Chase has extended its Pay Yourself Back categories — but is it worth it?

4 April 2023

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. 

Chase is continuing some of its popular Pay Yourself Back redemption categories through the second quarter of this year. Access to Pay Yourself Back also expanded to additional cardholders earlier this year, including Southwest Airlines cards and the Aeroplan® Credit Card.

While those are positive elements, the negative aspect is that points are worth less this year than last year for most people.

Here’s everything that you need to know about using Pay Yourself Back.

What is Pay Yourself Back?

In 2020, Chase introduced Pay Yourself Back as an ongoing redemption option within Ultimate Rewards to give cardmembers another choice in redeeming points. The categories have evolved over time, with the removal of options such as grocery and home improvement stores.

In short, the Pay Yourself Back option allows cardholders of many Chase cards to use points at a redemption value similar to booking travel. This won’t give you maximum value for your Ultimate Rewards points; however, it could be a good choice if you’re looking for a simple return or are sitting on a pile of points without immediate use.

Related: The best Chase credit cards of 2023

What purchases are eligible for Pay Yourself Back?

These are the current categories eligible for Pay Yourself Back:

Card
Redemption value
Current end date

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Charities: 1.5 cents per point.

Gas stations, groceries and cardholder annual fees: 1.25 cents per point.

Charities: Dec. 31, 2023.

Gas stations, groceries and cardholder annual fees: June 30, 2023.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Charities: 1.25 cents per point.

Gas stations and groceries: 1 cent per point.

June 30, 2023.

Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom
Charities: 1.25 cents per point.
June 30, 2023.

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Ink Plus (no longer available)
Internet, cable, phone services and shipping: 1.25 cents per point.
June 30, 2023.

New Business Card! Ink Business Premier Credit Card
Charities: 1.25 cents per point.
Dec. 31, 2023.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Internet, cable, phone services and shipping: 1.1 cents per point.
June 30, 2023.

Aeroplan Credit Card
Travel purchases in the past 90 days: 1.25 cents per point.
None, but there will be an annual limit of 50,000 points redeemed from 2024 (there is no limit in 2023).

Southwest Airlines credit cards
Cardholder annual fees: 1 cent per point.

Dining purchases in the past 90 days (with a $300 limit): 0.8 cents per point.

Annual fees: None.

Dining: June 30, 2023.

The information for the Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Plus cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The ability to use Pay Yourself Back with charitable donations is available on the Sapphire and Freedom cards. If you’re interested in using your points to make a difference in Ukraine, the following four options directly support humanitarian efforts there:

International Medical Corps.
International Rescue Committee, Inc.
UNICEF USA.
World Central Kitchen.

The additional list of charities for Pay Yourself Back includes:

American Red Cross.
Equal Justice Initiative.
Feeding America.
GLSEN.
Habitat for Humanity.
Leadership Conference Education Fund.
NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
National Urban League.
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.
SAGE.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
United Way.

Let’s say you had an eligible donation on the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Instead of receiving a $100 statement credit when redeeming 10,000 points, a Sapphire Reserve customer would receive a credit of $150 for the same number of points when used for an eligible Pay Yourself Back redemption. This matches the rate offered on Ultimate Rewards Travel redemptions for that card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers can also use Pay Yourself Back for their annual fee, which we also saw last year. However, there are significant changes worth highlighting.

Redemption values for non-charity redemptions on the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred categories have decreased. Last year, you could receive a 1.5 cents-per-point value on all Pay Yourself Back categories, but now that value only applies to the charities categories. Other redemptions return only a 1.25 cents-per-point value. Similarly, redemption values on the Sapphire Preferred decreased in every category except charities, dropping from 1.25 cents to 1 cent when using Pay Yourself Back.

In short, the value obtained with Pay Yourself Back is less in 2023 than in 2022.

Cobranded cards added in 2023

Unlike cards earning cash back or Chase Ultimate Rewards, redemptions on cobranded credit cards differ.

The Aeroplan card offers redemptions at a value of 1.25 cents each toward any travel purchase — not restricted to Air Canada — within the past 90 days. In 2023, there is no limit to the number of points you can redeem for Pay Yourself Back with the Aeroplan card. Starting in 2024, there will be an annual limit of 50,000 points redeemed.

This is a permanent feature of the Aeroplan card and has no end date, unlike Pay Yourself Back categories on other Chase credit cards.

Pay Yourself Back has also been expanded to Southwest credit cards, offering one redemption category: annual fees at 1 cent per point. This is below TPG’s valuation of Southwest points at 1.5 cents apiece.

Requesting a credit

Requesting a credit through Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program is relatively straightforward. Log in to your Ultimate Rewards account via the mobile app or desktop and select the “Pay Yourself Back” option in the sidebar.

CHASE.COM

Next, you’ll see a list of eligible purchases for which you can redeem points. Points can be redeemed for purchases as far back as 90 days.

Here’s an example of a redemption I made last year. At the time, I had nine eligible internet, cable and phone purchases (three shown) on my Ink Plus card. To redeem points, check the box next to the purchases for which you want to redeem points and proceed to the next page.

CHASE.COM

You can offset the full purchase amount, assuming you have enough points to cover it, or you can redeem a smaller amount if you prefer.

From there, you can confirm the redemption value and amount of points required and then choose to complete the transaction. Your statement credit should post within three business days.

Statement credit options on other purchases

Chase has long offered the option to redeem points for a statement credit — that’s not new. To do this, log into your Ultimate Rewards account, hit the drop-down menu and select “Cash Back.”

You’ll be presented with an option to enter the amount you’d like to redeem and where you’d like your rewards deposited. All cash-back redemptions are fixed at 1 cent per point, only half of TPG’s valuation for Ultimate Rewards and lower than any of the above Pay Yourself Back options.

Related: Points of View: Can I cash out my points, and is it worth it?

You can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for cash back at 1 cent apiece. CHASE.COM

Even so, Chase’s traditional cash-back option is more generous than what you can expect from some other issuers. Here’s how it breaks down for some of the most popular programs and cards:

Program
Redemption value
Cards

Amex Membership Rewards
0.6 cents per point.
American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Chase Ultimate Rewards
1 cent per point.
Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Citi ThankYou Rewards
1 cent per point.
Citi Premier® Card Citi Rewards+® Card, Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants).

Capital One
0.5 cents per mile.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature provides valuable flexibility for many cardholders, but its value is less this year than in past years. That value is even lower with some of the redemption categories for some cobranded cardholders

Even if the redemption categories provide value for you, it’s worth considering redeeming points this way makes sense. Are you satisfied using your points for less value than TPG’s average valuations?

Ultimately, the answer comes down to how you plan to use your points, how many you currently have and whether or not you’d benefit significantly from the statement credits.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong, Stella Shon, Summer Hull, Zach Honig and Ryan Smith. 

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