Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

Is Chase’s “Pay Yourself Back” Feature Worth It? [2023 Detailed Guide]

Stephen Au's image
Stephen Au

Stephen Au

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 24U.S. States Visited: 22

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
Edited by: Nick Ellis

Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 35U.S. States Visited: 25

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
& Kellie Jez

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Over the last couple of years, since COVID-19 began impacting the global travel industry, banks and credit card issuers started offering ways to keep their travel-focused credit cards relevant.

American Express worked to boost the value proposition of its cards by offering new statement credits. And Chase came out with its own set of benefits — one being particularly interesting.

Known as Pay Yourself Back, this feature is designed to increase the flexibility of your points by allowing them to be used to offset expenses. In this guide, we’ll dissect the program and examine the pros and cons of using your rewards in this way. We’ll compare this benefit to those offered by Chase’s competitors and determine whether it’s worth taking advantage of.

What Is Chase Pay Yourself Back?

Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature provides a way to use your Ultimate Rewards points to pay for existing purchases in select categories, effectively behaving as a statement credit to save on purchases. This option is in addition to the many other fabulous ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel.

What Can I Use Pay Yourself Back For?

The rate you can redeem your points through Pay Yourself Back varies depending on which card you hold. Let’s look at the rates and eligible categories for the cards that offer the Pay Yourself Back feature.

Chase CardCategoryRedemption Value
Eligible charities through December 31, 20231.5 cents per point
  • Groceries through September 30, 2023
  • Gas through September 30, 2023
  • Annual membership fees through September 30, 2023
1.25 cents per point
Eligible charities through December 31, 20231.25 cents per point
  • Groceries through September 30, 2023
  • Gas through September 30, 2023
1 cent per point
Eligible charities through December 31, 20231.25 cents per point


Eligible charities through December 31, 20231.25 cents per point
Eligible charities through December 31, 20231.25 cents per point
Travel purchases including hotels, flights, car rentals, ride-shares, and more through December 31, 20231.25 cents per point
  • Dining (up to $300) through September 30, 2023
  • Annual fees
0.8 cents per point for dining and 1 cent per point for annual fees
Annual fees posted within the previous 90 daysVaries

Donations to the following charities qualify for Chase Pay Yourself Back:

  • American Red Cross
  • Equal Justice Initiative
  • Feeding America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Medical Corps
  • International Rescue Committee
  • 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

How Do I Use Pay Yourself Back?

The easiest way to use Pay Yourself Back is by logging into your Chase Online account using your username and password. 

Once logged in, click the Rewards button to be taken to the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Image Credit: Chase

Next,  you may need to choose the card you’d like to redeem Ultimate Rewards points from. In this example, there’s only 1 card in the account. So, you can simply click the Earn / Use dropdown.

Image Credit: Chase

Click Pay Yourself Back from the list of options, and you’ll be taken to the Pay Yourself Back landing page.

Image Credit: Chase

On the Pay Yourself Back landing page, your eligible transactions will be displayed in a list. The list will show how many days you have to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for each eligible purchase.

Image Credit: Chase

Select the transactions you’d like to use Pay Yourself Back on by checking the box. Then click the Continue button.

Image Credit: Chase

Apply the cash value you’d like to use points for. If you want to use the maximum number of points possible, check off the box that says Apply Full Amount. Then click Redeem to use your points.

Image Credit: Chase

You can also perform this same process through the Chase Mobile app.

Hot Tip: Remember that you only have 90 days after your purchase posts to use Pay Yourself Back. 

Best Ways To Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

One of the best aspects of Chase Ultimate Rewards is that the points are so valuable and easy to earn!

As we’ve mentioned in our guide on the best credit cards for each bonus category, you’ll find that you can earn bonus points on most of the main spending categories out there.

These include, but are not limited to:

Credit Card NameSpending CategoryPoints Earned Per 1 Dollar Spent
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardLyft10x (through March 2025)
Car rentals, hotels, and dining (booked through Ultimate Rewards)10x
Airfare (booked through Ultimate Rewards)5x
Travel (not booked through Ultimate Rewards)3x
All other purchases1x
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardLyft5x (through March 2025)
Travel (booked through Ultimate Rewards)5x
Online grocery purchases3x
Select streaming services3x
Travel (not booked through Ultimate Rewards)2x
All other purchases1x
Freedom Unlimited cardTravel (booked through Ultimate Rewards)5%
All other purchases1.5%
Freedom Flex cardRotating quarterly categories5%
All other purchases1%

Is Chase Pay Yourself Back Worth It?

Typically, if you redeemed Ultimate Rewards points for a purchase, such as a restaurant meal, you’d get 1 cent per point at best. Ultimate Rewards points can also be redeemed at a value of 1 cent per point for cash-back.

However, with Pay Yourself Back, cardholders can get more value from their points.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, for example, get 1.25 to 1.5 cents per point, representing a 25% to 50% boost in redemption value. That means you’d use 10,000 to 12,500 points to cover an eligible $150 purchase instead of 15,000 points, resulting in a savings of 5,000 points.

Previously, the only way you could get up to 1.5 cents per point in redemption value was to redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. This is the best redemption value you can get without transferring points to the Chase travel partners.

As mentioned above, the real power is when you consider how easy it is to earn lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

To provide an example, let’s say you’ve spent:

  • $100 on Lyft rides on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, earning 1,000 points at 10x
  • $1,000 on dining on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, earning 3,000 points at 3x
  • $300 on all other purchases on the Freedom Unlimited card, earning 450 points at 1.5% (which you can convert to Ultimate Rewards points by holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve card)

You’d rack up 4,450 points after spending $1,400, which is worth $55.63 to $66.75 when using Pay Yourself Back. You’d therefore see a up to 4.8% return back on your spend! This dominates any of the other conventional cash-back rewards cards.

But Wait, There’s More!

You still earn points on purchases for which you use Pay Yourself Back!

For example, if you use the 4,450 points worth $55.63 from the example above on restaurant purchases, you will also earn either 3x points when using the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

This means you’ll earn around 200 more points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

According to our valuations, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth around 2.0 cents apiece, which means that your overall return on spending will be about 6.6%! Plus, your return on spending could increase depending on which spending categories you use, which merchants you use Pay Yourself Back on, and more.

This is about as good as it gets, especially when it comes to transferable rewards points.

How Does Chase Pay Yourself Back Compare To Other Cards?

Usually, the best cash-back credit cards earn around 2% cash-back at best. Some cash-back credit cards earn up to 5% cash-back, but they typically come with restrictions, such as maximum-spending thresholds.

For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 2% cash-back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill, earned as ThankYou Points) with no limits. However, the value of those points is typically around 1 cent per point, which is a ~33% reduction compared to the value you could get from Chase Pay Yourself Back.

You can leverage Bank of America Preferred Rewards to earn up to 3.5% cash-back on your spending, but this comes with a requirement to have at least $100,000 in assets with Bank of America.

Chase offers a seamless and frictionless way to get excellent redemption value on purchases within flexible categories. Therefore, Chase Pay Yourself Back is an excellent supplement to the rich Ultimate Rewards ecosystem.

Alternative Redemption Options

How does Chase Pay Yourself Back compare to other Chase Ultimate Rewards redemptions? Let’s take a look.

Airline and Hotel Partners

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites, bookable with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, feature a double bed and separate lounge chair. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If you’re a points enthusiast, you probably already know that transferring flexible rewards points to airline partners to book the top international first and business class flights is one of the highest-value redemption options you can make.

Here are the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners:

Chase Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Chase > Airline)
Transfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub1,0001:1Almost Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan1,0001:1Almost Instant
Air France-KLM Flying Blue
1,0001:11 hour
British Airways Executive Club1,0001:1Almost Instant
Emirates Skywards1,0001:1Almost instant
Iberia Plus1,0001:1Almost Instant
JetBlue1,0001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1,0001:11-2 days
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,0001:1Almost Instant
United Airlines MileagePlus1,0001:1Almost Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,0001:1Almost Instant

Chase Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
IHG One Rewards1,0001:11 day
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:12 days
World of Hyatt
1,0001:1Almost Instant

To give you an idea of how valuable your points can be, you can book a ticket from New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) via Frankfurt (FRA) with a stopover in Singapore’s A380 First Class Suites for 132,000 Chase points transferred to Singapore KrisFlyer.

These tickets routinely sell for around $8,500 one-way, which nets you 6.4 cents per point in redemption value.

These kinds of redemptions will give you the best value for your points. However, if you don’t foresee international travel plans coming to fruition, it may not make sense to use points like this at this time.


You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points at Amazon when checking out, but they’ll be worth just 0.8 cents apiece (meaning 100 points get you $0.80), which is a terrible value.


You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points at Apple as well — you’ll earn a fixed 1 cent per point in redemption value towards virtually all Apple products, such as iMacs, iPad, iPhones, Apple Watches, Apple TVs, Apple Music, and Apple accessories.


Earning cash-back is the easiest way to redeem your rewards. There are no restrictions, no gimmicks, and no catches.

Your Ultimate Rewards points are worth a fixed 1 cent per point, and you can choose to request a statement credit or deposit your cash-back straight into a U.S. checking or savings account.

The minimum redemption amount is 1 point, or $0.01. Cash-back redemptions may take up to 3 business days to post to your account.


Chase Experiences are exclusive events curated and offered to cardholders, ranging from sporting events to concerts and even high-end restaurant reservations.

Points redeemed for experiences are worth a fixed 1 cent apiece.

Gift Cards

There’s a wide variety of gift cards for which you can redeem Ultimate Rewards points, including The Home Depot, Fanatics, Top Golf, iTunes, Chili’s, Safeway, Subway, Airbnb, DoorDash, and much more.

Most of the time, you’ll get 1 cent per point in value for purchasing gift cards. But, sometimes, sales bump the redemption value to 1.1 to 1.3 cents per point.


If you’re looking to book flights and want to avoid paying cash, or if you can’t seem to find award availability, then you may want to use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, your points are worth 1.5 cents apiece, and if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, they’re worth 1.25 cents apiece.

Final Thoughts

Chase has given its cardholders yet another fantastic way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points. With travel recovering towards pre-pandemic levels, cardholders can still use points at a high value for non-travel purchases.

And it is a great value, too. When comparing it to other redemption scenarios for Ultimate Rewards points — and even some of the top cash-back cards on the market — Pay Yourself Back demonstrates its utility as a high-value use of your hard-earned points.

The information regarding the Chase Sapphire® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Ink Business Plus® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Chase Pay Yourself Back is a feature that gives cardholders of certain Chase-issued credit cards more options to redeem their Ultimate Rewards points.

Generally, using Pay Yourself Back will yield an increase in value for each point of 25% or 50% for purchases in select categories.

Chase Pay Yourself Back is available for purchases in select categories on a range of credit cards. Purchases in certain categories are eligible for Pay Yourself Back through December 31, 2023.

Pay Yourself Back is certainly worth it in many situations — you’ll get 25% to 50% more value for your Ultimate Rewards points in many purchase categories.

For the Chase Sapphire Preferred card plus the Freedom and Ink cards, Pay Yourself Back works for eligible charities. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can also apply the balance to their annual fee.

Currently, you can use Pay Yourself Back with the following Chase cards:

  • Aeroplan card
  • All Southwest cards
  • All United cards
  • Chase Sapphire card (no longer open to new applicants)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • Freedom card
  • Freedom Flex card
  • Freedom Unlimited card
  • Freedom Student card
  • Ink Business Cash card
  • Ink Business Plus card (no longer open to new applicants)
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • Ink Business Unlimited card

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.


Travel is changing fast... Stay on top of all the points strategies, exclusive offers & pivotal news - and lock in huge savings along the way.

We respect your privacy. Please view our privacy policy here.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.



June 24, 2020

Just got statement credit for $600 of Door Dash deliveries. It’s practical but not as much fun as my usual free flights for 2 on Southwest with companion pass. SW points I’ve heard are worth about 1.5 cents and with companion pass, I feel like that doubles to 3 cents. But I have lots of SW points from lots of canceled trips. My wife doesn’t want me to do any more statement credits for now as we also like Hyatt UR point redemptions. I’m tempted to take the cash now instead of hoarding points. What is your take?

Jarrod West

June 25, 2020

Hi Lawrence,

It all really just depends on your own situation. If you prefer to have the cash in hand now, I say go for it! On the other hand, if you have some travel in mind for the future where you know you’ll get much better value out of those points then you might be much better off waiting.

Either way you really can’t go wrong!


August 03, 2020

How about this scenario. I have a zero balance but decide that I want to use my points for a previous $500 purchase. I get the credit and now my account shows a credit of $500. Will Chase let me call in and ask for a check for that credit? I’ve done this with other accounts when I’ve overpaid.

Jarrod West

August 04, 2020

Hi Patrick,

Yes, you should be able to call and ask for a check for that credit. Or you can have the credit applied to any of your other Chase cards that have a balance.


August 27, 2020

I have the Chase Reserve and Freedom Unlimited cards. Can I use Pay Yourself Back for grocery purchases on my Freedom Unlimited card or just grocery purchases on the Reserve card?

Christine Krzyszton

August 28, 2020

Hi MZ. The “Pay Yourself Back” feature is only available on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards for grocery, home improvement, and restaurant (including take-out) purchases.


September 01, 2020

How do you determine if a store will fall into the “home improvement” category? We are wanting to use this towards appliances at a local shop, not a big chain like Home Depot. I can’t find anything making me confident it will work towards a small mom and pop appliance store.

Christine Krzyszton

September 01, 2020

Hi Carolyn. You could do a small test purchase to see if the store codes with a home improvement merchant code.


September 05, 2020

Just cashed in 500K+ for an over $7500 statement credit, figured – why not as no travel likely until 2021.


June 09, 2021

Hello DK,

Could you please share if you have received 1099 for the pay yourself back redemption? Thanks in advance.


October 21, 2020

Curious, will the “pay yourself back” credit be considered a taxable reward whereas a travel redemption would not be 1099’d?

Stephen Au

October 21, 2020

Hi Keith,

Great question.

We’re not legal experts here, but the main consensus is that any time you’re getting a rebate on activity, such as earning $200 cash back after spending $1,000 or earning 3 points per dollar spent, you will not receive a 1099 and it doesn’t count as a taxable reward.

If that is the case, the Pay Yourself Back benefit should not be a taxable activity, since you are receiving a percentage of your existing spending as a reward back to you.

If you’re referring a friend and get a referral bonus, this is a taxable reward because you are not making any purchases or transactions, nor are you getting a rebate on said purchases or transactions.

I hope this helps!


November 18, 2020

Great insight. You mentioned the best return is for first class and business class but what about for someone who only does budget flights and doesn’t care to spend more on upgraded seats? How do economy flights through say jetblue compare to the pay yourself back feature in terms of redemption value? I may take a few trips mid-2021 and I’m trying to determine if it makes more sense to use pay yourself back or hold the points for a possible jetblue transfer.

Jarrod West

November 19, 2020

Hi Noah,

JetBlue points have a fixed value and are generally worth around 1.3-1.4 cents towards economy seats on JetBlue flights, and around 1.1 cents per point on Mint seats. So, in this case, I would recommend using the Pay Yourself Back feature to get 1.5 cents per point in value.


December 02, 2020

Can you use gift cards purchased at a grocery store to get the Pay Yourself Back bonus?

Jarrod West

December 02, 2020

Hi Ken,

Yes, gift card purchases should qualify for Pay Yourself Back.


December 20, 2020

I have a Chase Sapphire Reserve with almost 110K points but I don’t eat out that much to use the points against restaurant/delivery. I could try grocery stores and buy gift cards there but then I have the Freedom Flex card which directly gives 5x points right now (for the first year).

Sapphire would be 3x and then 1.5 times pay yourself back. Any ideas how I can maximize using these 110K points somehow before I cancel the card in next 2 months to avoid the $450/$550 fee?

Jarrod West

December 21, 2020

Hi Guraaf,

You could always cash out the points as a statement credit towards any purchase you make at a rate of 1 cent per point. Or if there is a particular travel transfer partner you know you will use in the future then you could transfer your points to that program.

Afzal Lokhandwala

December 27, 2020

I have a Chase Ink Business Preferred card, with a ton of points. Is it worth buying American Airlines points on this card, and paying with the pay your self back benefit?

Jarrod West

December 28, 2020

Hi Afzal,

Point purchases are not eligible for the Pay Yourself Back benefit, so I would not recommend this strategy.


April 12, 2021

Are you sure it’s been extended through September 30, 2021? The Chase website still says April 30, unfortunately.

Jarrod West

April 13, 2021

Hi Becca,

Yes, Chase announced that they are extending the Pay Yourself Back promotion through September 30th, 2021.


April 20, 2021

I wonder what happens when you buy something, pay yourself back with points, and then need to return that purchase. Do you get a cash credit on your account or do they remove it and credit you the original number of points you used to pay for it?

Jarrod West

April 21, 2021

Hi Sergei,

I cannot say for certain, but my guess would be that you would likely just receive a cash credit on your account.


November 19, 2021

Does it say anywhere that you will retain the bonus points earned on the purchases you use “pay yourself back” for? I was about to redeem some points and at the bottom of the page, it says: “Once you redeem any amount of points toward an eligible purchase for a statement credit, it will no longer be an eligible purchase. Points redeemed will no longer be available in your account.”

I am not sure if “it will no longer be an eligible purchase” means they will deduct the 3x you earn, or that the transaction is “gone”?

Christine Krzyszton

November 19, 2021

Hi Becky. I can confirm that the eligible points earned on the initial purchase will be deducted when you use Pay Yourself Back. For example, I used PYB to request a statement credit for about $40 of meals that initially earned 3x points on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. When the PYB transaction was posted, the 3x miles for the $40 purchase were deducted. The transactions are not “gone”.


February 07, 2022

Can you use Pay Yourself Back for in-person purchases at Away brick-and-mortar stores, or just online only? What about Away gift cards?

Jarrod West

February 07, 2022

Hi Aaron,

An Away brick and mortar store should work as the purchase should code the same on the backend. Gift cards do not seem to qualify for Pay Yourself Back though.


February 15, 2022

I have a Chase Sapphire card. It was great initially, but the Pay Yourself Back categories have been terrible for six months. They have been AirBnB,, and charities for three months, and then they renewed those same three items for another three months through the end of March 2022. Previously, you could use Pay Yourself Back for items like restaurants and groceries.

I’m holding the card through the end of March to see if this changes. If not, I’m cancelling the card and moving to a straight cash-back credit card.


June 14, 2022

Hi, does the PYB credit stay in your credit card account if you have no balance pending? And is the credit eligible for any purchase I make with that card?

Christine Krzyszton

June 16, 2022

Hi Nando. If you use Pay Yourself Back for a qualifying purchase and that PYB credit creates a negative balance on your card account then any purchase you make will offset that credit.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Email needed if you'd like comment updates. It will NOT be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Protection Status