Like many other beauty industry giants, Sephora has a customer rewards program that tracks and incentivizes purchases. In addition to carrying retailer-exclusive brands like Charlotte Tilbury, Sephora Rewards promotes shopper loyalty through its program which promises a more personalized shopping experience with some great benefits!
Sephora’s Beauty Insider Program* uses a points system and rewards members with product samples, purchase discounts, yearly and seasonal gifts, early access to sales, and a host of other perks.
*Sephora is a multinational company with regional subdivisions, but, for the purpose of this article, only the Sephora North America rewards program will be discussed.
Is Sephora Rewards Worth Joining?
With over 25 million members in the U.S. alone, public consensus would suggest yes. Here are all the facts to help you decide if the Beauty Insider Program is worth it for you.
How Does The Sephora Rewards Program Actually Work
In the era of online shopping, Sephora has become somewhat synonymous with beauty. Boasting a catalog of more than 45,000 makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance products, Sephora caters to all customers. Whether you have a simple routine, or you like to make a statement with your makeup looks, Sephora has something for you!
The backbone of the Beauty Insider Program is the spending-based points system. With this system, both Sephora and the customer can track how much money has been spent.
At any time, a Beauty Insider can see how many points they have accumulated by logging into their account online. Additionally, it is standard practice for Sephora Associates to say your point total with each in-store purchase. You are never in the dark about how many points you have!
Becoming A Beauty Insider
To sign up, you must be 16 years or older and a legal resident of the United States or Canada. Each account needs a name, phone number, and email. Account creation can happen in-store, online, or at either of the Sephora partner retailers — JCPenney and Kohl’s.
Once an account is created, a Beauty Insider will enter their account information before a purchase to earn points. These points can be redeemed for a variety of perks. This makes them more versatile than points earned in other rewards programs. For example, 500 Beauty Insider Points may be redeemed for $10 Beauty Insider Cash off a purchase. In Sephora’s Rewards Bazaar customers have the unique opportunity to “buy” products using points. These product “prices” range anywhere from 50 to 100,000 points. Rewards vary from a sample size of a sought-after product to highly exclusive beauty experiences with some of the industry’s leading professionals.
How Much Is A Beauty Insider Point Worth?
Rewards program members are awarded 1 point for every $1 spent on merchandise or in-store services. Twice yearly during Sephora’s Beauty Insider Point Multiplier Event, Beauty Insiders can earn up to 4x the usual point value. These events are usually held once in the Spring and once in the Fall letting Insiders shop multiple seasons of merchandise for more points!
How Does Sephora’s Tier System Work?
The Beauty Insider Program offers three tiers to its members. The first tier is Insider, and it is free to join and maintain! If a rewards member spends $350 or more on merchandise in one calendar year, they are bumped up to the next tier of VIB (meaning Very Important Beauty Insider). For big beauty spenders who purchase $1,000 or more in merchandise per year, there is the Rouge tier.
With the tier system, a higher status = more perks! There are certain rewards that everyone receives regardless of tier status. These include a birthday gift, free standard shipping, access to the Sephora mobile app, and program-exclusive sales.
Sephora has a handful of Seasonal Savings Events throughout the year with Beauty Insider-only discounts, and each tier gets a different discount.
Rouge-level Beauty Insiders qualify for 20% off purchases for the duration of the sale events. They are also frequently given earlier access to the discount than VIBs and Insiders. Additionally, during Point Multiplier Events, Rouge members receive 4x the usual points per purchase. One of the best offerings of the Insider Program is the Rouge Reward. This is only available to Rouge tier Insiders and allows members to redeem 2,500 points for $100 off a purchase. Talk about a perk!
VIBs are awarded 15% off during Seasonal Sales and get sale access before Insiders. During Multiplier Events, 3x the points are given to VIB tier purchases.
Insiders are the last to have access to the sales events; however, they still receive a 10% discount and 2x the points during Multiplier Events.
With the Beauty Insider Program, members spend more to save more!
Member tier status is evaluated yearly. Customers will be moved up and down the ranking system depending on their spending within the last calendar year.
More Rewards with the Sephora Credit Card
For Beauty Insiders who want even more rewards, Sephora offers two credit cards with exclusive perks! Both the Sephora Credit Card and the Sephora Visa® Credit Card can enjoy the benefits of the Beauty Insider program. Additional benefits include a 25% off discount for their first card purchase at Sephora.
If that isn’t enough of an incentive, both cards also offer:
· 2x the points on all Sephora purchases
· 4% back in Credit Card Rewards (redeemable both online and in-store)
· Cardmember-only deals on merchandise
The Sephora Visa® Credit Card also offers 1% back on purchases made outside of Sephora and a $20 Sephora Credit Card Reward when you spend $500 outside of Sephora within the first 90 days of card ownership.
If you find that Sephora is your one-stop-shop for all things beauty, health, and wellness, it might pay to open a credit card!
Can you Redeem Beauty Insider Points At Other Stores? How?
If a trip to Sephora is out of the way, don’t worry! Sephora has partnered with JCPenney and Kohl’s to bring in-store boutiques to select locations. These boutiques offer a more curated selection of Sephora products, and both companies allow Beauty Insiders to earn points and access rewards.
Sephora at Kohl’s
As a result of the 2020 decision to phase out Sephora boutiques in JCPenney stores, a new partnership with Kohl’s arose. This deal aims for 600 boutiques in Kohl’s location by the end of 2022 and a whopping 850 by the end of 2023. This serves to increase Sephora’s brand accessibility across North America — a win for all Beauty Insiders!
Sephora at JCPenney
The partnership between Sephora and JCPenney began in 2006 and at one point entailed over 550 in-store boutiques. Unfortunately, due to JCPenney’s 2020 bankruptcy, the partnership ended. Sephora boutiques are set to leave all stores, so shop while you still can!
Pros of the Sephora Rewards Program
Perhaps the most enticing part of the Beauty Insider Program is the early access to seasonal sales! This awards members more time to shop and a higher likelihood of scoring those hot-ticket items before the sale goes public.
The Rewards Bazaar is uniquely Sephora and allows members to sample products that they might not have otherwise tried at no financial risk. This is beneficial to both the company and the customer as it increases product visibility. In addition to the merchandise, the Bazaar offers highly sought-after beauty experiences. These encourage Beauty Insiders to get more involved with the industry.
Another major pro of the Program is that there are literally no risks. Not one! It costs nothing to join, and, if you are fine with the baseline Insider benefits, it costs an additional nothing to maintain. After all, who can say no to a birthday gift!
Cons of the Sephora Rewards Program
As of 2020, Sephora has implemented a policy that allows points to expire if a Beauty Insider account is not used for more than 12 months. While this probably won’t affect customers who frequently use and repurchase products, for those who only use a select few products without the need to replace them frequently, this policy might dissuade them from joining or maintaining an account.
While the Reward’s Bazaar is a fun perk, Beauty Insiders are limited as to how many of the same rewards they can get. Program members may only receive one unit of any one reward per transaction and may not redeem points for more than 10 of the same reward per year. If you really like getting free samples of one product, this could put a damper on your rewards experience.
Some members consider the time constraints for tier-related spending to be somewhat rigid. $1,000 spent on beauty products and services in one year is not something that a lot of people can achieve, but at the end of the day, this program is as much about spending incentives as it is customer rewards.
Do Points Expire? Yes, points will expire after an account goes unused for 12 months or more.
Does it cost money to join? Nope! It’s completely free.
How do you join? Provide your name, email, and phone number in-store or online to create an account.
Is there a minimum age to join? For Sephora North America, Beauty Insiders must be 16 years or older.
Can you share your account with someone else? Technically, the account can only go under one name, but anyone with the account information can use it during purchases.
Is it worth signing up for the Sephora Loyalty Program?
Bottom-line: Well, that really depends on you and your individual beauty needs, but there really is no downside to joining. For that reason, it’s well worth joining for most people. This program offers a no-risk way to access rewards such as a free birthday gift, free shipping, and member-only sale events. Plus you earn points by buying awesome products, such as these matte lipsticks.
If those are perks that you would enjoy, then, yes, it is worth it to make an account. If you are an avid beauty fan and frequent buyer, the benefits only increase! Because of offers such as Beauty Insider Cash and increased discounts during sales, saving money is easy and expected.
With competition like Ulta’s Ultamate Rewards Program, customers might find it difficult to choose which store to frequent. At its lowest tier, the Sephora Beauty Insider Program is free to join and maintain, so there is really no harm in joining. You might even find that the promise of free goodies from the Rewards Bazaar and other program benefits sway your purchasing habits towards Sephora.
Simone is a graduate of Georgetown University and a skincare enthusiast. Her favorite skincare product is currently COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. In addition to her passion for cosmetics, Simone loves to spend time outdoors.