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 you can maximize earnings and redemption by combining both with other events on the calendar. You can also visit my Ulta retailer page to see active and upcoming offers of all types.

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.

Point Values get assigned as you redeem them, not as you earn them. You can only redeem in the increments listed below.

It is important to note that regular UltaMate member 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.

You can redeem UltaMate Rewards points for most products and services. Gift cards cannot be purchased with points though.

Platinum and Diamond member points never expire, so there is almost never a reason to redeem under maximum value. 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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you redeem points on an order with multipliers, read all the way to the bottom of the article. Since this topic applies to earning and redeeming, I am only listing it once under earning.

I was able to cash in $125 worth of points 3 times last year for a total savings of $375. According to the chart, I only earned 5701, so 299 of the points I cashed in carried over from the previous year. Thanks to a large New Year’s Day purchase, I already have my next $125 bonus waiting for me and amazing deals I want from The Love Your Skin Event, which I go over in the attached article. Most years, I redeem $250 in points, but I spent a little more than usual in 2017.

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. Paying with points is the exception, which I go in-depth with below.

Points get calculated based on your subtotal. Nothing gets awarded for shipping or sales tax. Prior to 2018, you only earned points on actual money spent. Now, you only earn base points for actual money spent, but bonus points are earned based on the sales price minus any coupons redeemed (with one exception, which I go over below).

In this 11/10/17 example, you see that after a 2000 point redemption and a $10 coupon (an old referral coupon; sadly referrals no longer exist in 2018), I spent $15.68. My base points were properly calculated at 19, because Ulta rounds the ($15.68 x 1.25) 19.6 down. Ulta divided the $15.68 I spent among all the items based on sales price. Once it figured how much I actually spent on bonus eligible products, it awarded 31 points.

I expected the same result on my 01/21/18 order, but to my surprise, I see the rewards program actually improved. The base points are still calculated as they’ve always been. After a 2000 point redemption and a $10 birthday coupon, my total was $8.44. My base points were properly calculated at 10, because Ulta rounds the ($8.44 x 1.25) 10.55 down. Instead of applying bonus points for the 5x point multiplier I had on Patchology to the amount of the $8.44 Ulta attributed to the Patchology item, it applied them based on the sales price minus the coupon. That meant I got credit for the $14 sales price minus $0.94 of the $10 coupon. A 5x points offer for a Platinum member is always a 1.25x base and a 4x bonus. Even though most of that $13.06 balance got covered with points, I got all the bonus points ($13.06 x 4) 52.24. Ulta rounds that down to 52.

**The exception to this is site wide multipliers. You will not get bonus points when redeeming points on site wide multipliers.** Birthday and anniversary multipliers are good for anything on the site but are not considered site wide (because only select customers have birthdays or anniversaries each month making it a special offer for your account), so you would get bonus points for those multipliers. If you get an offer that says 200 bonus points with a $50 purchase, it does not matter how you paid that $50, you will get the bonus points on that as well. Those are targeted offers that not every account receives. Site wide offers are offers that pop up and say 2x, 3x, 4x, or 5x points on anything. Whether you get the notification or not, these offers are typically available for everyone within a reward level. This is not really a loss, because we never got any bonus points when redeeming points (unless the amount of points redeemed was less than the subtotal) before. If the program ever weakens (not that it has at all), my guess is it would be to once again remove getting bonus points when redeeming points.

Ulta has a lot of point multipliers and a couple of bonus point opportunities. All bonus points and 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, or 5x for all purchases based on member level, targeted offers 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 and received smaller 10x points events in November 2017 and March 2018 that may or may not repeat.

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 (my latest offer), 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). These offers are typically only available in January, July, and October for select members. 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.

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, and they do combine. 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? 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.

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Wow! Super informative to the point of being over my head, but Much more helpful than going through customer service. Thank you for doing all the homework for us!

You may have answered this in your article, but I have a question: I have an IT cosmetics product and 2 Lancôme products in my cart ($127) for 5x points days. When I go to checkout (just to see how the 5x adds up), it says I’ll earn 666 points. However, when I apply my 2000 points, my Points Earned drops down to 510. I haven’t checked out yet because I want to make sure, which is how I found your site! Thank you again!

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Edit: The point redemption rules changed in 2018 so 510 points is exactly what you should have. I edited the article above to reflect this. You only earn base points based on actual money spent. That means you spent ($127-$125) $2. Your base points are 1.25 x 2 =2.5. Ulta rounds that down to 2. Bonus points are awarded even when points are redeemed. That means, you’d get ($127 x 4) = 508. A 5x point multiplier for a Platinum member always results in 5.25 (the 1.25 base plus a 4x bonus). 2+508 = 510. The 156 point difference from 666 to 510 is the $125 x 1.25 (156.25, which Ulta would round down to 156) you would have received had you paid that $125 instead of redeeming points.

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Helpful article. If redeeming points, is the redemption applied bottom line, meaning the points would pay for the taxes too?

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Points are applied before taxes so you do not pay tax on points redeemed. If your subtotal is $125 and you redeem $125 in points, you pay $0. I’ve actually paid $0 for orders before.

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That make sense! Thank you!

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You’re welcome.

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This is freaking amazing! If I had seen this sooner, it would have saved me many hours of frustrating customer service calls. If you don’t work for Ulta, you should! Or at least pitch this article to customer service to train the call center, some of whom do not understand how the point system works. It’s complicated, but worth learning how maximize. I have earned a lot of free make up because of this amazing program!

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I am a huge fan of Ulta’s reward program and feel it can be extremely rewarding when it is maximized to its full potential. The employees who seem to have the best grasp on the program are usually the ones who are also regular customers. Between gratis and different levels of product usage, some probably shop a lot less than others. That is not to say that employees could not take more time to learn the program better. You can always learn new things, and I constantly learn how to work with rewards for all the retailers I shop with. If you ever have a question, feel free to ask. When I can answer, I will.

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This is incredibly helpful thank you! My question pertains to returns on an order you used points for. I redeemed 2000 points on my last order and I want to return only two of the items I purchased. I want to make sure that Ulta will give me back the correct number of points that should be allocated for those two items and not less. The total cost for those two items was 15.33% of my total purchase, so I would hope to get 306.73 points back on these items (2000 x .1533). However, I’m wondering if Ulta considers that I redeemed my points at a lower point value now that the total for my order has gone down. Do you have any idea about this? Thanks!

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It depends on how you do the return. If you do it through the mail, it is more likely they will look at the original order and process accordingly. When you make a return in store, it is always a little more difficult. Ulta will encourage you to return it in store, because it is faster and saves them on return shipping costs. I never return things, but I did accidentally order a blush shade I already owned (too much makeup and forgot to look at my spreadsheet before the order). The rep suggested I exchange it for a different color in store. Since the blush was on a points promotion when I bought it, and I used a coupon to purchase it, she wanted me to pay the difference (as the coupon was no longer valid) and could not be used again even if it was. I told her I just wanted a different color and had not even touched the one I was returning (they can sell them again if they confirm they are unused). She still insisted I pay the difference. Finally, a manager adjusted the difference. When I got home, I noticed all the points for the blush (purchased on a 5x multiplier) were subtracted and the blush I exchanged it for was added at 1.25 points instead (was Platinum at the time). I was able to get someone in online customer service to give me the points back, but the whole process was a hassle and very time consuming. Ulta also applies the $125 evenly across the items, which means the two items you return would be returned the same way they charged when you purchased them. With some persistence and calls to customer service, I have faith it can end the right way. So, say they were $50 each and $40 of the $125 was applied to them, you would get the $10 you paid x 2 back and the points redeemed for the $40 x 2 would get returned. Point values are calculated when you redeem, not when you earn or return, so if you paid 1000 points for something you return, you get 1000 points back. Once you redeem them again, then you can focus on their value. Redeeming at 1000 points would get $50. I would save 1000 more, redeem at 2000 and get $125.

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Hey Love,

Can you email me I am going to make a purchase today and want your help.

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Yes, I will await your response.

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I’ve called ulta about 5 times literally to figure this out and I’m still a little lost. I have 2x the points (birthday month) 4x the points on all purchase( diamond) 5x the points on all tarte purchases, 150 bonus points on Mario purchases.

I purchased a tarte lipstick collection at 39 bucks(5x) and a Mario lip set (150 bonus points) how many point should I have spending 78 dollars total. Please help!

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Happy Birthday! For the tarte, you have 9.5x points x39. That is 0.5 for your Diamond Bonus, 1x base point, 2x-1 for birthday (remove the duplicate base), 4x-1 for Diamond (remove the duplicate base) and 5x-1 (remove the duplicate base) for tarte. That is 370.5 (remove the 0.5 because Ulta rounds down) so 370 points. I assume the Mario set was $39 ($78-$39 for tarte). That is 0.5 Diamond Bonus, 1x base point, 4x-1 (remove the duplicate base Diamond offer) +150 points. That’s 175.5 rounded down to 175 + 150 bonus. The Mario Badescu total is 325. Add that to the 370 for the tarte and you should have received 695 points assuming you paid all $78 (no point redemption or coupons).

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Very informative article. Thank you for all your hard work on it. I have bookmarked this page for future reference.My question is, will I earn points using a gift card? And if I do redeem points, do I earn points on that purchase. Thanks in advance if you know.

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Yes, gift cards are no different from cash, so you will earn the same amount of points with a gift card redemption. Getting points while redeeming points is a little more tricky. You get the same points you would for every dollar over the redemption. Example, you redeem $125 but your total is $140. You’d get full points on the $15 difference you pay (divided equally over all items, which gets really tricky when multipliers are involved). For the $125 points redemption, you get no base points or level (Platinum/Diamond) bonus. You can get bonus points if it is not a site wide multiplier. An example is the 2x, 3x, 4x promotion that works on any product. That is site wide, so you would not get bonus points. A 5x points multipler on tarte is not site wide, so you would get bonus points. In 2017, you would not even get bonus points on the tarte multiplier when paying with points, so it is completely possible we will see another amendment in 2019. The program keeps getting stronger. I cannot think of a single episode of weakening.

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So if I redeem points (4000) in my birthday month while I also have a 4x diamond general mutiplier, will I get the bonus point on the whole amount minus the 250 base points for what I redeemed? Or do I only get those multipliers on what I pay out of pocket, because they aren’t on a specific product? Thanks!

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You are correct on the base points. They are on actual money spent, so you would not get the 250 ($250 redemption) or your 0.5 Diamond Bonus (375 total points you would have had you paid cash). The 4x multiplier is considered site wide, so you would not get any bonus points on that either. Site wide multipliers are excluded from receiving bonus points when redeeming points. You will get your birthday bonus points, because that is not technically considered a site wide offer (even though it strangely counts toward anything on the site). So, you would get a total of 250 bonus points for your birthday (subtracting out the base and the Diamond bonus). You would also get all multipliers on anything over $250 spent out of pocket divided evenly across all items. Happy Birthday!

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Thank you for a very informative article. I’m about to redeem 4000 points, and I wondered if the $250 “spend” will count toward status. I’m currently Platinum, and hitting Diamond would be nice, although very unlikely this year without the $250. I completely understand if it doesn’t, but it would be nice to know if it does. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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Only actual money spent counts toward status. Gift cards are counted as actual money, but point redemption is not.

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I redeemed 2000 pts for $125 worth of Ulta product, 2-3 times this year. How are returns reimbursed? In other words, if I want to return 1-2 items(only part of the $125+ order(I paid cash for the difference), do I get those points back in my rewards account? And does it matter if the sale occurred beyond 60 days? Thanks in advance.

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I do not really return things (typically only exchanging things that arrive broken or need a color change), but I know there is a 60-day window on returns. If you are within the window, you can return your product. Your refund would be the way you paid for it. Example, you paid $10 cash and used 500 points, you would get that back. After the 60 days, it is highly unlikely the associate will process the refund. They will probably tell you they can’t. If you are really close to the 60 days a manager could make a judgement call, but I am guessing no one will help if it is too much over. The two main reasons I do not do returns is I hate hassle, and I usually do not even try things until after the return window.

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Thanks for that extensive detailed article. Very informative! I have a question… If I am a member and only $10.00 away from Platinum and I purchase an item in store in that amount then I come back later or order something online does that second purchase automatically incur all the benefits associated with a Platinum membership such as the higher point multiplier? Also, if I spend $25 at one time and I only need $10 to reach Platinum does the Platinum multiplier kick in on $15 of the the total?

Thank you!

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Yes, the only way you would not get immediate credit at the new level is for online purchases. Whenever you make a purchase in-store, it takes hours at most for your account to update. Sometimes, it is even faster. Online purchases do not update until hours after the order ships, which can take days at times. Unfortunately, you are still at the lower tier until you cross over, so everything on the order that pushes you over is at the old rate. Whether you spend $10 or $100, you get the benefits from the old tier on the whole purchase. You are on the right track though. Spend $10 (or as close the the perfect amount possible to cross you over). Once you have officially crossed, then you can purchase the other items you need at your new tier. That’s what I do.

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I’ve been trying to figure this out for so long, and have been hoarding points like crazy because I’m waiting for a 10 x event so I can spend a bunch of my points and get the best return. However, every time I build a basket to see what my points are going to come out like if I use my points to pay I earn almost no return points! Example, they have a 5 * event for Clinique moisturizer products during my birthday month so I added a few items and ended up with 1023 points for a $152 basket. So far so good. Then I added 2750 points to pay with just to see what would happen and it brought my return points down to 635. How am I supposed to get a return on my bundles of points that I pay with if I’m not getting any of the bonus points when I pay with them? It’s very frustrating. I’ve never been able to really grasp how to do this. Have the rules changed?

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You do not get base points when redeeming points and bonus points only come on select multipliers (site wide multipliers get excluded). The Clinique multiplier would count (not site wide, but only at 4x as the first is a base which does not multiply). I would not cash in 2750 in points, because you are not getting maximum value on the 750. Cash in 2000 and save the other 750 until you earn 1250 more. If you want me to check the accuracy, let me know exactly what level you are, what multipliers you have, and what is in your cart. I will take a look.

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I wasn’t planning on redeeming the 2750 points, I was just trying to see what the cart was going to do in relation to the point I would earn from the purchase. I definitely read your blog enough to know that 2000 is the magic bundle number when it comes to redeeming points :-). I’m a diamond member, I would have the 2X multiplier for my birthday month and the 5X multiplier for the clinique products Moisture surge 72 hour auto replenishing hydrator in 1.7 ounce, dramatically different hydrating jelly 4.2 ounce, and two of the dramatically different moisturizing lotion+ in 4.2 ounce if you would like to help me out with the numbers.

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…..After re-reading the section on earning while redeeming I think I understand. I know I’m posting because I’m confused about the process but I promise I do know how to math. 😂

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When I add those 4 Clinique products into my cart, they total $123. I assume the other $29 is coming from something other than Clinique. If you were to redeem $125 and pay the $27 difference, you would get full points on everything divided evenly over the $27 and bonus points only on the $125. Let’s separate them to run the math. You get 1.5X27=40.5, which rounds down to 40 base points on the $27 and zero on the $125. Your bonus points are 5-1 (Clinique to remove the duplicate base) and 2-1 (birthday to remove the duplicate base). That is a total of 5x bonus points on your $152, which equals 760 plus 40 base points. This order would get you 800 points. Bonus points just went live 45 minutes ago. If you calculated this before bonus points, login to your account and activate your bonus points before you make a purchase.

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The math is tricky, and I am verbose. It takes practice to learn how to run it with all the rules. Considering it is Ulta’s system, it should never get it wrong. Yet, even Ulta does not get it right every time. Even I do not get it right all the time, so no worries.

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Last question I promise. Now when I go to check out the points drop down significantly when I had the points i’m going to use to pay. Do the points come back after I have purchased the haul? I think that’s where I’m starting to have my confusion… I don’t see the bonus point in the total earned points where I think they should give that information.

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If you have activated all of your offers, they will tabulate correctly in the secure checkout screen with rare exceptions. Those exceptions generally come in when select items do not get multipliers they should or when paying with points. What I would recommend in that case is place the order anyway and see if the points get applied properly once the order ships. You can call to get them manually adjusted if you have to, but I’ve seen them listed wrong in the checkout screen and still tabulate correctly once they post. As long as you get 800 points plus whatever bonus points offer you received after the order posts (assuming you have no other multipliers other than the ones you told me about) and I am correct that $29 is coming from something other than Clinique, it is okay if the system is not calculating it correctly now. I hope it works out and you do not have to call in.

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