A combination of Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits makes it one of the best ways to pay for travel purchases.
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns up to 10 points per $1 on eligible travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Points can be redeemed for $0.015 each through the Pay Yourself Back program.
- With the bonus rewards and the value per point, that’s the equivalent of earning 15% back.
My favorite types of travel hacks are the ones that help me save money without being too difficult to pull off. If it requires several steps or some ultra-specific itinerary, it’s probably not for me.
I recently found one simple travel hack that I love while booking travel with my Chase credit card. Because of how much the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns on bookings through Chase, and how you can redeem those points, I realized I was basically getting 7.5% back on air travel. On hotels and car rentals, I get 15% back. Here’s how.
How to save on travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has always been known for its travel benefits, which include a $300 annual credit toward travel purchases. It also earns bonus rewards on travel, and the rates are especially high if you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
After you use the $300 annual travel credit, this card earns:
- 10 points per $1 on hotel and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 5 points per $1 on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
What makes this even better is how you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There are several options, including transferring them to airline and hotel partners or redeeming them for cash back at $0.01 per point. But in this case, we’re going to focus on a couple of other options Chase offers.
You can also use points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or redeem them toward previous purchases through the Pay Yourself Back program. With these redemptions, you get 50% more value compared to the standard $0.01-per-point rate with cash back. Or, to put it another way, you get $0.015 per point.
Pay Yourself Back is a benefit Chase added to its credit cards during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s designed to help cardholders use their rewards on everyday, non-travel purchases made within the last 90 days. Chase may update the categories from time to time, although it sometimes keeps the same categories from one quarter to the next.
Putting it all together
This might seem more complex than originally advertised, but I assure you, it isn’t. I’m going to run through a quick example to show how you can save money on travel this way.
Let’s say you’re booking a hotel and you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. You go on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site and make a hotel reservation that costs $1,000. At 10 points per $1, you’d earn 10,000 points on that reservation.
Through Pay Yourself Back, those rewards are worth $0.015 per point, meaning 10,000 points are worth $150. You could, for example, use those points to wipe out $150 in dining purchases you made with your Chase Sapphire Reserve® during the last 90 days. Just like that, you’ve gotten 15% back on your hotel purchase.
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