First, there were store-branded charge cards, with everyone from Macy’s to the Gap hounding you to apply at the register every time you bought a pair of socks. Then came travel rewards credit cards, which have exploded into a lucrative financial product and a national obsession. Now, we’re seeing signs of cross-pollination between these two types of credit cards, but it remains to be seen whether this means new opportunities are brewing for savvy shoppers who are also avid travelers.
Sephora, a beauty products store with 2,300 locations in 33 countries, has announced it will roll out three store-branded credit cards, one of which will carry some travel benefits, officially blurring the lines between store credit cards and travel rewards.
Travel benefits of the Sephora Visa Signature card
The Sephora Visa Signature card will be available sometime this spring, according to the company. And while it has similarities to the other two Sephora cards to come — the Sephora Credit Card and the Sephora Visa Credit Card — the Visa Signature program makes this third option of particular interest to travelers.
Visa Signature offers travel benefits including special guest status at more than 900 Luxury Hotel Collection properties when you pay with your card; a 24/7 travel concierge; privileges when you rent a car from the all-Audi rental agency Silvercar and a rental car auto collision damage waiver regardless of where you rent a car.
» Learn more: Credit cards that offer travel insurance
Visa Signature also links you to help if you have an emergency while traveling. Medical referral assistance helps if you require emergency medical treatment. If you’re on a trip and realize you forgot a prescription or crucial document like your passport, Visa Signature can arrange delivery of the item to you. Visa Signature travel benefits also will help you locate lost luggage, replace tickets or even get you on the phone with an interpreter if a language barrier has you in a bind while you’re traveling. You’re still on the hook for the cost of the service you request.
Sephora shoppers could benefit the most
Travel-related perks aside, this is first and foremost a store credit card. Cardholders are automatically enrolled in Sephora’s loyalty program, Beauty Insider, which rewards shoppers for in-store and online purchases, regardless of how they pay. Depending on the membership level, these perks include 1 point per $1 spent on Sephora purchases, a free gift on your birthday and free shipping. Anyone who signs up for the credit card earns Beauty Insider rewards on top of the card's rewards, compounding the benefits for frequent shoppers.
» Learn more: How to pick the best credit card for you in 4 easy steps
What, exactly, will the rewards of the new Sephora cards be? The company’s not saying yet. Stay tuned.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card