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Recently, I went online to connect my previously made Ulta and Sephora memberships to the online community. One thing I found is that I was really close to becoming both an Ulta Platinum member and a Very Important Beauty Insider. I was very excited, as I am an extreme beauty addict, and decides to do some more research on both. Here is important information about both reward systems:
So Sephora has three levels of rewards. There is the Beauty Insider, which I suggest everyone should become. It`s free, doesn`t take long to register for, and you easily rack up points that you can save until the end of time, redeeming them for a wide range of products. You also get a free birthday gift along with other promotional offers. The next level up is the VIB, which is the Very Important Beauty Insider. Now, in order to become a VIB, you must spend $350 at Sephora within a calendar year. By doing so, you unlock new rewards, such as special gifts, access to special events, first dibs on new products and more. The final level of Sephora`s Beauty Insider program is VIB Rouge. The VIB Rouge program has offers every beauty addict would die for. You get everything from the other two programs along with free shipping on every purchase, unlimited access to their beauty studio, your very own beauty consultant, and more. The only catch? You have to spend $1,000 dollars within a calendar year. Holy crap. That is a lot of money. Don`t get me wrong, if Ulta and Sephora were one store, I would probably be there already. But they aren`t, so my spending is split, meaning I probably won`t get to become a VIB Rouge member. The other thing that bothers me about this program is the one thing I had to dig through the Internet to find. Even if it meant going to the second page of google. You have to spend that much money every year to stay a member. See, I wouldn`t mind spending an obscene amount of money at Sephora if it meant I was a VIB Rouge member for life. However, you only get this membership for the year you qualify and the following year. Which means at most, if you get it once, you only have it for two years. I`m all for free shipping, but I`m not about to spend $1,000 for two years of it. This rule also applies to regular VIB members. The regular Beauty Insider rewards never expire. However, before you begin a boycott of Sephora, these rules also apply to the Ulta Platinum rewards program.
Ulta has a similar rewards program system as Sephora. In both stores, every dollar you spend is equal to one point. In both stores, it is free to sign up for the rewards program, and you get a free birthday gift at both stores. And unfortunately, in both stores, your special rewards only last two years. With Ulta, there are only two levels. There is the normal ULTAmate rewards program, which is very similar to Sephora`s Beauty Insider program. The differences come in that Ulta`s points are redeemed for money off your next purchase, while Sephora`s are redeemed for stuff. Another big difference is that Ulta`s points expire at the end of a year, while Sephora`s never do. The big differences come in play with the Platinum membership. With Ulta, you need to spend $400 within a calendar year. It then becomes easier to gain points, your points don`t expire, and you get more cool free stuff. Like the VIB program, your platinum membership status will expire after two years if you don`t spend $400 annually. That`s probably what irks me the most, that you have to spend obscene amounts of money every year to continue to get the perks you got for spending obscene amounts of money.
To be honest, I will probably become both a VIB and a Platinum Ulta member within the next month. I may complain about the issues with both, however, I already spend a lot of money at both places anyway. Five months into the year, and I`m only $135 away from Sephora`s $350 goal and only $54 away from Ulta`s $400 goal. Clearly I`m the type of girl who spends obscene amounts of money on beauty products. Now, I understand why these store set it up how they do. The logical connection is that if someone spends around $400 in a store one year, they will probably spend around $400 in the store the next year as well. I think it does make sense. But disregarding the few who will spend that much money just for the perks, if most of the people who obtain these statuses will keep them anyway, then why force them to repeatedly spend a lot of money every year to keep it? I didn`t even know I was so close to these statuses until today, so I probably would`ve reached it unwittingly. However, now that I see I`m going to be forced to spend this much money every year to keep my high status, well, it actually makes me not want to spend as much money at these stores. While to them, it may seem like a nice ploy to keep customers coming back, to me, it seems as though they don`t care as much about the loyalty of some customers and more about the amount they spend each year. Hypothetically, if one store was to offer it for life and the other had an annual re qualification program, I`d be more likely to spend my money at the place that was for life, rather than the place with the annual re qualification program. While as I am a beauty addict, I will probably get re qualified each year anyway, I`d prefer a store that appreciates my loyalty enough that when I spend obscene amounts of money there Echko year they just allow me to be a member for life. Maybe if they added a program that if you got requalified every year for five years or so, then you would be a member for life, that would be okay. But that is my only true concern.
Honestly, if you are a beauty junkie as much as I am, you might as well sign up for both. If you qualify for VIB or ULTAmate Platinum, well that`s really cool. But if you don`t, neither programs are really worth stressing over. Spend what you want to spend, and don`t worry about any extra rewards.