How do points work at Ulta? There is a lot to know when it comes to earning and redeeming Ulta points With UltaMate Rewards. Ulta Beauty already has the most rewarding loyalty program in the beauty community, but learning more about how to earn and redeem points can take your savings to the next level. By only spending points when they are worth the most and stacking as many bonus points and multipliers as possible, your return on investment could easily multiply from what you’ve received in the past. The most important step to maximizing your savings potential and making the most out of the program is to learn when to redeem. Once you’ve done that, learning how to maximize earnings will get you to redemption faster.
I have one timeline where I list all major: deals, coupons, GWP, Sales, promotions, and Events. Those who want to see an overall idea of what to expect this year should stop by. See where these Ulta Beauty coupons line up with others on the schedule. You can also visit my Ulta retailer page to see active and upcoming offers of all types.
How Do You Redeem Points at Ulta?
Point redemption gets calculated after coupons get applied and before the payment (if a payment is due after subtracting both). This means you will not pay tax on any coupons or points you redeem. Paying with points will not affect the free shipping minimum. If your free shipping minimum is $50 and you pay that or more in points, you will not incur a shipping charge. Many retailers require actual money spent to exceed the free shipping minimum, but as you will see by the time you get to the bottom of this article, Ulta’s program is superior to the others.
What Are the Point Redemption Values at Ulta?
Point Values get assigned as you redeem them, not as you earn them. While there are some redemption values not listed on the chart below, you cannot redeem in any other increments.
How much is 100 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $3. Never redeem 100 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 200 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $6. Never redeem 200 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 250 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $8. Never redeem 250 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 300 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $9. Never redeem 300 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 400 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $12. Never redeem 400 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 500 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $17.50. Never redeem 500 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 600 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $20.50. Never redeem 600 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 700 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $23.50. Never redeem 700 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 750 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $30. Never redeem 750 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 1000 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $50. Never redeem 1000 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 1500 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $67.50. Never redeem 1500 points unless you are Bronze tier and your points are about to expire.
How much is 2000 points at Ulta worth?
It is worth $125. Always redeem in 2000 point increments. This is maximum value. Anything less is not maximizing your deal. Of course, this does not apply to the Bronze tier, because their points will likely expire before they can save 2000.
Do Ulta Points Expire?
Yes, It is important to remember that regular UltaMate member, Bronze, points expire. Your points will expire quarterly after a year has passed. If you earn points in the 4th quarter of 2018, they will expire when the first quarter of 2020 starts. That means points earned on October 1st have 1.25 years to get redeemed, while points earned on the 31st of December only have one year to get redeemed. Always keep an eye on your points. While you want to maximize value, you want to make sure you do not sit on them too long.
It is improbable for a regular member to reach 2000 points (before they expire) without reaching Platinum status. I had never seen a multiplier greater than 5x for a regular member until the 11/20/18 Member Appreciation Offer. With stacking (scroll down for details on this), only purchasing during a 5x points offer, or occasional offers like that, a regular member could hit 2000 points. Unless you are one of those regular members who only shops when the best multipliers are available, you will almost always redeem under 2000 points. Just redeem for the maximum value you can before they expire.
Will I lose Points If I Return a Product to Ulta?
If you return a product, you will lose every point you received when you purchased it. This includes multipliers and the portion of a flat bonus point offer applied to that product. It will remove all points on product specific bonus point offers. For example, you purchase a $25 product with a $50 minimum for 250 bonus points. It will only remove the 125 bonus points for the item you returned. You keep the 125 points on the other product. An offer for 250 bonus points on that specific product will result in the loss of all points when you return the product though.
What Can You Redeem Points On?
You can redeem UltaMate Rewards points for most products and services. Gift cards cannot be purchased with points though.
What is the Maximum Point Value at Ulta?
Platinum and Diamond member points never expire, so there is almost never a reason to redeem under the maximum value of 2000 points. Looking at the point redemption chart and assuming the member has no bonus offers:
- It would take an UltaMate member, who gets 1 point per dollar spent, $100 to earn 100 points. If the member cashed in 100 points, s/he would get a $3 bonus for the $100 already spent. That is a 3% return, which is not too bad.
- A Platinum member, who gets 1.25 points per dollar spent, needs to spend $80 to earn 100 points. That is a 3.75% return if the Platinum member cashed in 100 points for $3.
- The Diamond member, who gets 1.5 points per dollar spent, needs to spend $66.67 to earn 100 points. That is a 4.5% return if the Diamond member cashed in 100 points for $3.
Although those rates of return seem decent, it only gets better as you redeem more points. As I mention above, point values get assigned as you redeem them, not as you earn them. In the chart above, it shows you get $125 for 2000 points.
- If you save 2000 points, but you redeem them 1000 at a time, you will only get $50 twice, $100.
- Those who redeem at 2000 points at once will get the full $125. This is the highest point redemption value and the only increment I suggest redeeming points in if your points do not expire. Redeeming at any other point is not allowing maximum redemption for your points.
If you have over 2000 points and your subtotal is $142.50, cash in 2000 points and pay the $17.50 difference.
- By using the points in excess of 2000, you are not getting maximum value on those points.
- Yes, you got maximum value on the first $125, but you did not on the $17.50. You will have redeemed 500 points for that. Had you saved those 500 points toward your next 2000 point redemption, you would have hit it faster and gotten full value for all of your reward points.
The important takeaway is only redeem points in increments of 2000 for maximum value.
- You are getting maximum value at 4000 points as well.
- The system will not allow you to cash in 6000 points at a time, so break up 6000 points into 2 orders of 2000 and 4000, or three orders of 2000, 2000, and 2000. I never save much past 2000 points, but there is nothing wrong with saving as many as you want.
How to Get the Best Value For Your Ulta Points?
To show the difference saving points makes, I’ve calculated the rates of return the member would get for saving. This chart only applies to value without multipliers. Most people earn at least some of their points from multipliers. In general, your value is greater than the values listed below. When you earned points with multipliers, using the Platinum and Diamond charts will make your deal look better than it really is, so you need to run the math by hand.
100 points for $3 off -3%
250 points for $8 off -3.2%
500 points for $17.50 off -3.5%
750 points for $30 off -4%
1000 points for $50 off -5%
2000 points for $125 off -6.25%
100 points for $3 off -3.75% (takes $80 to earn 100 points)
250 points for $8 off -4% (takes $200 to earn 250 points)
500 points for $17.50 -4.375% (takes $400 to earn 500 points)
750 points for $30 off -5% (takes $600 to earn 750 points)
1000 points for $50 off -6.25% (takes $800 to earn 1000 points)
2000 points for $125 off -7.8125% (takes $1600 to earn 2000 points)
100 points for $3 off -4.5% (takes $66.67 to earn 100 points)
250 points for $8 off -4.8% (takes $166.67 to earn 250 points)
500 points for $17.50 off -5.25% (takes $333.33 to earn 500 points)
750 points for $30 off -6% (takes $500 to earn 750 points)
1000 points for $50 off -7.5% (takes $666.67 to earn 1000 points)
2000 points for $125 off -9.375% (takes $1333.33 to earn 2000 points)
How Do Multipliers and Bonus Points Affect Redemption Value?
If you had a multiplier, it would increase the reward percentage on every redemption. This means if you earned all of your points on a 5x multiplier, you would multiply the percentage in the UltaMate category by 5 (1×5) to see overall redemption value.
- That gives 15% to those who redeem at $3
- 31.25% to those who redeem at $125. That is because it would only take $400 to reach 2000 points on a 5x multiplier. Divide $125 into $400, and you will see your rate of return is 31.25%. This proves it is always most valuable to redeem points at 2000, even when using multipliers.
How Does the Platinum and Diamond Bonus Affect Redemption Value?
It gets trickier to find out the exact percentage in the other categories, because the bonus (0.25x for Platinum and 0.5x for Diamond never multiplies). With a 5x multiplier:
- UltaMate members get 5x points. I already showed you the difference between getting 15% when redeeming $3 or 31.25% when redeeming $125 above.
- Platinum members get 5.25x. The easiest way is to use the regular UltaMate table and add 0.25 at the end. A Platinum member with a 5x points multiplier would spend $380.95 to reach 2000 points. Divide $125 into $380.95, and you will see your rate of return is 32.8%.
- Diamond members get 5.5x. The easiest way is to use the regular UltaMate table and add 0.5 at the end. A Diamond member with a 5x points multiplier would spend $363.64 to reach 2000 points. Divide $125 into $363.64, and you will see your rate of return is 34.37%.
If you use the Platinum chart above (which is the rooted around the base point of 1.25), you are calculating that 0.25x bonus on points 5x even though you only got it on the first point. It would make it look like you got 39.0625% back with a 5x multiplier, but your real return is 32.8%.
- It is still higher than UltaMate members, so your 0.25x bonus matters.
- Knowing how to calculate value can prevent you from thinking you are getting a better deal than you really are.
- The only thing you really need to remember here is you will never do better than redeeming in 2000 point increments no matter how you earned them.
How Do I Redeem Points at Ulta?
To redeem points in person, just ask the person checking you out to cash them in. Online, point redemption is right under the Apply Gift Card section of the payment screen. It is the tab that says Redeem UltaMate Rewards Points. This tab will let you select the amount of points you want to redeem up to the value of the item.
Can I Redeem Over My Ulta Balance to Use Less Points?
Points get redeemed in different values. Sometimes you redeem more for a smaller amount of money. You cannot exceed the value of the item, even if you have the points available. There are no point redemptions that let you perfectly redeem $13 (the amount in my cart above). For $12, you could redeem 100 points 4 times, 400 points. This is because 500 points would be a $17.50 redemption where 400 points lets you redeem $12. If you wanted to redeem 250 points for $8, and 100 points twice for $6, it would take you to $14. That is why you do not see an option for redeem 450 points. Going over the $13 in your cart is not possible. There are times where you can redeem at a perfect amount. If you had $11 in your cart, you could redeem 350 points to get your purchase for free. Points get deducted before sales tax applies so you would not even pay sales tax.
Do You Earn Points When You Redeem Points at Ulta?
You can, but you will only receive points on actual money spent. If you do not spend any money, you will not get any points. Any money that is spent will get divided evenly across all products then applied to relevant multipliers or bonus point offers. In 2017 and prior, this was always the case. For 2018 and part of 2019, Ulta offered Bonus Points and Multipliers when redeeming points. The only exception was on base points and site wide offers. Sometime in 2019, Ulta returned to the the old way. Unless it changes again, which I doubt, the answer is you will not get points when redeeming points other than points for what you spent with the point redemption.
How Do You Earning Points at Ulta?
Gift cards are considered the same as a cash or credit card transaction, so you will receive the same amount of points when redeeming a gift card as you would with any other almost any other method of payment, including PayPal. Points get calculated based on your subtotal. Nothing gets awarded for shipping or sales tax
Earning Ulta Points While Redeeming Points
If you have a set Bonus Points Offer when you redeem points, you will only get the bonus points if the actual amount spent exceeds the offer. This 06/05/19 example shows I did not get 350 bonus points with a $50 purchase, because I only paid $25.89 of the $150.89 out of pocket. The other $125 was paid from points. In the past, you would get the bonus points if your total went over the minimum even when redeeming points. Now, your cash total must go over the minimum to qualify, so I would have received the bonus points if my total was $175, redeeming $125 in points and paying $50 out-of-pocket.
On 10/13/19, I discovered that Ulta returned to the 2017 model. Despite having a multiplier on Too Faced, I only received bonus points on the money I spent. I did not get any bonus points on what I redeemed. So, we are back the model of dividing actual money spent across all products and calculating points (bonus and base) off that. My out-of-pocket was $10.79 x my 1.5 base point = 16.185, which Ulta would round down to 16.
How Do Ulta Point Multipliers and Bonus Points Work?
Ulta has a lot of point multipliers and a couple of bonus point opportunities. All bonus points, targeted point multipliers, and event point multipliers require activation before the purchase. These offers get emailed throughout the year, but it is a good idea to check the My Rewards section of your online account before shopping to make sure yours is active. Check my Ulta Page for a complete listing of all promotions. Point promotions get discussed in more detail in their linked articles. Members get 2x points during their birth month, 5x points for one week during their UltaMate account anniversary month, multipliers from 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, 6x, 7x, or 10x for all purchases based on member level, targeted point multipliers for specific brands, products or services, and bonus point offers, which usually includes a set amount of points for a specific dollar amount spent. Platinum and Diamond members will also get 10x points offers every August. There are also Beauty Stars Events that pop up throughout the year that offer 5x points to every level that gets invited. When there is a point increase, Platinum gets 6x points, and Diamond gets 7x points. Point Multipliers take the amount spent and multiply it by the multiplier to get the point total.
Bonus point offers are straightforward. There are no base points baked into bonus points, so you just add the bonus points to whatever else you earn for the purchase. If Ulta offers 350 points with an $80 purchase, you get 350 points when you spend $80, plus your base points (1x for every dollar spent), plus your level bonus (0.25x Platinum or 0.5x Diamond), plus any other multipliers you have (after deducting 1x per offer to remove the duplicate base). While member offers will vary, everyone will get the bonus promised on top of regular points or multipliers as long as they spend the minimum for the bonus.
During a 10x points event, a Platinum member with no other multiplier could earn 2000 points with a $195.12 purchase. If the Platinum member cashed in 2000 points at once for $125, that is a 64% return on investment. In the same event, a Diamond member with no other multiplier could spend $190.48 for 2000 points. That would be a 65.62% return on investment if cashed in at 2000 points. Earning and redeeming at the right time makes this program unbelievably rewarding. It is still very rewarding for those who earn most of their points the hard way (no multipliers, because sometimes we need things when there are no offers) or those who are unable to save to 2000.
Do Ulta Point Multipliers Combine?
Yes, Point Multipliers Combine. With all of those earning opportunities, there are times when multipliers overlap. It is actually possible to have up to four overlapping multipliers at a time. There are two important rules to remember when combining multipliers. The first applies to all accounts, and the second only applies to Platinum and Diamond accounts. Base points never multiply. A base point gets built into every offer so you must subtract one point from each subsequent offer to remove the duplicate base. Platinum members get a 0.25x point bonus and Diamond members get a 0.5x bonus for every dollar spent. This bonus does not multiply either, which is the second thing to remember. As long as you keep these rules in mind, you can calculate any bonus you have coming. Ulta always rounds down anything to the right of the decimal, even if it is 0.9%.
It is important to know how points will multiply, because you want to make sure you are getting all the points you deserve. While Ulta rarely messes up the multipliers, it does happen. This happened to me most recently last month. There was a 5x points on all eyeshadow palettes. When I clicked into the palettes from the link in the email, the Too Faced Chocolate Gold palette appeared. I ordered it, but I only received my standard 1.25x Platinum points on the $49 palette. That meant I got shorted 196 points, which was $49×4 I had not yet received. After a quick call to Ulta, I was manually given my 196 missing points.
Unlike Sephora where points get awarded when they’re earned, it takes a little longer with Ulta. Those shopping in store should see their points within a few hours. Online shoppers will not see their points until hours after the order ships. This means it can take days for your points to get awarded.
Now, let’s get into an example to make sure everyone knows how to run the math. Suzy was born in January. She is a Platinum member, who had an offer for 5x points on Urban Decay and a general 3x points on all purchases for her January 1st order.
Suzy gets 1.25x points for every dollar spent, because she is a Platinum member. (this is the base point plus 0.25 Platinum bonus)
Suzy gets 1x point for every dollar spent, because it is her birth month (2x-1 to remove the duplicate base)
Suzy gets 4x points for every dollar spent on Urban Decay (5x-1 to remove the duplicate base)
Suzy gets 2x points for every dollar spent, because of her limited time Platinum offer (3x-1 to remove the duplicate base).
Suzy has a $100 purchase, of which $50 is from Urban Decay.
She will get:
$50 x (1.25+1+4+2) or 412.5 points on the Urban Decay and
$50 x (1.25+1+2) or 212.5 points on everything else.
This is a total of 624 points, because Ulta will remove the extra 0.5 on each subset.
In the scenario below someone has $140 in charges, with a $10 coupon, and a $125 point redemption. What happens if that customer had a multiplier? Let’s say she was a Platinum member. To keep it simple, she has one 5x point multiplier on Lancome. Of her $140 in charges, $70 is Lancome and $70 comes from other brands.
She will get:
$5, base points on the actual amount paid, x (1.25x) or 6.25
$65, the amount of her Lancome bonus minus the portion of the $10 coupon attributed to Lancome, x (4x) or 260
This is a total of 266 points, because Ulta will round it down. She will see her point statement as -1734, which is the total she redeemed (2000) and the total she received (266) added together.
What are your thoughts on earning and redeeming points at Ulta? Let me know below. Targeted Offers are exclusive to UltaMate Rewards Members, so I do recommend joining. Whenever there is an exclusive or unique Ulta Beauty offer, I will note that above. An advanced breakdown on Earning and Redeeming Points can help you maximize the UltaMate Rewards Program. Coupons are almost always available. I go over all types of Ulta coupons and track 20% off prestige coupons. Remember to check my Ulta Deals page before placing an online order for possible exclusives and advice. There are always general and brand specific offers I do not list, so check the GWP section of the Ulta site as well. Ulta encourages deal stacking. Most major events run on a schedule, and I track each one. Read Tips For Getting the Best Deal at Ulta. See all Ulta articles. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links