We're reader-supported and only partner with brands we trust. When you buy through links on our site we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date and time indicated and are subject to change.
It’s almost unbelievable, but it’s true — I earned $125 in free makeup last year using Ulta’s reward program.
I’m gonna show you my strategy step-by-step. Here’s how to get free makeup and other products using Ulta’s rewards program.
(Want to get notifications about all of the amazing Ulta sales year round? Download the KCL app and set Ulta as a favorite!)
Step 1: Sign up for Ultamate Rewards during your birthday month for maximum points.
Sign up for Ultamate Rewards during your birthday month…Or fudge it and put your “birthday month” down as the same month you sign up.
The reason your birthday month is important is because Ulta members get two different double the points on any purchase for your birthday — and a 2x points multiplier for your anniversary month.
So anything you spend during that time will be worth 4x the points.
Step 2: Spend enough to get “Platinum Status” so you can earn points faster.
When you spend $500 at Ulta in a calendar year, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the Platinum Status program.
For every $1 you spend as an Ulta Platinum Status member, you earn 1.25 points, which means your dollar goes further towards earning more points, faster.
In addition to earning points faster, you’ll get an extra birthday gift and special coupon codes more often with deeper discounts.
I know that $500 might sound like a lot, but remember Ulta has other items and services too, like bath and skin care supplies, a full service salon and drugstore-brand makeup.
The key here is to hit Platinum Status within the first year of signing up for Ultamate Rewards. For example, if you sign up in March, you can spend all year long toward your $500 to hit Platinum status. Once you spend $500, as long as it’s within that first year (maybe it’s the last week of February!), your points will not expire, and you can keep working toward the free $125.
Step 3: Stock up strategically during your birthday month to get Platinum status even faster.
For example, if your birthday is in March and you know you need to stock up on BareMinerals, stock up in March for maximum points. Earn all the points!
Step 4: Get your hair done at Ulta during 2x points days.
Heck, take the whole family in for haircuts on these double points days (maybe even finally convince your husband to get a brow wax) and really rack up the points.
Plus you’ll get 25% off your first salon service!
Step 5: Stack multipliers, gifts with purchase AND coupon codes to save the most (and get points!).
Frequently, “points multiplier” offers crop up at the same time as gifts with purchase (and coupons!).
Recently I had an offer for 3x points on Ulta store brand beauty products that came at the same time as a free 21-piece makeup bag full of Ulta makeup worth $88, and a coupon for $3.50 off $15 Ulta beauty as a gift with purchase.
I used the $3.50/$15 coupon code to score it all for just $20.50, and I earned 60 points on my purchase.
PRO TIP: Bookmark KCL’s free stuff page so you never miss a freebie!
Step 6: Hoard your points until you hit 2,000.
Ok, that sounds like a lot, but channel some patience and look at the chart above.
When you hit 2,000 points, you’ll get a $125 shopping credit (which is what I did!). But if you split them up and redeem only 1,000 at a time, you’ll only get two $50 shopping credits, thereby leaving an extra $25 on the table.
If you redeem 3,000 points, you’ll get the first 2,000 at maximum value of $125, but the other 1,000 points will only get you $50.
Any redemption that isn’t divisible by 2,000 will not get you the maximum value, and any money spent with your shopping credit does not count towards your $500 spent a year to achieve Platinum Status.
PRO TIP: If you don’t get Platinum status, it’s okay! Aim to spend your points at the 750 point mark. You’ll get $30 of free makeup, not $125, but if you just can’t swing $500 in a year, this is the way to go).
Step 7: Cash in your 2,000+ Ultamate rewards points for $125 in store credit.
It’s time to get your shop on.
Once you get enough points, you can cash them in for store credit. And credit can be spent on anything in the store, including expensive brand-name makeup.