Pay yourself back for Chase Guts Sapphire Cardholders

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Chase introduced a new feature called Pay Yourself during the worst of the pandemic, allowing travelers to use Chase points to pay for everyday expenses. Rotating categories to redeem these points has made things exciting — especially the long-standing option to cover Airbnb rentals.

These picks take a serious hit to start 2023. Starting today, Chase cardholders either Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® will be For most categories, no longer receive a bonus when using points through Redeem Yourself. Starting in 2020, these Pay-Your-Own payments will match, but not exceed, the value you’d book a flight or hotel through the Chase travel portal.

Even worse, Chase also removes Airbnb from the Pay Yourself Back portfolio. It’s been a solid option for over a year, one of the best (and only) ways to earn points for Airbnb. Losing this pick via Chase is a tough shot.

All in all, it’s a one-two punch for one of the best credit card benefits to ride out the pandemic. After launching in May 2020 to keep travelers happy and engaged while staying at home, Chase announced that Pay Yourself isn’t going anywhere. While that’s still true, it’s sad to see the value of your points (and one of the best ways to use them) hit the chopping block.

Here’s a full look at what’s changing with Chase Pay Yourself Back and what’s in store for 2023.

Paying Yourself Loses Its Value

The beauty of Pay Yourself Back is that it opens up even more opportunities to use Chase points for the same value you would book a flight or hotel through the Chase travel portal. Chase axes it.

With the travelers from today Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will be No more 25% bonus using Self-Refund on most categories. Instead, you’ll earn just 1 cent per point. That means it takes 50,000 points to redeem a $500 payment.

Chase’s premium card is also on the decline. With Chase Sapphire Reserve®you will have points Get no more than 50% more value by Paying Yourself Back. Instead, you’ll now earn 1.25 cents per point on most of these payments — down from 1.5 cents previously.

New Pay Yourself Redemption Categories

Starting today and through at least March 31, 2023, Chase Sapphire, Ink and Freedom cardholders will be able to enjoy the Pay Yourself Back benefit on some new categories.

Chase Sapphire Advantage Pay Yourself Redemption Categories

  • Points can be redeemed for purchases at a 1:1 rate at gas stations and grocery stores Until March 31, 2023
  • Points can be redeemed for 25% more for eligible charities until December 31, 2023.

Previously, Sapphire Preferred cardholders could pay 25% more through Pay Yourself Back. Points are now worth less when using this redemption method.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Self-Refund Categories

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can use your points for the Self-Repay benefit in the following categories:

  • Points can be redeemed for 25% more on purchases gas stations and grocery stores, as well as the card’s $550 annual fee Until March 31, 2023. That means you can pay off a $500 grocery bill with 40,000 points or waive the entire annual fee with 44,000 points.
  • Points can be redeemed for 50% more for eligible charities until December 31, 2023.

Previously, Sapphire Reserve cardholders could Redeem Yourself by paying 50% more. As with the Preferred Card, points are now worth less when using this redemption method.

Chase Ink Business Preferred and Ink Plus Pay Yourself Redemption Categories

If you have Chase Ink Business Preferred or Ink Plus, you’ll have access to the following redemption categories and redemption value:

  • Through March 31, 2023, points can be redeemed for 25% more on business expenses related to internet, cable, phone services and shipping.

There are no changes to this category except for the new expiration date of March 31, 2023 (previously December 31, 2022).

Chase Ink Business Cash and Unlimited Pay Self Redeem Categories

Chase doesn’t change much when it comes to using points from some business cards. If you have Chase Ink Business Cash or Unlimited, you’ll have access to the following payment categories and redemption value:

  • Points can be redeemed for a 10% bonus on internet, cable, phone services and shipping until March 31, 2023.

The only change here is that Chase has extended this option until March. Previously, it was supposed to be completed by the end of 2022.

Chase Freedom Pay Yourself Back Redemption Categories

If you maintain Chase Freedom, Freedom Flex, or Freedom Unlimited, you can use your points through Self-Pay to:

  • Points can be redeemed for a 25% bonus for eligible charities until December 31, 2023.

Chase has extended this option for a year only on some of its top credit cards with no annual fee.

How Does Chase Pay Yourself Back Work?

Instead of redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Travel Portal or sending them to one of the dozen plus Chase transfer partners, you can use them to cover purchases in a set of purchase categories that change quarterly.

When it first came out about a year ago, Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cardholders could use points at hardware stores, restaurants and grocery stores — places where cardholders spend when travel is largely off the table. Over the past two years, Chase has changed these categories.

But what makes Pay Yourself Back so valuable is that your points were the same as what you’d earn on the Chase travel portal: you’d earn 1.25 cents each with the Sapphire Preferred card and 1.5 cents each with the Sapphire Reserve.

First things first: All you have to do is shop in one of the eligible categories.

Once the purchase is posted to your card account, you can simply log into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account via the desktop or Chase mobile app and select “Pay Yourself” from the drop-down menu.

Chase yourself repayment menu

From there, you will be able to choose from the latest eligible transactions Up to 90 days ago go to checkout and choose to redeem points for all or just part of the purchase.

From what I caught Chase Sapphire Reserve®, my points were worth 1.5 cents each. if i catch Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, my redemption value would be 1.25 cents per point. But starting today, Reserve payouts are now 1.25 cents each, and Premium payouts are 1:1, meaning each point is worth one cent.

follow up, pay Airbnb

After selecting a transaction, you will be given the option to use points to cover all or part of the transaction. After making this decision, click the “Confirm and Send” button.

And just like that, your points will be deducted from your Chase Ultimate Rewards points balance and you should see a statement credit on your card account within a few days to make the payment.

Our analysis

This is a big blow to the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards, as those fees will now be worth less.

Pay Yourself Back was first added in May 2020 to allow cardholders to use points for solid value on non-travel purchases at a time when travel was largely off the table. It was an instant hit and no doubt prevented many cardholders from throwing away their cards when they no longer intend to travel.

Over time, Chase has assured us that the Pay Yourself Back benefit isn’t going anywhere. As travel increases again in 2021, payment categories have shifted to meet cardholders where they are, especially when adding Airbnb as an option. For over a year, it was the best way to book an Airbnb stay with points.

With travel more or less at 2019 levels, it appears Chase has little reason to provide additional incentives for Sapphire cardholders to use Ultimate Rewards points outside of traditional travel channels.

With these changes, it’s safe to call Pay Yourself Back… poor value. If you’re not donating to charity, there are better ways to use your Chase points.

Bottom line

Chase kicked off 2023 with some big, bad changes to its Pay Yourself Back benefit for both Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

After finding a creative solution during the worst of the pandemic, your points won’t go far using Self-Refund. To make matters worse, Chase eventually removed Airbnb as an option.

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