Chase Updates Pay Yourself Back Program with Airbnb, Away Offers
Last year, in an effort to provide more value to their cardholders, Chase introduced its Pay Yourself Back program. With Pay Yourself Back, Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve customers could redeem points for everyday purchases at the same enhanced rate that those cards enjoy when making travel bookings. Now, the bank has unveiled the latest set of Pay Yourself Back categories that include two brand-specific options.
As of October 1st and currently lasting through March 31st, 2022, Chase Sapphire Reserve customers can get 50% more value from statement credit redemptions made toward Airbnb or Away (a travel luggage company) purchases while Sapphire Preferred customers will earn 25% more. Additionally, the option to Pay Yourself Back for dining purchases has been extended for Reserve customers but has now concluded for the Preferred card. Meanwhile, the “select charities” Pay Yourself Back offer was recently extended to last through the end of next year.
Launched in May of 2020, the Pay Yourself Back program featured “every day” spending categories including home improvement store and grocery store purchases in addition to dining. Specifically, these categories were chosen as many cardholders were unable or unwilling to travel for most of the year. As Chase’s Head of Ultimate Rewards and Loyalty Solutions Matt Massaua said at the time, “Now more than ever we know our cardmembers want options to get the most value from their rewards. We’re continuing to give our customers choices so they have the flexibility to use their points in the most meaningful ways for them.”
Incidentally, Chase’s move to install brand-specific offers is similar to what American Express has done in recent years. In fact, when Amex increased the annual fee of its flagship Platinum Card to $695 from $550 this summer, the card added benefits from Equinox, CLEAR, and more. Prior to that, the company also brought temporary perks to customers via special offers and credits from PayPal, Best Buy, Dell, and several others.
Turning back to Chase, it’s also worth noting that the bank recently revamped their signature Sapphire line-up with new benefits. The largest changes came to the Sapphire Preferred, which added a 5x rewards category for travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards along with 3x points on select streaming service purchases and 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Renewing Sapphire Preferred cardholders can also now enjoy a $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit triggered by stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards and a 10% Anniversary Point Bonus.
Ultimately, this update likely shows what the future of Pay Yourself Back will look like. While the program was a hit with customers and surely helped out during a challenging time, using it as a potential partnership platform does make it a win-win-win for Chase, participating brands, and cardholders. Of course, these particular selections also speak to the resumption of travel that’s occurred — whether customers are already traveling or preparing to by upgrading their luggage. In any case, it will be interesting to see what Pay Yourself Back categories pop up in the future as the once “limited time” offering looks to become permanent.