You're probably wondering what all of the company logos above have in common. Glad to shed some light on that: Warren Buffet owns stock in every last one!
But, there is a theme - stay with me, if you will. All of the companies whose logos are displayed above offer some sort of birthday /general freebie as a benefit of registering for their rewards programs. Here are the specifics on how they'd say "happy birthday to you" if you were to sign up today:
Benihana: $30 off (dinner only, Monday-Thursday, must purchase at least one, full-priced entree - read: go with a friend!)
Sephora: one of three options, the choices change every year (2018: Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon, GLAMGLOW Supermud Cleaning Treatment, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo)
Smashbox: one free Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Raven
Chop't: $5 credit to your account
Walgreens (Duane Reade by association): 10X everyday points in store and online
Anya (my aerial yoga studio of choice): 50% Off 1 group or semi-private Pilates Equipment class
Jamba Juice: one free smoothie or juice
Pinkberry: one free small Pinkberry with toppings
Dairy Queen: one free Blizzard treat with the purchase of one Blizzard treat (BOGO)
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards: 275 bonus points with your next rental (by the end of your birthday month)
Navy Federal Credit Union: Just an animated birthday cake gif; y'all tried it
Other, non-birthday related coupons I got from signing up for Rewards Clubs attempting to gather birthday perks:
Krispy Kreme: one free doughnut with purchase
P.F. Chang's: 1,000-point enrollment bonus credited to your account
The best things in life are indeed free.
If nothing on this list excites you, I'd encourage you to keep digging through any of the lists that surface when you Google "birthday freebies." I wasn't kidding when I said that "Google is the greatest tool of the 21st century" in my last post. A few of my favorite lists are:
Business Insider's "I spent my birthday looking for freebies in New York City — here's what I got" (by Kathleen Elkins and Arielle Berger)
CBS New York's "The 7 Best Birthday Freebies In NYC" (by Sarah Shaker)
The Penny Hoarder's "100 Places That Will Give You Free Stuff on Your Birthday"
Lauren Greutman's "Birthday Freebies List"
Before I send you off on your merry, freebie-hunting way, allow me to share 3 things you should know before you go:
1. Be proactive, not reactive.
I wish that I could tell you that you can wake up at 8 AM on the day of your blessed birth and still receive all of the discounts and freebies that I've mentioned above. *Abraham Lincoln voice* I cannot tell a lie. While some of these rewards slide through your email inbox within the hour that you sign up for them, others require 2 weeks or more to process and make their way to you. Certain rewards ship to you in physical form. So, you can imagine that if you sign up for that kind of reward with one day to spare, USPS will not be on your side.
Plan to start signing up at least 2 weeks, if not a month, in advance of your big day.
2. One-[year] stand.
Not all offers recur on an annual basis. Since I technically started my own extreme birthday freebie hunt 2 years ago, I know that Benihana and Sephora offer annual birthday gifts to their rewards members (bless their hearts). I didn't receive birthday coupons from Sprinkles Cupcakes or Haru Sushi this year, even though I signed up and received discounts for both last year. It's possible that they are recurring and I just didn't receive a prompt, but you never know and it's something to keep in mind.
3. You should tip theeeeeem, you should tip theeeeeem. *The-Dream voice*
The freebie offers above do not include gratuity. If you live in a country that embraces gratuity culture like the United States, proper etiquette dictates that even complimentary services warrant a tip. Here's a cheat sheet that I *generally* agree with as far as tipping goes. It's up to you to decide what your personal tipping threshold is, but, birthday freebie or not: not tipping is not okay. Having worked in a service profession, I know that service professionals of the world will thank you.
To my fellow Capricorns, I hope this list helps you flourish in full next year. Aquarius folks: it's go time!