How Did We Choose The Best Store Credit Cards
Personal Finance Insider analyzed dozens of cards to determine which of the most popular store cards offer the best benefits. We exclusively chose cards that you can use for any purchase . That way you’ve got the opportunity to earn more rewards more often.
We also prioritized each card’s return rates over welcome bonuses. If you’re opening a store card, you’ll likely be using it for specific purchases long after the bonus has disappeared.
Credit Card Rewards Vs Beauty Insider
When you successfully sign up for the Sephora credit card program, you also automatically become a Sephora Beauty Insider member. That said, the rewards you earn through your credit card purchases dont count toward your Beauty Insider balance and vice versa. This distinction, though, is relatively meaningless, as you can use rewards from both programs on the same purchase. Every 500 Beauty Insider points you earn count for $10 in cash.
Sephora Visa Signature Benefits
The Sephora Visa Signature card offers all the benefits of the Sephora Visa card as well as exclusive access to the following Visa Signature benefits:
- Visa Concierge: Assists with entertainment tickets and travel planning
- Roadside dispatch: Provides pay-per-use, 24/7 roadside assistance
- Zero liability policy: Protects the cardholder from unauthorized purchases
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So Where Should You Go
Truthfully, it’s up to you. You can’t go wrong shopping at Sephora or Ulta. For many shoppers, it’s a matter of what they know. For example, I grew up going to a local and got a Beauty Insider card at that time. It’s still worth it for me to shop there as I’ve accumulated points over the years and it’s proved to be a brand I can really trust. If you grew up going to an Ulta instead, you’d probably say the same about that brand.
Another factor in choosing where to shop is looking at what you want to buy. If e.l.f. Cosmetics is your favorite brand, go to Ulta Sephora doesn’t stock the brand. If you love Charlotte Tilbury, you’ll want to go to Sephora, as Ulta doesn’t have it. Luckily, both Sephora and Ulta stock a number of popular beauty brands like Nars, Clinique, and Too Faced, among others so if that’s what you need, you’re set wherever you go.
Free Sephora Perks You Probably Didn’t Know Existed
- Take an IQ test so you can find out the exact shade in the products and brands Sephora carries.
- Sephora offers tons of free beauty classes. Classes include topics like age-defying skin care, no-makeup makeup, and winged eyeliner.
- The Sephora app provides access to events happening in stores, a virtual try-on feature, and exclusive information on previews and promotions.
We all know the feeling of walking into and being mesmerized by the thousands of products: hair, skin care, nails, makeup, fragranceit has everything. Even if youve never stepped into an actual store, perusing the sites both high- and low-end products leads to a never-ending beauty black hole.
But the cosmetics store can do more for you than make your eyes glaze over at the too-many product prospects. It offers features, from online quizzes to in-store beauty classes, that make finding products and learning how to use them a whole lot easier. If youve only been using Sephora for the products, its time to see what else you can get out of the company. Ahead are the seven features every beauty lover should not only know but fervently use at Sephora.
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Theres A Standalone Sephora Branch In Your Area
Of course, you can always use Sephoras webstore to make the purchases that earn you the most rewards. However, if your primary spot for buying Sephora products is a stand at another store, youll only earn 1% back on your purchases. As such, if you dont have a standalone Sephora branch in your area, youre not quite an ideal user.
More About Credit Cards
The Sephora Visa Credit Card is just one of many credit card options you can pursue. After all, its low non-Sephora rewards rate and use limitations might not feel super attractive to you. Or maybe you buy at Sephora somewhat often but just dont meet the ideal user criteria above. No matter what, you can always visit our credit cards page to explore other options.
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The Evolution Of The Industry
Initially launched in 2007, the free Beauty Insider program was designed to reward members for purchases with select product samples. At the time, Stanley relates, it was innovative and unique because it gave clients access to luxury beauty products and brands they normally wouldnt have or been aware of.
Widely successful, the program was extended in 2009 to include a higher tier, called VIB , for the most highly engaged members who spent more than $350 per year. VIB offered extra rewards for their higher level of engagement.
In 2013 a third tier was added for the highest of the high spenders at $1,000 or more per year. It gave first access to new products, limited editions and invitations to special events.
An exclusive Rewards Bazaar was added in 2016 as an exchange platform where members could redeem points for a wide range of curated products and sets.
The Best Store Credit Cards Of 2022
Store credit cards are as much a part of the shopping experience as a sales associate asking if you’re “looking for anything in particular.” They’re almost unavoidable during the checkout process. And while that 10% discount for opening the card on the spot can be tempting, it’s usually not worth the hassle due to high interest rates and limited rewards.
In general, the rewards you earn from these cards aren’t as valuable as the points and miles you can earn from travel credit cards. However, if you’re looking to build your credit or if you shop a lot at a particular retailer, a store credit card could make sense. The credit limits on store credit cards are usually low, so there’s not a high qualification threshold, and, they offer perks to loyal shoppers.
If you’ve been thinking about store credit cards, here are the ones on the scene that have proven to be truly rewarding.
We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
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Extra Padding On Bra Buys
The ability to effectively receive 12% off all bra purchases , thanks to triple points in this category, is enough to make even the most beautiful Victorias Secret Angel drool. Add free shipping in the contiguous 48 states for online orders that include at least one non-clearance bra to the mix, and youve got yourself a bra bargain bonanza.
The Platinum Card From American Express
If you value lounge access and want to earn more rewards on your spending, The Platinum Card® from American Express is worth a look.
At $695, the annual fee is considerably higher, but you’ll get a long list of credits, unlimited access to the roughly 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and 5x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel — a flexible rewards currency that you can transfer to the airline rewards program of your choice.
For more details, see our full review of The Platinum Card from American Express.
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Whats The Difference Between A Sephora Credit Card And A Sephora Visa Credit Card
There are two different credit cards available from Sephora: the Sephora Credit Card and the Sephora Visa Credit Card. Both cards allow you to purchase goods from Sephora while earning cash back and other goodies. There are some differences between the two cards, however.
The main difference between the Sephora Credit card and the Sephora Visa Credit Card is that the Visa card can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. There are also differences in the savings and bonuses you can earn as well.
The Sephora Credit Card and Visa Credit Card give you the following perks:
- 15% off your first card purchase at Sephora
- 4% cash back in stores or online at Sephora
- No annual fee
The Sephora Visa Credit Card also gives you the following benefits:
- 1% cash back on non-Sephora purchases
- $20 Sephora Credit Card reward for the first 500$ spent outside Sephora within 90 days
- Tap payment
- Lost card replacement
- Zero liability
The Sephora Credit Card allows customers to pay conveniently and earn cash back on their purchases from Sephora. There are also a number of other perks including 15% off your first purchase. There are two types of Sephora Credit Cards: The Sephora Credit Card and the Sephora Visa Credit Card.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to fire away in the comments section.
What Are Sephora Birthday Gifts
Each year Beauty Insider members are given a FREE birthday gift. You must be a Beauty Insider member to receive the gift.
You can pick up your free birthday gift at the start of your birthday month at any store .
Be sure to red the Sephora Birthday Gift Fine Print below:
*Beauty Insiders are eligible to redeem one birthday gift per year. 250 bonus points and the surprise online-only gifts are only available to VIB and Rouge members. In-store redemption: no purchase necessary. Redeem in Sephora or Sephora inside JCPenney stores during your birthday month by providing your Beauty Insider email address. Online redemption: a merchandise purchase is required. Redeem two weeks before or after your birthday and any time during your birthday month. Offer not valid on jcp.com. If you are having problems redeeming online, please contact customer service at Sephora.com/contact-us. Substitutions may occur. Valid while supplies last. This offer is subject to change, alteration, or termination by Sephora at its sole discretion at any time.
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Is The Sephora Credit Card Worth It
Jun 12, 2022·
If you buy things all the time from Sephora, then youre probably used to getting deals on various makeup and beauty items. Sephora has a variety of promotional programs and reward systems to incentivize shoppers to purchase makeup from them. From annual sales to Beauty Insider points, Sephora offers a number of ways to save money when buying beauty products.
Then theres the . There are two different kinds of proprietary cards that Sephora offers its customers. Each one provides a number of bonuses that can save you money when you use it. These include 15% off your first purchase, 4% cash back on purchases, and more.
Here’s What You’ll Get From The Ulta Credit Cards:
- Both cards get you 20% off your first purchase and 2 points / $1 spent at Ulta.
- Neither card has an annual fee.
- The Ulta Credit Card gives you 0.33 points / $1 spent elsewhere. It also has an initial bonus of 20% off your first purchase at Ulta Beauty, plus 500 points for spending $500 outside of Ulta Beauty in the first 90 days.
- You can apply for an Ulta cards in-store at checkout or online. There’s only one application, so Comenity Bank decides whether you get the Ulta Credit Card or the Ulta Store Card.
- It’s possible to get instantly approved in-store or online. If you’re approved in-store, you can use your account right away for a purchase. Customers approved online may also look up their account in-store before their card arrives. But you can’t make a purchase online before you get your card.
- Points expire at the end of the quarter one year after you earned them. For example, if you earned points in January 2022, they would expire on March 31, 2023.
- The points you earn in a month show up within five business days of your statement closing.
- You generally need good credit to get the Ulta Credit Card and fair credit to get the Ulta Store Card.
If you’re a frequent Ulta customer, getting an Ulta Store Card could definitely be a good idea. But the Ulta Credit Card isn’t so great for other purchases. So it’s best to use a different rewards card for non-Ulta spending.
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What Is The Difference Between The Sephora Credit Card And The Sephora Visa Credit Cards
You can use onlyat Sephora stores and online for your purchases. After approval, youll earn 4% in rewards for every $1 you spend at Sephora U.S stores .
You can use to purchase anywhere Visa is accepted. After approval, youll earn 4% on every $1 you spend in Sephora U.S stores and 1% in rewards for every other transaction with the Visa.
The has the same features as the Sephora Visa Credit Card but includes additional Visa Signature benefits such as Visa Concierge, Visa Signature travel, and Roadside Dispatch.
What To Watch Out For
- Two Sephora credit cards. One is a Sephora Visa Signature card, which you can use wherever Visa cards are accepted. The other is a store card you can only use at Sephora. Both cards use the same credit card application and approval is based on creditworthiness.
- Your rewards certificate expires 90 days after issuance.
- No intro APR period. The card doesnt have a 0% intro APR period on purchases or balance transfers.
- Foreign transaction fee. Using the Visa card abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost you a 3% fee of the amount.
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Perks Of The Sephora Credit Cards
Business Insider listed the Sephora cards as one of the best credit cards for brand loyalists. The list featured other popular brands such as Amazon and Kohls.
As well as the percentage rewards, one of the biggest perks is a one-off 15% discount at Sephora when you open a card. If you have a high priced item in mind, such as the Dyson hairdryer , you can save big. Paired with some of the luxury brands that Sephora carries, you can save on multiple high priced items.
Another benefit of the credit card is that you will also receive a $20 reward if you spend $500 outside of Sephora within 90 days of receiving the card.
Additional Perks During Your Travels
AAdvantage Executive cardholders can check their first bag for free. If you’re traveling in a group on the same domestic, round-trip flight, each traveler receives a free checked bag, as well . This perk could save you up to $540 per round trip and could quickly make up for the cost of the annual fee and then some.
Additional perks for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® include:
- Priority boarding, priority check-in and priority airport screening where available
- 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases on American Airlines flights
- Fee credit for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- No foreign transaction fees
- “Dedicated concierge,” or access to a staff of experts for help with travel, shopping, dining, household and entertainment needs
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Want To Save Even More
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Citi / Aadvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
If American Airlines is your preferred airline but you tend to travel in smaller groups and you don’t visit Admirals Club lounges often enough to justify the higher annual fee of the AAdvantage Executive, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®* could be a good option.
As the next tier down from the AAdvantage Executive, the Platinum Select credit card costs $99 per year and offers slightly better spending rewards. You’ll earn 2x miles for every $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations and eligible American Airlines purchases, a similar free checked-bag perk and a $125 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card.
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Up To 6% Back On Most Purchases
For the most part, you will earn 1 point for each $1 you charge to the Victoria’s Secret Credit Card, with no cap on the number of points that you can earn. Every 250 points you earn is worth $10 or $15 in store credit , mailed to you in the form of a gift card within three to six weeks. That means every $1 you spend earns you $0.04 to $0.06 in credit, or 4% or 6% back, respectively. That is a wonderful earning rate, even for a store card.