Is Chase's "Pay Yourself Back" Worth It?

"Pay Yourself Back" rewards some Chase cards with extra cash — and it's also a powerful donation tool.

Image of person's hands holding a fanned out stack of cash.
(Image credit: Getty)

This article reviews the Pay Yourself Back program only. We may get compensation if you visit partner links on our site. We may not cover every available offer. Our relationship with advertisers may impact how an offer is presented on our website. However, our selection of products is made independently of our relationship with advertisers. 

Chase recently extended its popular Pay Yourself Back program, which provides a 25% or 50% bump over standard cash back options on Chase Ultimate Rewards points. While this value is still likely below what you could get by redeeming points for travel, it’s an attractive option for those who aren’t traveling as much as they had planned or who need a bit of cash quickly. 

Best yet? Pay Yourself Back is also a great way to donate to certain charities, giving you 1.25 to 1.50 cents back for every dollar you donate.

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But Pay Yourself Back is only worth it for certain purchases, and the payback rate varies by credit card.

What is Pay Yourself Back?

Chase’s travel credit cards are known for being some of the best rewards credit cards available, offering valuable and flexible points for travel purchases. In fact, each point is worth about two cents, according to The Points Guy

Chase launched the Pay Yourself Back program in 2020 to encourage customers to hold onto their travel cards during the Covid pandemic shutdown. The program provides up to 25% more cash back on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and several other cards, and up to 50% more on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®  card. For example, a Sapphire Preferred customer could redeem 10,000 points for $125, and a Sapphire Reserve card member could redeem 10,000 points for $150 cash back.

The catch? Only specific categories can earn extra cash back. The program only makes sense if you plan to make a donation to one of the approved charities. Or, if you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder, gas or grocery purchases through the end of September will also get you more cash back. 

Here's the breakdown by card.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pay Yourself Back Bonus Categories
Credit Card NameTotal Cash Back Per PointEligible Categories
Chase Sapphire Reserve®1.25 cents per pointGas, Groceries and the Sapphire Reserve annual fee through 9/3/2023
Row 2 - Cell 0 1.50 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Sapphire Preferred®1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Ink Business Cash®1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Ink Business Preferred®1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Ink Business Unlimited®1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Freedom Flex℠1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Chase Freedom Unlimited1.25 cents per pointSelect charities through 12/31/2023
Other Ultimate Rewards cardsVarying ratesContact Chase for details

How does Pay Yourself Back work?

To redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for Pay Yourself Back cash, log into your Chase rewards accounts and follow the prompts.

  • After logging in, go to the "Ultimate Rewards" page linked to your account.
  • From the menu bar on the left side of the page, choose "Pay Yourself Back."
  • Choose between one and 12 recent eligible purchases listed.
  • The system will tell you how many days you have left to redeem points toward each transaction. After 90 days, you will no longer be able to use points for that purchase.
  • Choose how many of your available Ultimate Rewards points you want to apply to each purchase. Finalize the request to redeem your points for a statement credit. 

Which charities are eligible?

You get 1.25 cents back per point as a statement credit (or 1.5 cents back with a Chase Sapphire Reserve card) when you donate to the following charities using your eligible credit card. Note that donations made to local or state chapters may not qualify, so be sure to donate to the national office.

When does Pay Yourself Back expire?

The added flexibility of Pay Yourself Back has been popular, and the company extends the program from time-to-time. This latest version of the program expires at the end of September 2023 for Chase Sapphire Reserve gas and grocery purchases, or for payment toward the annual fee. For donations on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you have until the end of 2023.

For the Chase Sapphire Preferred and other cards, the program expires after December 31, 2023.


As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view of the best deals and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities. 

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Ellen Kennedy
Personal Finance Editor,

Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America.