What retailer has the best rewards/loyalty program?


What retailer has the best rewards/loyalty program? Share!

I like Nordstrom’s notes program, because then I can use them to splurge on anything–not just beauty–so that works well for me. I also like Drugstore.com dollars!

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I live in the UK, so my favourite will be:
Debenhams (they give 3 points per every pound but often triple points, free delivery for members)
Ulalabeauty (5 points per £1 and 100 points as a welcome bonus, various discount codes or free delivery)

I like Ulta’s the best, because I can spend the points on anything once I’ve saved up some, and I get the “good” 20% coupons pretty frequently. I also like CVS’s quite a bit, they periodically send me 20-30% coupons, and you get $5 in extra bucks every time you hit $50 spent in beauty.

I live in Belgium now, so by default it has to be sephora.fr, but being Canadian I used a few from Shopper’s drugmark, the bay and Sephora. I like the gifts of sephora (especially the birthday gifts), but you can’t really choose you products. Shoppers gives you shopping points which is great but you have to spend a lot, before you have them.

Hm. None, really, that I can think of here! Farmers points maybe?

In beauty terms I’m mostly thinking of who does the best GWPs, since that’s usually when I might be persuaded to spend a bit. I have a crippling addiciton to nice makeup bags and full-size MLBB lipstick samples, you see. Unfortunately, although YSL is a favourite brand products-wise, their GWPs are terrible! You either have to buy like $200+ worth of stuff to get a free lip lacquer (rare), or the GWP is, like, a mirror.

Here in Canada, I’d have to say it’s Shopper’s Drug Mart. They often have “20X the points” events, where you get 20 times the regular amount of points if you spend 50 dollars or more on anything (vitamins, toilet paper, milk, magazines) so points really add up fast. And they have bonus points days where spending your points gets you more than usual – $100 worth of products for $80 worth of points, for example! A few of the things I recall getting for “free” are Guerlain Cruel Gardenia and Les Fumes quad, Clarins Les Forets eyeshadow quad, a wonderful set of Prada Eau d”Iris fragrance products (scent, body wash and body lotion) and Chloe’s See Eau Fraiche (a honkin’ huge bottle). FREE!!!!

I also love the Shoppers Optimum rewards. I’ve reached the top tier several times and I use it to splurge on makeup – last time redeemed my points for two Dior lipsticks, a Dior 5-shadow compact, Benefit Rockateur, a Dior mascara, and a few things I can’t remember.

Im from Seoul, Korea. Most beauty shops (skin care, make-up, body care) give you samples just for entering their store. They give you another bunch of samples when you purchase a product.
My favourite is Laniege. It’s normal for regular customers to walk out of the store with 2 bags. 1 bag stores your purchase while the other one is filled with samples and gifts. I have received masks and other skincare to last me a long time. I have also received a luggage bag, mirrors, makeup bags, umbrella and more.

Boots, in the UK. You get 4 points for every £1 you spend and then can spend that on anything in store. They do loads of points offers too, so you end up building up quite a lot without realising. I have about £20 on my card so I’m hoping to get an expensive lipstick soon!

The only one I really use is Sephora. Department stores have better day to day point offers, but I hate getting makeup at counters, so shop there very infrequently, and Sephora does their big store-wide discounts, so I keep going back

Nordstrom is the best! I wish they had makeup sales like Sephora but you can’t beat Nordstrom notes. That $20 off is heaven for any shopper lol

Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix in Canada! You get 10 points for every $1, there are tons of bonus points events all the time (20x the points when you spend over x amount) and at the highest level, you can redeem for $170 worth of merchandise in the store – makeup, skincare, household items, groceries, OTC medicine, etc! No other program (in Canada at least) will you get free stuff, and at that amount as well!

Christine, since you’re in the Bay Area, I wanted to let you know that if you go to Valley Fair, you can sign up for Nordstrom’s Beauty rewards program. It’s entirely different from the Notes (which is points you get for purchasing anything in general). The Beauty rewards program is exactly the same as Sephora’s program, where you get to pick up deluxe goodies once you’ve earned enough points.

It’s not available online, nor is it available everywhere. It’s a pilot program for Nordstorm, so only a handful of stores currently offer it right now, and you MUST sign up in store and purchase in store. You can then link your Nordstrom card (if you have one) and purchase online and also receive points. I don’t know how you’d receive points online if you’re not a card holder because I have a card, but you can always check customer service. 🙂

Thanks, Christina! I can’t shop in store (I live a ways away now), but if I’m ever in the area, I will definitely try to stop by so I can link it to my card for online 🙂

I am so sad that no one told me about this! Is it new? I used to be in Valley Fair weekly but have not been in months due to moving to Aptos from Santa Clara. I am bummed as would love to be part of this Program as I now am ALWAYS buying stuff online. It might be worth the stop at Valley Fair the next time I am a Sharks game (darn the bad luck I was there last night to watch the Sharks lose and had no clue of this awesome program!!) Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

Hi Janelle,

Yes, it’s pretty new. I found out just last week while Nordstrom was having their beauty trend event. The sales associate told me it’s been around for a year, but mostly in San Francisco’s store, and even then, it wasn’t available at all counters–just the ones with ipads. I was shocked when I found out, too, because I go to Valley Fair and Nordstrom all the time!

When you do go to Valley Fair again, be sure to clarify you’d like to sign up for the new BEAUTY rewards program that needs the ipad because a lot of the associates thought I was talking about notes. 🙂

@ Christina. Thanks! I am going to the Sephora VIB event tomorrow and am going to stop into Nordstrom and sign up. Cannot wait to get freebies.

I like birchbox as it is easy to rack up the points for money off. I was a little mad as I did not know the points expire and lost mine 🙁 I wish they would let me know that they were expiring (I had 215).

I too am a fan of the Nordstrom Notes as I use my card for work expenses (even though I have a work credit card I like to submit the reimbursement and get the notes I am lucky that my work is OK with this!) and all my online shopping so the Notes add up fast. If it is stuff I am going to have to be buying anyways I figure “why not get something back for it!”

I like CVS’s program the best because they give tons of coupons for stuff all the time. I like Ulta’s too but I don’t spend nearly enough money there to get more points, but they do have great coupons.

I agree, Drugstore/Beauty.com’s dollars program is very good.

While VIB Rouge has been a total disappointment, I think Sephora has the best samples and rewards. I like that their points don’t expire, and I can redeem them for extra samples or kits.

I like Nordstrom for Nordstrom notes and being able to get credit from Nordstrom Rack helps a lot. CVS is also really good I get 20% coupons often along with ExtraCare Bucks both of which I use for my Vichy purchases. Now that I’m VIB Rouge with Sephora I’m liking the extras I’m getting from them as well.

I would have to say Back 2 Mac but only at a standalone store. I like getting an eyeshadow, lipstick or gloss for empties. I’m not that excited about Sephora’s program, the majority of the time I don’t like their samples and I have racked up quite a bit of points. Ulta’s program was a bit nicer, there was a bigger selection based on how much you spent during the quarter. They’ve changed it and I haven’t tried to decipher it yet.

Since I don’t care for online shopping, I don’t have many to choose from… I don’t have a Nordstrom located conveniently enough to take advantage of their programs, Sephora carries very limited ranges of brands I prefer, and ULTA doesn’t carry some of the brands I buy at all… I do tend to take advantage of Walgreen’s & CVS programs, as I collect points/cash back from non-beauty items, and since everyone in my household is on the same card, I benefit from the rewards to use on makeup.

Here in England it’s got to be Boots – 4 points per pound and always loads of extra points offers. Dead easy to build them up and no need to reach a specific threshold before you can spend them.

Sephora usually because I live in Canada, but Im often in buffalo and get a lot out of the ulta program then

Ulta, hands down! I get my hair done there besides from buying stuff, and if I time it correctly I can get 3x points with it for being a Platinum member. I love the holidays because I have so many points I never have to shell out money for presents.

for me it’s Ulta & CVS. I love when Ulta throws out those coupons for 20% off anything including prestige products. At CVS the points add up fast and there are always extra coupons and beauty rewards I can use on anything in the store.

I would have to say Sephora is the best. Until March, Ulta in our area had a list of items you could choose to spend points onn but the items were seldom desirable. They have now changed to the rewards points the rest of the country has so we shall see. Walgreens has good discounts and reward points in general but I don’t buy many cosmetics there. I do buy body moisturizers and some facial moisturizers there.

I have to say Sephora’s. Despite the fact that the points are for dollars spent (1:1), I like the beauty rewards and sales. They are very clear on the rules for discounts and perks, which I appreciate immensely.
Maybe it’s the store I go to, but Ulta rewards are always messed up for me. I hate the 3.50 coupon I get every week because it has a laundry list of exclusions, and requires a $10 minimum on ONE item that isn’t a prestige brand. Also those free items you get every few months from your reward level, are never in stock. You also need a separate coupon to get those.
Drugstore.com messed up my first order with them, and since then I have been bitter.
To be honest, I wish there was a better system!

I have to agree with many here. Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Such a great points system. I am just waiting for the next redeem points event to get a new Shiseido face cream. Almost out of my current one. Love their system.

Birchbox!!! You get 10 points for each review you do on items you got in that month’s box and 100 points=$10 in the shop. In a few months you can get $10 free just from filling out super quick reviews! You don’t need to spend a dime! Plus, if you’re with them long enough they give you percentages off for the amount of boxes you’ve been subscribed for. Recently I got a 30% off coupon and I had $30 worth of points (just from filling out reviews!), I was able to get ~$75 worth of items for $25!

If this were a few months ago I would have said Sephora without a doubt, but I was banned recently so I’m taking my business elsewhere unless they plan on fixing the issue…Ulta’s new reward program has impressed me so far. I’ve read a lot of stories about Rouge members being banned and I think it’s absolutely disgusting-what kind of way is that to treat a customer who spends $1000+ with you in a year?

Now I have points I can’t use unless I want to trek to a store that I’m never around, online only items I can’t get, promotion codes I get emails for that I can’t take advantage of, one of the few Rouge perks (free shipping) that I earned for being a loyal customer, and the biggest thing that’s bothering me right now is the store credit I have only applied on my account online that will not be able to be used. I’m furious with Sephora for doing this to Rouge members, and for what? Shopping with them too often? How ridiculous is that…

As an employee of Sephora, let me explain what may have happened to you (it is also on the back of all the receipts we hand out & posted in the store): if you return an excessive amount of merchandise without receipts/proof of purchase, you can be put on a list that prevents employees from accepting returns from you. I’m not sure what the exact monetary amount is that causes that to happen, but it is a very high amount. Employees have no control over it; it’s all monitored electronically by a third-party company. This is common practice at many retailers.

If you were actually *physically* banned from Sephora, that is an entirely different issue. I have never seen anyone banned and the only people I’m aware of being banned are convicted shoplifters that have been arrested & prosecuted. I’m assuming this isn’t the case for you.

I am also not aware of any Rouge or VIB clients being “banned” from my store. The company really trains its employees to highly value our VIBs and Rouges; we realize how important you are and we are constantly reminded of that!

Nordstrom is great with their double and triple points events, and the Nordstrom notes you acquire come in handy toward future purchases!

Ulta would be my pick, your points turn into dollars so you can use it anytime & you always get 20% off coupons or many different offers. You have to spend soooo much at Sephora & then spend more to maintain your status.

Birchbox is brilliant – it’s so easy to accumulate points and to be honest it’s one of the main reasons I stay subscribed to the service. I have got a lot of free stuff from Birchbox points and also used points to get a discount on products I wouldn’t have spent my own money on (ie. beautyblender and Thebalm’s Nudetude palette are great examples of this)

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