For as long as the points game has existed, there’s been two main options for cashing in on your points at great value: cash back at a fixed rate, or travel towards aspirational experiences.
The pandemic added a third, and more broad category category, when rewards credit cards geared around travel began offering opportunities to redeem points at tempting rates for purchases already made, like home improvement, or dining.
Chase has been a leader in this new category, offering an enhanced value for points redemptions to cover select purchases. Those opportunities have now been extended, giving cardholders a variety of ways to benefit from their points, even if a trip isn’t on the horizon.
Chase Extends ‘Pay Yourself Back’
Chase “Pay Yourself Back” allows cardmembers to enjoy the same value they’d get for their points when redeemed for travel, for other things which typically don’t give as great of a value. That’s not usually the case.
In normal times, redeeming points for travel gives a higher “cents per point” value, such as 100,000 points covering $1500 in travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but only $1000 towards other categories of rewards. Other cards, including the Sapphire Preferred can also enjoy these limited time values.
With ‘Pay Yourself Back’ Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use their points at heightened rates to cover purchases they’ve already made in the categories: dining, grocery stores, home improvement, charity and annual fees.
Even higher values are still possible by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards into loyalty programs of airlines and hotels, but require a bit of expertise. This is just a temptingly easy way to get good value for points.
Extended Through September 30th, 2021
Chase was set to expire this opportunity to redeem points for dining, home improvement and groceries at the same rate as you would get for travel, at the end of April. That’s now been extended to September 30th, 2021.
This means if you go out and spend $150 on a meal, you can effectively “erase” this purchase, much the way Capital One Venture works, by using 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with a Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, or 12,000 Points when using the Sapphire Preferred Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve enjoys a higher ‘cents per point’ redemption value than the Sapphire Preferred, thanks in part to its higher annual fee and focus on high value travel rewards. That logic has been extended to these limited time opportunities.
How To Use Chase ‘Pay Yourself Back’
Login to your Chase account, and head to Ultimate Rewards, by clicking where you see your points. If you have a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve Card, you’ll see an option to ‘Pay Yourself Back’, and on desktop, like a tutorial too.
From there, you can select purchase you’d like to cover using points, and Chase shows how many points you’ll currently need to do so, versus how many you’d typically need, much like the $150 dining example above. There’s a limit to how far back you can go, so be sure to use the service within a month or two of purchase, if you plan to.
Points only make sense to earn when you’re not paying interest on credit card bills to accumulate them, so this can be a great way to lower your balances, by using points to cover things you’ve already bought. If you’re saving up for a big luxury trip using points it might be best to give this a pass, but if you’re not, it’s not a bad option.