While travel cards are known for providing points for, you know, “travel”, the situation with the coronavirus last year changed some of that and that included issuers like Chase allowing the points to be used – at the same value – on things other than travel. Now, they have switched the “Pay Yourself Back” program up a bit and added new categories and redemption options. Here they are!
Chase Changes Up the Chase “Pay Yourself Back” Options
For the longest time, the options on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve were for dining, grocery stores, and home improvement stores. Those redemption options meant you could use your Ultimate Reward points to pay down purchases in those categories at either a 1.25 cent per point redemption (Chase Sapphire Preferred) or at a 1.5 cent per point redemption (Chase Sapphire Reserve).
My Favorite Way of Paying for Travel the Last Year
I actually loved this and this became my main way of paying with travel with my Ultimate Reward points – use Ultimate Reward points to pay myself back on grocery store purchases at 1.5 cents per point and then use the savings that I now had to purchase travel directly with the airline/hotel. It was a win/win because, during this time especially, it is great to book directly with the travel provider and I was earning points on the travel – which I would not have if I had used the Ultimate Reward points directly for travel.
Now, after 18 months of those categories, Chase is switching up the redemption options. Some people may be happy while others will miss the now departed options.
New Chase Pay Yourself Back Redemption Options
The new redemption options for the Chase cards are:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred and Ink Plus
- Updated categories starting October 1 – Dec. 31, 2021: Cardmembers who utilize Pay Yourself Back can continue to redeem points worth 25% more on eligible business expenses in the categories of: shipping, internet, cable and phone services and charitable contributions. New categories will also include: advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
- Chase Ink Cash, Business Cash and Unlimited
- Updated categories starting October 1 – Dec. 31, 2021: Cardmembers who utilize Pay Yourself Back can continue redeeming points worth 10% more on internet, cable and phone services, and worth 25% more when redeemed for eligible charitable contributions.
- Sapphire Preferred and Reserve
- Updated categories starting October 1 – March 31, 2022 : Sapphire Preferred points are still worth 25% more and categories will now be purchases with Airbnb, as well as with Away through awaytravel.com. Sapphire Reserve points are still worth 50% more and will also have access to the categories of Airbnb and Away purchases through awaytravel.com, plus Reserve cardmembers will continue to have the option to redeem in the category of dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services). Both Sapphire cards will continue to redeem points at 25% and 50% more for donations to a dozen select charitable organizations.
- Freedom, Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited
- Continued through Dec. 31, 2021: Points are worth 25% more when redeeming for donations to a dozen select charitable organizations.
So, the Chase business card categories will stick around but with some additional options. However, for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders, the option to Pay Yourself Back for grocery store purchases and home improvement store purchases is now gone. In its place is the option to redeem for Away luggage and Airbnb. For Chase Sapphire Reserve holders, they can also continue to redeem for dining and both cards can redeem for charities.
There is no doubt that the grocery store and home improvement store options were money losers for Chase. After all, they were paying back directly to the cardholders with no negotiated lower rates (like they can get with travel or transfer partners) and in both those categories, it was possible to buy gift cards and then you are getting even more money to use for “free.”
But, if you are a big fan of Airbnb, this new option will help you to use your Chase Ultimate Reward points for this kind of lodging instead. Sure, you can continue to redeem directly through the portal for hotels but you lose out on elite credit and benefits doing that. You can also continue to transfer to Marriott, Chase, and IHG as well but you may find you can get more consistent value with the Airbnb option since that is a straight 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents on something you would need to actually use money for.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – 100,000 Point Bonus Offer, worth $1,250 for Groceries, Dining , Travel & More!
The popular Chase Sapphire Preferred card is having a special bonus offer – 100,000 points! This makes this offer worth at least $1,250 in travel, groceries, dining, or home improvement!
- Earn 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months
- Transfer the points to popular airlines and hotels for maximum value!
- Use the points with Pay Yourself Back feature to pay for groceries, home improvement, and dining purchases
- Earn 2x points on all travel and dining!
- Annual fee of $95
- Application Link (this is an affiliate link that supports the site)