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Advice

Is Chase's 'Pay Yourself Back' option really worth it?

Chase Pay Yourself Back allows you to redeem points for statement credits on eligible purchases, including groceries and dining. But is it a smart redemption option?

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Redeeming points for a statement credit is typically one of the worst ways you can redeem your credit card rewards, but that's no longer true for select Chase credit card holders.

Chase recently expanded "Pay Yourself Back" to more account holders, providing an alternative way to redeem points. This can be a great alternative if you were saving points for travel but have since canceled plans.

That's where Pay Yourself Back comes in — the new tool allows you to redeem points for statement credits on eligible purchases, including groceries and dining. You can potentially get 25% to 50% more value, making this option well worth considering.

Here are all the eligible cards:

All cardholders can use Pay Yourself Back to redeem for charitable donations. Meanwhile, Sapphire cardholders can also offset grocery store, dining and home improvement purchases. Ink Business members can also offset select online advertising and shipping expenses. (Learn how Chase classifies purchases for bonus rewards.)

The Pay Yourself Back tool is a smart way to cash out your points for statement credits since you receive more value than usual. Typically, one Chase Ultimate Rewards point is worth a penny when you redeem for a statement credit. But with eligible Pay Yourself Back redemptions, the value increases to 1.25 cents per point or 1.50 cents per point, depending on the card.

Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business and Freedom card holders currently receive 25% more value on redemptions, while Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive 50% more value.

A great way to maximize the use of Pay Yourself Back is to pair it with one of the Chase card's welcome bonuses. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering a massive 80,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. After you earn the bonus, you can redeem points for 25% more value with Pay Yourself Back. That increases the bonus' value from $800 to $1,000.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Here's how to use Pay Yourself Back

In order to take advantage of Pay Yourself Back, follow these steps:

  1. Log onto your account online or via the Chase mobile app.
  2. Navigate to the Rewards and benefits page and select Pay Yourself Back.
  3. From here, you'll be able to choose one or more eligible purchases you've made in the past 90 days.
  4. Enter the cash value for the amount of points you want to redeem. This can be any amount up to the transaction total. (Your points are then calculated accordingly.)
  5. Confirm the statement credit amount and total points you're redeeming, then submit the redemption. (It can take a few days to see the credit statement show up on your account, and up to two billing cycles for it to be applied to the balance.)

All eligible cardholders can use Pay Yourself Back now, but access to the tool is for a limited time. Ink Business members can use it through December 31, 2020, whereas Sapphire cardholders have access through April 30, 2021. There's no current end date for Freedom.

Learn more about how to use Chase's Pay Yourself Back tool.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.