A quick look at L’Oréal’s new Worth It Rewards

Paging through the newspaper this morning, I stopped at an ad for a new rewards program from L’Oréal.

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Worth It Rewards promises 5 points for every dollar spent, tracked either by linking loyalty cards from the retailers where you purchase L’Oréal products or by uploading receipts from a “participating retailer.”

It was quick and easy to sign up for Worth It Rewards…

…although the site didn’t really seem optimized for mobile, which seems like a significant oversight in 2017. Once in, I encountered one drawback right away: The only loyalty cards that can be linked in my ZIP code are CVS, Pick n Save, Piggly Wiggly, Peapod and Kmart, none of which are places I generally shop. If I buy a L’Oréal product, it’s probably going to be at Target, Ulta or Walgreens.

Target and Walgreens are both included among the participating retailers in the receipt upload program, but no Ulta:

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The receipt upload requires you to enter the UPC of your product before you can continue, and here’s where I encountered another missed opportunity for mobile: Why no scanner? That’s how Ibotta confirms products when you’re uploading receipts, and it’s super easy. If I had to enter every individual UPC into Ibotta I wouldn’t use it. You know I love to save money, but I also have a life.

I did have a L’Oréal product handy, so I typed in the UPC and was then prompted to upload my receipt:

 

I don’t have the receipt for this product anymore (and I bought it at Ulta anyway, because that’s where I buy things…), so I can’t vouch for the ease of the rest of the process, but apart from having to find and enter the UPC code, pretty hassle-free.

There are other ways to earn points.

You can follow L’Oréal’s various social media channels (50 points, or the equivalent of spending $10, each). You can view and save articles on their website (5 points/$1 each). You can refer friends to the program (at 10 points each, I’m not sure how “worth it” that one is). You can write a product review (25 points/$5).

About those social follows: I’m not sure how they’re verifying them, exactly, or if they are at all. I clicked on the “Twitter Follow” button to see how they wanted to verify my follow, and instead 50 points instantly appeared in my account. Full disclosure: I have no idea whether I’m following L’Oréal on Twitter. So this part of the program may be operating on the honor system.

Cashing in your rewards

When it comes to cashing in, a $3-off rewards certificate will run you 450 points, or the equivalent of $90. That’s a little better than Ulta, where you have to spend $100 to get $3 off, but on the other hand, Ulta runs so many bonus offers that it’s very easy to earn bigger rewards without spending too much more money. You can also save up your Worth It Rewards points for gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters or iTunes, magazine subscriptions or (at a nice low number of points) charitable donations. I wasn’t familiar with any of the charities listed, but it wouldn’t be hard to do a quick Google and see if they’re something I’d want to support. There are also some “digital downloads” for 25 points each that appear to be mobile phone wallpapers (I am assuming based on the image. There was no further description on the redemption page).

L’Oréal lists these additional benefits on the welcome page (I missed them entirely before I signed up, so maybe they don’t show up on mobile? Obviously that didn’t stop me):

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You had me at “Deluxe Sampling,” but unless there’s a scanner functionality introduced somewhere along the way, I’m having a hard time seeing myself uploading $250 worth of product receipts to get there. Maybe there are 250 website articles I can save.

At first glance, Worth It Rewards seems like a nice idea…

…(I do love a rewards program), although I’m not convinced about the execution. If you want me to upload receipts, L’Oréal, please make it quick, easy and mobile-friendly (better yet, put it in an app). I can’t see myself typing individual strings of UPC numbers so I can save up for a movie ticket. I’d also be more excited if I could link my Target and Walgreens rewards to the program, and if Ulta were participating, since that’s where I most often shop for makeup.

If you’ve signed up for Worth It Rewards, what do you think so far? And if you haven’t, feel free to use my referral link and earn me a whopping 10 points. I’m saving up for a subscription to Real Simple.

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