Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What You Need to Know About the New Ulta Credit Card


I want to thank readers MaryBeth01 and @mbelle85 on Instagram for the tips about this one. If you haven't heard about the new Ulta credit cards yet, here's the scoop!

Ulta recently launched two credit cards. The first is called the Ultamate Rewards Credit Card, and the second is called the Ultamate Rewards MasterCard. You can apply for either of these cards on the Ulta website HERE. But before you do, please take a moment to read this through entire blog post.

Here are the perks for the Ultamate Rewards Credit Card:
  • 20% off your first purchase at Ulta Beauty
  • No Annual Fee
  • 1 point for every $1 spent at Ulta Beauty

Here are the perks for the Ultamate Rewards MasterCard:

  • 20% off your first purchase at Ulta Beauty
  • No Annual Fee
  • 1 point for every $1 spent at Ulta Beauty
  • 1 point for every $3 spent outside of Ulta Beauty
  • Enjoy 500 Welcome Bonus Points when you spend $500 in the first 90 days outside of Ulta Beauty

The "1 point for every $1 spent at Ulta Beauty" is ON TOP OF the 1 point you earn for every dollar spent for just being an Ultamate Rewards member. In other words, you'll be earning double points with every purchase you make if you use the Ultamate Rewards Credit Card or the Ultamate Rewards MasterCard in-store or online at Ulta.

If you get the Ultamate Rewards MasterCard, you'll also earn 1 point for every $3 spent OUTSIDE of Ulta when you use your Ultamate Rewards MasterCard. In other words, if you buy things with your Ultamate Rewards MasterCard at Sephora, Macy's, etc. you'll be earning ULTA points on those purchases (in addition to Sephora Beauty Insider Points, Plenti Points, or whatever other points you earn at other retailers). I also want to be sure you know that the 500 Welcome Bonus Points you'll receive (if you spend $500 outside of Ulta within the first 90 days of receiving the Ultamate Rewards MasterCard) comes out to $17.50 to spend at Ulta.

IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ: I am not Ulta, I am not MasterCard, I am not a financial advisor, and I am not Equifax. As with ANY credit card, there are important things you need to be aware of before you decide to apply. I am not telling you to apply for these cards, and I am not advising you to apply for these cards. I am merely telling you about the perks if you choose to sign up for either of these cards. So please CLICK HERE and read EVERYTHING. Read the large print and the fine print. Call Ulta and ask questions. If this is your first credit card, consult trusted friends or family members first. Review your financial situation. Do everything you can to get as much information as you can before making up your mind. I'm only the messenger here.

PS: All of the APRs are listed right on the bottom of the page HERE.

If you have questions about ANYTHING mentioned above, please go here and read the Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions after you read everything on that page, call Ulta at 866-983-8582 and hopefully they can answer your questions.

Thanks again, MaryBeth01 and @mbelle85, for the heads-up!
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51 comments

  1. Ok, so I have a credit card I use on makeup and then pay as cash at the end of the month. Applying for this makes sense. I can get Ulta points shopping at Sephora! How funny is that? ;> I think its a good deal as long as you pay it off right after purchase and don't wrack up interest.

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    1. It really depends on you and your spending habits! There may be better cards out there that simply provide a cash back option or savings in an area you spend more money on than you do beauty (gas, groceries etc) and any cash you get back or savings in other areas could be thought of as more money to spend on beauty too.

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    1. My thoughts exactly! I personally am going to hold off on this until I can get my other cards paid down.

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    2. hahahaha! Exactly what I was thinking!

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  3. Eh, I'm weary of their rewards points ever since I found out that they changed the rules for redeeming them; now if you make a purchase with points and want to return something, unless you return the entire purchase you lose any points that you redeemed. Collecting points with them becomes a lot less attractive when not liking one item in my order means losing the points I used to buy that item unless I return everything on that receipt.

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    1. that's not true actually. you get back those points that were redeemed for that item. so say you redeemed 500 points (17.50) on a transaction but you returned a product that had a discount of 6.00, you would get 200 points credited back to your account, you don't have to return everything on the receipt to get your points back

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    2. their rule makes sense - think of the points as a coupon. if you return a product it's not like you'd get the coupon back.

      a lot of ultas will credit you the money you redeemed if you want to do an exchange!

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    3. Actually A, this just happened to me recently, and Ulta's customer service confirmed that this was a recent change to their policy. I ordered a bunch of stuff online with points, and wanted to return the one item that I didn't like. they told me that I'd have to return the entire order to get back any points that I had redeemed.

      Yes Michelle, points are somewhat like a coupon, but unlike most coupons they are earned with previous purchases so the potential to lose them because you ended up not liking a product is still pretty crummy. Knowing the new policy I'd rather buy products that are available elsewhere from some place with a friendlier return policy, when I would previously have purchased them at Ulta for the bonus points.

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    4. That's interesting because it still states on their site that when you return an item you purchased with points, the points will go back to your account. And I recently did a return with points and the associate at the ulta store told me they'll go back to my account.
      Did you try calling back and talking to someone else?

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    5. After much discussion and the customer service rep putting in a complaint with corporate, they did eventually agree to give me my points back. I've been platinum with them for ages, but I'm definitely a lot more weary of racking up points with them now. Any points I redeem going forward will be on basics that I know I'm going to love and won't need to try and return.
      The rep said that they felt people had been abusing the system, especially with online orders I guess to reach the free shipping threshold or something, and that led to the change several months ago.

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    6. Just use the points on items that you don't have to worry about returning like your favorite shampoo or foundation or something. Ulta honestly has an excellent rewards policy. Its so easy to rack up points and get free stuff with them. The fact that they allow you to redeem your points back at all is amazing. When I get gift checks from LB you lose the reward if you want to return the item you purchased with it.

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  4. Lol @I'm not a financial advisor. That ulta credit card is dangerous for me, so I'm going to leave it alone. Ha!

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  5. I pay my credit cards off in full every month, so I see nothing but upsides to having this one! I got approved for the MasterCard in under five minutes! Yay!

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    1. I was also approved, DIDNT get my 20% off did you?

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    2. If you were approved in store it should have been applied to your first transaction using the card. If this is the case, call store or the Ulta guest services line. If you were approved online, you will receive an email within a couple days that has your 20% coupon for your first card purchase.

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    3. Oh ok.. It was online, did you apply online and get yours in an email?

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    4. I haven't recieved it yet, but they are also sending the one time use coupon with actual card in the mail, so I figure I'll get it soon enough! :)

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  6. Thanks for the info, but I'm passing on this. I have 1 credit card that gets paid in full after each use. IMO my fellow American's carry too much credit card debt and it's not worth it to receive the extra Ulta points, especially not the extra 500 points. The APR is like most store credit cards way too high. Stepping off my soap box now.

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    1. True but if you pay in full each month it can actually help you to have more than one card. Total utilization is one of the biggest credit factors. If you have multiple cards your total credit limit will likely be higher than if you have just one, and in turn that will reduce your utilization and increase your credit score. As G said there are a ton of factors and it's different for everyone depending on their situation. But for me having more than one card and paying the balance each month is advantageous.

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    2. @bigpoppy31 I just learned this! I was using my Discover card everywhere bc it gave me the best cash back deal, and recently learned I need to find another good cash back card I like to improve my credit score. I thought paying them off in full every month (bc I live in fear of debt) was enough. NOPE! So much to learn!

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  7. I worked at Ulta for 3 years, and it wasn't very glitzy, glamorous or fun at times. Corporate is down the managers throats so that gets passed down to the associates. This credit card will be a fiasco! Trying to get people to sign up for InStyle or Allure magazines was awful and you had to get a certain number per shift, you are also required to get beauty club cards which most people already had. Now its going to be "Do you have a beauty club card, do you want to sign up for the Ulta credit card" That will just be annoying as a customer and also not fun for the associates that will probably be pushing it really hard.

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    1. That was actually my first thought. When I saw this I thought about the poor sales people who will have to ask everyone now if they want a credit card. Believe me, I feel your pain. I worked at Macy's at the Clinique counter for 2 years and it was the same way. Every single day managers cramming their credit card statistics down your throat. It was difficult to get people to sign up in cosmetics because typically people weren't spending that much. At any rate, I was actually surprised to see this. This is a pretty big move on Ulta's part to offer a credit card. Will Sephora soon follow?

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    2. That's pretty much how it is at all retailers that have their own cards. And yup it sucks as an employee having to ask customers. While most people are understanding and know you're just doing your job. It just takes that one jerk to be rude about it and ruin your whole day.

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    4. Ulta is actually doing this one differently. Their employees are not selling credit or asking every guest to apply- the only guests that will be asked to apply at the register are those preapproved (note: NOT preselected, preapproved) based on their Ultamate rewards card info. Preapproval is does not affect your credit score and being rolled out slowly, so if you're interested in the card-ask! This is not being "pushed" on every guest which is a great win for customers AND employees. If you are pre-approved but decide to decline, their system will not prompt to ask you again for another 45-90 days.

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  8. Yeesh, those interest rates are high. I have a card that charges me 7.75%. I'll stick with that one, thanks.

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    1. The interest rates do seem kind of high, my card charges less than that. I'm afraid that people will only see the perks and not be concerned about the fine print until they get into trouble. I'm also suspicious about Ulta allowing people to wrack up huge numbers of points and if this will lead to changes in their rewards policy. Someone in an earlier comment mentioned that Ulta recently changed their policy regarding how returns affect points. As G said, make sure that you go into this knowing all the facts.

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    2. Ouch. You weren't kidding. I guess they're hoping people just notice the 'perks' and not the fine print. Dangerous. I'm staying far, far away from this. I get into enough trouble as it is without these lol!

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  9. Thanks as always G for the info!

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  10. I'm 38 years old, have never had a credit card in my life. I am not also massively in debt like all my friends. Now every time I go into Ulta, I'm sure they'll be pushing the CC like Target, Meijer, Kmart, etc. I feel sorry for the sales people having to do that. Also, those APRs! Holy **** that's high

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  11. They actually will not be asking people to sign up for these cards. When you check out the register will prompt you in private or send you an email letting you know that you are able to sign up. No register pitches folks. #workedforulta

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    1. There is a lot of paperwork that is required by law( I do mystery shopping, just did one for a bank credit card) and I doubt Ulta employees will have the time or knowledge to make those disclosures.

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    2. Almost every store that I have shopped at asks if you want the store credit card. True, they hand you an application with all the details but the pitch sounds so convincing that I doubt anyone really reads the small print.

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  12. good lord help us all.. I pay my cards off each month but do want the benefits.... approved in less than 5 minutes.

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  13. I have a hunch that I would be using it to buy things that I don't really need or want...as tempting as it is, I'd rather pay cash as I go. Thanks G!

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  14. I'm passing on this. I will stick with my credit card that gives me cash back.

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  15. All these years I have shopped at Ulta, I always paid with debit or cash. I have no desire to begin paying interest on my purchases from Ulta. Thanks for the info, though.

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    1. I have no desire to an Ulta Credit Card myself, but you would only pay interest if you didn't pay off your entire balance each month (just like any credit card). :)

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    2. You only pay interest of you don't pay it off within that month...ie only buy what you can afford at that time...wracking up the extra benefits and go home and pay it off...no interest plus extra perks. Now for those that abuse credit cards and buy what they can't afford to pay off that month would likely be screwed but bc I know I would never use a credit card to buy something I couldn't pay for right then and there then the interest rates don't actually apply to me....win win

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  16. Pretty much all retailer-specific credit cards are around 20% APR so these are a bit higher than the usual, but not terribly out of line with what's typical. That's why these are good for earning rewards and then paying off every month!

    In other news, god help me if Sephora ever puts out a credit card.

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    1. After some thinking I will probably pass on this one because I don't do much shopping at ULTA because I like Sephora better.

      If Sephora ever does a credit card...I will be toast.

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    2. I'm not a fan of Sephora's reward program. You have to spend so much to get a deluxe size sample... no thank you. And from emails I receive it doesn't seem like they offer you the chance to earn double the points or anything like that all that often. I could be wrong tho since I rarely shop at Sephora.

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    3. I'm not a fan of Sephora's reward program either. The only thing I really like about Sephora is their liberal return policy and the no order minimum, FREE 2-Day Shipping. But being able to stack freebies, GWP's and other promos with my Ulta orders has made me very spoiled.

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  17. Lord help us all... .I am walking away from this post and never looking back :P

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  18. there actually is a sephora credit card... it's called the jcpenney store card... yep you can use it on sephora dot com and yep i have cycled up to my teeny credit limit there and paid it down a handful of times already this year ;)

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  19. Don't apply if you have any credit security on your credit. They will take you through too many changes. I applied and they said they wouls send me a letter in 7-20 day . After I get the letter I called them and they verified some of my information . Then they said wait another 7-10 business days. They're very unorganized and full of BS. I called back to tell them forget the card and found out that they ran my credit anyway but, they didn't know if I was approve or not! I am not going to ever tell anyone to apply to these jokers.

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  20. Can you use the card as soon as you're approved rondo you have to wait for the hard copy of the card in the mail?

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    1. You can use it as soon as you're approved in store and you can use it 3 times before getting the physical card in the mail (the associate will look you up and just verify some information) but for no more than 1/3rd of the credit you were approved for. Also you need the physical card to shop online.

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    2. I got the pre approval in an email and signed up online. I wanted to use it right away because it was my bday mo th and 3x platinum perks so I called to ask if I could use in store without the cars and she told me I had to wait to get the cars in the mail

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