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Chase Aeroplan “Pay Yourself Back” Feature Claims First Victim

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Don’t Abuse Chase Aeroplan Card’s “Pay Yourself Back”

Chase offers a popular feature called “Pay Yourself Back” on several credit cards. This is a way to get more value when you use points to cover select purchases made with an eligible card.

Pay Yourself Back was added to the Chase Aeroplan credit card earlier this year. Aeroplan points can be redeemed for travel purchases with a value of 1.25 cents each. This option is now live and it is also unlimited through the end of the year. That means that you can redeem as many points as you want.

While this feature works with the points earned from the Chase Aeroplan card, it also opens the option to redeem transferred points from Chase Ultimate Rewards or even other programs that have Aeroplan as a partner. But only because it is possible, it doesn’t mean that you should do it.

Besides Chase Ultimate Rewards, Aeroplan is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Bilt Rewards.

Aeroplan terms say that the “intention of permitting conversions from a Conversion Program into Aeroplan Points is so that the resulting Aeroplan Points under any such conversion arrangement are thereafter used by the Member for redemptions within the Aeroplan Program and Aeroplan reserves the right, at any time, to impose limitations on the ability of a Member to engage in conversions from a Conversion Program into Aeroplan Points and on the use of such Aeroplan Points upon conversion.”

So it looks like Aeroplan wants you to use transferred point mainly for redemptions within the Aeroplan program. But, I don’t think Aeroplan has a way to differentiate the points you have in your account.

Chase representatives clarified that “Air Canada and Aeroplan’s intention is that the Pay Yourself Back feature be used for points earned with Chase, through the Chase Aeroplan Card or Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer.”

Chase Shutdown

So what might happen if you try to use the Pay Yourself Back feature be used for points earned with other cards, such as American Express for example? All your Chase accounts might get shut down.

There’s one data point on reddit where a Chase Aeroplan cardholder did just that, transferring a total of 5 million Membership Rewards points and redeeming them through Aeroplan card’s Pay Yourself Back feature.

Two weeks after that redemption, all personal and business Chase credit cards were closed. And it didn’t end there. He then received a letter from Chase saying that they will also close all checking, savings, and investment accounts within 30 days and asked him to transfer all the assets out before that deadline.


Chase added the Pay Yourself Back feature to the Aeroplan card, which created the option to redeem Membership Rewards, and other currencies for travel purchases at a value of 1,25 cents.

But Chase says that this is not what the feature is intended for, even though it is an option. You should only redeem points earned with the Chase Aeroplan card, or transferred from your Ultimate Rewards account.

If you plan to redeem other currencies, especially huge amounts in the millions, it could very likely lead to e complete Chase shutdown.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last 6+ years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. Why does folks act as if Chase is the game in town. They have Hyatt that’s worthwhile. They have Southwest and nobody cares. Unless you’re based in a United hub, they’re useless and stingy.

    Don’t need a IHG card because who really values a Holiday Inn Express? I don’t get it. You folks done drank the Chase juice and refuse to look back.

    Kudos to him for getting them for $62.5k…I would have done the same thing!

    BTW, if Hyatt joins devaluation train then Chase really becomes useless!

  2. He could’ve gotten $55K from a direct Schwab cashout, but had to go for the extra $7.5K from the 0.15 cpp arbitrage. Not an insignificant chunk of change, but also in the grand scheme of 5M points that’s a drop in the bucket.

  3. if there wasn’t any fine print that specifically disallowed this, then Chase has no right to shut down this man’s accounts. There was a new feature. He used it. End of story.
    If he has had any financial disadvantages through this whatsoever, he should sue Chase and will almost certainly win something.

  4. Some may call it crazy…and for their situation I’m sure it is. But it’s only Chase and given the opportunity, I would really consider taking a $62.5k payment to walk away from them. The only good thing they have going for them these days is Hyatt anyway.

  5. Chase reaffirmed its anti-abuse policy with the introduction of this feature. Blogs and comments offered warning. This guy could have redeemed his Amex points at 1.1 cpp via Schwab. But, no, he had to go for an extra 0.15 cpp. Aside from being an idiot, he hosed everyone else in the hobby who might have used the technique in moderation. What a jerk. I hope Chase claws back the PYB and he loses his 6 million points. There ought to be a “do not charge” list that the card issuers share to ban jerks like this.

  6. When this was announced, I thought it was a trap of some sort. I think this proves the point. Why? Because there are folks that are gonna push things WAY too far. Pigs and hogs, etc.

    I am not surprised at all that this happened. Someone got a fat payout, but at what cost?


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