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