Sephora Visa Credit Card Review

Sephora Visa Credit Card Review

When you’re checking out at a Sephora store, the sales associate might ask if you want to sign up for Sephora’s credit card. The offer is certainly tempting, and in the rush of the moment, you might be inclined to make an impulse decision. After all, you haven’t had time to research the card and think it over. With this Sephora Visa Credit Card review, you can learn everything you need to know and make a more informed decision.

What Is the Sephora Visa Credit Card?

The Sephora Visa Credit Card is a rewards credit card that you can use in-store or online to make purchases from Sephora and other retail stores, if you live in the United States. Conversely, the Sephora Credit Card (the one without “Visa” in its name) can only be used at Sephora stores or on Sephora’s website. 

You can use the Sephora Visa Credit Card to save money when you make Sephora purchases. As of October 2021, you can earn 4% back for every $1 spent on Sephora; while rewards on purchases at Sephora are relatively high, other purchases earn much less cashback.

Sephora Visa Credit Card Features

The Sephora Visa Credit Card comes with the below features:

Rewards Online or In-Store at Sephora

When you buy products at a standalone Sephora location or on Sephora’s website, you’ll earn 4% back for every dollar spent. Compared to other retailers that double as credit card issuers, this rewards rate is slightly higher than average but not extravagant.

To review how these rewards work, let’s say you use your card to buy $100 worth of makeup at Sephora. You’ll automatically earn $100 * 0.04 = $4 in rewards. 

Note that Sephora’s 4% rewards rate only applies to purchases made on its website or at standalone locations. Sephora kiosks in other stores don’t qualify.

Rewards for All Other Purchases

Any purchases you make outside Sephora will earn you 1% back in Sephora credit card rewards. This cashback rate is on the low end.

This rule is true only for the Sephora Visa Credit Card. It doesn’t apply for the Sephora Credit Card (the non-Visa option). As mentioned earlier, the non-Visa option is only valid for Sephora purchases and cannot be used elsewhere.

Purchase Bonuses

If you make an in-store or online Sephora purchase within 30 days of obtaining your card, you’ll get a 15% discount on a future purchase. You’ll also get the 4% cashback described above.

You’ll get an additional bonus if you spend $500 at stores other than Sephora within 90 days of being approved. In that case, you’ll get $20 in Sephora Credit Card Rewards. You’ll also earn 1% back on all these purchases.

Sephora Beauty Insider Membership

All Sephora Visa Credit Cards come with an automatic membership to Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. Through this program, you’ll earn one point per dollar you spend at Sephora. As an Insider – the lowest of Sephora’s three membership tiers – you can convert 500 points into $10 to use at Sephora. You’ll also get 10% off for seasonal savings events, free shipping on online orders over $50, and double points at point multiplier events.

Your membership in the Beauty Insider program is separate from your credit card rewards program. Your earnings from one don’t count toward the other or vice versa. However, you can use rewards from both programs on the same purchase even though your balance for each will be different.

No Annual Fees

Some store credit card issuers charge annual fees, but that’s not the case with Sephora. You can use your Sephora Visa Credit Card for purchases without paying these fees. Of course, carrying a balance, making late payments, and using other credit card services such as balance transfers can all incur fees.

Sephora Visa Credit Card Ideal Users

The above features show that the Sephora Visa Credit Card can slightly lower the prices of your Sephora purchases. When you buy from Sephora stands at other stores, though, your purchases don’t count as Sephora purchases. They instead go into the “all other purchases” category, which barely contributes to your cashback earnings. Of course, the lack of annual fees does make the card more attractive. 

Given this all, you’re an ideal Sephora Visa Credit Card user if:

1. There’s a Standalone Sephora Branch in Your Area

Of course, you can always use Sephora’s webstore to make the purchases that earn you the most rewards. However, if your primary spot for buying Sephora products is a stand at another store, you’ll only earn 1% back on your purchases. As such, if you don’t have a standalone Sephora branch in your area, you’re not quite an ideal user.

2. You Need a No-Fee Credit Card

Some rewards-heavy cards come with annual fees that chip away at your earnings. The Sephora Visa Credit Card lacks these fees. If you can only justify signing up for a rewards card if you won’t pay extra fees, you’re potentially a fit for a Sephora card.

3. You Have Other Everyday Rewards Credit Cards

The 1% rewards rate you’ll get on non-Sephora purchases with your Sephora card is nothing to write home about. You’ll likely find yourself saving more money with the other everyday rewards credit cards in your wallet. That’s why the ideal Sephora credit card user already has powerful everyday rewards credit cards. If this sounds like you, then you can use your everyday card everywhere else and your Sephora card only in Sephora for maximum earnings.

4. You’re a Sephora Rouge Member

Rouge is the highest tier of the Sephora Beauty Insider club. Rouge members must spend $1,000 per year at Sephora to qualify. If you were to spend this $1,000 with a Sephora Visit Credit Card, you’d earn $40 back. That’s quite a good amount of cash for a rewards program. As such, if you’re a Rouge member, you’re an ideal candidate for a Sephora card.

6 Things To Know About Sephora Credit Cards

As you decide whether or not to sign up for a Sephora card, you should keep the below six things in mind.

1. Three Types of Sephora Credit Cards

The introductory Sephora Credit Card can only be used for purchases at Sephora or on the Sephora website. The Sephora Visa Credit Card can be used for purchases anywhere but earns the most rewards at Sephora. There’s also the Sephora Visa Signature Credit Card, which is mostly the same as the Sephora Visa Credit Card. The main difference is that it comes with Visa Signature travel features unavailable with the other two cards.

2. Signup Bonuses

You can earn a 15% discount on a future purchase if you make a qualifying Sephora purchase within 30 days of signing up. You can also get $20 if you spend $500 total at other stores within 90 days. These incentives can certainly influence whether or not you choose to sign up. As you weigh your decision, you should take the time to compare other credit cards’ bonuses to these amounts.

3. Credit Card Rewards vs. Beauty Insider

When you successfully sign up for the Sephora credit card program, you also automatically become a Sephora Beauty Insider member. That said, the rewards you earn through your credit card purchases don’t count toward your Beauty Insider balance and vice versa. This distinction, though, is relatively meaningless, as you can use rewards from both programs on the same purchase. Every 500 Beauty Insider points you earn count for $10 in cash.

4. Credit Card Rewards Expiration

Your Sephora credit card rewards expire 90 days after you earn them. Upon expiration, you can’t regenerate these rewards. To make the best of your rewards card, you should use your earnings regularly as you accumulate them. This way, expired rewards are less likely.

5. Rewards Limitations

Your Sephora credit card rewards are only valid in the U.S., at Sephora stores or online. Kiosks inside other stores don’t count. Additionally, the ratio of 500 Beauty Insider points to $10 translates to 2% back, which is relatively small. However, it is larger than the 1% everyday purchase cashback rate.

6. Rates and Fees

Although your Sephora credit card won’t come with an annual fee, other credit card services will incur fees. Namely:

  • Your balance transfer APR will be 26.99% and will fluctuate with the prime rate. The transaction fee will be $10 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.
  • Your cash advance APR will be 26.74% and will also fluctuate as the prime rate shifts. Your transaction fee will be either $10 or 3% of the advance, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign transactions incur a 3% fee on their USD amount.
  • Late payments and return payments incur a $40 fee.
  • Your regular purchase APR will fall between 16.99% and 25.74%. It will vary with your credit history and the current prime rate. Of course, you can avoid your APR entirely if you pay on time and in full.

More About Credit Cards

The Sephora Visa Credit Card is just one of many credit card options you can pursue. After all, its low non-Sephora rewards rate and use limitations might not feel super attractive to you. Or maybe you buy at Sephora somewhat often but just don’t meet the ideal user criteria above. No matter what, you can always visit our credit cards page to explore other options.

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