Every retail and fast-food chain under the sun seems to have a loyalty program these days, and one of the perks the good ones offer is a freebie or discount for your birthday. These programs rarely verify your birth date.
And that means your birthday can be whenever you want it to be.
Spreading those freebies and discounts out during the year allows you to enjoy the instant gratification of shopping or dining out without hitting your wallet too hard. The genesis of this idea was entirely selfish: My birthday is in December, so when my birthday coupons show up, I’m focused on using my money toward gifts for my family or travelling to see them.
And while those birthday coupons could very well be used for gifts, they are often only tailored to my own preferences, not that of my family. My dad, regardless of his love for me, is not going to be impressed with whatever freebie product I get from Ulta, you know?
Next time you sign up for a retailer’s loyalty club to get whatever sweet or semi-sweet discount they’re offering you for arriving on earth, put down a random birthday. Use the first of the month to keep it simple, and make your birthday the month after you sign up if you’re itching for a freebie.
The expert level of this hack is to time your discounts seasonally. If you like to kick off your New Year’s fitness resolution with a new pair of sneakers, you could sign up to get your birthday coupon in January.
Should I have saved this advice for Evil Week? Probably. But hey, if we’re trading our purchasing history with these companies we enjoy buying from, the least we should be able to do is make the most of the perks.