If you fall into the first camp, the Internet makes it easy (though often time-consuming) to keep tabs on every new coupon code and giveaway. For the second group (which includes me), a more curated approach can help to cut through the clutter of options and stave off decision fatigue.
That’s the approach we’ve taken in this best-of guide to free stuff online. As we researched and narrowed our options, we tried to only include things that provide real value, don’t cost money to get (even a $6 shipping charge disqualifies a “freebie” in our opinion), and won’t be a waste of time because time is money, too.
Food and beverage reward program freebies
Loyalty and reward programs are so popular nowadays, it’s hard to think of a company that doesn’t have one.
Our list is comprised mostly of companies that offer a freebie just for signing up. We also tried to stick to national brands that would be accessible to most readers. Your local stores and chains may have their own worthwhile reward program freebies.
If we left out your favorite, tell us in the comments! In the meantime, get to work freeing up storage on your phone so you can download these apps and claim your free coffee, soft pretzel, pizza, and more.
- Sign up for DD Perks from Dunkin Donuts and you’ll receive a free beverage just for signing up as well as on your birthday and with every 200 points you earn.
- While the Starbucks Rewards program doesn’t offer a free drink upon sign-up (unless your birthday is coming up), you do get free in-store refills, which can be invaluable to the caffeine addicts among us.
- Head to your nearest IHOP for a free full stack of pancakes when you join their Pancake Revolution e-club. This insta-freebie isn’t advertised on their site, but after I registered I received an email with a coupon link. Note that the coupon is only valid at the location you choose upon signup and it expires in 14 days of receipt. As a Pancake Revolution member, you’ll also receive a free stack on your birthday and membership anniversary.
- I scream, you scream, we all scream for free ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery’s Slab Happy Rewards program.
- New members of My Cold Stone Club will receive a BOGO coupon now and on their birthday. I know, I know—this isn’t one hundred percent free—but if you love ice cream as much as I do (and have a friend or child to share the joy with) you won’t mind buying one “creation” (their word) to get one free.
- Speaking of children, Chuck E. Cheese’s More Cheese rewards program offers a free personal one-topping pizza at sign-up.
- Most of us can always use another travel mug. Get one for free from Au Bon Pain when you sign up for their e-club.
- Get a free appetizer from Ruby Tuesday’s when you sign up for their So Connected Email Program. You’ll also receive a free Garden Bar entree or burger on your birthday.
- Join Club Cinnabon to receive a free Minibon right away plus a birthday treat.
- Download the Krispy Kreme app and sign up for rewards to receive a free doughnut.
As mentioned above, most rewards programs offer special freebies on or near your birthday. Here are some of the companies that don’t offer a sign-on gift but do give away food and products during members’ birthday months.
If you plan ahead you can design the entirety of your special day around freebies, just like this Philadelphia woman.
Most companies don’t specify the nature of their birthday giveaways but you should receive an email in advance letting you know what the birthday gift is. We’ve alphabetized the list so you can easily find your favorite brands.
- Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Perks Program
- Arby’s Email List
- Club Baja from Baja Fresh
- bareMinerals’ FAB Program
- Baskin Robbins
- California Pizza Kitchen Rewards
- Caribou Coffee Perks
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill eClub
- Godiva Rewards program
- Hard Rock Rewards
- Hut Rewards from Pizza Hut
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
- Sephora Beauty Insider
- Ulta Ultamate Rewards
While these financial resources may not evoke the tangible pleasure of a free food item or beverage, they are useful and can save you even more money in the long run.
Free credit score
Know your credit score before you apply for any type of financing. From mortgages to car loans, a higher score will usually get you a lower interest rate, saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
- AnnualCreditReport.com is the only site authorized by federal law to provide Americans with a free report every 12 months from each of the major reporting companies.
- Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are free apps (they make money by trying to sell credit cards and other financial products) that give you on-demand access to your credit score as well as helpful information about the factors contributing to your score and how you can increase it.
Credit card pre-approval
Now that you know your score, you can browse credit card options to determine your chances of qualifying before you apply. Money Under 30’s comprehensive list of 2018 credit card offers shows the credit score range you’ll need for approval.
Note that this is not a guarantee, though, as other factors like income will also influence the card company’s decision.
Best loan and insurance policy offers
Compare loan and insurance policy offers before you apply to get the best deal on fees and rates.
- Policygenius helps you shop around for a variety of policies such as health or life insurance and more
- Use Money Under 30’s loan aggregator to compare personal loan offers from our favorite lenders.
- Browse today’s mortgage rates from a variety of lenders.
Online banking accounts
As a Money Under 30 reader, you probably hate bank account fees. So do we. That’s why we recommend these online checking and savings accounts that won’t charge for the privilege of using them. You can also earn interest on the money in your account.
- Aspiration’s Summit Checking Account comes with no ATM fees, no monthly service fees, and up to one percent annual interest.
- With online checking and savings accounts from Discover you can earn interest and/or cash back without paying service fees or maintaining a minimum balance.
Here are two miscellaneous specific freebies and two websites that send and list free product samples.
- Free ebooks from Project Gutenberg
- Free baby formula from Enfamil Family Beginnings
- Product samples from PINCHme
- Freaky Freddie’s FREE Funhouse
Hopefully you’ve discovered a freebie on this list that you are genuinely excited to receive. Personally, I’m going to sign up for the Dunkin Donuts rewards program after I finish this article. In this busy fall season a free coffee can really make my day. Which freebies will you claim? What did we leave out? Share your feedback in the comments.
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