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The Sephora family of credit cards, issued by Comenity, are store credit cards that earn extra rewards at the chain of beauty products stores. However, depending on which card you qualify for, rewards on non-Sephora purchases are limited or nonexistent. Unless you head to Sephora frequently for beauty hauls, at most you’ll occasionally get a few dollars off a purchase.
In most cases, you'll be better off with a general cash-back credit card.
Here are five things to know about the Sephora credit cards.
1. There are 3 versions of the card
Depending on your credit history and other financial information you provide in your card application, you may qualify for one of these three Sephora credit cards:
The Sephora Credit Card, which can be used to make purchases at U.S. Sephora stores or on the Sephora website.
The Sephora Visa Credit Card, which can be used wherever Visa cards are accepted.
The Sephora Visa Signature Credit Card, which can also be used anywhere Visa is accepted and offers Visa Signature travel benefits including a concierge service and roadside assistance.
All of the cards charge a $0 annual fee.
2. Sephora purchases earn more rewards
All three cards earn 4% back (in rewards, not cash back) on every $1 spent at U.S. Sephora stores or on the Sephora website.
The Sephora Visa Credit Card and Sephora Visa Signature Credit Card also earn 1% back per $1 on all other purchases. Plus, as of this writing, they earn a sign-up bonus: $20 in rewards when you spend $500 outside of Sephora in the first 90 days.
3. Sephoras inside other retail stores don’t count
That 4% rewards rate counts only when you shop at standalone Sephora stores. Locations inside of other retailers, like Sephora stands in J.C. Penney stores, do not qualify.
If you don’t live near an eligible Sephora store, you can still earn this high rewards rate when you shop online with Sephora.
4. Credit card rewards work in tandem with the Beauty Insider program
As a Sephora cardholder, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Beauty Insider, the store’s loyalty program.
This means you’ll earn both credit card rewards and Beauty Insider points on all eligible purchases, and you can combine these two pools of rewards for future purchases.
5. Reward redemption is limited
You can redeem rewards only in U.S. Sephora stores — not including Sephora locations inside other retailers — and on sephora.com. For every 125 reward dollars you earn, you get a $5 credit card reward, and rewards are issued in $5 increments.
Those rewards expire more quickly than a bottle of perfume left on a sunny windowsill. Earned reward dollars expire after 18 months, while you have 90 days from the date those credit card rewards are issued to spend them.
In other words, once you get that $5, you don’t have too long to spend it. That also makes it hard to stockpile points in the hopes of offsetting the cost of a large purchase — so much for a deep discount on that $500 blow dryer you’ve been eyeing.