Should You 'Pay Yourself Back' With Chase Points?


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Over the past seven months, travel rewards credit cardholders have had to make some tough decisions. With fewer opportunities to travel, you may have considered canceling your rewards credit card, particularly if there’s a high annual fee. You may have also thought about the best ways to redeem your points and miles.

In May, Chase revealed another redemption option for Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders: the opportunity for 25% to 50% higher cash back for grocery stores, home improvement stores, and dining (restaurants, takeout, and delivery apps) through September 30.

Normally, your Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth one cent per point for cash back—or have a 1:1 redemption value—but this promotion increases the value to 1.25 cents for Chase Sapphire Preferred and 1.5 cents for Chase Sapphire Reserve for the categories above.

If you’re sitting on a stack of Chase Ultimate Rewards points—and trying to weigh your options—consider these things before the deadline on September 30.

Weighing the pros and cons

Before making a decision, consider your family’s budget. If you’re struggling to pay your bills or sitting on a high-interest credit card balance, it may be worthwhile to redeem points through Pay Yourself Back.

Also, if you won’t be booking any flights, hotels, or rental cars for the foreseeable future, you may rest easy knowing Pay Yourself Back offers the best possible cash back redemption.

But if you’re expecting to travel for the holidays or sometime next year, you may get more than 1.25 and 1.5 cents redemption value by transferring points to partner hotels and airlines. You can learn more about these strategies from The Points Guy here.

How to use Pay Yourself Back

If you decide to use Pay Yourself Back, there are a few steps to follow. Start by logging into your Chase account and navigating into your Ultimate Rewards portal. You will see a menu option for Pay Yourself Back.

This allows you to reimburse yourself for purchases from the past 90 days—including groceries, home improvement stores, and dining. You may select each transaction and apply Ultimate Rewards points for reimbursements. You will receive a statement credit for each transaction within two to three days.