Chase Pay Yourself Back: Ultimate Guide (2021)
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred

The Ultimate Guide to Using the Chase Pay Yourself Back Benefit

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As travel ground to a halt in 2020, Chase rolled out a new way to use points on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. It’s called Chase Pay Yourself Back. 

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.

Related reading: Chase Ultimate Rewards: A Guide to Earning & Burning in 2021 and Beyond



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.


chase pay yourself back


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.

Since I hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, my points are worth 1.5 cents each. If I held the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, my redemption value would be 1.25 cents for each point.


Chase Pay Yourself Back


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.”


chase pay yourself back


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.


chase pay yourself back


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 CardEligible CategoriesCurrent Ending Date
Chase Sapphire PreferredDining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charitiesSept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)
Chase Sapphire ReserveDining, grocery stores, home improvement stores, select charitiesSept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)
Chase Freedom Flex
Select charitiesDec. 31, 2021
Chase Freedom UnlimitedSelect charitiesDec. 31, 2021
Chase Ink Business PreferredShipping, home improvement stores, internet, cable and phone service, select charitiesSept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)
Chase Ink Business Unlimitedinternet, cable and phone serviceSept. 30, 2021
Chase Ink Business Cashinternet, cable and phone serviceSept. 30, 2021
Chase Ink Cashinternet, cable and phone serviceSept. 30, 2021


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 3x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants, 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.

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.


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


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.

Read More: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve: 4 Reasons to Pick Up the Preferred


chase sapphire reserve card


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.


chase extends pay yourself back


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.


Bottom Line

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.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

6 Responses

  • Thinking about applying for the Sapphire Preferred but have the Ink Preferred. Besides CIP being a business card are these cards identical?

    • Hi Tim,

      The cards are similar, but not identical.

      Both earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points which redeem the same way and have a $95 annual fee. But the categories in which you earn bonus points are different. The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x per dollar spent on dining and travel where your Ink Preferred earns 3x points on all travel; shipping costs, internet, phone, and cable service.

      Chase allows you to have both cards so there is no issue there. And if you have both of them, you can combine the points into 1 account.

  • Can I phone Chase or Ultimate Rewards to get my grocery bills and restaurant bills covered by my Ultimate Rewards points. I don’t do online for my cards.

    • I’m sure it’s possible but it only takes a few clicks to do it online if you want to get it set up.

  • Hi Nick,
    I used the Pay Yourself Back feature for some grocery charges this past month on my CS Reserve. Not only did they issue the credits, I also got 2 grocery entries used as part of my $300 Travel Credit without doing anything! This works for me! When I was online I noticed that CSR was offering a 20% bonus on using points for Apple products so I used them to finally get a pair of AirPods! Only paid $86. Win, Win, Win. Thanks for always tracking these great offers, I don’t always pay as close attention as I should.

    • Thanks for the message, Peggy. Glad to hear you are finding value in it like we are. It is a great deal.

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