Ulta Credit Cards: Ultimately Awesome or Boring?

Ulta credit cards come in two forms: the Ultamate Rewards credit card and the Ultamate Rewards Mastercard. If you are considering any of the two for your future purchases in the said store, you might want to know their differences and specific limitations.

ulta credit cards comparison


  • You can earn points on all products and services offered at Ulta Beauty Stores, except gift cards.
  • There are two versions of the card: a closed-loop card and a Mastercard version.
  • The cards can help you earn points faster.
  • The points can be redeemed for up to $125.00 off on Ulta products.
  • The redemption options are minimal.
ulta credit cards

Ultamate Rewards Credit Card and Ultamate Rewards Mastercard

Like other stores, Ulta offers two kinds of credit cards: Ultamate Rewards credit card and Ultamate Rewards Mastercard. The former is a closed-loop card that can only be used at Ulta stores, while the latter is a version that can be used anywhere where Mastercard is accepted.

Upon opening the account, the new cardholders will receive a 20% off coupon that they can use on their first Ulta product or service purchases right away. Also, both Ulta credit cards only require fair credit scores and charge no annual fees, so qualifying and maintaining them can be easy. However, users still need to be cautious in using them since the closed-loop version has a standard APR of 22.74%, while the Mastercard version has 22.74%, 19.74%, or 13.74%, based on one’s creditworthiness. The APR for cash advances of the latter is high at 26.99%, and it has a 3% foreign transaction fee. It also charges either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer/cash advance, whichever is greater. Most of all, be aware that the two Ulta credit cards’ penalty fees (late and returned payment) can go up to $40.

The cards rely on the Ultamate Rewards Loyalty Program that is free and accessible for any eligible individual (any United States resident over the age of 16 can join). Without the cards, those already a part of the program can earn 1 point for every $1 spent at Ulta Beauty. However, by using the card, spenders can earn an additional 1 point, making it to a total of 2 points for every $1 spent. On the other hand, the Mastercard version can earn an extra 1 point for every $3 spent outside Ulta Beauty. It can also get 500 points as an additional welcome bonus after spending at least $500 in the first 90 days outside Ulta Beauty.

The points collected may be redeemed for products or discounts (gift card purchases and Ulta Beauty at Target purchases are not included) at Ulta Beauty online and physical stores. For discounts, the redemption system follows a specific set of increments, so you might want to check your point balance before attempting to redeem them. Here is the complete conversion of points to their respective discount rates.

Ulta Credit Card Points Conversion

Ulta Credit Card Points Conversion

Are the cards worth it?

The use of the Ulta credit cards is pretty straightforward. There are no complexities in the system of the distribution of its rewards. However, if you look closely at how they work, you’ll realize if you really need one.

The cards serve as an additional booster that can expedite your points earning, especially if you just want to get the closed-loop version. As for the Ultamate Rewards Mastercard, it can work for other stores accepting Mastercard. It can also perform balance transfers, cash advances, and foreign transactions. Lastly, the card can get 1 point for every $3 spent outside of Ulta Beauty, but is it enough? Not really. At such a rate, you need to use the card whenever purchasing products from other stores to collect points faster. But what if you have other general rewards credit cards? Do you set them aside just to prioritize earning discounts on Ulta products and services? Most people won’t. Plus, the rewards can only be used at Ulta stores and only at Ulta stores.

Further, qualifying for the cards won’t automatically promote you to a higher tier (Platinum and Diamond) of the Ultamate Rewards Loyalty Program. You can also enjoy the benefits of the program even without the cards. So, do you really need these credit cards? If you need a boost in points earning and you want the additional 20% off intro bonus (plus 500 points for the Mastercard version), they can be worth a try. But for practicality, we don’t think they are worth getting. Instead, opt for a more versatile general rewards card that offers a wide variety of redeeming options and a higher rewards rate wherever you shop. Some of the best cards that will benefit you regardless of where you use them are those from Discover, Capital One, Chase, and more.