Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


What beauty retailers have the best reward/points programs? Share your favorites!

Temptalia's AnswerI think Ebates/Mr. Rebates kind of sites are great, because it’s cash back, period, and as far as a particular beauty retailer goes, I like Nordstrom as you always get samples (if you so desire), but you get gift certificates towards Nordstrom as you accumulate points (though it is credit card based).

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40 thoughts on “What beauty retailers have the best reward/points programs?

  1. Sally Beauty Supply has a great program.

    Their Beauty Club Card gets you 5 – 30% off of every purchase plus 15% off one whole purchase the following month whenever you spend $25 ($35 in Canada) or more a month. They have exclusive sales and stuff for them and the card is basically free. You pay $5 for it but then you get a $5 off coupon for signing up so once you use that it’s free.

    And if you have licensing at all, you can get a Pro card and get even better discounts and that one’s totally free, no sign up fees.

  2. screamer77

    I like Nordstrom, but not Sephora. In the U.S. Sephora gives you points that go towards samples, which I’m never interested in, while in Europe those points translate into discounts. I prefer the second system much better.

    • Avatar of Jen Jen

      Ulta has something like that here! You can spend your “points” toward products or salon services, and it’s just like cash – no restrictions.

  3. Not much in dear old Australia!! We have no Sephora with it’s VIP card. The best we have is the Myer One card from Myers (HE brands such as Chanel etc) , I find I get a lot of vouchers from focusing my spending there. Priceline (drugstore brands) I spend a lot at but I find I only get $4(!!!wow!!!) every quarter to contribute to my addiction. David Jones (more HE) is pretty pathetic only offering a credit card that accumulates points (with EXTREMELY high interest…). MECCA (closest to Sephora) always asks for my details to link sales to me whenever I buy things but alas, there aren’t rewards. All I get is a little brochure in the mail every now and again. =CCC Woe is beauty products in Australia!

  4. Kristen

    I personally love Ulta’s program. Between always having double and triple points and being able to either get rewards or money off is awesome. However, I know the system differs in different areas. But I love how it works here. I usually just accumulate a bunch of points then get money off when it is time for 20% off and save a lot of money (I saved over $90 last time).

    • Denise

      I didn’t used to like ULTA’s program, mostly because of the points expiring every year. But now I am a Platinum rewards member, so my points accrue faster and never expire!

  5. Joanna

    This is a Canada thing, but the Shopper’s Optimum Card from Shopper’s Drug Mart is one of the best rewards programs I’ve come across. It’s very easy to earn points (they just swipe the card for every purchase-10 points for every dollar spent) and points earned equals dollars off levels ($10, $20 etc) they frequently have “x20 the points” days or promotions where you get 1000 bonus points for buying a certain toothpaste, for instance. Their beauty department is pretty extensive, and they frequently have promotions with the card related directly to beauty. It’s a good way to be able to get something that might be otherwise out of your price range.

    • Liz

      Absolutely, nothing beats Shoppers Optimum. It’s nice because you can make everyday purchases like milk and toilet paper (often on sale for super cheap) count towards purchases on 20x points events, which makes the points accumulate super fast. You just have to be smart with your shopping and look for the promos. Also, they have bonus redemption days, when you points are worth even more. I spend less than $1000 a year at shoppers, but I redeem $200 worth at least twice a year, and you can bet that it always includes Dior. They have a great selection of HE brands at the nicer locations. Also, if you live close to Murale, there’s an even greater choice of brands, including YSL, Chanel, NARS, etc. I’m worried that Loblaws just bought SDM – I hope they don’t change the Optimum program. The PC points program pales in comparison.

  6. Samantha

    In Canada, we have Hudson’s Bay Company. I think they have the best point-reward system! It’s very easy to earn points and I find that they give you the most when converting the points into cash.

    • The Bay is great – buy a sofa and get a ton of points you can use on anything – but I always save mine for beauty splurges. I do find it much easier to run up points at Shoppers, but The Bay is a close second and they carry Dior, MAC and a wider range of Guerlain, so there’s more to choose from.

  7. I love sephora for the three free samples for every order, plus all the codes the give out for extras, their point program gives you a chance to try items you might not want to spend money on to try. Also if you go into the actual store, they are always willing to give you samples of any product to try out, all you have to do is ask for them! I’ve even gotten enough sample product to last me a month and a half!

  8. Where I’m from, as far as brands go, my favorite is shu uemura’s program. Make Up Store’s is great as well. There are a bunch of loyalty/rewards programs here that are, in theory, good but you usually have to use up the points by a certain date.

  9. Marsina

    I love the rewards at ULTA, no credit card required!

  10. Dimsixx

    Definitely CVS for drugstore and Ulta for everything else.

  11. kailey

    I work at Nordstrom in cosmetics. Its not just a credit card. They have a debit card available that links directly to your bank account! No credit needed :)

  12. Bibian

    I like Nordstroms. I have the Nordstrom debit card and still earn rewards points towards their $20 certificates!

  13. Quinctia

    Now that my Ulta switched over to the good version of their rewards system, I really dig it. I get like…four 20% anything coupons a year, plus my accumulated points can be used as a discount off of anything. I’ve used both in the same transaction. So, if the timing is right, you can get a good deal on something that normally wouldn’t be discounted ever.

    Honorable mention to Amex, I redeemed credit card points for a Neiman Marcus gift card I used on some luxury beauty stuffs.

  14. Jen

    It’s Ulta. Do I love free shipping from Sephora? Yes, I do. The only thing I love better is getting a haircut and going on a shopping spree with my rewards at Ulta. Sephora needs to step up their game and offer bigger sizes on the rewards, or make them good for Sephora products.

  15. Codename Duchess

    There is no better program than Ulta’s IMO! It’s free and it’s not like Sephora’s where your points can only be used on samples that you may have zero interest in. Your points translate into $$. I just cashed in a bunch last week and it paid for an entire mini haul. I think I bought a few eye liners and bottles of nail polish and only had to pay 21 cents for them. They only reason my purchases weren’t completely free is because points are awarded for even dollar amounts and they can’t give back change on them.

    Sally’s is also very nice. You have to pay for it, but the $5 membership fee pays for itself very quickly even if you only pop in to Sally’s a few times a year.

  16. Avatar of Kat Kat

    I’m not sure if this counts, but here in the UK, Boots have a Boots Advantage card. So for for every purchase you get points, you can then use these points in store for anything!
    I know Boots is technically a highstreet shop/drugstore, but the bigger ones sell high end products like Chanel, Estee Lauder etc. So I use these points to buy more expensive products I wouldn’t normally consider with my budget. I love Boots for this!

    • Candace

      I was hoping to see someone post about Boots! I love their reward system and think it’s one of the best pharmacy/drugstore ones around. I used to live in the UK, but now am back in the US, and wish more stores used such an easy-to-understand system!

  17. I live in Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart has to be the BEST! If you have a store near you that carries a wide selection of brands, it’s really good. Sadly, there isn’t one near me that carried Dior but many of the other brands – Benefit, Stila, Clinique, Smashbox, Origins, Shiseido and Guerlain (not the entire line and not the LE stuff) – is available and when you acquire enough points (easy to do and you can get them buying stuff like vitamins, groceries and ordinary drug store products), you can actually purchase these cosmetics for “free”, just paying the taxes.

  18. I work at Nordstrom and we also have a Debit card program. Basically the Nordstrom Debit card links to your regular checking account so when you use the Nordstrom card it just takes money out of your regular account AND you still get all the perks of the credit card.

  19. Catherine

    In the UK, Boots is by far the best: 4 points per £1 you spend, and they send you coupons for extra points and also do extra points promotions in store/online. The only downside is that even the larger Boots only have a limited number of high end brand counters which tend to be pretty small as well (or they only retail on the Boots website). If there is something I can get at Boots I always do, especially makeup that costs £££. House of Fraser is ok, I guess. 1 point per £1 for the standard recognition card, and a few more for the HoF credit card.

  20. xamyx

    Every once in a while, Sephora has decent perks, but those are rare (qit seems the better ones are online). Also, they differ among stores, and they don’t turn-over very often (one store had candles as a 500 point perk, and those were available for over 3 months, and I’m not sure if they’re still there!).

    ULTAs is nice for the fact you can turn points into discounts, but I don’t like the fact those discounts are limited. If I’m spendingh money on “prestige” brands in order to accumulate points, then I should be allowed to use those points on “prestige” discounts.

    I haven’t tried Nordstrom, but their system seems nice, from what I’ve heard. I also like the fact there is an option to get a debit card connected to one’s checking account, so a CC isn’t necessary. I am considering it, though, but Nordstrom isn’t a store I shop in alot due to locations.

    • Jessica

      You actually can use your points on prestige items. The only time that you are limited on what you can spend your points on is when it comes salon services which have specific redemption value (i.e. 1000pts equals free haircut and skin service). OR you can use those 1000 points for 50 dollars off of any products. When it comes to products, points can be used on ANYTHING! :)
      -An Ulta Employee

  21. Alice

    I recently discovered dermstore/blush/hairenvy.com and really like their samples and free gifts with any order. They also have frequent 20% off and other discounts via email.

  22. Geneva

    I like Back 2 Mac, I’ve gotten eye shadow and lip gloss that I really love by returning empty containers.

  23. Alicia

    I used to love Ulta’s rewards the most. That is, when I lived in Virginia. There they had the money off, free products, or discounts on salon stuff. Here in Oregon, it’s only free stuff according to how many points you rack up. But it’s only for stuff I usually don’t buy, so I hardly ever use them. Wiht my last rewards, however, I was determined to use them. I got a cheapie hair dryer and curling iron, plus a couple of hair brushes. So for me, the best is MAC’s Back to MAC where I can get a free lipstick, eyeshadow, or lipglass with six empties.

    By the way, I’m a long time reader, first time poster. Thanks Christine for your reviews. They’ve helped me empty my wallet ;)

    (Sorry that was long)

  24. I really like Sephora’s program, although I usually tend to save my points because lately I haven’t been loving any of their reward products. I also really love Back 2 Mac. I think my least favorite is Ulta because you have to choose a product from the list they offer and they are usually stuff I have no use for.

  25. eBates! because I shop a lot across the border and it doesn’t care what side of the border I’m on. Plus, who doesn’t like cash to spend as you see fit. I do not care for restrictive point programs redeemable for products I care not a whit to try.

  26. I see a couple of other Canadian ladies have already said this one, but Shoppers Drug Mart’s program kicks serious butt. The points add up extremely quickly and many stores carry Dior, Guerlain and other prestige brands alongside regular drug store brands and a huge range of skin care. AND the points are accepted at Murale stores, which are entirely beauty-oriented and carry even more brands (Nars, Chanel, Bobbi Brown, Stila…). I know I got several items from the Guerlain holiday collection last year with nothing but points.

  27. Katelynn

    I just became VIB Rouge at Sephora, and it’s made me way more loyal to them! They recently had VIB week where you got 4x points, and then had a great goodie bag as a GWP. Plus, with Rouge free shipping, I can order what I want whenever I want it and get 3 samples!

  28. Jen

    Smashbox offers free continental US shipping on everything, plus samples, plus free lip glosses and stuff like that if you have a free account and buy between 9 and 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, you accumulate points toward gift certificates – so while it’s Smashbox only, obviously, it’s a great deal.

    I like Ulta’s point system because it turns into money you can spent at Ulta, not freebies that may or may not be what you want.

  29. mkdallas

    I get a lot of use out of Ulta’s reward program and I think they strive to offer a variety of rewards they think customers will actually use. One of my favorite ones is a full-sized bottle of Hempz Body Lotion, which retails there for $24.00. I also like Sephora’s birthday gift and on rare occasions, their points gifts can be really good, although it’s only about once annually that they really hit a home run with them.

  30. shelley

    Sephora has made so many crazy changes to the whole points program that I don’t even bother with them anymore. For all the money I spent there year after year I expect FULL size goodies to try out not itty bitty samples, especially when it comes to skincare. Now ULTA…totally different situation. I amassed so much in points that I was able to choose one full size product from a list that was listed in my point range. This happens every three months and without fail I’m picking out something I never tried before and end up loving. With a great mix of drugstore and highend products it works perfectly for me. Everything else I go to Bergdorfs or Nordies for because I always receive a ton of great deluxe samples.

  31. Quennie

    Hi Christine! There was (IDK if there still is) a Nordstrom Card that is actually not a credit card, but still accumulates points just like the credit card. You can actually link it with a checking account, if you don’t want to use a credit card. It’s actually good, so you can limit yourself from spending too much and not get in to credit card debt, if it is not linked to a credit card.

  32. Shoppers drugmart in Canada. I got my guerlain 4 seasons bronzer which is 80 dollars here for free using all the points I have earned!

  33. Eve

    Well since I only have a sephora rewards acct by default that’s the one for me.