In the Shopping section at Sterlish, we review, compare, and answer your questions about the loyalty programs of the biggest and best retailers out there, so that you can focus on bargain-hunting for your favorite products instead of reading wordy—and often ill-worded—terms and conditions.
Kohl’s Rewards is the American department store chain’s loyalty program. Kohl’s Rewards members earn 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash on every purchase in the form of time-limited coupons that they can redeem for all brands, except for Kohl’s Cares, at the store.
The program is free for any U.S. resident of at least 16 years of age to join and, in addition to the ability to earn Kohl’s Cash, gives access to member-only perks, events, and discounts, as well as a birthday gift every day.
We’ve seen more generous and enticing rewards programs out there, but a Kohl’s Rewards membership is worth considering if you buy your clothes, footwear, furniture, decoration, and appliances from the retailer anyway.
Plus, Kohl’s just entered into a store-within-the-store partnership with French makeup, skincare, and fragrance retailer Sephora. We’ll give you the details below, but the long story short is that Sephora at Kohl’s has started to pop up at Kohl’s stores all over the country.
Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a Kohl’s-goer, you’re likely to have a compelling reason to pay them a visit once in a while now that they brought Sephora a step or two closer to your home.
So here’s what you need to know about Kohl’s Rewards, the retailer’s recently-revamped loyalty program.
What Is Kohl’s Cash?
Kohl’s Cash are time-limited coupons that members of Kohl’s Rewards, the Menomonee Falls retailer’s loyalty program, earn for all purchases (except for gift cards) at Kohl’s stores and Sephora at Kohl’s locations, as well as on Kohls.com or with the Kohl’s App.
Kohl’s Cash can be redeemed for any merchandise (except for Kohl’s Cares) at Kohl’s stores or at checkout on Kohls.com. However, it can’t be used when shopping from Sephora at Kohl’s locations.
There’s 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash, the kind that you get from all of your shopping at the department store, and 20% Event Kohl’s Cash, which you can only earn at the retailer’s Earn Events.
To earn Rewards Kohl’s Cash, you need to be a member of Kohl’s Rewards program. In contrast, all Kohl’s shoppers, whether they are a member of the loyalty program or not, can earn Event Kohl’s Cash coupons at Earn Events.
We’ve explained the differences in the table below:
|Rewards Kohl’s Cash||Event Kohl’s Cash|
|How is it calculated?||5% on your purchase, after discounts and before sales tax or shipping costs||20% on your purchase, after discounts and before sales tax or shipping costs|
|Who can earn it?||Only Kohl’s Rewards members||All Kohl’s customers, incl. Kohl’s Rewards members and non-members|
|When and where can it be earned?||Throughout the year, on every purchase||Only at Kohl’s Earn Events|
|When does it expire?||Within 30 days of issuance||For the duration of the event (usually end of month)|
Kohl’s Rewards vs. Kohl’s Cash
Every retailer tends to give different names and set unique rules for their loyalty program.
That’s understandable when you consider that, first, they need to comply with highly specific laws that dictate what a loyalty program can—and cannot—do, and, second, they need to set their program apart from that of their competitors.
Still, that doesn’t make these programs any less confusing. Especially when spending hours looking at legally-worded T&Cs and FAQs to get to know the loops and hoops of earning and spending points doesn’t seem like the best way to spend your time.
In researching what about Kohl’s loyalty program confused our audience the most, we found that many people were googling the difference between Kohl’s Rewards and Kohl’s Cash.
So here’s our try to explain it:
Kohl’s Rewards is the name of the loyalty program that lets you earn Kohl’s Cash for every purchase. Kohl’s Cash, on the other hand, are the coupons that you earn throughout the year and at Kohl’s Earn Events, for spending money in-store or online.
Basically, you can think of Kohl’s Rewards as the wallet that lets you earn Kohl’s Cash to your name.
How Do I Earn Kohl’s Cash?
Generally, there are two ways to earn Kohl’s Cash. Shopping on any day would earn you 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash. Every now and then, the retailer conducts Earn Events that let you earn 20% Event Kohl’s Cash additionally to your earned Rewards Kohl’s Cash.
If you’re feeling too lazy to do the math, here’s exactly how much Rewards and Event Kohl’s Cash you can earn for purchases of various sizes from $50 to $1,000:
|Purchase (After Discounts, Pre-Tax)||5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash||20% Event Kohl’s Cash|
Rewards Kohl’s Cash
As a member of Kohl’s Rewards program, you earn 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash on every purchase, except for gift cards, throughout the year (as long as you identify yourself as a member to the cashier or use your linked account to shop on Kohls.com or with the Kohl’s App).
However, your Rewards Kohl’s Cash doesn’t become immediately available to you. Instead, it gets credited to your account as a Rewards Balance within 48 hours after purchase.
On the first day of the following month, your Rewards Balance gets converted to Kohl’s Cash with an expiry date of 30 days. Within that time, you either redeem it for an in-store, online, or in-app purchase, or it will expire.
Event Kohl’s Cash
Occasionally, Kohl’s conducts so-called Earn Events, which let you earn 20% Event Kohl’s Cash coupons (that’s $10 for every $50 spent).
On some events in recent years, such as Brack Friday, Kohl’s credited a $15 for every $50 spent, an even higher amount of Event Kohl’s Cash than usual.
Yet there’s a catch. Earn Events typically take place in the first two weeks of a month. Unlike Rewards Kohl’s Cash, which expires in 30 days after issuance, Event Kohl’s Cash must usually be redeemed in the remainder of the month (or let expire).
In August 2021, the month of publishing this article, Kohl’s had an Earn Event through August 22nd. Though customers would get $10 Event Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent, these coupons would only be redeemable for the remainder of the month, August 23rd-29th.
So, to make use of your Event Kohl’s Cash coupons before they expire, you’d have to go on a second shopping spree at Kohl’s shortly after you’ve earned them.
Still a great deal, don’t get me wrong, but definitely something to be aware of as you keep tabs on your monthly spending.
Can Kohl’s Cash Be Used on Anything?
As long as they haven’t expired, you can redeem Kohl’s Cash coupons for almost anything except for Kohl’s gift cards, Kohl’s Cares merchandise, and for shopping from Sephora at Kohl’s.
Here’s a list of all the constraints on August 21, 2021, the day of publishing this article:
- You can’t use Kohl’s Cash to buy gift cards;
- You can’t use Kohl’s Cash to pay for your Sephora at Kohl’s purchases. Consider becoming a Beauty Insider instead;
- You can’t use Kohl’s Cash to pay for any fees and services, such as sales tax or shipping costs;
- You can’t use Kohl’s Cash to pay down your Kohl’s Card credit card debt;
- You can’t use Kohl’s Cash to reduce the price of prior purchases.
For details, read the terms and conditions for your membership in the loyalty program on Kohl’s website.
Can I Use Expired Kohl’s Cash?
All Kohl’s Cash coupons, no matter if you earned them as part of your membership in the Kohl’s Rewards program or at a Kohl’s Earn Event, have an expiry date. Unless you redeem a coupon before that date, it will expire.
If you live in a different time zone, keep in mind that, more often than not, Kohl’s uses Central Time (CT) for all of its dates and hours on event- and loyalty program-related materials.
Expired Kohl’s Cash can no longer be redeemed for merchandise at Kohl’s, in-store or online. However, quite a few bloggers and Redditors out there claim that the staff at your nearest Kohl’s store will give you a 10-day grace period if you ask nicely.
What Happens With Your Kohl’s Cash When You Return?
Kohl’s has a generous return policy that allows you to return most merchandise for up to 180 days from the date of your purchase. The two exceptions are premium electronics, which must be returned within 30 days, and beauty products (Sephora at Kohl’s or Wellness Market), which must be returned new or gently used within 60 days.
Suppose that you changed your mind about a product, and you’d like to return it. What will happen to the Kohl’s Cash that you bought it with or earned with it?
According to a section on the topic at Kohls.com, when you return a product that you bought by redeeming Kohl’s Cash, the amount of Kohl’s Cash that you spent on it with will be returned to you.
How does that happen, exactly?
In case the coupon that you used hasn’t expired, the amount will be credited back to it. Else, Kohl’s will issue you a new coupon. The site says nothing about the validity of the new coupon, and no member of our editorial team had personal experience with this to lean on, but we assume it will be 30 days.
When you return a product that you had earned Rewards Kohl’s Cash or Event Kohl’s Cash for, and the amount drops below the $2.5 or $10 for every $50 spent, that amount will be reduced from your Kohl’s Cash coupon.
In case you’ve already used up that coupon to buy something else, Kohl’s will reduce your refund by an equivalent amount of unearned Kohl’s Cash spent.
Can I Earn Kohl’s Cash at Sephora at Kohl’s?
In 2021, Sephora started opening Sephora at Kohl’s at selected Kohl’s department stores across the country, replacing its in-store assortment. By 2023, the French beauty giant and the Menomonee Falls department store plan to have as many as 850 joint locations.
Sephora at Kohl’s stores are just like their freestanding counterparts, albeit smaller sized and, therefore, with less variety. They participate in Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, conduct its Seasonal Savings Events and End of Year Discounts, and give insider birthday gifts.
That meant nothing but good news for Sephora and Kohl’s shoppers alike: they could not only source their favorite makeup, skincare, and fragrances from Sephora at Kohl’s but also get twice the rewards for doing so.
The two retailer’s loyalty programs, Kohl’s Rewards and Sephora Beauty Insider, now work together when shopping from Sephora at Kohl’s.
As with all other products, Kohl’s Rewards members earn 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash on every Sephora at Kohl’s purchase. Additionally, Sephora Beauty Insiders earn 1 point for every dollar spent on all Sephora items at Kohl’s.
However, customers can’t redeem Kohl’s-issued Kohl’s Cash coupons for items at Sephora at Kohl’s (or to buy Sephora items on Kohls.com).
Conversely, Beauty Insiders don’t earn Beauty Insider points on purchases on non-Sephora items at Kohls or on Kohls.com.
The details of how the two loyalty programs work together are available at Kohl’s website.
Kohl’s Rewards vs. Yes2You Rewards
In September 2020, Kohl’s announced that it was streamlining its loyalty program, Yes2You Rewards, to make it easier for customers to understand the rules, and renaming it to Kohl’s Rewards.
To achieve that, Kohl’s eliminated points from its loyalty program and introduced 5% Rewards Kohl’s Cash on every purchase.
In October of that year, all 30 million Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards program members were automatically transferred to Kohl’s Rewards, and their points converted into Rewards Kohl’s Cash.
The Yes2You program has since been returned and is no longer in effect. Instead, all Kohl’s customers earn and spend points through the revamped Kohl’s Rewards program.