Advertiser Disclosure – BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards’ reviews, blogs, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author. They are not reflective of any card issuer or financial institution and have not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless otherwise noted. Further, BestCards lists credit card offers that are updated daily with information believed to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.
Last updated on February 9th, 2022
Ultamate Rewards® Mastercard
- Regular Purchase APR 17.24%, 23.24%, or 26.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 26.99%
- Cash Advance APR 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
Credit NeededBestCards.com uses a variation of FICO Score 8, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card.Fair
- Processing Network Mastercard
- Earn 500 bonus points after spending $500 outside of Ulta Beauty within the first 90 days
- Earn 2 points for every $1 spent at Ulta Beauty
- Earn 1 point for every $3 spent elsewhere
- 20% off your first Ulta Beauty Purchase
- Regular Purchase APR: 17.24%, 23.24%, or 26.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 26.99%
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of the balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of the cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
Browse these credit card deals and thousands of other offers by becoming a Bestcards Member.Join today!
At a Glance
If you love all things beauty, the Ultamate Rewards® Mastercard® is the credit card offer for you. Beauty lovers will be able to earn 2X points on all Ulta purchases, a modest 500 bonus points for spending after the first purchase (valued at $17.50), and 20% off all products and services using the Ultamate Rewards credit card.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Spend at least $50 at Ulta Beauty per year
- Are a Platinum-level Ultamate Rewards member or higher
- Want a credit card with no annual fee
- Want an open-loop card to use anywhere Mastercard is accepted
- Will pay of the balance in full every month
Ultamate Rewards® Mastercard® Review
The Ultamate Rewards® Mastercard® rewards loyal Ulta Beauty customers with points that can be cashed in for discounts towards future purchases. New cardholders will immediately receive 20% off their first purchase (including salon services), 2X points per dollar spent at Ulta both in-stores and online, and a one-time 500 bonus points for the $500 spent outside of Ulta (a value of $17.50).
Heavily reliant on the Ulta rewards program, the card has limited benefits to offer on its own and is best for expediting the accrual of points for Ulta coupons. It is the Ultamate Rewards loyalty program and not the credit card itself that provides the most tangible perks such as free shipping, $10 birthday coupons and, most importantly, points that don’t expire.
Unfortunately, being a cardholder does not entitle one to an automatic membership upgrade so if you want the top-tier perks you’ll still have to work for them. Moving up in Ulta’s membership ranks has no bearing whether you are a cardholder or not, which is why this card is best suited for someone who is already in the upper ranks of the program.
Who Can Benefit Most from the Ulta Credit Card?
The best time to apply for the Ulta card is if you have an upcoming beauty haul, have a shopping cart with a hefty total price, or are a basic Ultamate Rewards member looking to spend your way to the higher membership tiers.
Once approved, new cardholders will be able to use their card immediately without having it physically on hand. In addition to being able to start earning 2X points per $1 spent rom the get-go (an extra point over the basic member earning rate), you will also receive a 20% coupon via email (which can be used for your first purchase or at a later date). Although the Ulta credit card eans points on non-Ulta purchases, it’s not recommended.
This card performs quite poorly for earning Ulta coupons through everyday purchases like gas, groceries, or dining. The Ulta Mastercard requires spending $3 to earn a single point when using your card outside of Ulta stores and discourages use of the card elsewhere (after earning the signup bonus of course). Once you’ve spent $500, the best use of the Ulta credit card is solely for funding your purchases at Ulta Beauty.
Earning Ultamate Rewards Points
The primary strength of the Ultamate Rewards® Mastercard® is that it earns 2X points on every dollar spent at Ulta beauty stores, but without having a minimum spend requirement. This multiplier is average compared to a general rewards card and still seems fairly unremarkable when compared to Ulta loyalty program rates. this could translate to significant savings if you already planned on achieving Platinum or Diamond status.
Normally, if you were to move up through the Ulta loyalty program your point-earning bonus wouldn’t increase until you reached the new level’s spending threshold ($450 for Platinum, $1,200 on Diamond), resulting in several hundred dollars worth of potential Ultamate Rewards points lost. Until you reach Platinum status you’ll be earning points at the Platinum multiplier (1.25X) and so on.
A non-cardholder would earn 450 points by the time they reach Platinum (basic members earn 1X points) and then 937.5 points from spending enough to reach Diamond status.
This would result in a total of 1,387.5 points, enough for a $50 coupon. Cardholders, on the other hand, will earn 2X points the entire time they work their way up the membership ladder and would result in 2,400 points – enough for a $125 coupon.
Redeeming Rewards Points
Ultamate Rewards have a single remdeption method and can only be exchanged through the Ultamate Rewards program. Points are redeemable on a sliding scale and have a higher value when they’re redeemed in larger quantities:
Ultamate Rewards Conversion Rates
- 100 Ulta Reward points = $3 off1 point = $0.03
- 250 Ulta Reward points = $8 off1 point = $0.032
- 500 Ulta Reward points = $17.50 off1 point = $0.035
- 750 Ulta Reward points = $30 off1 point = $0.04
- 1000 Ulta Rewards points = $50 off1 point = $0.05
- 2000 Ulta Rewards points = $125 off1 point = $0.0625
The biggest weakness of the card is the fact that points will expire (even for cardholders) unless you are Platinum-level member or higher, which could make it difficult to amass the larger numbers of points needed for the most valuable competitive rates.
Should You Apply for the Ultamate Rewards Mastercard?
Since there is no annual fee, even the infrequent Ulta customer who spends as little as $50 a year could benefit from keeping this in their wallet. However, in order to make the most of the card’s perks (the expedited 2X point-earning capabilities) cardholders should aim to achieve at least Platinum status (minimum spend of $450) where points don’t expire – which is doubly important because Ultamate Rewards points are most valuable when they’re redeemed in large numbers.
In terms of rewards on beauty purchases, this card is unrivaled even by the most competitive of cash back rewards cards. The Ultamate Rewards redemption tiers offer a higher point value than most other cards – a difference that becomes drastically more competitive towards the larger end of the redemption scale (spending $500 would net you $10 with a 2% cash back card, but a minimum $17.50 in Ulta Reward points).
Additionally, the Ulta credit card does a decent job of providing immediate but modest value to cardholders, although the signup bonuses alone don’t provide a compelling enough incentive to apply for this card. If you were hoping for in-store discounts and savings – or rely on those as your incentive to shop at Ulta – this card will probably disappoint.