Spending money in Sephora is easy. We can't count how many times we've walked into the store to restock our favorite moisturizer and walked out with a black-and-white bag filled with mascara, hair oil, and mini samples. We've even dedicated a special line in our monthly budget for Sephora spending. And soon, it will be easier to keep up with all those last-minute Sephora shopping trips on one bank statement, because the retailer is launching its first credit-card program.
“The launch of the Sephora Credit Card exemplifies Sephora’s loyalty philosophy in every sense; it considers all the most-loved aspects of Sephora — the amazing product, services, experiences and personalization — taking our client experience to the next level through special access, rewards, and perks,” Andrea Zaretsky, Sephora’s Senior Vice President of CRM and Loyalty, wrote in a press release.
Set to release this spring, the cards will roll out in select markets and then be available in U.S. stores and on Sephora.com soon after. There are three different card options, including the Sephora Credit Card, Sephora Visa Credit Card, and Sephora Visa Signature Credit Card.
As with many credit card programs on the market, cardholders will earn rewards as they swipe. Signing up for each card automatically registers you for Sephora's in-house Beauty Insider Program. And Visa Signature cardholders will have the extra benefits that come under Visa's premium program, like travel perks and food events. But before you make room in your wallet for new plastic, Priya Malani, R29 financial expert and partner at Stash Wealth, warns that there are a few things to consider.
As sensible as it may seem to own a credit card for a store where you know the employees on a first-name basis, store cards can actually entice you to spend more than you normally would. "Most of the time, store cards like this come with a lower line of credit, so it doesn’t help your credit score very much," says Malani. "And you’d have to spend a significant amount at Sephora in order for the benefits to work in your favor. So, you end up spending more than you would have in the first place, and the excess spending negates your rewards or savings."
Sephora hasn't yet released information on interest rates or card limits yet (and we will update this post when they do), but store cards tend to have higher interest rates than general-use cards. So, Malani says it's a better bet to go after a card with benefits at more than one retailer. "Even if it’s twice the points at Sephora, that’s not better than a card that gives you twice the points at all merchants," she says.
With that in mind, there is the Sephora Visa Signature option that includes popular perks at other locations. But Malani adds that those rewards aren't exclusive to just this Sephora credit card. "Those kinds of benefits are becoming commonplace these days amongst the cards that millennials go for like the Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve, CapitalOne Venture, or Delta Amex," she says.
At the end of the day, Malani says that it's all about using your credit card properly. Whichever option you go for, it's important to do your research and pay it off in full every month. So, even if you're a Sephora VIB, make sure that you know exactly what you're getting into before signing on the dotted line for this credit-card program.