 2020, both the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited added the option to use Pay Yourself Back at one of the 12 select charities listed below:
- 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
Additionally, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card was added to Pay Yourself Back, and you are able to use it for shipping, home improvement stores, and the 12 select charities listed above. Unless Chase decides to extend it, the shipping and home improvement categories are set to end at the end of June 2021.
Here’s a full breakdown of eligible cards, categories, and current expiration dates for Chase Pay Yourself Back.
|Credit Card||Eligible Categories||Current Ending Date|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Dining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charities||Sept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Dining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charities||Sept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)|
|Chase Freedom Flex||Select charities||Dec. 31, 2021|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Select charities||Dec. 31, 2021|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred||Shipping, home improvement stores, select charities||June 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)|
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 full advantage of the Chase Pay, Yourself Back benefit, you’ll want to hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
To start, 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.
You’ll also earn 100,000 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. You’ll get at least $1,000 to use on travel or with the Pay Yourself Back benefit.
Even if you have no travel planned for the foreseeable future, this is a heck of a deal.
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 an annual fee of $550 each year. But with that higher annual fee, you get more premium travel benefits. You’ll also earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants and travel expenses.
After opening the card and spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. But since the points redeem at 1.5 cents each, these points will be worth up to $900 towards travel, groceries, restaurants, and at home improvement stores.
We still recommend starting with the Sapphire Preferred to earn more points now – you can always upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve at a later date.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Is Chase Pay Yourself Back Worth It?
These are travel credit cards, so the main reason to hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card is for the travel benefits. Pay Yourself Back emerged at a time when almost all travel was on hold – Chase needed a way to keep cardmembers happy and engaged while stuck at home.
But even as travel resumes, that doesn’t mean using Chase Pay Yourself Back is a bad idea. Whether you use your Chase points to book flights through the Chase travel portal or to Pay Yourself Back for groceries, they’re worth the same amount. You can potentially get even more value by leveraging Chase transfer partners and sending your points to hotels and airlines, of course.
No matter how you look at it, Pay Yourself Back is still a solid option. At the end of the day, this new benefit simply gives you more flexibility to use your points. That flexibility is the biggest reason we think Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable.
Not to mention, Pay Yourself Back can open some doors with a little creativity. For example, buying Airbnb gift cards at one of the retailers that count towards Pay Yourself Back will allow you to use Chase points on your next Airbnb stay.
Whether it’s a big trip or a house project, the best way to use points is for something you couldn’t otherwise afford. Pay Yourself Back simply expands what’s possible.
Chase added the Pay Yourself Back feature at a time when almost all travel was off the table due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it appears all but certain that this benefit will be sticking around long term.
While there may be flashier ways to put your Chase points to use, this is a great way to redeem points for non-travel purchases. And it just underscores the flexibility that makes Chase points so valuable.