Waking up on your special day to well-wishes from family, friends and Facebook is lovely. But what if you could get a few fun freebies as well? When hunting for complimentary birthday stuff, you’ll find that most businesses require you to sign up for something else first. For example, you can get a free drink of your choice on your birthday at Starbucks, but only if you are a Starbucks Rewards member. However, the good news is that you can still snag a freebie just by showing your ID — at least at a few places. And here they are. As offers vary by location, be sure to call ahead to make sure the deal is valid.
- Denny’s: Score a free Grand Slam breakfast just for showing your ID in what’s become one of the most popular birthday giveaways.
- Capital Grille: Show up on your birthday for a complimentary chocolate espresso cake to top off your meal.
- The Cheesecake Factory: Let your server know it’s your birthday and receive a bowl of ice cream accompanied by the birthday song!
- Cracker Barrel: Tell the server it’s your birthday, and he or she will usually bring you a free dessert.
- Iguana Mia: Get a free entrée (up to $18 value), free fried ice cream and a free picture of yourself in a sombrero on their website. Must show ID.
- Benihana: With this restaurant, you do have to sign up to become a member of the Chef’s Table. But you get a $30 gift certificate you can use during the whole month of your birthday.
When it comes to freebies that have nothing to do with food, most retailers require you to sign up for their rewards card or e-newsletter to get a birthday bonus. But hey, they have to make a living, too.
- American Eagle Outfitters: Sign up for AERewards and receive 15 percent off during your birthday month.
- Anthropologie: Sign up for their customer loyalty program and receive a 15 percent discount during your birth month.
- Benefit Cosmetics: Get a free brow arch on your birthday. Contact your local Benefit Brow Bar beauty lounge for information.
- Columbia Sportswear: Sign up for the Greater Rewards program and get a 20 percent off coupon for your birthday.
- Sephora: Sign up to become a Beauty Insider, and you’ll get a free gift during your birthday month that you can claim online or in a store.
- CVS: Members of CVS Extra Care Beauty Club receive $3 to spend in the store for their birthday.
- Golf courses: Many golf courses will give you a free round of golf the week of your birthday. Just ask!
- Ace Hardware: Receive a free $5 off coupon when you join Ace Rewards.
- Ulta Beauty: Receive a free gift by signing up for the Ultimate Rewards program.
- DSW: Get a $5 gift voucher for shoes and more on your birthday.
- Hallmark: Get a coupon for 20 percent off an item.
- Famous Footwear: You get a free gift when you sign up for the rewards program.
A few tips: You might want to use a dedicated email address, such as a free account at Gmail or Yahoo, so that your primary email account isn't overwhelmed by marketing offers. Also, always make sure to tell your restaurant server that you're there for a birthday deal before ordering.