It’s no secret: I love makeup. I’m always trying new products and looks and everything else. I have two favorite stores, and Ulta is one of them (JoAnn Fabrics is the other, in case you’re wondering).
One of the things I love about Ulta is their rewards program, known as Ultamate Rewards. The company changed their program at the beginning of 2014, and I have loved the changes! It allows so much more flexibility with what you can do with their program and their rewards points. And believe me, I’ve taken full advantage!
At my highest point this year, I had 4500 reward points, which equals close to $230 (not exactly, but roughly that) in free products, which is A LOT of free stuff! You can spend $230 at Ulta without blinking an eye, but you can also get some pretty great items for that amount, too! So all in all I’ve been very pleased with the new rewards program.
I get that 4500 points is A LOT. But I didn’t earn those points one at at time—I earned them by spending my money smarter, and I want to share with you how you can make the most of the Ultamate Rewards program as well!
First, let’s learn the basics about Ulta’s rewards program. If you’re not a member, you should be. Becoming a member is completely free, and the perks can be huge! Once you sign up, you’ll get a little membership card, your Ultamate rewards card. For every dollar that you spend at Ulta or their website, ulta.com, you get one point. This includes salon services in their store. Simple, right?
Once you’ve earned 100 points, you can start redeeming your points for money off your purchases, or you can save your points (like me).
One thing to note: your points can expire! Your points are good for up to one year after they were earned (according to Ulta’s website, points will expire at the end of the quarter one year after they were earned). There is an exception to this rule: let’s talk about becoming a Platinum member.
If you spend $400 in a calendar year, you reach Platinum status. Once you are Platinum, your points are accrued a little differently. For every dollar you spend, you earn 1.25 points. Pretty sweet, right? The other good thing about Platinum points? They never expire. And if you’re a saver (or maybe hoarder is a better term in this case), this is an awesome thing!
Now, let’s talk about getting more bang for your buck at Ulta (or in other words, more points for your dollar). The first and foremost thing you need to do (after actually signing up) is make sure you are signed up to receive Ulta’s e-mails and make sure that Ulta has your birthday in their system. You can take care of all this on their website. Once you’ve ensured that you are on the e-mail list and your birthday is listed, here’s what you need to know:
- You get 2x reward points in your birthday month. Lots of ladies I know will treat themselves to something at Ulta for their birthday, and if you are signed up for the Ultamate rewards program, you can earn twice as many points for the entire month! This always works out well for me because a lot of time I’ll just use some of my birthday gift money at Ulta and earn 2x the points on what I spend! In addition, you get a free gift for your birthday, so making sure your birthday is in the system is definitely worth it!
- Ulta periodically sends e-mail promotions for bonus points on everything you purchase. You need to check your Ulta e-mails to make sure you don’t miss these promotions! Generally the promotions are for 2x points on all your purchases, or 3x points if you’re a platinum member. If you do see an e-mail, be sure to click on the promotion link and activate your offer. These promotions happen on a pretty regular basis, so there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of them!
- Sometimes bonus points are offered on certain products available on-line or in-store. For instance, when the new bareSkin by BareMinerals foundation came out, Ulta offered 5x points for purchase of the bareSkin foundation and the brush! These promotions are usually mentioned in your Ulta e-mails and sometimes their mailers as well. You just need to pay attention so you can make sure to take advantage when these promotions are available!
- Platinum members get special offers. Usually when Ulta sends out a 2x points promotional offer, Platinum members receive 3x points by activating the same offer. In addition, Platinum members get other special offers. Last month I got an e-mail offer available to Platinum members only: 10x reward points on all items purchased on-line. You better believe I took advantage of that!
So now that you’ve gotten the skinny on how the points and some of the promotions work, are you ready for my big secret?
Spend when you’re getting something extra out of it.
It sounds simplistic, but a lot of people don’t take enough advantage of Ulta’s offers! I don’t spend money at Ulta unless there is a bonus points offer or some sort of coupon involved. It was funny, because when I got that 10x bonus points offer, I had been waiting and waiting for a good offer to come along, and there were several beauty products I desperately needed. I’d been using my husband’s crappy hair gel for a couple weeks because I figured it was close to time for another promotion and boy, was I glad I waited! I stocked up on hair products, makeup I was out of, bought some gifts for a few people, and yes, a few splurges too. I earned TONS of points on stuff I (mostly) needed to purchase anyway, and that meant more free stuff.
And what do I do when there isn’t a promotion, and I need something? Use my points. Same thing for if there’s a new beauty product I want to try right away. Ulta is going to have the Vice 3 in their stores soon, and you’d better believe I’ll be using my points for that. And I’ll get it for free.
And that’s basically it! Spend your money during your birthday month and watch for those e-mail promotions. When the promotions come out, stock up on items you know you’re going to need/use anyway. And then watch as your points accrue quickly! I just bought this Tarte Exposed 4 Piece Color Collection with my points, getting it for absolutely nothing! If you know me at all, you know I am absolutely obsessed with this particular Tarte blush, and I was thrilled to be able to get this collection with my points. (This collection, by the way, is an incredible deal and you should definitely consider it!)
If you time your purchases well, your money will definitely work harder for you and don’t we all want that?
And just FYI, this post is totally my own opinion. I was not solicited by Ulta to write this post, nor was I compensated in any way for it! This is not a definitive guide; for complete information, please consult Ulta’s website.
Have a great Monday everyone!