Last year Chase has introduced the “Pay Yourself Back” feature allowing Sapphire cardholders to redeem their Ultimate Rewards at very favorable rates by offsetting restaurant other spend.
These excellent redemption rates combined with the pandemic have caused cardholders to be in a tough spot deciding if they should transfer their UR points to another loyalty currency or simply take the cash back.
It’s a question that plagues many with large points balances over the last year as people like to cash out the loyalty currency at some point and get the best value for them.
Robert sent me an email asking if he should settle with 1.5 cents cash by transferring the Ultimate Rewards points to a statement credit through Pay Yourself Back.
Usually the best way to redeem credit card points is by transferring them to a travel partner and then book a high value flight or hotel but in these times it might be worthwhile to look into other options, especially with large points balances and most definitely if one is under pressure to cut some spending.
You can access the Pay Yourself Back promotion on Chase’s website (see here).
The Pay Yourself Back feature has been extended through March 31, 2022 for most categories but there were some changes. Grocery stores and home improvement stores have been taken out of the scheme and replaced with AirBnB and awaytravel (rather useless for most purposes).
You can apply the points to your annual fee but only through December 31, 2021.
To answer Roberts question I can only cite my own case as I have redeemed quite a few points this way since last fall.
Here it lists 50% bonus because I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The site then lists the eligible purchases:
Someone who pays with the Chase card for regular dining should have no problem racking up a decent amount of spend that allows a worthwhile redemption.
I’ve now redeemed 30,000 points for a total cash reimbursement of $450 which exactly covers my annual fee that I paid for the CSR. That in combination with the US$300 travel credit that was also applicable to grocery purchases until the end of June 2021 as part of Chase’s pandemic relief policy.
Usually I’d just move my points to Hyatt but when I do the math I find that getting $150 cash per 10,000 points transferred is a better value as hotels are cheap right now and flying is restrictive, especially since I still have a good stack of airline miles.
The value one can get out of this is very decent. It’s a straight 1.5 cent per point when carrying the Chase Sapphire Reserve card so for every 10,000 points redeemed a $150 will go back on the credit card account. That’s cold hard cash right away instead of some travel currency in the future.
While it’s theoretically possible to get a higher value when redeeming points and miles for award travel that all depends on the real value of these trips and if you’d pay that price under normal circumstances.