One of the biggest perks to playing in the online casino world over the land-based one is the endless array of casino bonuses you can claim when playing at casino sites. From welcome bonuses to loyalty programs, to deposit bonuses and monthly specials, the online casino world is laden with top deal after deal.
Casino bonuses come with terms and conditions which must be met before you can withdraw, so you need to be mindful of any offer you claim. However, some of the offers you can claim from a casino can really make a difference to your gameplay for the better. Of course, the most advantageous of all the offers (and the most claimed bonus) is the welcome bonus, so let’s begin our analysis of casino bonuses with those deals…
What are the best online casino bonuses?
The traditional casino welcome bonus consists of a match deposit bonus. This is an offer which hands players free cash based on how much they deposit. We use the term “free” loosely since you will have to meet wagering requirements on any bonus you claim, deposit bonus or otherwise. We’ll come to those at the end, but first, back to the welcome bonus offer.
Welcome bonuses come as percentage-based offers. For example, most casinos offer you a 100% match, which essentially means that whatever you deposit, the casino will offer you the equivalent of 100% of that back as a bonus. You can effectively double your money with a 100% match, triple it with a 200% match, and so on. Match deposit welcome bonuses may come on your first deposit or may even be extended to your next few deposits.
A good example of this offer is the most common match deposit bonus, which is a 100% match worth up to €100. It is broken down as follows…
Your deposit + Bonus amount = Total Balance
€100 + Equivalent of 100% (of €100 deposit) = €200 (€200 deposit, and €100 bonus)
No deposit bonuses
On occasion, a casino may also offer you a no deposit bonus. When this occurs, players can expect to bag a bonus without doing anything at all, save for signing up at the casino. This bonus is usually small in stature, often worth just €5 – €10 and no more than €25. The offer can be used to play free games and win real money.
No deposit bonuses can also be offered later down the line as random, one-off deals or loyalty offers. As good as these offers are, they also come with wagering requirements, which is something players want to keep an eye on.
Free spin bonuses
Like no deposit bonuses, the free spins bonus can be offered at sign-up as a welcome bonus, or later down the line as a loyalty offer. The basic premise the same, though. Players are rewarded with a handful of free spins (the number of spins varies from site to site). They may be valid on just a handful of slots (perhaps even as few as just one game), or they could be used on all slot games at a casino. Free spin bonuses are always played at the minimum stake (with all lines active), and anything you win is yours to keep, but often only up to a certain amount. Progressive jackpot slots can seldom be played with free spin bonuses.
Deposit bonuses/Reload bonuses
Just like the initial match deposit welcome bonus offer, players can sometimes pocket additional deposit deals. These often come once per month or may even be valid on every subsequent deposit you ever make once you have claimed a welcome bonus. Again, the terms and conditions for these offers vary from site to site and offer to offer. They will come with wagering requirements but can provide a nifty boost to your balance, with typical matches ranging from 50% and up. Don’t be surprised if you must enter a promotional bonus code to claim such offers at casino sites.
High-roller bonuses mainly consist of welcome bonus deals, but they can sometimes be offered at other times. They almost always consist of deposit bonuses, although the matches tend to be smaller in scale than standard welcome bonuses. The main reason for this is that the amount you can claim is often considerably higher than the figures available with standard welcome bonuses. It is not uncommon to find high-roller bonuses consisting of 50% matches (meaning you get the equivalent of half your deposit back again as a bonus) though worth up to €1,000 or more. Read more about the high roller bonus.
Cashback bonuses can refer to one of two types of bonuses. In the first instance, they are no different than match deposit bonuses, requiring players to deposit to claim them. They are often worth much smaller sums than your standard welcome bonus, with matches of 5% up to 20%, but seldom greater than that.
In the second instance, cashback bonuses will be a free bonus offered to players who deposit regularly and play frequently. These bonuses amount to a percentage of cash, based on how much they have lost over a weekly or monthly period. Again, the figure tends to be small, between 5% and 25% of your losses.
An online casino with monthly promotions is always going to be a fan favourite. These casino sites will generally have just one monthly promotion per month, and it could be anything from a slot tournament to a prize draw, perhaps a special deposit deal or anything in-between. Promo codes are almost certainly going to have to be entered to claim the offer, and the details of a promo vary wildly from site to site.
Loyalty bonuses/VIP clubs
Loyalty bonuses are usually delivered via a VIP club or a loyalty bonus program. Most casinos automatically enter players into their loyalty club from the moment they sign up. Players can earn points based on each wager they make, and over time, those points can be accumulated and later redeemed for real cash and other goodies. Loyalty points can also see you claim the levels/tiers of a program or VIP club to land bigger and better loyalty bonuses as you go.
Other forms of loyalty bonuses include anniversary and birthday bonuses, and a bonus known as a refer-a-friend deal, which offers players a cash bonus when they successfully convince a friend to join them at the site. These loyalty deals do not require you to be a member of the loyalty bonus program or VIP club.
Almost every online casino bonus comes with wagering requirements. These wagering requirements must be met before you can withdraw from a casino. If they didn’t exist, players could claim bonus cash and withdraw it freely. It would be unfair on the casino. The way they work is rather simple.
Whatever a player claims as a bonus. They will have to wager that amount a few times before they can withdraw. For example:
Bonus Claimed x Wagering Requirements = Amount Required to Clear Requirements
€100 x 30x = €3,000
Wagering requirements of below 40x are considered good, with 40x being the standard. Wagering requirements which are over 50x require some serious thought since this can lumber you with hefty playthrough rates before you can withdraw your winnings. If you wish to avoid wagering requirements altogether, don’t claim a bonus. Our advice, though, would be to claim offers, but only claim ones which have low wagering requirements of 35x or less. You can find the wagering requirements of any offer on the terms and conditions page of any bonus you plan on claiming and we do recommend you read them before accepting any casino bonus.