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| 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.
- Capital Grille: Show up on your birthday for a complimentary dessert, usually cheesecake or chocolate espresso cake, to top off your meal. Simply note that it is your birthday when making a reservation.
- 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.
- Bonefish Grill: Get a free Bang, Bang Shrimp appetizer or dessert when you sign up to be a Bonefish Grill Insider
- Denny’s: Score a free Grand Slam breakfast just for showing your ID.
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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.