New Way to Book Disney Vacations with Chase Ultimate Rewards

As COVID-19 impacts global travel, banks are changing the ways you can redeem your travel rewards. They are making things more flexible so that you can use the points you’ve earned during a time when you’re less likely to travel. One of these new changes makes it easier for you to book a Disney vacation with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase: “Pay Yourself Back”

The new “Pay Yourself Back” program, which is set to run from now until September 30th, allows you to redeem your points for purchases you’ve made in the last 90 days in select categories.

Currently, the categories for pay yourself back are: restaurant and grocery stores (including takeout & eligible delivery services), and home improvement stores. Redeem for purchases in these categories made with your Chase card with Ultimate Rewards. After each purchase posts, you have 90 days to pay yourself back.

Redemption Categories
  • Restaurants (including takeout & delivery)
  • Grocery Stores
  • Home Improvement Stores

A Bonus On Redeeming Your Points

You’ve always been able to cash out Ultimate Rewards at one cent each. Now, since travel is limited, Chase is giving you the same redemption value you’d get if you were to book travel through them with your Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve. With these cards, you get a 25% and 50% bonus respectively. So, now you’re able to cash out your points, getting a value of 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point.

This is especially good news Disney vacationers because Chase has not allowed people to book Disney vacations with their points through the travel portal for quite a while. While you could book travel, you couldn’t directly book Disney travel. Your best options have been transferring them to Southwest Airlines (getting about 1.5 cents each) or Hyatt (getting closer to 2.0 cents each). But, if you wanted to stay at a Disney resort, buy tickets, or book a vacation package, your options with Ultimate Rewards were limited. With this new program, you can easily turn your Ultimate Rewards into cash at a good rate and book directly with Disney.

And, if you want to go a step further, you could use the cash you get to purchase discounted Disney gift cards and save even more.

  1. Turn your Ultimate Rewards into cash and get a bonus
  2. Optional: Use the cash to purchase discounted Disney gift cards
  3. Book your trip directly with Disney
We cashed out Ultimate Rewards for eligible purchases today to use on our next trip

Note: You’re getting a statement credit on your credit card not cash specifically. We had a zero balance on our card because we pay ours every week or so. This means we’ll actually have a negative balance on our card and not really get access to that money until we have new purchases go against it.

Bonus On Earning Too

The Sapphire Preferred and Reserve earn bonus points on restaurant purchases already. You’re getting 2 points and 3 points per dollar respectively. Also, between now and June 30th Chase is running a special bonus at grocery stores for both of these cards. You’ll get 3 points and 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 spent at grocery stores.

Sapphire PreferredSapphire Reserve
Restaurants2 points per dollar3 points per dollar
Grocery Stores3 points per dollar5 points per dollar
The grocery bonus is temporary (through June 30th) and capped at $1,500 spent per month

So, in both of these categories, you’ll earn more points on the purchase and then a bonus when you redeem the points as well. For example, spend $100 at the grocery store with your Chase Sapphire Reserve and you’ll ultimately get 7.5% back (5 points times 1.5 cents each on the redemption).

Chase Sapphire Preferred

For most people we would recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It only has a $95 annual fee versus the $550 fee of the Sapphire Reserve. And, it comes with a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth $750 using the method we’ve described, a great way to save for your future Disney vacation.

If you decide to apply, please consider using our referral link. You get the same great deal and we get some points for pointing you in the right direction. (Thanks!)