Best Ways to Save at Ulta
We are calling all beauty lovers who like to save, whether they shop at Ulta or prefer Sephora. We have some amazing tips and comparisons between those both stores that are definitely worth of your attention. Our focus is Ulta, but we will definitely mention Sephora just to show you the price difference and the benefits you can get from one or another.
What savings will I have at Ulta? What are the best frugal strategies and how to never miss a deal? These are the questions we will explore further:
1. Does it make sense to sign up for Ultamate Rewards when shopping at Ulta?
Our answer is definitely yes! The process online or in-store is extremely easy and free, but it will give you points each time you spend your hard-earned $. You will be awarded $3 per 100 points and will get a free birthday gift. Sephora also has similar program called Beauty Insider with different membership tiers and different point system.
2. Sign up for emails
This is essential if you want to be in the know and never miss sales and special deals. Even if you don’t like receiving marketing emails, let this one be an exception because the deals are amazing and you will likely get multiple coupons in every email.
3. Should you strive for platinum status?
Yes, you definitely should and as early in the year as you can. You have to spend $450 to become platinum and then enjoy extra perks, sales, 1.25 points per dollar versus 1, and many other perks. There is also a Diamond level, but it can be achieved after spending $1,200 per year, so we don’t recommend it. Sephora also has different tiers of loyalty, but we like Ulta better because of its simplicity.
4. Does Ulta offer bonus deals?
Bonus offers are times when members get 5x the amount of points for purchases. Those days are announced via marketing emails, so this is another reason to get them. Sephora also has “extra points” days and they are just as good, but given the more expensive prices overall, we’ll stay with Ulta.
5. Do salon services qualify for extra points specials?
Ulta has virtually the entire salon under one roof, where you can get your nails, hair, brows, and make-up done and a few times per year you can get extra points for that, 5 times extra. Sephora doesn’t offer all those services, but you can get a makeover there.
6. Should you save your points?
We say yes, because 2,000 points will give you $125 off and that’s a serious amount that you can definitely use for something big. Statistics show that people don’t often use the smaller amounts of savings and lose that free money.
7. Can we use manufacturer coupons?
Ulta is beautiful because you can find drugstore items there and use manufacturer coupons for those purchases in addition to store coupons. This is impossible at Sephora because they offer only high-end makeup and beauty items.
8. Should we shop online or in-store?
This depends on a few factors. Yes, physical stores have more sales and discounts, but if you don’t have a store close by, you might be better of just shopping online, if you can get free shipping.
Check out online “Buy More, Save More” page and “Gift with Purchase” offers. There is always $3.50 off $15 coupon.
9. When is the best day to shop online?
Ulta is known to host “Beauty Breaks” on Wednesday’s midday for 4-6 hours when shoppers can get a free gift with purchase after spending a certain amount on a specific product.
10. Always ask for free samples
This applies for both Ulta and Sephora. Both stores offer samples with purchases not only online, but in store too, so always ask for some.
11. Is 21 Days of Beauty really that big of a deal?
This wonderful event happens twice a year in Ulta, spring and fall, and you should definitely shop during those times for up to 50% discounts. Sephora holds its own Beauty Insider sale in spring and runs it based on tiers, but the savings are less plentiful and the entire deal is a whole lot more complicated.
12. Does Ulta accept discounted gift cards?
Yes, you should check out Raise.com or Gift Card Granny and get discounted cards that can get you anywhere from 2% to 10% savings. Sephora also accepts such gift cards.
13. How liberal is Ulta’s return policy?
You can return an item you bought in 60 days for any reason and you will get a full refund. There is one condition though – at least 80% of product should remain in the container, so no free makeup usage and returns. There is a bonus – if you got any free gifts with purchase, you can keep them even if you return the item you got them with.
All in all, our love is with Ulta, simply because it seems to be catering to a wider range of budgets than Sephora does. Other than that we love beauty, so we have to like Sephora and its luxury brands too.