April 20, 2017

Do You Save Your Ulta Points Or Do You Spend Them Right Away?

I’m really diligent about my savings. I own my houses, no mortgage. I have no dept because credit cards scare me. And if I do use my credit cards I’ll pay the bill the very next month in full. I am leasing my cars because I like to change them every two to three years and I have a rather huge health insurance bill that feels like I’m burning money because I never use it since I’m healthy (thank god! but it still feels like throwing money into a pit of fire since it costs a ton and the coverage seems to suck hard! The joys of being self employed and having to rely on yourself for your own benefits and retirement). I have separate checking accounts that I use for pleasure and life expenses. I like to see where my money is going and how I’m spending it so I keep things separate.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I have a hard time saving my Ulta Rewards!

Do You Save Your Ulta Points Or Do You Spend Them Right Away?!

Can I just tell you, I have some sort of weird problem racking up points at Ulta. As soon as I have a little reward money I spend it RIGHT AWAY! Right now, I have a $11 bucks available and I’m applying it to my current order of $30. WTH? It’s so dumb. The order is just $30 bucks, it’s not like I don’t have $30 bucks to spend but I’m all like, well if I deduct $11 it’ll only make the bill $19. WHAT? What sort of mentality is this!?

I see people tell me they have like $75 worth of Reward Dollars stored up and I’m all, “Honey, if I have 2 bucks in there, I’m using it!”

Why is it I’m so diligent about my real life savings but I can’t save a few bucks of virtual Ulta money!?

Do you spend your rewards right away or do you stash it away until you have a nice hefty amount?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kelly

    Muse, I am right there with you! The minute I get $3.00, I apply it to my total. I don’t think I’ve ever had more than $3.00 at a time. It just burns a hole in my pocket!

    • Isabella Muse

      LOL kelly ME TOO me too! I don’t know why I can’t just save it!

  • Lindsey

    I always save up my Ulta rewards. And at one point I have saved up $300.00 worth, but that was saved over a few years over time. I used that money to buy higher priced makeup. Of course, I used it all up. Now I am back to saving them up again….I guess it depends on the person….I may not save up as much as I did last time but I may save up enough to cover a palette from the prestige brands or something…

    • Isabella Muse

      OMG I’m so jealous! For some reason, I have a hard time doing. My bank hits two bucks and I apply it right away!

  • Emily

    You sound like you have excellent money habits, and there is no harm in spending your Ulta rewards money whenever you like! I used to spend it more quickly, but then I realized, why don’t I hold off on using it until I reach the minimum to maintain my Platinum status. I’m more than halfway there for next year! It is fun when you can take a LOT off at once.

    • Isabella Muse

      I think it’s important when you reach a certain age to be sure you’re looking after your money. No one wants to wait until their ready to die to retire haha 😀 I’m def a YOLO girl but I’m also one that things saving for a rainy day is very important. I agree! why can’t I save my points dammit lol! I want to rake up a huge bundle of ’em!

  • Susan

    I save them because the more you accumulate the more they’re worth per point. For example, 100 points are worth $3. 1000 points are not worth $30 (10 x $3) but are worth $50. And 2000 points are not worth $60 (20 x $3) or $100 (2 x $50) but are worth $125!

    I save my points all year and wait until I have at least 2000 then use them in the fall for new releases or at Christmas time.

    • Agona

      I do the same thing. I only spend them in 2000 pt ($125) chunks because that’s how you get the most bang for your points.

  • Shelley

    I always save my points. I normally wait until December when I’ll have $125 worth of points and use my 20% off coupon to splurge. 🙂

    • Southern Belle

      I do the same thing – I try to stack as many deals as I can. I wait for a 20% off coupon to redeem my 2000 points/ $125 worth (which is actually $155 worth of free makeup!!)

  • diane

    i need to get better at saving my money, especially since tommie and I want to buy a house..as for Ulta points. I currently have over $400. I’ve been hoarding for the Dyson Dryer. I got the Ulta Master Card to pay all my bills with to rack up points quicker, and it worked. I pay it off full monthly bc interest is gross. I will been redeeming them for the dryer soon. For some reason it isn’t working online when it should be!

    • Isabella Muse

      OMG $400? I hate you lol! I wish I was that good about saving them 😀

      • diane

        i’ve been hoarding since Septemberish..but did cave at one point for a perfume i wanted. LOL

        • Isabella Muse

          I always just applied whatever is available! I need to start saving!

  • Sara

    I’ve found with the 5X point offers Ulta keeps enticing me with, its much easier to rack up the points. And so I’m like, well if I buy this I’ll get 500 points out of it and then I’ll be X number of points from the next level. And then I start calculating the ratio of points to dollars (saving up for 2000 pts for $125 is way better than the lower tiers). Clearly I’m an engineer LOL. So I might have saved up the 2000 points that I have right now, but I just blew like $60 to get there that I really didn’t need to spend… whoops! Well played Ulta, well played.

  • Christina D.

    I used to use them immediately until I realized that the more points you save, the more they are worth. So I let them build up somewhat but I haven’t managed to accumulate more than $20-$25 worth of points yet.

    • Isabella Muse

      I had no idea they build up! I’m going to save them more now 😀 I’m terrible about saving them!!!!!!!!!

  • Chelsea

    I use mine as soon as I have at least $8.00 off. My sister was diligently saving her points (and didn’t realize they expire) – I think she was almost at $200 off (not sure how many points she had) but when she went to use them the other day they said she only had 350 points! Needless to say she was pretty upset because she never knew they expired and was saving them for a purpose.

      • Angie

        Points don’t expire if you’re Platinum but if you’re not, they do. It should indicate the date of expiration on the receipt or if you log into your rewards account. I try to save 2000 worth of points before redeeming them. It just seems more worth it.

        • Chelsea

          Hmm, I’ll have to let her know, thanks! I’m Platinum and thought she was too, especially with how many points she had.

  • Cindy

    I usually save them until the end of the year for the big holiday releases. This past year I got so many big sets for free I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’ll only use them during the year if a big palette comes out that I really want. I think last year I saved up almost $300 in points. When you use the points with a 20% coupon you get more out of them. I’m hedging on that Lorac Pirates palette & cheek palette though. LOVE the packaging but I’m not sure I know what to do with those colors. But if it’s free . . . LOL!

    • Isabella Muse

      omg! $300! crazy! 😀 Yeah, the Lorac stuff was a bit mismatched for me, glad I’m not along thinking that!

  • Marcy

    You should always save up your rewards as long as they’re not going to expire. The return on your spending increases at increasing reward levels.

    At $100 points you get $3. For regular members that’s a 3% reward and for platinum it’s a 3.75% reward because they get 1.25 points per dollar spent.

    I always save 2000 points and get the $125 reward. For regular members that’s a 6.25% reward and for platinum members it’s a whopping 7.8% reward. That doesn’t even take account of the times I take advantage of triple, 5x and the rare 10x point days, which makes the reward even more generous.

    On one 10x day I spent $200 and got 2000 points. That’s an immediate $125 to spend or 63% of what I spent back You just can’t beat that.

  • Dora

    I guess I don’t see the point of saving them — it’s not like they’re earning interest or anything. It’s all the same, right? If you spend it in $3 increments or $300 — although I guess it makes splurging on an expensive item “feel” less indulgent.

    • Dora

      I stand corrected! Just read some other comments and see that they are worth more if you save!

  • Stephanie

    I’m not very good at saving my points whether it’s at Ulta or Walgreens, lol. I use them right away instead of saving them for the future. I like to save money whenever I can so if I can use my points on an immediate purchase by using a $3 reward or $5 one, I’ll just go for it.

    I’ve improved at Sephora though. I always used to redeem my points on the 100 point lip products, but I would actually like to get to 500 points and redeem them for one of those cute sets they have.

  • PDO

    Say you spend it every time you get $3 discount and say you’ve earned it 10 times that’s 100 points X 10 = 1000 points and a $30 discount in $3 increments

    Now say instead you bank them till you have 1000 points saved, you actually end up with a $50 discount instead of the $30 .(I say it’s worth the extra $20 to go ahead and keep banking) IJS

  • Katie

    I save, save, save all year and then at Holiday time I get ALL the releases because I just can’t say no to them. So instead of feeling panicked about spending all that cash that time of the year, I spend my reward money and get myself all the presents! 😀

  • Tay

    I’m pretty good about hoarding them. I plan my purchases/stocking up around the multipliers, and it doesn’t hurt that the few times my mother shops at Ulta, she gives them my number.

    But I spend them when I have a 20% everything coupon. This weekend, I placed an order with my 20% off and cashed in 4000 points….I got $313 worth of product for only $1.50 out of pocket!!

  • Adrienne

    I’m with you Muse. I hate long term debt which is why my car loan is killing me. I tend to save my Ultra points only because I read your blogs faithfully and see if you day it’s a sephora, kohls, or ultra exclusive and if I should use points or get a free gift etc. Right now I have $133 at Ulta (my b day was yesterday and they never sent me anything) and over 1000 at Sephora but I hate to cash them in for things I could get as samples so generally I save. Same at Smashbox with my smash cash.

    • Isabella Muse

      lease all the way. Turn it in, get a new one, that’s what I did. I financed my first car many years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Never again! Long term debt is the worst, no one wants to be 80 and still paying off student loans. I think when you reach a certain age you have to step back and get some game plan in place. damn! I can’t get past five dollars haha! I always use the pts! I’m totally going to start saving!

    • Jamie D.

      They usually send your birthday coupon the week of your birthday. I believe you have around a month to use it ($10 anything, plus your birthday gift). If you call customer service they should help you out. Be sure to check your junk folder. Happy Birthday, Adrienne!

  • Carol G

    I save ’em and save ’em. Just cashed in $250 yesterday using my 20% off coupon. It’s funny because I save and save and then when I’m down to zero I freak and think oh god, I gotta build these back up and quick so I start buying more stuff. They’ve got my number for sure.

  • Sara

    I hoard them. The most I’ve ever had was over 5,000 points. I always try to hit 2,000 for the $125 rewards and as a rule I use it on splurge items on the mid-high range. Its hard to be mad at yourself for buying a palette if your rewards more than cover the cost. My favorite thing for racking up points is to really make use of the birth month double points. If you can stack that with 5x points plus brand point bonuses on top of that, you can get a lot of points really quickly. Once I managed to earn over 2000 points that way in just my birth month.

  • mushroomjoey

    I just spent my savings! I had 1000+ pts and I redeemed it for 50 bucks worth of stuff. That’s a lot a free stuff. I was thinking about redeeming the points for a palate but instead I spent them on a lot of drugstore makeup.

  • Emily

    You should buy most of your things when there are bonus offers for 2X, 3X, or 5X points. Then you’ll see your points grow immensely and it might motivate you to keep saving them until you reach 2000 points for that $125 reward!

  • Cheryl

    Well, I was going to use points for my 20% off purchase yesterday, but then I got the 5x points on It Cosmetics email, and got sucked into actually spending for more points later. My plan is to get Platinum status for next year, and then use nothing but points thereafter. I have just about 4000 points saved (mostly from using my Ulta credit card for EVERYTHING – groceries, gas, dog food, insurance premiums, car payments, etc. it adds up fast). By the time the December holiday releases are announced, I will be ready to spend pick up some guilt free goodies.

  • Jamie D.

    I used to redeem in smaller increments but it’s such a waste. I utilize the Salon at Ulta so that really helps maintain my Platinum status. I also take advantage of 3x-5x points offers along with my 1.25 points on the $ as Platinum. 2 hair color/cut appointments basically maintains my status. I currently have close to 4,000 points banked. I plan on redeeming 2,000 points tomorrow when I use my 20% coupon which is worth $125. I just redeemed 2,000 points a couple months ago during the last coupon and have already recouped those points. When you look at the chart to see the points values it’s easy to see how much is wasted redeeming small dollar amounts. I always like to keep around 1,000 points banked though. Now I just hoard points for the biggest reward value. Shopping at Ulta is just more beneficial for me over Sephora. They run more coupons and I prefer the points system. I really think the Ultamate Rewards is one of the best. My only gripe is I feel Ulta’s website has it’s technical issues. I’ve had long-time problems logging in to my account.

  • Brandee

    I happen to have the cc too; I’m a saver-coupon girl; so I only redeem 2000 points at a time for maximum value( I would never redeem 3000 – I’d just keep the extra 1000 and wait till that gets to 2000) I pay my cc in full every month and it’s been highly rewarding- I’m about to cash in my THIRD $125 soon!!!!! Just for using their cc- I also wait till the products I need are on multiplier offers- then buy- like my urban decay one and done was 5x points and I was almost out plus my 1.5 points for using my card- I basically QUIT Sephora and haven’t looked back

  • Debbie

    I save mine up for the 20% sales or the Black Friday Deals. I just used the $150 I had saved up for this last 20% offer. I got half my order free by doing this. I typically will not use my rewards until there’s a way to get a really good deal with piling up the savings.

  • Laura

    I’m a saver, too. I currently have 11,600 points (over $600). My daughters and I both get our hair done at Ulta and the salon often has points multipliers, so saving is really pretty easy for me. I only redeem as others who are points-savvy do. I *love* the Ulta points system.

  • Leona

    I try to only purchase things when it’s 3x or 5x the points, then I save them up til I have at least 2,000 pts ($125) or more, and I use it with the no exclusions 20% off coupons. The last time I cashed in, I got $414 worth of prestige products for $86.

  • Judy

    Oh I am more curious how you save money! LOL Especially with an appetite for beauty stuff! I have been trying to cut down my spending on beauty stuff and trying put more money in saving. What’s your secret???

    Oh also, I ALWAYS use my ulta points asap. I don’t wait for it. Lol

    • Isabella Muse

      Ha…I’m totally weird with money! I have a checking account set up for “entertainment” expenses (I also have one for Christmas and Vacation)! Every week I have an auto transfer set up that deducts $200 from my main checking out and deposits it in my entertainment one. After a while it starts adding up and I spend from that for makeup, going to the movies, eating out, etc…etc… If you have Bank of America you can set up auto transfers for your savings (I would assume other banks do the same). LIVE by the 50/30/20 rule when possible. Have at least 20% of (or more if possible and of course 40% if you get paid every two weeks) your savings automatically deducted and transferred to your savings account as soon as your check hits your bank account. No real secret just the basic 50/30/20 rules 😀 Haha me either, I use them right away! I’m going to try and start saving them!!!!!!!

  • Heather L.

    Yes! It is definitely hard! I did it last year but it was tough. Especially having a soon-to-be 13 year old. We are having a hard time finding Acne kits for her. I get zits here and there so I really dont know. Since money is very tight I try to only shop at Ulta so I can get the Platinum membership and add up points quicker (still takes awhile since It’s hard to spend money on myself) I’m upset at Ulta in away since my Birthday is this month (April) Last year and this year the gift is so bad compared to the Summer gift which was an Urban Decay Full Size Eyeshadow. Wth?? But for Aprils it was a tiny My sexy hair hair spray. So tiny I only got 3 uses out of it. I’ll quick check my Email to see what it is this year. I know I got upset over it. Why can’t it all be the same all year long?

    • kjh

      Ulta online has OTC Differin, which only recently went OTC. It was a retinoid script for acne. Google it. And get more Ulta points for acne tx.

    • Lauren

      My suggestion for the 13 year old is to go straight to the dermatologist. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to start seeing one, as I’ve now got some acne scarring to try to cover up. Don’t waste your time and money on medicated washes, as the active ingredients are just rinsed right off. I’ve started using Paula’s Choice products for after-cleansing treatment, and they seem to help really well (even now, at 33, I still fight acne). For the actual wash, I use Cerave facial cleansers with a Clarisonic deep-pore brush (night) or a Foreo Luna Mini (morning).

  • Staci

    I only spend mine when I hit 2000 or $125. I just used mine in conjunction with the 20% off coupon. Got $160 in FREE makeup!

    I use credit cards to pay for everything too. I earn miles and take free vacations. Last summer, I took my son to the Grand Canyon for free. I upped my miles game since then. Got some really big sign up bonuses. The plan is to take my son to Africa for free in August. Don’t be scared of credit cards.

    • Isabella Muse

      Sweet 🙂 Great deal. Mm not scared, I just tend to avoid using them on pleasure purchases. My debit card actually gets me reward points too, so I stick with those 😀 But you’ve gotten some great free goodies with yours, that’s brilliant!

  • Heather

    I save my points to max out the cash. I’m hoping to go on a no-buy until end of Summer because I really overdid it with Ulta’s 20% off coupon for Platinum (and, let’s be honest, the VIB Rouge sale). I’m saving my points as a sort of “in case of emergency, break glass” if I need to pick something up during my no-buy. If they survive past Summer, I’m spending them on holiday releases!

    • Isabella Muse

      I gotta start saving mine and use them around the Holidays 😀

  • Nicole

    I’m in the minority where I save Ulta points up until I know it’s going to expire and hopefully make a purchase around that time (normally try to time it around Black Friday or the holidays). I buy more from Sephora only because they have the skincare I like since I’m cutting back in makeup. As a result, I know I’m never going to purchase enough from Ulta to make platinum, which means I can’t hoard my points like most people do. So I just get a few bucks back here and there. Unless you plan to become platinum or are platinum, I don’t find the benefits at Ulta that great when you purchase as infrequently as I do (and their shipping minimum deters me most of the time).

  • Pandora

    When it comes to Ulta points I spend mine as soon as I hit $3.00. I’m so weird about it, because the last couple times I’ve been close to my $8.00 reward, my points expired and I was so bummed out. So now I always bite the bullet. However, it’s a totally different story when it comes to Sephora, those I hoard….. mainly because I don’t think many rewards are worth it. Occasionally, I will get a 100 point perk if it’s expensive skincare or a mini rollerball perfume I’m interested in. Other than that I feel their options are a little lackluster. It would be really cool if we got cash back points similar to Ulta. I’m also over the rewards that are non-beauty or monogrammed. I wish they did more rewards like the Hourglass Flawless Ambience Set, that reward looked soo AMAZING!!!

  • Diana Brown

    Nope I save them. Right now I have $133.00 to spend at Ulta. They always have a $3.50 off coupon so i will use that instead of my points. I also only buy when I get something out of it like 5x points on a certain prestigious brand or 3x points on anything. I also make sure to use manufacturer coupons on the drugstore brands.

  • kjh

    I usually save enough for a back burnered wish list item. Right now, it’s Mod Ren. I know, I am the only female in N A that doesn’t own it, but I have my heart set on getting it for points. These posts have been very edifying. Many who knew? moments. Lots of reasons to bank them. And what use are the 5K S points? Only started at S this year during the sale. Hope not to be rouge again. You can get the shipping membership for dirt cheap, and that’s the only Bennie I use. Prob going to get some Nars back burners when the X points come up. Yeah, learned a lot from your posters today. Thanks, guys.

  • erin

    Confession: For the first time ever, I have $3 in point and have no idea how to spend them.

  • Cheryl

    I like to save my points and really look forward to seeing how many I will get from each months credit card payment. Twice now, I have had an issue with Ulta shorting me two thirds of the points that I earned with credit card payments. For example, their system says I made a $500 Credit card payment, when in fact my payment was $1500. They shorted me $1000 worth of points. When I call customer service, I am kept on hold while they “investigate” the issue and ultimately tell me they will send me an email. In both instances, I eventually got an email telling me that I got all of the points that I was entitled to. By elevating it to a manager and going back through the entire complaint again, I was able to get the thousand points they owed me the first time added to my account. I am still waiting for response to my most recent bill. Has anyone else Experience this? I’m beginning to wonder if this is not an intentional strategy to avoid giving people as much store credit as they are entitled to.

    • Isabella Muse

      🙁 sorry to hear it. I don’t have their credit card but maybe someone else can help who does 😀