Online Casinos Offer Bonuses and Promotions a Plenty – Read our Helpful Guide to the Best Casino Bonus Online
One way that’s become very popular for online casnos to encourage new players through the door is to offer an amazingly generous casino online bonus. All the best online casinos seem to want to give away money left right and center, but are the offers really as good as they seem? It really depends which way you look at them and what you’re expecting to get out of them. We think it’s a bit of a shame that more effort seems to be put into coming up with ever bigger and better bonuses without taking the time to consider how customer service and the general customer experience can be improved.
We’re not saying that promotions and bonuses are a bad thing, quite the contrary in fact. Used correctly and entered into with eyes open wide they can be a brilliant way of increasing your bankroll. And for casinos themselves they are great. Not only do they bring new players in but they can also keep players loyal. We’ve written this guide to help you find the best online casino bonus and open your eyes to all the pitfalls. An online casino best bonus will always be featured as part of our reviews but it’s good to know what’s available and how the whole bonus thing works. We’ll start by introducing the different types of casino bonus available.
The best casino online bonus could be one of many different types
Lucky for you, there are lots of different promotions and bonuses you can take advantage of. But before claiming any, it’s a good idea to understand how they work, the pitfalls to avoid, and what’s required when you sign up for one. However, we’ll start by introducing you to the various types available, starting with the best online casino sign up bonus.
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Start your journey at an online casino with bonus
You won’t come across many casinos that don’t offer an online casino welcome bonus. They’ve become traditional fare for both long-standing and new casino brands. They aren’t all the same and some require no financial commitment to be eligible. Just the completion of the registration process as well as verification of credit or debit card details. There are more that require some kind of funding as well as registering for an account, and these are usually expressed in the form of a percentage of a first deposit made. This type of bonus is often called a match bonus. There will often be an upper limit for the bonus, and a minimum deposit requirement. A huge number of casinos offer this type of bonus and it’s purely for attracting new customers. The casino gets it back by imposing wagering requirements on anyone who accepts it.
So how does an online casino signup bonus work? Imagine the casino is offering a 100% welcome bonus. You decide you want to deposit $100 and the casino will add $100 to your account. This sounds very simple but there is a catch. The casino isn’t giving you the bonus for nothing. Some very hefty requirements will have to be complied with. The most important of which are the wagering requirements. You have to comply or it’ll be impossible for you to withdraw any money from your account in the future. On average, the wagering requirements will be 20 times the sum of your first deposit plus any bonus. But we should mention that a number of casinos impose requirements that are much more. You should check the terms and conditions very carefully, before accepting any bonus because the wagering requirements could be as high as 80 times.
All regulated casinos are obliged to provide detailed information regarding their terms and conditions. But they’re not always written in the plainest of languages. If there’s anything at all you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the casino’s customer service and ask for clarification. You’ll come across a number of casinos that offer a welcome bonus of more than 100%. But you tend to find that these will have a much lower maximum limit. And be very wary of accepting any welcome bonus that’s higher than 200% because it’s also very likely that the wagering requirements will be much higher too. Why does this happen?
If you think back to what we’ve said about the wagering requirements being a way for the casino to get back the money it’s given away, you’ll appreciate what is going on. There isn’t an online casino prepared to give away cash and get nothing in return. They aren’t charities after all, but businesses who want to make a profit. Even the best online casino welcome bonus will have to be recouped and the only way to do this is to keep players playing and wagering. Therefore, expect a top online casino bonus to have a catch. On the whole they tend to be very reasonable, but there are a number who go overboard and their bonuses come with a very nasty sting in the tail.
If you’re a high roller you might get treated like a king
Spend lots of money in a land-based casino and you’ll find the red carpet gets rolled out every time you visit. An online casino doesn’t have a red carpet but you can expect some preferential treatment. A land-based casino will bring out the champagne and may even pick you up in a limousine after booking you a hotel room. But while this isn’t possible if you’re playing online you could be treated with some extra special offers and promotions that are only for those making larger deposits. The best bonus online casino for this type of player will be one that’s offering matching deposit bonuses. And not just for the first deposit but for all future deposits as well.
Regular customers are also treated to some special promotions
Open an account at a top rated casino online and you can expect to receive an interesting gambling casino online bonus or two if you decide to stick around and become a regular player. Loyalty is rewarded and quite rightly so. And it makes sound business sense to encourage players to stick around for longer. Keeping customers interested and loyal doesn’t have to cost a lot either. Loyalty cards are often used by bricks and mortar casinos and these can be exchanged for gifts such as free accommodation or tickets to a show. Online casinos offer something similar in which players receive points every time they play a real money game. The points are called comps or complementary points and once a sufficient number have been collected they can be added to a player’s account in the form of cash.
For every $10 wagered, you’ll generally receive 1 loyalty point. And when your loyalty points reach a certain amount you’ll get $1 in exchange for 100 points. Don’t expect this ratio at every casino you visit, because they do tend to differ from casino to casino as well as for different games. You should be able to find all the details on the casino’s website, and if you can’t don’t be afraid to ask whether there is a loyalty scheme. You may also find a slightly different type of loyalty program running. One that’s based on working your way through different levels. With each level affording you bigger and better privileges. You work your way up through the levels by accumulating points along the way, as a reward for playing for real money. The promotions you’ll be entitled to might include extra bonuses, complimentary tickets to special events, cash rewards or exclusive games.
Extra value reloads and banking bonuses
Another type of bonus very similar to a loyalty program is the reload casino online bonus. It’s similar because it rewards players who keep coming back and adding more funds to their account. This type of bonus tends to be a special promotion rather than being fixed and will often have a time limit. And if you’ll be pleased to know it’s often a very generous bonus, possibly as much as 65%. Because it’s a bonus that is generally only offered for a certain time period it’s considered to be more of a loyalty bonus and also because it can usually only be claimed once a certain amount of real money has been wagered. A top rated bonus online casino will be one that offers this type of bonus along with a number of others. We’ve got to mention that this type of bonus will come with its own set of terms and conditions.
Which is in fact, no different than any other casino and its promotions. You might be lucky enough to come across a promo that doesn’t have any but it’ll be highly unlikely. Another type of bonus that is misunderstood is the banking bonus. Why would a casino reward players for paying using a certain method? It’s not an offer you’ll find at all casinos, but in some countries there are issues around online gambling and the local governments of these countries have tried to make it very difficult for players to make payments using a selection of cards. The casino operators have found a way around this issue by offering special terms for players who use alternative methods of payment. Consider it a sort of reward for the inconvenience of having to set up an account with a third party payment provider such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller.
Many consider the refer a friend bonus to be the best casino online bonus
If you find a great casino share the good news with all your friends and invite them to play along. The refer a friend bonus is considered by many to be the ultimate casino bonus as it requires nothing in the way of a deposit. It was introduced by a large number of casinos to encourage players to make recommendations. There are terms and conditions attached to this type of promotion, but they don’t include any wagering requirements. It requires the person you recommend to open an account, make a deposit and start playing. It’s never a huge amount, usually $10 or $15. But a bonus that requires nothing from you personally has got to be a good thing. The friend will have to make a minimum deposit and they might even get a bonus too.
Before you accept any kind of bonus read these helpful tips
Now you know a little about the different types of bonus available, it’s time to think about what you need to know before you accept a bonus or promotion.
- Check the wagering requirements first – these are the one major factor that catch people out when it comes to bonuses and promotions. And unsurprisingly, it’s one of the factors most people complain about and have problems with. Wagering requirements, also referred to as playthrough requirements, have to be met before withdrawals can be made. And that means not just any winnings you might of accumulated but also any deposits you might have made.
- Don’t be deceived by a bonuses size – seeing a $500 deposit bonus advertised on the front page of a casino website is going to be a very attractive proposition. And that’s exactly why it’s there. But don’t be fooled as it may well be too good to be true. When you delve a little deeper you might discover the bonus has ridiculous wagering requirements or there will be another requirement that’s equally difficult to comply with. It could also be that the bonus is split over a number of deposits, for example the first three.
- Check how the bonus is activated – when it comes to claiming your bonus there are various ways it can be done. And it’ll be a good idea to find out which one is relevant when it comes to the bonus you’re claiming. You might need to put in a bonus code when you make a deposit. In which case you’ll need to check what the bonus code is and make sure you input it correctly. You might just need to tick a box when you make your deposit, or inform the cashier you want to participate. It could be that the bonus is automatic, in which case you’ll need to get in touch with a customer service representative if you want to opt out.
- Is it possible to opt out if you want to? Bonuses and promotions are undoubtedly a good thing but there’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to take part. So it’ll be a good idea to check whether this is possible before opening an account with a bonus online casino. The advantage of being able to opt out if you want to is that you’re not going to be tied in to the bonus terms and making a withdraw won’t be such a problem.
- What are the restrictions? There are usually restrictions you’ll need to be aware of. For example, there could be a limit placed on the bets that can be placed with bonus money and you might be restricted in the games you can play with it too.
- Can you make a deposit using any method? If you can’t find any reference to this in the terms and conditions you might want to check it out with the customer support team. As a number of casinos place restrictions of the deposit methods that can be used.
- Are there restrictions on the games that can be played? This is another common restriction that will be placed if you claim a bonus. As a general rule, live casino games are usually one of the games you won’t be able to play.
- Does a time limit apply to the bonus? The majority of bonuses will have a time limit, and you’ll need to make use of the bonus and meet the requirements in that time frame or risk losing the bonus and any winnings made from it.
- Is the bonus valid in all countries? Some bonuses you find may be restricted to players in certain countries. So it’s worth checking this out before opening up an account. You’ll be very disappointed if you opened an account because you wanted to take advantage of the bonus, only to discover you’re not eligible because of where you live.
Keep these tips firmly in your mind when you’re looking for the best casino online bonus and you should be ok. But there’s one more thing for you think about, and we’ve already touched on it briefly.
Don’t get caught out because you didn’t read the terms and conditions
The devil’s in the detail when it comes to promotions, bonuses and special offers. Spend some time reading the comments left by players on one of the many online casino forums and you’ll soon appreciate how many people don’t take the time to read the terms and conditions carefully. And not just read them but understand them as well. There seems to be an awful lot of players complaining about problems with making withdrawals. And when you read between the lines you soon realise it tends to be because the terms and conditions weren’t complied with. For these players there’s no excuse and no sympathy to be afforded. Don’t become another one simply because you couldn’t be bothered to read and understand what was involved in accepting your generous bonus.
When it comes to bonuses and promotions, the best way to look at them is to realise just what they are. The casino isn’t giving away money because it’s got lots to spare. On the contrary. The only true purpose of these special offers is to attract people over the threshold and keep them there once a deposit has been made. And it’s the same whether it’s a bog standard bonus or the best and most generous sign up bonus in the world. It’s designed to get you to open an account, make a deposit and keep making deposits over and over again. There will always be terms and conditions attached to a bonus, and most likely also a promotion. These terms and conditions are the casinos way of getting its money back as well as your deposit as well. If you remember this when considering any bonus you shouldn’t forget to read the terms and conditions. Some of the points you might want to take most notice of are:
- Play through or wagering requirements – there are very few bonuses that won’t have wagering requirements attached to them
- Offers specific to certain games – this will generally have a selection of restrictions much the same as general bonus conditions, so make sure you read them
- Maximum cash out limits – these usually apply to free chip or free spin bonuses but could apply to any kind
After reading all of this you might be wondering whether a bonus is worth the trouble. It’s really up to you, but you should check whether it’s possible to opt out if that’s something you’re thinking of doing. There are several occasions when it’s more than OK to pass up on what may look like an amazing offer. You might not want to be restricted in the games you play and when you play them, for example. When a bonus can only be used for specific games and these aren’t your favorite games to play then pass on the offer by all means. With the online gambling industry being so competitive there are always going to be bigger and better bonuses and promotions popping up. Some of them may be seasonal, for example, Christmas and Easter are popular times for adding extra offers. They can also be introduced when a new game is being launched and the casino wants to attract players attention. You’ll find all the latest offers on the promotions page of a casino’s website. You can also find them by reading our reviews. As a final thought, remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch. And even the top online casino bonus is nothing more than a marketing tool to attract your attention.