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It seems that every year we only find out after our birthdays that our favorite food spots offer a free gift. This time, we’ve created a top 10 list of places to hit up for free gifts on your special day. You’ll see a trend when it comes to signing up for a membership or account to access your reward but trust us when we say, the spam emails are more than worth it.


Starbucks offers a free drink of any size (yes, we said any size) to anyone who’s signed up for their rewards program. If you have the app in advance, obtaining the gift is even easier. When signed into the Starbucks app, you will get a notification for a free birthday drink that you can choose to use in-store or through a mobile order. 

Auntie Anne’s 
The Lalasoft Pretzel Baseball Cap
Her Campus Media

Our shopping mall favorite has your back when it comes to a birthday reward. As a member of My Pretzel Perks, you’re able to get a free signature pretzel in the flavor coating of your choice. Much like Starbucks, your life will be made even easier if you download the app ahead of time so that you can quickly show the reward code at the location of your choice and chow down on a buttery, soft pretzel as soon as possible.

Baskin Robbin’s

This Dunkin’ Donuts counterpart has knocked it out of the park with a free scoop of ice cream on your birthday. After you sign up for the Baskin Robbin’s Birthday club, the brand will send you an email with a code ready to be scanned to receive your free scoop in any flavor you desire. No bias here but we’re pretty certain there’s no better way to celebrate your special day than with a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream. 

Jersey Mike’s 
Julia Sheehan

The birthday gift from Jersey Mike’s is easily one of the biggest steals on this list. If you’re signed up for their e-club, you will be emailed a coupon that will score you a free sub and soft drink. Walk-in, customize your sub, show them the coupon and you’ve just won yourself a free lunch on your birthday.


Upon reading this one you may be enticed with the thought of a free spicy chicken sandwich but Chik-fil-a isn’t too quick to give away their gold for free. Fortunately, they found a way to compromise by rewarding their members with a free cookie on their birthdays. Using the app, members can get a cookie with the birthday coupon and order it for pickup free of cost. Pro tip: put the cookie in the microwave for a few seconds and you’ll be on cloud nine. 



This gift has to be our favorite deal on the list. As avid lovers of all things Mexican food, downloading the Moe’s app to access a free burrito coupon on your birthday is a no brainer. As soon as you sign up, any burrito ingredient is yours to choose including FREE GUACAMOLE. Take that Chipotle. 

Anna Schultz-Chocolate Milkshake And Hand With Rings
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Similar to the other deals on this list, Arby’s offers a free birthday reward when you sign up for an Arby’s member account. This one comes with a catch, we’ll admit, but in our experience, we’ve been able to work around it. The coupon for a birthday gift promises a free milkshake and small fry but the details require you to purchase a sandwich along with it. Never fear, the details aren’t everything. We were able to go through the Arby’s drive-through, show the email with the coupon and drive away with a milkshake free of cost. Take advantage of the system, we believe in you. 

Courtesy of Cinnabon

Now this one turned out to be faulty at first, but we found a super hack. Cinnabon originally promises a free reward on your birthday after signing up for their rewards but unfortunately, we didn’t receive the birthday coupon on the special day. What we DID get is a coupon for free mini cinnamon rolls as a thank you for signing up. If you work it out right, signing up around your birthday will still get you a free gift whether it’s under the label of “birthday reward” or not. We’ll take what we can get. 

Christin Urso / Spoon

Looking for a breakfast celebration? Denny’s gifts you free pancakes on your birthday after signing up for an account on their app. Just imagine it, a steaming stack of fluffy pancakes right in front of you as you contemplate how fast you’ve grown up. The perfect coping mechanism if you ask us. 


As our grand finale, we have a non-food gift to start off the next amazing year of your life. Signing up for Beauty Insider will score you many benefits shopping at Sephora, but most importantly, it will give you the option of two mini gifts to choose from on your birthday. The reward choices change yearly and usually include a skincare-based item or a makeup item to ensure members get their preferred product. We wish treating yourself for free could happen every day but if we had to choose any day to get a gift, it might as well be our birthday. 

Before we send you off to your birthday freebie hunt, there are some obstacles we want to warn you about. Almost every place offering a reward will need a barcode to scan when making the transaction, therefore if you never receive an email from the specific brand, you might be out of luck. Sadly, this happened to us with a few places like Dunkin’ Donuts, Ulta, and IHOP, but making sure you’re signed up for rewards programs well in advance of your birthday may help! With that in mind, we arranged our top 10 list to be the perfect, fool-proof way to spend your special day and we highly recommend bringing a friend or two along for the drive. Enjoy your birthday treats! 

Gillian is a junior at Hofstra University with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Civic Engagement. When she's not busy with a wide variety of extracurriculars, she can be found watching cooking shows, eating caesar salad and planning her next Portugal vacation.
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