As travel ground to a halt back in 2020, Chase rolled out a new way to use points on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. But even as travel bounces back, that option is still around: It’s called Chase Pay Yourself Back.
Chase’s Pay Yourself Back allows cardholders to use their Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards other, nontraditional expenses in categories that occasionally change. Through March 31, 2022, you can use points to cover purchases at Airbnb, Away Luggage, and on dining (only for Sapphire Reserve cardholders). And although these current categories are only set to last through March 2022, Chase has indicated that it isn’t going anywhere.
Critically, your Chase points are worth the same using Pay Yourself Back as if you book flights or hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal: 1.25 cents each if you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and 1.5 cents each if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
We’ll highlight how Chase Pay Yourself Back works and how you can take advantage of it to drastically lower the bill for your next Airbnb stay or purchase with Away luggage.
How Does Chase Pay Yourself Back Work?
Instead of using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal or sending them to one of the 12-plus Chase transfer partners, you’re using them to cover purchases directly with Airbnb or Away.
Even if you decide to open a Chase Sapphire card as a new member, you can use those points for Chase Pay Yourself back. As we mentioned, Chase has no plans to remove Pay Yourself Back – but we may see new eligible categories starting on April 1, 2022.
At its core, it works like this: Put your Airbnb, Away Luggage, or dining expense on your Sapphire card, then go back and cover the charge with points. If you are familiar with the Capital One Purchase Eraser feature, the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature works much the same.
First things first: All you need to do is make a purchase at Airbnb, Away Luggage, or if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve, a dining purchase. Be sure to charge it to your Sapphire card.
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 want, thanks to a recent addition to the Chase Pay Yourself Back Benefit.
What Chase 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 Chase cards, categories, and current expiration dates for Chase Pay Yourself Back.
|Credit Card||Eligible Categories||Current Ending Date|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Dining, Airbnb, and Away Luggage||March 2022 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Dining, Airbnb, and Away Luggage||March 2022 (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, internet, cable and phone service, select charities||Sept. 30, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2021, for charity option)|
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited||internet, cable and phone service||Sept. 30, 2021|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||internet, cable and phone service||Sept. 30, 2021|
|Chase Ink Cash||internet, cable and phone service||Sept. 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. This Chase card 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 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. You’ll get at least $750 to use on travel or with the Pay Yourself Back benefit.
In our minds, there’s no better travel credit card for beginners.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
How to Earn Points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve
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 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. But since the points redeem at 1.5 cents each, these points will be worth at least $750 towards travel, or via the Pay Yourself Back benefit.
We still recommend starting with the Chase 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 Chase 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 Airbnb or Away purchases, the value will be the same.
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.
Bottom Line About Chase’s Pay Yourself Back
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 Chase 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 – especially for Airbnb stays. And it just underscores the flexibility that makes Chase’s points so valuable.