Chase adds Pay Yourself Back bonus redemptions to Freedom cash back cards

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Some of the most attractive cash back credit cards on the market will soon have a more lucrative redemption option.

Starting July 2, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards will offer cardholders the option to use their Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to cover up to $250 of dining expenses via Chase’s Pay Yourself Back tool online and via the Chase app. (The Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom® Student cards will also feature the Pay Yourself Back tool.)

Better yet, these points will be worth 10% more when redeemed through Pay Yourself Back — an attractive bonus for points that are usually only worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back.

This is the first time these cards will make the Pay Yourself Back tool available to cardholders. This redemption option will be available through Sept. 30, 2021, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it were extended.

Read on for more info on the Pay Yourself Back feature and our take on this offer.

What is the Pay Yourself Back tool?

The Pay Yourself Back tool, introduced in May 2020, first allowed Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders to redeem their points to cover non-travel purchases at the same rate they typically earn on redemptions made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal.

For those cards, Pay Yourself Back redemption requests must be made within 90 days of the original purchase date. Chase says that statement credits post to your account within three business days of the initial request and to your statement within one to two billing cycles. There’s no guarantee the same rules will apply to the newly added cards, but they’re good guidelines.

The most notable aspect of Chase’s announcement is that both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards will offer bonus cash back redemption rates in some cases. Points now earned with these cards are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back. When the feature goes into effect on July 2, points redeemed for restaurant purchases via Pay Yourself Back will be worth 1.1 cents each up to the $250 redemption cap.

Is using the Pay Yourself Back tool worth it?

If you’re looking to get bonus value for some of your cash back redemptions, the value of the Pay Yourself Back tool is clear. With the 10% bonus rate on dining redemptions, you could save roughly 2,272 points (or $22.72 at the standard cash back value) when you redeem up to the $250 cap. That’s not a massive amount of money, but it’s still a nice bonus.

The downside to using Pay Yourself Back is it adds another layer to the process of using cash back cards, which tend to be easier to manage than travel credit cards with complicated redemption processes.

If you’re someone who uses a cash back credit card because you want a simple way to earn rewards on your everyday purchases, you might not like the idea of logging in to an account or app to assign points to particular purchases. In that case, that $22.72 of savings might not be worth the hassle.

Otherwise, though, this new feature provides intriguing value to these cards, particularly if Chase decides to extend the feature past its current Sept. 30 end date.


About the author: Eric Freeman is a writer and editor at Credit Karma, specializing in credit cards and credit scores and reports. He strives to make personal finance relatable for readers and to ground c… Read more.