Whether you like celebrating your own birthday or not, one thing that can usually make it a good day is a free “something.” However, Charles Passy, a writer for MarketWatch, put all those free birthday offers to the test and found some aren’t exactly worth the trouble.
The whole concept of businesses giving out free stuff on your birthday is pretty mind blowing—you literally get rewarded just for being born. Technically the freebie should go to the one who birthed you, but since you did go through the trouble of entering your email address, here you go.
Passy notes that some birthday offers come well before your actual birthday, or last beyond the date. As someone who has never cashed in on her free slice of chocolate cake from Portillo’s on her birthday, I can vouch that most businesses do give you ample time to claim your prize. Thankfully, Passy was committed and went to 11 different establishments to pick up birthday freebies, including Subway, Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, and Sbarro.
Each place came with its own snag in the system. For example, Passay had trouble with Subway’s app but encountered a worker nice enough to still give him his free cookie. At Sbarro, Passy went to pick up a free extra large slice of “New York style” pizza, but was met with confused employees unfamiliar with the birthday program. Once again, though, Passy lucked out and was given his freebie anyways.
Passy also noted how some birthday offers were more enticing than others based on value. For such a major corporation, McDonald’s only offered a free apple pie valued at $1.79 where as, Krispy Kreme offered a dozen original glazed doughnuts. Bonus: Krispy Kreme employees were the only ones to actually say, “Happy Birthday.”
In the end, the biggest obstacle was just driving to each establishment to pick up the birthday freebies. So, if you don’t mind some running around and emails all year long, sign up for all the birthday reward programs that you can.