By Maddy Berry
If you’re anything like me, you love a good rewards program (especially at beauty stores.) But what makes a “good rewards program?” The two top beauty stores, Sephora and Ulta, both use rewards programs. But which is better?
Sephora has three tiers of rewards programs. Considering the top two have a yearly minimum spending budget, I am going to focus on their most basic program: The Insider Program. You do not need to spend a minimum amount to open up an Insider Program account (yay!)
What this program does offer is a point system: one point for every dollar spent. You also receive a gift during your birthday month, which is usually a facial moisturizer sample or lip gloss (this year they gave me a sample of the GlamGlow mud mask!) Insiders also receive seasonal offers before other customers as well as an option to purchase two-day shipping for the one time price of 15$ per year.
As for Ulta, they also offer three tiers of rewards programs for members. “Ultamate Member,” their lowest tier, does not require a yearly minimum budget. Just like Sephora, they also offer one point per every dollar spent as well as a birthday gift. However, they do differ from Sephora in the way that they offer two times the points on all purchases during your birthday month.
Now you may be thinking, “the only thing that sets them apart from each other is the birthday month points.” However, there is one thing that isn’t quite mentioned on their websites but is important: expiration. Sephora Insider points expire if you have not used your membership in 18 months. For Ulta, however, your points will expire one year after receiving them. So, if you’re an Ultamate Member, get to shopping and use those points quick! They don’t last forever, unlike Sephora’s which will continue as long as you’re an active customer and member.
If you’re still unsure of which beauty store you should pledge your loyalty to, think about what type of products interest you most. Ulta is known for its large selection of hair products ranging from curlers to masks to dye, although they also carry makeup. Sephora, on the other hand, is great when looking for high quality makeup and brushes. They also sell several lines of makeup which are exclusive to Sephora alone, such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty.
As for me, I shop at Ulta and Sephora and hold reward accounts with both. I have more points on my Sephora membership but only because I am much more into skincare and makeup than hair.
Overall, both stores have great reward programs for their customers and hold a wide selection of products. If you’re looking to rack up more points, Ulta offers a better advantage during your birth month but Sephora also offers seasonal sales to their members. To each her own!