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

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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

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Eligible charities through March 31, 20241.5 cents per point

Groceries, gas, and annual membership fees through March 31, 2024

1.25 cents per point
Eligible charities through March 31, 20241.25 cents per point


Eligible charities through December 31, 20241.25 cents per point

Aeroplan® Credit Card

Annual fee (within 90 days of billing), and travel purchases, including hotels, flights, car rentals, rideshares, and more through June 30, 20241.25 cents per point

Southwest credit cards

Up to $300 in dining and annual fees through March 31, 2024 (redemption requests must be made within 90 days)

0.8 cents per point for dining and 1 cent per point for annual fees

United credit cards (with an annual fee)

Annual fees posted within the previous 90 days (no deadline yet)1.5 to 1.75 cents per mile

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.

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 Convert to Cash dropdown to Pay Yourself Back.

Pay Yourself Back Ultimate Rewards

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

Pay Yourself Back 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.

Chase Pay Yourself Back
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 Chase Travel)10x
 Airfare (booked through Chase Travel)5x
 Travel (not booked through Chase Travel)3x
 All other purchases1x
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardLyft5x (through March 2025)
 Travel (booked through Chase Travel)5x
 Online grocery purchases3x
 Select streaming services3x
 Travel (not booked through Chase Travel)2x
 All other purchases1x
Freedom Unlimited cardTravel (booked through Chase Travel)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 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 also 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 First Suite Double Bed
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:

Airline Transfer Partners

Chase Airline PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Chase > Airline)
Transfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub1,0001:1Almost Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan1,0001:1Almost Instant
Air France-KLM Flying Blue1,0001:11 hour
British Airways Executive Club1,0001:1Almost Instant
Emirates Skywards1,0001:1Almost Instant
Iberia Plus1,0001:1Almost Instant
JetBlue1,0001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1,0001:11-2 days
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,0001:1Almost Instant
United Airlines MileagePlus1,0001:1Almost Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,0001:1Almost Instant

Hotel Transfer Partners

Chase Hotel PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Chase > Hotel)
Transfer Time
IHG One Rewards1,0001:11 day
Marriott Bonvoy1,0001:12 days
World of Hyatt1,0001:1Almost 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chase Pay Yourself Back?

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.

How long is Chase Pay Yourself Back available?

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 throughout 2024.

Is Pay Yourself Back worth it?

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.

What purchases are eligible for Pay Yourself Back?

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

Which cards can I use Pay Yourself Back with?

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
  • Ink Business Cash card
  • Ink Business Preferred card
  • Ink Business Unlimited card
  • Ink Business Premier card

Stephen Au's image

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.


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