If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
Ulta periodically emails offers for a free gift with any purchase. There is no set schedule for these offers, so I cannot pinpoint an exact time period the way I do for major promotions. At times, there will be none and other times there are up to four. These are typically valid in store and online, but each offer will specify if there are any restrictions. Online offers include a link to add the purchase. These are targeted offers, so they are not listed in the general GWP section. In-Store offers include a coupon. Most of these targeted offers are general, meaning we can share them with someone who did not receive the offer. Others are unique, and a unique code can only be use one time in store (if it has a 20 character bar code) and one time online (if it has a 10 character code). If you are not using a unique offer, you can pass it along, but it will only work one time (per method since online and in-store codes are different). Any other questions on these coupons and other Ulta coupons are likely answered in Everything You Need to Know About Ulta Coupons.
Ulta also posts general gift with purchase offers that are not targeted. These are almost always online only. Sometimes it emails these links as well. Other times, it does not. It is a good idea to check the section before placing any online orders or shopping in store. A lot of online specific brand offers are available in store, but with drawers of freebies behind the register, it is hard for the Ulta employees to keep track of them. Know which offers are available before you go to the store and ask for them if they do not automatically grab them. They could be in stock, but the employee may not know about the offer. Although less common, Ulta also extends affiliate offers through Pay-to-Shop Programs, blogs (like this one), Youtubers, and more. I will always post any affiliate offers I am aware of, but there are targeted affiliate offers just like there are targeted email offers. This is a reminder to check multiple places to get the best deal. No one always knows them all.
When the offers advertise a free gift with any purchase, it really means any purchase. Ulta sells a lot of drugstore items, and most stores have a clearance section. This is usually near the center of the store. It is not always in the same place in every store, so ask if you cannot find it. The clearance section has a mixture of drugstore, Ulta branded items, and prestige. Another option is to grab an item from the displays in the checkout line. When it comes to prestige items, these are usually travel sized items that retail for a higher price per ounce. Avoid those if possible. Drugstore items placed here, like toe separators and nail files are usually full-sized and the same price if you find them elsewhere in the store. Those are the items you’d get the best deal on. For this in-store purchase, I found a gem in the clearance section.
There were a lot of nail polishes from $0.97 to $2.99. Many were nicer brands. It looks like Ulta dropped Nails Inc online, and that is why all the Nails Inc polishes were $0.97. Prices and clearance selection will vary by store. The Gel Effect nail polishes are the older, smaller, 0.33oz size, but they are in decent shape. Nothing a little shaking could not redistribute. I got Nails Inc Spring Street, a coral-pink orange crème. The finish is semi matte and smooth. Compare this to my other coral and orange polishes. This $0.97 purchase gave me one UltaMate rewards point, but I swear I had the same number before the purchase. Who knows!
There were three gift with any purchase offers I was aware of when I went to the store last night. Two are offers I received on my account, and the last one was an offer someone was kind enough to send me. One of these offers is unique, so it will no longer work in-store. All three will work online, but the two general ones will still work in store.
Luckily, all three were in stock, so I got them all. The first offer is for a 7 0.06oz foils of Lancome Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Lifting and Firming Eye Cream with any purchase. This offer is valid through 07/23/16 or while supplies last.
The second offer is for a free 1oz Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Treatment with any purchase. This offer is valid through 07/30/16 or while supplies last. Note this has a 20 character code, so this is unique. I’ve already redeemed the in-store offer, so this coupon will not work any more. Usually offers that are unique in store are also unique online, meaning you can only pick this up once in store and once online (using a promo code). While this is unique in-store, it is general online. That means the link above will still work for online redemption for anyone who wants to use it. These offers with one unique code in store and a general link that does not require a promo code online are not common, so I wanted to show it as an example that it does happen.
The offer I did not receive but wanted the most is for a free 1oz Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Replenishing Mist, 1oz Refleshingly Clean Gel Cleanser, and a Travel Bag with any purchase. This offer is valid through 07/30/16 or while supplies last. I’ve never received anything from this brand, but I’ve heard great things. It is a natural brand, and I like to try natural products when possible. There was another GWP that included the mist, but I did not get that one. I am really glad someone gave me the offer for this, so I can finally try this.
Back when they emailed regular free gift offers, they ran out of stock extremely fast. It got to a point where I never bothered trying, because they would be gone if I went later the same day or early the next day. Since they switched their offers to a gift with any purchase, they do last a little longer. It makes trips to the store worthwhile, and in many cases is also a good opportunity to swatch things for future online purchases (where the freebies are usually better if you’re willing to spend over $50 to avoid the shipping charge). The better ones still run out before the expiration date. If you’re planning to pick up any of these gifts, good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor.
I will continue to post offers I am aware of, so no worries if you happen upon this post after the offers above expire. If you have questions about any Ulta Coupon, I go over all types. Targeted Offers are exclusive to UltaMate Members, so I do recommend joining. New members get $10 of their first purchase with a referral. Remember to check all Ulta offers before placing an online order, because there are always general or brand specific offers that are not targeted. Deal stacking is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. See all Ulta articles. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal at Ulta. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate and Referral Links