Guide to Chase Pay Yourself Back

Chase Ultimate Rewards® points have long enjoyed cult status in the credit card travel rewards world. And, frankly, they've earned that status with excellent redemption options, extra value when redeemed through certain accounts or transferred to popular hotel and airline partners, and solid earning categories and opportunities. If you have travel rewards dreams, Ultimate Rewards points need a place in your plan.

But then COVID happened and travel dreams disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Knowing this, Chase rolled out the Pay Yourself Back program in May 2020. It allowed cardholders to redeem their Ultimate Rewards® points for numerous "everyday"-type purchases and not sacrifice the value of those points. Since then, Chase has expanded the program to include additional eligible cards and purchases, arguably making Ultimate Rewards® points – and several of the cards that earn them – even more valuable. 

Basics of the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature

You can think of the Chase Pay Yourself back program as a kind of statement credit opportunity for specific purchases. Much like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card allows you to redeem miles to erase travel purchases from your statement, the Chase Pay Yourself Back program allows you to redeem Ultimate Rewards® points to erase certain categories of purchases from your statement.

To take advantage of the offer, cardholders simply need to log into their account, navigate to the Pay Yourself Back portal and you'll see your eligible purchases listed alongside the number of points necessary to cover that purchase. Check the purchases you'd like to cover with Ultimate Rewards® points points and click "Continue" at the bottom to move the process forward.

Chase Pay Yourself Back

A couple of important rules to note:

1. You can only Pay Yourself Back for purchases made within the past 90 days. A small countdown number appears next to a purchase as your days to redeem for that purchase are running out.

2. You can only Pay Yourself Back for purchases in particular categories and those categories are dependent on the card(s) you have. (Take a look at the categories that are eligible for Pay Yourself Back).

3. It could take 2-3 business days for the credit to appear on your account. It could take one or two billing cycles for those credits to appear on your monthly statement. Remember, you will still need to make at least your minimum monthly payment on your card.

What cards are eligible for Pay Yourself Back?

When Pay Yourself Back first hit the scene back in May 2020, it was only available to Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders. Later that year, however, Chase announced an expansion of the program to some cards within the Ink family of small business cards as well as to the Freedom family of cash-back cards. All of these earn Ultimate Rewards® points even though several are marketed as "cash-back" cards.

One note, while Chase no longer accepts applications for the Ink Plus® business card or Chase Freedom® card, existing cardholders are also eligible for the Pay Yourself Back program.

Here are the details on still-available cards:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus (that's 20,000 points) after spending $500 in the first three months from opening an account.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases during the first year (Target and Walmart purchases excluded).
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Points redeemed through the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 25% more.
  • No annual fee.
  • Read our full review of Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus (20,000 points) after spending $500 in the first three months from opening an account. 
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases during the first year (Target and Walmart purchases excluded).
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate quarterly (quarterly activation required).
  • Also, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and at drugstores; and 1% back on your other eligible purchases.
  • Points redeemed through the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 25% more.
  • No annual fee.
  • Read our full Chase Freedom Flex℠ review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points, worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. 
  • Earn 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases.
  • Earn five points per $1 spent with Lyft through March 2022.
  • Points redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal OR through the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 25% more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee
  • Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points, worth $750 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. 
  • Receive a $300 credit each year to cover travel purchases. In response to COVID-19 canceling travel for many people, Chase expanded the credit to also cover grocery store and gas stations purchases through the end of 2021.
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining and 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Points redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards OR through the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 50% more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®.
  • Enjoy a complimentary Lyft Pink membership, a $199 minimum value.
  • $550 annual fee
  • Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Earn 100,000 bonus points, worth $1,250 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Earn three points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary and one point on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Points redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards OR through the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 25% more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • $95 annual fee
  • Read our full Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points, worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% back on up to $25,000 in combined spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% back on up to $25,000 combined spending at gas stations and restaurant each account year; and 1% back on other purchases.
  • Points redeemed via Pay Yourself Back for internet, cable and phone services are worth 10% more and points redeemed for eligible charitable contributions are worth 25% more.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • $0 annual fee
  • Read our full Ink Business Cash® Credit Card review.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points, worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
  • Points redeemed via Pay Yourself Back for internet, cable and phone services are worth 10% more and points redeemed for eligible charitable contributions are worth 25% more.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • $0 annual fee
  • Read our full Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card review.

Chase Pay Yourself Back categories

While all the cards above offer cardholders the option of Pay Yourself Back rewards redemption, the categories for which they offer it differ depending on your card.

FOR SAPPHIRE RESERVE® AND SAPPHIRE PREFERRED®

As mentioned above, points redeemed through Pay Yourself Back are worth the same as they would be if redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, that is 50% more for Sapphire Reserve® cardholders and 25% more for Sapphire Preferred® cardholders. 

Categories for Pay Yourself Back include purchases at the following: 

  • Airbnb, through March 31, 2022
  • Away through awaytravel.com purchases, through March 31, 2022
  • contributions to eligible charitable organizations (list below) through Dec. 31, 2022 
  • Reserve cardholders only Dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, through March 31, 2022

FOR THE FREEDOM® FAMILY OF CARDS

Points redeemed via Pay Yourself Back through any of the Freedom cards – that is Freedom Flex℠, Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom® (no longer accepting new applications) – are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the Pay Yourself Back program; however, these cards only have one eligible category:

  • contributions to eligible charitable organizations (list below) through Dec. 31, 2022

If you are earning Ultimate Rewards® points on a Freedom® card, but also have one of the Sapphire® cards in your wallet, you can still transfer your Freedom points to your Sapphire card and then redeem through the Pay Yourself Back program under that Sapphire® family card for more options.

FOR INK BUSINESS PREFERRED® CREDIT CARD AND INK PLUS®

Ultimate Rewards® points redeemed under these cards will be worth 25% more when redeemed for the following:

  • shipping and internet, cable and phone services, through Dec. 31, 2021
  • advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, through Dec. 31, 2021
  • contributions made to eligible charitable organization (list below) through Dec. 31, 2022

FOR INK BUSINESS CASH® CREDIT CARD AND INK BUSINESS UNLIMITED® CREDIT CARD

  • internet, cable and phone services (points worth 10% more) through Dec. 31, 2021
  • contributions made to eligible charitable organizations (points worth 25% more) through Dec. 31, 2022

What charities are eligible for Chase Pay Yourself Back?

The current list of eligible charities includes:

  • American Red Cross
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Feeding America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Medical Corporation
  • Leadership Conference Education Fund
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • National Urban League
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • United Negro College Fund
  • United Way
  • World Central Kitchen

Note that local chapters may not be eligible for Pay Yourself Back

Is Pay Yourself Back worth it?

Most people open Ultimate Rewards®-earning cards with travel dreams floating around in their heads. COVID-19 has, in many cases, put those dreams on hold and reminded us that everyday expenses are still around.

Yes, Pay Yourself Back is worth it since Chase is allowing people to redeem points for the same value as what you'd be getting when redeemed for travel.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with holding onto your points in anticipation of the day when travel can again take place, but if you're looking to save a little money on purchases you're making right now, you can rest assured that Chase Pay Yourself Back does offer solid value.

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