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Oct 31 2017
by Rina Lee

Top 5 Places to Get Free Stuff on Your Birthday

By Rina Lee - Oct 31 2017

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest." – Larry Lorenzoni

Very true, but statistics also likely show that the people who have the most also amass the most presents, despite the increasing trendy push towards changing the concept of a birthday from receiving gifts to giving them.

And the even better news? With today’s plethora of modern companies and their savvy marketing techniques, we no longer have to rely solely on our friends and families for our birthday freebies. There are dozens and dozens of retailers and restaurants out there offering complimentary products to their customers on their birthdays, and often all you need to do to take part in these amazing deals is sign up for their newsletters or take a quick survey. So gather around, all of you broke college students!

1. Sephora

Join Sephora’s Beauty Insider and you’ll receive a free birthday gift package (rumor has it that last year they gave out an incredible mini Marc Jacobs set), as well as access to the Beauty Insider Community and the Rewards Bazaar, where you can redeem your Beauty Insider reward points for an available corresponding product of your choice.

If you’re a frequent Sephora shopper, you might want to consider upgrading your Beauty Insider subscription to a VIB. As a VIB, Sephora will offer you all of the above, as well as free monthly gifts and a free custom makeover. 


2. Starbucks Rewards

Don’t throw out your Starbucks gift cards once you've used them up! Sign up for Starbucks Rewards using your gift card and you’ll receive a free beverage or treat of your choice to celebrate your birthday, as well as an extra 15% off items from To qualify, however, just remember to sign up at least 30 days before your birthday!

Plus, as a Starbucks Rewards member, you’ll also be eligible for free in-store refills, pre-orders, phone payments and other exclusive member-only offers and events.


3. Baskin-Robbins

Sign up here to join the Baskin-Robbins Birthday Club and five days before your birthday, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with a voucher for a free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream that will be valid for two weeks after your special day. That’s not all – you’ll also receive a discount on a birthday cake (and we all know how pricey those cakes can get), as well as other sweet offers all year long.


4. Olive Garden

Join Olive Garden’s eClub and you’ll receive a coupon that you can redeem for any free dessert of your choice, up to a maximum of $10. The good news is that almost everything on their dessert menu is under $10, so feel free to order anything your heart desires – cookie batter cake, tiramisu, warm apple crostata, seasonal Sicilian cheesecake and much, much more. In addition, when you sign up for the eClub, Olive Garden will also give you a free appetizer with the purchase of any two adult entrees.


5. Snow Summit

Anyone living in or planning to visit California? You’re in luck – Snow Summit in Big Bear Lake, California offers a free lift or ride ticket on your birthday, depending on the season. Just simply bring a government-issued ID to the Guest Services Office. In the cooler months, you’ll receive a free lift ticket, while in the warmer months, you’ll enjoy a free ride on the Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair. But whatever season your special day may fall on, it’s no secret that a day spent on the slopes will always be an amazing time.


So whether you're a broke college student, a penny-pinching miser or just another enthusiastic freebie fanatic, reaping free birthday gifts has truly never been easier. (And also way, way easier than our midterms – let's be honest.)

Now get out there and start collecting your perks of being born! Isn't life wonderful?

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash

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Rina Lee - University of Toronto

Rina is an undergraduate at the University of Toronto and the associate editor at Fresh U. You can contact her at

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