Ulta Sephora Rewards

Rewards Programs: Sephora vs. Ulta

     Sephora and Ulta are both very popular stores for those who are passionate about makeup and beauty products.  When trying to decide which store to go to for your beauty needs, it’s important to understand what you will be getting from each!  Both Sephora and Ulta are great stores and I shop at both, but if you want to get the most out of a store such as these you will want to utilize their free rewards program and spend the majority of your money at that store.  I spent some time researching the rewards programs and other benefits at Sephora vs. Ulta for you so you can easily compare which one is right for you!


photo credit: MikeKalasnik | Ulta – Jacksonville Mall (license)

1. Ulta offers money off for points with the Ultamate Rewards program

Rather than receiving products for spending, you are earning money off of a future purchase of your choosing.  This offers more flexibility in what your getting, rather than having certain products that you can receive.

2. Ulta gives 1 point for every $1 spent with Ultamate Rewards

You will earn 1 point for each dollar spent at Ulta.  Once you reach 100 points, you can utilize those points for money off your purchase.  Earn points fast by leaning about special bonus-point offers.

Here is the break down for redeeming points:

100 points- $3.00 off

250 points- $8.00 off

500 points- $17.50 off

750 points- $30.00 off

1000 points- $50.00 off

2000 points- $125.00 off

3. Ulta can be tough to get samples

Every time I have asked for a sample while at Ulta, I have been told no.  This may not be the case everywhere.  There may be Ulta stores that do give samples, so I would recommend asking!  Personally, I like to try a sample before I buy a high end item.

4. Ulta returns

The one thing that makes me feel better about purchasing a high end item at Ulta is knowing that if I don’t like it, I can return it without any questions being asked.  Just be sure to keep your receipt and you can return the product within 60 days of purchase.

5. Ulta offers coupons

Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good coupon.  They always have a coupon for things like $3.50 off a $15 purchase or 20% off an item.  While these coupons do not apply to all brands in Ulta, they are really great coupons that can also be used on top of their in store sales!

6. Birthday points

You will receive 2X Bonus Points during your birthday month.  If you’re signed up for Ulta emails, you will also receive a coupon for a free present for your birthday!


photo credit: bargainmoose Sephora Store Canada (license)

1. Sephora offers free products for points with the Beauty Insider rewards program

At first, I thought I would rather the money off of my purchase, but after doing some digging, some of the free products you get for your points with Sephora end up being more expensive than the money you get off through Ulta!  For example, they are currently (rewards change frequently) offering a 0.031oz Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon when you earn 100 points.  When using the price of the full size (0.05oz for $24), you are getting a free product that would cost $14.88 based on cost per oz.  You’re getting more bang for your buck with this rewards system, but you have limited choices for what your getting.

2. Sephora gives 1 point for every $1 spent with Beauty Insider

You will earn 1 point for each dollar spent at Sephora.  Once you reach 100 points, you can utilize those points for free products.  Sephora switches out what products you can receive at the different point levels.  These products all vary in size and value.  The list can easily be found on their website.

3. Sephora will give you samples

This is one of my personal favorite aspects of Sephora.  If you want to try a sample of something before you commit to purchasing it, they are very willing to fill up a little plastic container for you!  This is how I recently chose a primer.  I have also tried out foundations this way!  While the sample containers look small, the primer they gave me to sample lasted me two weeks, using it every day!  I got a good look at how the product would work for me!

4. Sephora returns

In the same way that returns are easy with Ulta, returns are easy at Sephora as well.  Just bring the product back within 60 days, with the receipt and you’re good to go!  I’ve never had issues returning products I didn’t like back to the store.

5. Sephora offers specials

While Sephora doesn’t have coupons the same way Ulta does, they offer specials such as a free sample with a certain type of purchase.  Most of these are online only options.  They can be viewed on the website under Beauty Deals.

6. Sephora gives a free birthday gift

Sephora gives you a free birthday gift to Beauty Insider members at some point during your birthday month.  All you have to do is stop in to the store and pick up your gift!


     After comparing Ulta and Sephora, it really comes down to your personal preference.  Both rewards programs offer the same point per dollar, but you’re either getting money off a future purchase or a free item.  They both offer a fun birthday treat through their rewards programs.  Returns for items you don’t love are easy at both locations.  You are able to get samples at Sephora before purchasing an item but Ulta offers great coupons all the time!  There are benefits to both stores that you can consider!

     I personally love both stores and frequently shop at both!  I have found ways to utilize both of their positive aspects!  I buy a large majority of my drugstore makeup at Ulta as that is something Sephora doesn’t carry.  This allows me to enjoy Ulta’s sales, coupons, and their rewards program!  I typically buy my high end products from Sephora, trying samples out before I make any big purchases.  I am able to enjoy their rewards program as well!  I get a fun birthday gift from both stores!  I’m always keeping my eyes on the sales at Ulta and the specials that Sephora has to offer.  There are definitely benefits to being a Sephora customer and an Ulta customer, so why not enjoy both?  The key is knowing how you shop and what benefits are most important to you!

     Do you prefer Sephora or Ulta?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this comparison in the comments below!

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