The best birthday freebies and how to get them

Get more than £50 of free things from shops and restaurants when it’s your birthday.

Though lockdowns messed this up in 2020 and 2021, back on my birthday in 2019 I managed to get a free meal at my favourite burger joint Meat Liquor, pick up some tasty posh Hotel Chocolat treats, get a Body Shop shower gel and save money on some flatpack furniture at Ikea.

Alone these freebies were worth £28, and I could easily have nabbed double that. And this was all thanks to signing up to loyalty schemes that provide a little birthday treat for members.

How to get birthday freebies

Most of the emails I get from retailers end up unopened and unread. But, around my birthday, I’ll always pay a little more attention just in case I’m being given a little gift.

Of course, these brands aren’t giving you something for nothing. With each and every one of them, you need to sign up to a newsletter or loyalty scheme, which means handing over your data and dealing with constant emails, week in, week out.

But if you’re selective, and only pick the brands you regularly shop at and want to hear about, then it’s well worth doing. And often the birthday freebies aren’t the only offers and deals you’ll get sent during the year.

And you can always unsubscribe from emails once you’ve had your birthday, and possibly even sign up again – though it’s worth doing this at least a month before your birthday to allow time for your details to be processed.

Free gifts and vouchers on your birthday

These are the retailers I’ve signed up to in order to get a free voucher to spend on my birthday. Since there’s no minimum spend you can get something for absolutely nothing. I’ve ignored those that give the likes of 10% off as those kinds of codes are regularly available.

Body Shop – £5 voucher

Body Shop gives a £5 voucher. I spent this online, but you can spend it in-store too. I actually got this the day after my birthday and it was valid for 30 days. To get one you need to sign up for the Love Your Body Club. There’s no minimum spend, and you can stack it with other discounts such as 30% off.

Hobbs – free gift

Sign up for the Hobbs newsletter to get a free birthday gift. In 2021 it seemed to be a candle, but it could well change.

Hobbycraft – £5 voucher

Another free fiver! Register for the loyalty card and you’ll be sent a voucher to spend in-store or online. You’ll also get a 15% off voucher when you sign up.

Ikea – free gift

You’ll get a birthday gift, usually a £5 voucher, to spend in-store at Ikea when you sign up to the Ikea Family Card. I got this sent via an email, but I had to print the voucher out from the “Ikea Family Kiosk” – aka the machines you’ll spot at every Ikea entrance. It was valid for four weeks after my birthday and there was no minimum spend – though if you’re going to travel to an Ikea then I imagine you’re going to spend more.

Marks & Spencer

Unlike the others in this list, the M&S treat might not be a voucher or freebie. There’s a chance you might instead get something like a 20% off voucher, but it’s worth checking as it can vary by user. You’ll need to sign up to the M&S Sparks card.

Paperchase – £5 voucher

Sign up for the Paperchase Treat Me card – you can pick one up in-store – and you’ll get a free £5 voucher on your birthday. The voucher is valid for one month. You’ll also get other rewards throughout the year.

Space NK – free gift

Again, it’s often a £5 off code but it could be a free minature. And again you’ll get it by signing up to a membership scheme – for Space NK it’s called N.dulge. It’s a loyalty scheme so you’ll earn points each time you spend money, which can be converted into money off future purchases, and on your birthday you’ll get double points.

Andy’s podcast

Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

Free food on your birthday

I’ve ignored the many offers where you get a free main or bottle of bubbly AS LONG AS you also buy a second main meal. That’s still a decent offer, but not a freebie! The following will give you something for nothing – though it’s good form to tip in restaurants even if the bill came to zero.

Barburrito – free buritto

To get a free buritto on your birthday you simply need to sign up to the loyalty scheme. Then a few days before your birthday you’ll be emailed a voucher for a free main. You don’t need to print it, you can just show it – and the unique code – when you pay. It only lasted four days though so you have to be quick. 

Costa – free cake

The free Costa Club scheme will send you a voucher for a free cake on your birthday.

Greggs – free cake or doughnut

Sign up to the Greggs Reward scheme via the Greggs app and you’ll get a voucher on your birthday (via the app) for a free doughnut, cupcake or cream cake. It’ll be valid for a month.

Hotel Chocolat – free gift

Another free fiver to spend, and there’s no minimum spend. It can also be combined with other offers. You can pick up a VIP ME card in-store, or register online. I actually forgot to do this and registered a few days after my birthday – and I still got sent the £5 voucher a few weeks later.

Krispy Kreme – free doughnut

You get a free doughnut via the Friends of Krispy Kreme scheme each year, though it’s only in full shops, not the ones you find in Tesco. Since I don’t have one near me I didn’t bother signing up. There’s also a free doughnut for joining up.

Meat Liquor – free food

I love the burgers at Meat Liquor and I was excited to get a free meal of a main and side to use on my birthday. Sign up to the mailing list and you’ll get sent a unique code to use, valid for a week before and after your birthday. There’s no minimum spend. Look out for 50% off codes throughout the year too, often around the bank holidays.

Free drinks on your birthday

Boost – free drink

Sign up to the Boost Vibe Club (you can do this online) and you should get a voucher for a free smoothie on your birthday. Again, there’s no Boost near me so it’s not one I’ve tried.

Benugo – free drink

A final one for a free drink thanks to coffee shop chain Benugo. Sign up to the mailing list and you’ll get a free coffee and another on your birthday.

Starbucks – free drink

One for regular Starbucks users. If you join the free Starbucks Rewards scheme and reach Gold level (you need to earn 450 Stars, roughly a spend of £150) you’ll get a free drink on your birthday. You’ll also get other freebies through the year at this level.

Andy’s YouTube

Watch new videos every week on the Andy Clever Cash channel, plus a regular live Q&A

Do you know of any other birthday freebies or discounts worth signing up for? Let me know in the comments below.

My top deals

Here are a few ongoing and recent offers you might have missed:

Banking offers

Savings & investing offers

Cards and bills deals

Shopping vouchers and other deals

Entertainment deals

Food and drink offers

4 thoughts on “The best birthday freebies and how to get them

  1. I didn’t get the bodyshop voucher this year on my birthday although I have in previous years

    1. It’s still listed as a bonus on their website, and I got mine a few months ago, so I think it’s worth complaining and seeing if they’ll send you it again

  2. Greggs also do a free birthday treat if you sign up for the app. This also includes a free drink/cake a few times a year without obligation to buy anything at all! ??

  3. I once got a voucher for a free bar of their fancy chocolate from Morrisons -presumably generated by their More loyalty card when by chance I shopped their on my actual birthday.Nothing subsequently though despite me shopping there regularly.

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