Sephora Visa® Credit Card
Earn 15% Off Your First Purchase
- 4% back on all Sephora purchases
- 1% back on all other purchases
- $20 signup bonus after spending $500 outside of Sephora within 90 days
- No annual fee
- Regular Purchase APR: 16.99% or 25.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 26.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: $10 or 3% of the amount each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 26.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $10 or 3% of the amount each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Spoil your pup with a FREE upgrade to BarkBox. - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save 10% on all Afternoon Tea orders - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save 10% on The Berlin Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- 10% off museum entry - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save up to 55% on London theater tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save an extra 10% on Tower of London access tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save 5% with Alamo® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save 5% with Enterprise Rent-A-Car® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
- Save an extra 5% on The Paris Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
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At a Glance
The Sephora Visa was made for beauty lovers and earns 4% back on Sephora purchases – a return that general credit cards can’t match. But the rewards program can be tricky to navigate – and even more difficult to generate tangible rewards – as such, only those who spend thousands at the brand should consider owning this card.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are a current VIB Rouge member (minimum $1000 spend per year)
- Have access to a standalone branch (not located within a JCPenny)
- Already have a rewards credit card for everyday purchases such as dining or travel
- Live in the United States
- Want a card with no annual fee
Sephora Visa® Credit Card Review
The Sephora Visa is a co-branded credit card from Comenity Bank (one of the leading store credit card issuers). It provides beauty shoppers with cash voucher rewards and operates separate of Sephora’s Beauty Insider program. As is expected of retail credit cards, it offers a decent return on purchases at their stores (4% back) but has few perks beyond that.
There is no annual fee, but the reward redemption rules are confusing and have so many restrictions that the casual shopper will find it difficult to generalize any rewards – and even harder to justify owning it.
Qualifying for the Sephora Visa Signature card will require a credit score of Fair or higher, and applicants who do not qualify for the Visa-version of the card will automatically be considered for the Sephora store credit card.
The Sephora Visa card offers two rather underwhelming signup bonuses for new cardholders.
The first is a one-time coupon for 15% off your first purchase after opening an account and expires after 30 days. This discount is automatically applied so you’ll want to have strategically plan your next makeup haul.
The reason why this “perk” is so disappointing is that Sephora VIB members (those who spend more than $350 at the brand per year) will regularly find themselves with 15% coupons for Sephora’s seasonal sales – making the first-time bonus average for those within the higher tiers of the Sephora loyalty program. Even for those at the starting-level tier (Sephora Insider), Sephora offers these members 10% coupons – so that 15% is a negligible improvement.
The second signup bonus is for meeting a minimum spend on non-Sephora purchases. The card offers a meager $20 in Sephora Credit Card Rewards after spending $500 outside of Sephora within the first 90 days of opening an account. While this requirement isn’t hard to reach – this also isn’t a compelling enough bonus to justify owning the card. However, this does offer a larger return compared to spending $500 with a generic flat-rate 2% cash back card.
Considering that this is a newly released credit card when card issuers present their biggest and best incentives, the Sephora Visa signup bonus is disappointing (and that’s not even comparing this bonus to other retail credit cards).
Earning Sephora Rewards
In terms of everyday earnings, beauty shoppers will earn a decent return of 4% back when using their card at Sephora (both in-store or online) which is extra valuable considering that beauty supplies MCC code (5977) as “Beauty Shops & Supplies” rarely allows it to qualify for bonuses with other more general rewards cards. Unfortunately, the 4% return does not apply to purchases made at brand branches in JC Penny or outside of the United States.
For all non-Sephora purchases, the card will generate a standard 1% back, which means that this card should only be considered for use outside of the store to meet the signup bonus or if this is the only rewards card that you own.
Rewards are earned in the form of Sephora Reward Dollars (think of them as ‘points’) which can then be redeemed forCredit Card Rewards (a reward dollar) once enough “points” have been earned.
Example: $100 spent at Sephora = 4 Reward Dollars
Reward Dollars expire after 18 months, meaning that those who don’t spend at least $3,125 at the store per 1.5 years will find themselves without enough points to redeem for any cash value.
What is Sephora Credit Card Rewards?
Sephora Credit Card Rewards are essentially coupon vouchers for in-store and online purchases. They are the currency of the card’s reward program and function as store credit. These reward dollars are applied at checkout to lower your total purchase price.
Earning one dollar’s worth of a Credit Card Reward requires 25 Reward Dollars (points) – the equivalent of spending $625 at Sephora.
Redeeming Sephora Rewards
There is only one redemption option within the Sephora Visa Rewards program, and earnings can only be used towards reward dollars (Credit Card Rewards). There is a minimum of $5 in reward needed before a voucher can be issued, meaning that 125 Reward Dollars (points) are needed before rewards can be spent.
Vouchers are automatically generated in increments of $5 every billing period, meaning that Reward Dollar amounts that fall in between the $5 minimums (125 RDs) will remain in your account as points until enough have been earned for another voucher.
Credit Card Rewards expires 90 days after being earned. Since these are automatically generated, you’ll want to keep a very close eye on your account. Earnings expire regardless of a cardholder’s Beauty Insider status or annual spending amount.
Sephora Reward Redemption Limitations
Besides having a very unattractive spend amount to earn a single reward, there are limitations when it comes to the actual usage of Sephora Credit Card Reward dollars.
If you’ve somehow gain multiple $5 vouchers there is a cap of 3 vouchers per in-store transaction. Online purchases are limited to using one single voucher – so most cardholders will want user their Sephora credit card rewards in-person.
However, these vouchers are not accepted at JCPenny-based branches and cannot be used towards the purchase of gift cards.
Should the item you are purchasing be worth less than the voucher amount, any remaining value is forfeited (i.e. if you purchase a $3 item with your $5 Sephora Credit Card Reward, the leftover $2 will be lost).
Should You Apply for the Sephora Visa Credit Card?
The Sephora Visa offers a decent bonus for brand related purchases, but the rewards redemption system is so restrictive – and the minimum spend needed to generate a reward so high – that cardholders will rarely see any results for their loyalty.
In order to earn a $5 voucher, cardholders would have to spend $3,125 which is a dismal return rate even for a retail card. Compared to a generic cash back card, spending that same amount would yield
Overall, the Sephora Visa card fails to deliver a compelling reason to own it, $62.50 in rewards, even for the most loyal of customers. The Sephora Visa would not be a good fit for the average shopper or even a makeup artist, as both would do better with a flexible cash-back card that would generate significantly larger returns and have the additional benefit to use those earnings as they please.