Which Sephora Credit Card Is Right for You?
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Beauty retail giant Sephora launched a new store credit card program in early 2019 with store rewards and other cardholder benefits.
Sephora has about 2,500 stores across 32 countries with loyal fan bases in the teen and 25-to-29 age groups. Sephora customers are devoted, with half of Sephora’s fans saying they’re “very loyal” to the Sephora brand compared to one-third of fans who say they’re “very loyal” to Ulta, Sephora’s major competitor.
If you’re a Sephora loyalist, here’s what you need to know about the retailer’s three credit cards.
Sephora debuts three new credit cards
In a March 2019 news release, Sephora unveiled plans to offer the Sephora Credit Card, the Sephora Visa® Credit Card and the Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card . Program specifics were initially scarce, however, the Sephora website is now accepting applications for the basic Sephora Credit Card and the Sephora Visa® Credit Card, but not the Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card . Note, you won’t know which card you’ll be approved for until after you apply, as approval will be based on creditworthiness.
Sephora Credit Card
The basic Sephora Credit Card has an annual fee of none and isn’t co-branded with Visa, which means it can only be used at Sephora or other approved retail stores.
Sephora Credit Card members earn 15% off your first Sephora purchase when you open and use your card and earn 4% back in rewards in store or online at Sephora. (Purchases made at Sephora inside JCPenney stores, Puerto Rico or Canada do not currently qualify.) The card comes with a 27.99% APR.
Currently, $125 in rewards dollars earned equals a $5 credit card reward, which can be redeemed for a dollar amount off of qualifying purchases.
On top of earning rewards back on Sephora purchases, you can enroll in the Sephora Beauty Insider Benefits program to earn additional rewards. The Sephora Beauty Insider Benefits program has three rewards tiers: Insider, VIB and Rouge. Shoppers get placed into tiers based on the amount of money spent at Sephora during the calendar year. The program rewards you with 1 to 1.5 points per dollar spent at Sephora. Members also get a birthday gift and access to free makeovers and beauty classes (conditions may apply).
Points can be redeemed through the Sephora Rewards Bazaar. First tier Insider members can redeem points for trial-size samples and “one-of-a-kind” experiences, such as meeting brand founders. VIB and Rouge members can redeem for full-size products. Rouge members who spend at least $1,000 in the store per year can exchange points for cash to spend at Sephora and they get free standard shipping.
Know that you do not need to take out a credit card to join the Sephora Beauty Insider Benefits program. It’s free to join, and you can sign up for it on the Sephora website.
Sephora Visa® Credit Card
The Sephora Visa® Credit Card gives you the same benefits as the Sephora Credit Card, including 15% off of your first purchase. Earn a $20 Sephora Credit Card Reward when you use your card to spend $500 outside of Sephora in the first 90 days from approval. Earn 4% back in rewards in store or online at Sephora, and earn 1% back in rewards on purchases outside Sephora. This card comes with a 19.24% or 27.99% APR, based on your creditworthiness.
However, on top of these perks, Sephora Visa® Credit Card cardholders get rewarded for using the card on purchases made everywhere else. After completing a credit card application, you’ll most likely get assigned the Sephora Credit Card or a Sephora Visa® Credit Card, depending on your creditworthiness.
Visa cardholders get benefits like zero fraud liability, emergency credit card replacement, roadside assistance and a car rental collision damage waiver.
Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card
The news release announcing the Sephora credit cards also announced a Visa Signature® version of the credit card, but the card is not yet available for applications on the Sephora website. “Once the Visa Signature® is unveiled, I would assume that they would offer it to their most frequent customers who also have strong credit,” said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.
Visa Signature® card benefits are generally a step above what the standard Visa has to offer and the Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card is no different. In addition to providing members with zero liability protection and the benefits mentioned for the Sephora Visa® Credit Card, Visa Signature® offers extended warranties plus travel and emergency assistance to support cardholders abroad. If you get sick, need emergency transportation or legal aid while traveling, you can contact a call center 24 hours a day for assistance.
Which Sephora card is best for you?
There would appear to be a card for every Sephora lover. Here are scenarios of what type of Sephora shopper would benefit the most from each:
The Sephora loyalist who wants to use the card exclusively at the store: The Sephora Credit Card.
Fans who shop frequently for beauty products at Sephora and who don’t mind not being able to use the card elsewhere will benefit most from the Sephora Credit Card since it’s the card you can only use at Sephora (unless otherwise stated). Earn 15% off your first Sephora purchase when you open and use your card and earn 4% back in rewards in store or online at Sephora.
The Sephora shopper who wants to rack up even more rewards on purchases outside the store: The Sephora Visa® Credit Card.
The traditional Visa version of the credit card can be used at any store that accepts Visa. With this card, you will earn rewards to spend at Sephora from all shopping you do with the card (Earn 4% back in rewards in store or online at Sephora, and earn 1% back in rewards on purchases outside Sephora. ) Plus, this card comes with added Visa protections, such as zero liability, emergency card replacement and auto rental coverage and roadside dispatch.
The Sephora shopper who also wants travel protections and extra perks: The Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card .
This card comes with everything the traditional Visa offers plus the extra benefit of travel and emergency assistance and extended warranty protections. But this version of the card may only be open to customers with strong credit. Some of the perks the Sephora Visa Signature® Credit Card will offer will include roadside assistance, Priority Pass lounge access, rental car collision and damage coverage, trip delay and lost luggage reimbursement and access to Visa’s Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.
Fans of Sephora who spend big at the store are going to see the most benefit from applying. The rewards dollars earned from spending are not 1:1. Each rewards dollar earned is worth 4 cents so you’re going to have to spend quite a bit with the card at Sephora to earn money off of your purchases. If you’re not a heavy Sephora spender, you may be better off signing up for the free loyalty program because it gives you an opportunity to earn rewards and bonuses without having to add another card to your wallet.