Are you ready for a makeover but your wallet isn’t?
Two new retail partnerships will make it easier to buy that new lipstick or face cream without putting a huge crimp in your budget.
The first 77 Sephora shops inside Kohl’s and 45 Ulta shops inside Target are now open, and more locations coming soon. And these small beauty shops inside stores – along with related online shops on the Target and Kohl’s websites – are dangling new ways you can earn rewards with free loyalty programs.
If you shop at Kohl’s for your Sephora products, you’ll earn Kohl’s Rewards and Sephora Beauty Insider points.
At Target, you can use Ultamate Beauty Rewards with Target Circle, plus with a store-branded RedCard credit or debit card, save 5% off purchases.
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I shopped both concepts online, and here’s what I learned.
While the selection isn’t as extensive as you can find at the specialty stores, I was sold on earning more rewards, which is one of the ways I save so much daily with other programs.
You can use multiple savings programs together, so on my Kohl’s Sephora purchase, I earned cash back using Ibotta, an app I’ve earned close to $3,000 in digital rebates using.
Linking and navigating the programs can be confusing at first, but let me break it down for you to make it easier so you don’t miss out on free rewards.
Sephora at Kohl’s
Sephora at Kohl’s shops are replacing Kohl’s current in-store beauty assortment. Shoppers have access to around 125 brands and more than 8,500 products in categories including makeup, skin care, hair and fragrance products.
Instead of being a traditional department store beauty counter like you’d see at Nordstrom or Macy’s, the experience will be like a store within a store occupying about 2,500 square feet near the store entrance.
The new space at Kohl’s is similar to “Sephora inside JCPenney,” a partnership that began in 2006 but is expected to end in late 2022 as the department store chain moves to a new concept. This October, JCPenney Beauty will open in some stores and online, with a nationwide store rollout set to launch in fall 2022. (And yes, for now, you can use JCPenney Rewards on your JCPenney-Sephora purchases.)
But back to Kohl’s, which has more than 1,150 locations in 49 states, and how shoppers can take advantage of the company’s plan to bring the Sephora at Kohl’s experience to 200 stores this year and to more than 850 stores by 2023. There also are plans to open in 400 locations in 2022.
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The first step to getting extra savings is to link your Sephora Beauty Insider account with your Kohl’s Rewards account. (And if you’re not members of either program, you can sign up for Sephora here and Kohl’s program here.)
Shopping tip: While you can earn rewards with Kohl’s Rewards and Sephora Beauty Insider program, Sephora products are excluded from Kohl’s coupons and do not earn Kohl’s Cash. Also, rewards do expire for both programs, so keep track and use them accordingly.
Link accounts: From your Kohl’s account on either the app or on the website at Kohls.com/sephora, look for the banner about the two rewards programs. To link your accounts, you can either select that you are already a Sephora Beauty Insider and enter the email address of that account or create a new account. Kohl’s says it will send your email to Sephora to check for an account, and then you’ll get an email with a passcode to enter on the Kohl’s website or app.
Kohl’s Rewards: Members earn 5% Kohl’s Cash daily on every purchase and get personalized deals and perks. For every $100 spent, earn $5 in rewards, which is converted and issued in $5 Kohl’s Cash increments on the first day of the following month.
Sephora Beauty Insider: Members earn one point per $1 spent on all Sephora products, and with 500 points get $10 Beauty Insider Cash “off your qualifying purchase instantly at checkout.” Members also get access to two shopping events with extra savings and an end-of-year discount.
Use together: In Sephora at Kohl’s stores, you can redeem your Sephora Beauty Insider points for Beauty Insider Cash or product samples. At Kohls.com, you can redeem 500 Sephora Beauty Insider points for $10 Beauty Insider Cash on Sephora products at checkout. The rewards you earn with Kohl’s program can’t be used on Sephora products.
Birthday gifts: During your birthday month, Kohl’s offers a “special birthday gift” that varies by member (I got $10 in Kohl’s Cash and my mom got $5, for instance). Sephora offers a free product set, which is available in stores or online during your birthday month.
Save on shipping: If you don’t have one of the first Kohl’s with a Sephora, some items are available to ship to store for free (if you don’t meet the free-shipping threshold, which most days is $75 after discounts and before tax).
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Ulta Beauty at Target
The first 56 Ulta Beauty at Target locations opened Aug. 15, and 45 locations are listed as “coming soon” on the Ulta website. There are plans to reach 800 locations.
The Ulta shops are approximately 1,000 square feet and located next to the existing beauty sections at Target. They have about 50 “specially curated prestige brands”
An online shop also is open, and if you’re near one of the Target stores with an Ulta, you can even order for Drive Up curbside pickup.
Link accounts: Go to the Target Circle Partners page at Target.com/circle/partners to link accounts. You’ll need your phone number, email address or Ultamate Rewards member ID. If you don’t have a Target Circle or Ultamate Rewards account, you can join through the Target Circle Partners page.
Target Circle: With a Target RedCard, you can get free shipping and get 5% off Ulta purchases. Shoppers without a RedCard can earn 1% back on Ulta purchases with Target Circle and can redeem the earnings on Ulta purchases, too. There are other perks of Target Circle such as hundreds of Circle offers ranging from 5% to 50% off in categories such as groceries, clothes, furniture, baby products, health, seasonal and more.
Ultamate Rewards: Members at the lowest tier earn one point per dollar spent on Ulta products and services while Platinum and Diamond members earn points at an accelerated rate (1.25 points and 1.5 points, respectively). But while you can earn points on purchases at Target, you cannot redeem points at Target.
Use together: Once linked, every time you shop at Ulta at Target, use with Target Circle in-store or online to earn points on applicable purchases. You’ll earn points with Ultamate Rewards and 1% back with Target Circle unless you’re using a RedCard and will save 5% instead. For Ulta at Target purchases, points on in-store purchases will be credited to your account within 24 hours of your purchase, and online purchase points will be credited within 72 hours after your order has shipped.
Birthday gifts: Through Target Circle, you can get 5% off a storewide purchase if you include your birth date in your Target account. However, Ulta purchases are among the items excluded from the discount, which is valid for 30 days. Also, you won’t be able to redeem your Ulta birthday gift, $10 birthday coupon, or Diamond Welcome gift at Ulta Beauty at Target.
Shopping tip: Read the fine print. You can’t earn bonus points (including the two-times birthday bonus points and Ultamate Rewards Credit Card two-times points) or redeem your Ultamate Rewards points at Ulta Beauty at Target. Also, not all Ulta promotions will be available at Target, and the Ultamate Rewards Credit Card can’t be used at Target.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beauty rewards 101: Sephora at Kohl’s and Ulta at Target bring extra perks for buying makeup