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Yes! Being able to save up points that I can then turn into money off my purchase has made me shop more at Ulta over Sephora. They also have a better customer service too. Everyone time I have had a complaint they have been more than happy to rectify or remedy the situation. I’ve reached out to them to express I was unhappy with my birthday gift, they sent a $20 ecard. I received a palette that arrived shattered. I emailed them and gave the order number and they resent the palette that day whereas other brands/companies it’s a long drawn out process and a bit of a pain.

Sephora program just pails in comparison and it’s almost a complete waste of time. If not for certain brands that are exclusive to them, I wouldn’t shop with them. Their reward system sucks. The 100 to 250 point point perks are always the same useless stuff. The rest always sells out. No point in racking up points bc you can never get the stuff worth the larger point set. Half the time they forget the samples you pick or replace them with sh$tty Sephora brand stuff…LAME. I usually like their birthday gift and that you can pick from 2 options but it hardly keeps me shopping there. Heck, the birthday gift at MAC is a FULL SIZE product so who care about a deluxe sample from Sephora. I’m finding more and more reason to shop elsewhere over Sephora. Better deals. Better rewards. Better experience overall!

Sephora now has it where if you redeem 500 points, you get $10 off your purchase. OK cool but at Ulta 500 points gets you $17.50 off your purchase. Come on Sephora!

Everything else being equal, it will tip the scales. But a rewards program is not my main determiner. I shop a lot online, so availability, price, and speed of shipping factor in big, also. And how well my items are packed for shipping.

It’s a significant factor, but not the only one. I want the sweet spot of a good rewards program, a wide variety of items for me to use my rewards on, and good customer service. I shop a fair amount at Nordstrom because they hit that spot. I like Ulta’s rewards program, but they don’t have the best line of products for me. Likewise, Sephora has a better range of products for me, but as amply described by others, their rewards program is at best meh. I couldn’t use my points for $10 off in addition to the recent 15% off coupon I had, which was just another example of how I can’t use my points.

Totally! I’ve shifted most of my purchasing from Sephora to Ulta because of Ulta’s rewards program. If Ulta doesn’t have it and Sephora does, I’ll buy from Sephora before a department store since I can usually wait for one of Sephora’s 2x year sales, and I do still get some rewards there. That being said, if a brand’s own website or a department store offers a better discount, I’d purchase from them before Ulta and Sephora. But for most of my every day purchases, I turn to Ulta when possible.

Yes, but I am trying to kick the habit, because I know I will find better or more interesting products in places that don’t offer rewards (or where I will never buy enough to qualify for anything). The Sephora rewards program is not that useful for me because the rewards so often come from companies I don’t want to support. The Ulta program is better but there actually is not that much at Ulta that I want to buy. I keep trying to remember to buy what I can from Nordstrom because the rewards can be used on anything. I used my last Nordstrom Note for underwear.

Yes, absolutely. Which is why I try to get most of my beauty purchases from Ulta or Sephora, as long as they have what I need or am seeking. Ulta’s points reward is far more generous overall, but I also love the $100 gift card that I can save points for through Sephora, so both offer something I find desirable as a reward. Nordstrom has a very good program, too.

Yep. I always check to see if Ulta carries an item first, Sephora second, and then best price after that. It’s rare I shop from a brand’s own website unless they’re having a mega sale – like Melt often does.

Yes, absolutely. I very very rarely buy anything at full price, partly to assuage my guilt at buying things I don’t really need (I have a 2 lifetime supply of everything I’d conceivably use, and makeup isn’t exactly a life-or-death necessity to begin with). So shopping at retailers who provide discounts/perks is one form of saving.

Yes. I used to shop online at Ulta before they stopped shipping to Canada (boo). I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival here in 2021! We have a decent selection of affordable to high end at our major drug store retailer and the point system is phenomenal so I will shop there over Sephora as long as I can get what I’m looking for. There are a few of my favorites that are not available there so I s hope at Sephora but given their abysmal sales and service I might start purchasing these items from the manufacturer direct. There are so many products we don’t have access to here, a lot do not ship to Canada even if they are international and ship to the U.S. It’s sad really. Once the borders open up I will be heading over for a shopping weekend again to get what I desire.

I did not know Ulta stopped shipping to Canada, I haven’t ordered from them for a long time. I always shop there when I travel to the US but that’s not possible right now. I also didn’t know that they are coming to Canada YAY! That should give Sephora a run for their money.

More or less… When I purchase product X, I am purchasing product X for it’s qualities, not X because product Y was more expensive or X was not on a deal.
Given so, I won’t refuse a deal or sale, and when I can I use cash back site. For me it’s more of structuring purchases around sales. So deals, rewards and cash back influence when I purchase products, not what products I buy.
Like… if Paula’s Choice products would never go on sale, I would still buy them. Do I ever pay full price? No, there’s regularly 15% or 20% off deals I take advantage of to restock. Add a 10% cash back that day and that’s it! I keep track of my products so I know what I will finish in the next 1-2 months.
Will I make 100 different website accounts to always get a good deal? No, that’s why years ago I decided a Sephora account is enough, I don’t need an additional Ulta account, even if the deals are better sometimes.

Yes but then I go back in and limit or disable notifications because I don’t want to be alerted or bothered unless there is a sale. I don’t like all of those intrusive notifications or emails.

I remember when there was the Plenti program with Macy’s – I got a few of my Chanel and Tom Ford quads free because of that, but of course they discontinued it, probably way too advantageous for the customer.

Nordstrom and Ulta seem to be the best. Sephora still continues to troll their customer base by offering freebies from brands no one wants or selling out in 32 minutes from brands they do. And not being able to combine a points for $10 off of a sale item . . .why bother?

I absolutely will choose a retailer with a special or discount for something I like.
Exceptions of course, for stores that don’t carry products I like or have shipping fees so high that it negates the bonus.

I like to receive points for my loyalty. We only have Sephora in Canada so we are handicapped that way and I think it makes me a little resentful sometimes when we get piddly little rewards doled out stingily (is that a word?). I always have a running list saved for my trips to the US. I would really like to be able to travel there some time SOON!

Sometimes it does – if there is an option between purchasing a product (for the same price) at a retailer where I have a loyalty card and one that I don’t have a card – then I will purchase from the former retailer.
Sephora and Mecca Maxima (the two more upmarket retailers here) have loyalty cards but I don’t purchase from them often because they are so, so expensive.
Priceline, our more budget beauty orientated retailer, I do have a loyalty card and use it often to purchase skincare products and DS kind of beauty items. Their skincare range is quite extensive and they often have fabulous sales.
I also have a loyalty card with Myer (one of our biggest retailers – like a Macy’s for you) and I often purchase clothes and varying items there. Their loyalty program is really good and I am often receiving gift cards to use. I tend not to buy beauty items there because they just have the more expensive, but not as good, HE brands.

This is going to sound relatively insane compared to what others have said, but no. Not at all. I still find myself shopping at Sephora before other retailers out of habit. I don’t pay much mind to points programs because I already have too much on my mind and Sephora’s always been my favorite because as a young teen, I thought it to be glamorous and I guess I still do (even if their rewards program is no one’s favorite).

I can’t tell you what level I am anywhere or how many points I have.

Shoppers drug Mart in Canada has an excellent cash for products programme. I currently have 220 and it wasn’t even that difficult to get there. They carry more and more mid to high end and luxury all the time. Called Optimum

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