Casino Welcome Bonus
Online casinos must establish a customer base just like any other business. One way in which they do this is through the use of welcome bonuses. What are welcome bonuses, how do they work, and what are some common ones out there? Knowing what to expect is the best way to make the most of these bonuses, which is why we are offering the following information.
WHAT IS A CASINO WELCOME BONUS?
A welcome bonus is a promotional offer that online casinos use in order to attract new players. Think of them as akin to an in-store promotion at a brick-and-mortar location. The only difference is that instead of offering discounts or sales prices, platforms are giving you free spins or bonus money to play with.
Most gambling platforms will offer a welcome bonus during the start-up phase. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of new online casinos being launched every year, so each one has to be competitive if they are to attract new players. By offering improved welcome bonuses, sites hope to divert players to their platforms and possibly lure them away from older, more established ones.
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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WELCOME BONUSES?
Throughout your online casino journey, you will find many welcome bonuses. Some will give you bonus spins or money in return for registering an account. Others may require you to make a deposit before you can claim them. Below, we will give you a brief description of the bonuses you will come across.
- No Deposit Free Spins: To tempt players to create an account, online casino sites might offer a no deposit bonus that contains free spins. Usually, you will receive a few free spins you can use on selected slot games. Normally you get 1, 15, 20, or 25 free spins.
- No Deposit Bonus Cash: Similar to the above, some online casinos will treat new sign-ups to some bonus money. You do not have to make a deposit, just create an account and you will receive some free cash. Again, the bonus amount you receive for free is usually quite small. You might get anywhere between €/$5 and €/$20.
- Match Deposit Welcome Bonus: The most common type of welcome bonus online casinos offer will come as a match deposit. This is a percentage match of your deposit amount, issued to you as bonus funds. For example, you might receive a 100% match deposit. If you fund your account with €/$100, you will receive €/$100 bonus cash on top. In many cases, you also receive free spins as part of this type of welcome bonus.
- Live Casino Welcome Bonus: This works the same as the above bonus, but is for use on live casino games. You cannot use the bonus cash funds when playing online slots, table games, or any other online casino games.
The above is just a brief introduction to some of the more common casino welcome bonuses out there at the moment. Below, we will now go into further detail about the sign-up bonuses you can claim when creating an account at new online casinos.
FIRST DEPOSIT BONUS AS A PART OF A WELCOME PACKAGE
You’ll find a plethora of rewards available; however, one of the most common is called a first-deposit bonus. With a first-deposit bonus, a site will match your initial deposit up to a certain amount. The amount of the bonus match will vary based on the casino.
As an example, suppose a casino offers a 100% match on a deposit of up to $100. In that case, you would deposit $100 of your own money and receive an additional $100 bonus money from the gaming site.
Some platforms will match the amount of your second or third deposit as well, although normally in lesser amounts. For example, a site may offer a 100% match on a first bonus of up to $200. They would then give you up to half your second deposit of $200 or less. Your third deposit of up to $200 would be matched by 25%. So you would earn $200 for your first deposit, $100 for your second, and $50 for your third deposit, for a total of $350 in matching bonuses.
NO DEPOSIT BONUS
A no-deposit bonus is another common type. With a no-deposit bonus, you are not required to add any of your own money to an account. After registering an account, the online casino might offer a player some free spins to play with. There are typically more strings attached to this type of incentive, since the site essentially gives you free money to play with. No deposit bonuses are often much smaller than first, second, or third deposit rewards as well.
Some sites offer free spins on their online slot games as a part of a welcome bonus. These free spins are normally good only on certain games and typically have a set value that is the lowest wager possible.
Depending on the casino, you may cash out your winnings without making a deposit of your own. However, some will also require a small cash deposit or limit the amount you can withdraw to only a pre-determined amount.
Gaming sites may offer several variations or combinations of the above incentives. For example, some may reward you by matching your deposit as well as providing free spins. Do some shopping around, and you will probably find there is virtually no end to the number and type of welcome bonuses that are available.
REWARDS AND LOYALTY PROGRAMS
These are not new player bonuses per se, yet they do give people an incentive to try new sites. With a reward and/or loyalty program, you can earn points based on your deposits or earn special bonuses on your winnings.
Some will even allow you to join a VIP club, where you will have access to private tournaments with even higher stakes than what is available to most other players. In some cases, you can carry your loyalty bonuses over to other online casinos if the operator also operates those platforms.
New player welcome bonuses typically come with certain wagering requirements that must be met before you are able to cash out. The way it works is this: You receive $100 in new player bonuses at a site that has a 35x wagering requirement. That will either apply to both the bonus amount and deposit amount, or only bonus funds.
That cash sits in your bonus balance until you have wagered it sufficiently. You would then need to bet at least $3,500 of your own money before you would be eligible for any winnings. The wagering requirements vary from one casino to the next; however, a common pattern is that the greater the bonus amount, the higher the wagering amount is likely to be.
OTHER ONLINE CASINO WELCOME BONUS TERMS AND CONDITIONS
As well as wagering bonus funds when you receive them, there are other casino bonus terms and conditions you need to be aware of. Before you claim any welcome bonus, make sure you check the bonus policy at the casino. Look out for the following:
- Minimum Deposit
This is how much you have to deposit to qualify for the casino welcome bonus. The minimum deposit may differ from the casino's own minimum deposit. For example, a casino might let you deposit a minimum of €/$10, but to claim the mobile casino bonus, you need to deposit a minimum of €/$20. Also, make sure you understand the maximum bonus possible. For example, a match deposit bonus might only be up to a maximum bonus value of €/$500.
- Bonus Expiration
Online casino bonus offers usually have an expiration date. This is how long the platform has given you to wager the deposit bonus money and/or free spins winnings. If you have not completed the wagering requirements by that time, the bonus funds expire.
- Game Availability
Another important consideration is the games you can play using your free spins or match casino bonuses. If you're given free spins, the casino will usually only let you use them on pre-selected video slots. As for a cash bonus, you may find that you can only use certain games when wagering. For example, jackpot games or live casino titles might be excluded from an active bonus. Other games may only contribute a certain percentage.
- Max Bonus Conversion
Some casino bonuses have a limit on how much you can win. This is especially the case with no deposit bonuses. You might find that the maximum bonus winnings you can claim are just €/$50 - €/$100. Often, free spins promotions also cap how much you can win.
- Max Bonus Bets
You may also find that there is a max bonus bet limit applied to the bonus offer you have claimed. If you exceed that max bet, you can forfeit the deposit bonus money you received. Usually, the max bet is anywhere from €/$1 - €/$10.
- Accepted Payment Methods
In some cases, you may not be allowed to claim a welcome bonus if you have used a particular payment method for your deposit. For instance, some casino bonuses will not work if you have deposited using cryptocurrencies. Additionally, some casinos may state that Skrill and Neteller deposits do not qualify for a bonus offer.
It is important you check the wagering requirements and all other terms and conditions before claiming a welcome bonus. In fact, you should do this before claiming any type of casino bonus or promotion. Even the best deposit bonus is likely to have terms and conditions you need to be aware of.
HOW DO WELCOME BONUSES WORK?
To receive your bonus, you will first need to register for an account. To keep people from taking the money and running, casinos will require you to make a deposit first. If you fund your account with at least the minimum deposit required, you will receive your casino bonus. Others may require a token deposit before you are able to cash out any of your winnings. Always know what the deposit requirements are before accepting any incentive.
Each provider has its own rules as to which games a bonus may be used on. Some will even restrict how much of your bonus you can use to bet on certain games. You must adhere to the rules very carefully; otherwise, you risk forfeiting any winnings.
Once you have played through and met any wagering or other requirements, you can cash your winnings out. This will require you to establish an e-wallet account or register a credit or debit card.
HOW TO CLAIM ONLINE CASINO WELCOME BONUSES?
Claiming casino bonuses is easier than you might think. All will require you to create an account. That involves handing over some personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, and phone number. If the casino offers a sign up bonus, you can now claim it.
However, to claim a deposit match bonus, such as a welcome bonus, you will have to make a deposit before you can claim. You will need to fund your account with at least the minimum deposit needed to claim the bonus.
ONLINE CASINO BONUS CODES
In some instances, you may need to use a bonus code to claim your casino bonuses. You will have to enter this code when signing up or making your deposit. Make sure you have read the terms and conditions or bonus terms to ensure you understand how to claim the bonus.
While you are there, check the wagering requirements and any other rules you need to be aware of. If you need a bonus code, make sure you enter it when claiming the bonus, as without it, you may not be able to claim it.
WHAT OTHER ONLINE CASINO BONUSES ARE THERE?
Aside from the sign up bonuses and welcome packages we have spoken about, there are other casino bonus offers online casinos can offer. Below, you can read a brief description of the other online casino bonuses you will come across:
- Reload Bonuses
These are deposit bonuses in much the same way as most welcome bonuses. However, you will usually receive a smaller deposit match. Generally, as a reload bonus, you can expect a 10%-50% match deposit on top of your deposits. You can claim these as many times as you like, and sometimes you may receive free spins as part of the deal.
- Free Spins Bonuses
Other deposit bonuses might give you free spins instead of bonus money. Again, as these are standard bonuses, you can claim them any number of times. Just make sure you have read and understood the wagering requirements attached to your bonus spins.
- Cashback Deals
Another type of casino bonus is what is called a cashback deal. These usually give you back a percentage of any losses incurred during the previous week. Generally, the percentage of the losses you receive will be in the 10% - 20% range.
- Refer-a-Friend Bonuses
This is an online casino bonus that rewards you for referring other players to the casino. If players you refer make a deposit, you will receive bonus money or free spins.
Unlike welcome bonuses and no deposit bonuses that you can claim just once, you can claim the above online casino promotions as many times as you like.
The importance of knowing what the welcome bonus package terms and conditions are cannot be stressed enough.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you will use free money to play with and then cash out big winnings. Gaming sites have put plenty of safeguards in place to ensure this doesn’t happen. These platforms would lose big money if they allowed everyone to do that. As it stands, most only break even on new player bonuses and are banking on the fact that you will stick around and play with your own funds.
Some rewards may almost sound too good to be true. If you come across a bonus that seemingly has no strings attached, proceed with caution. A lot of unreputable casino sites do offer such bonuses but may nonetheless go dark whenever it is time for you to cash out your winnings. Ensure that any casino you choose has a solid reputation and is properly licensed in the area you are playing in.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WELCOME BONUS
There is no one particular incentive that is right for everyone. Accordingly, the one you choose may differ from that of another player. The most important thing is reading and understanding the terms and conditions associated with your bonus. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of free money to play with and forget about the wagering requirements or limits on cashing out.
If you are interested in trying out a game before placing a lot of your own money down, you may want to consider a no-deposit bonus. This incentive will allow you to “try out” the game without risking your own funds. If you’re unsatisfied, you can always walk away from any winnings because you haven’t actually put up your cash.
On the other hand, a first-deposit casino bonus might be a better option if you don’t mind some degree of risk and are planning to play a certain amount anyway. More experienced players often choose this type of bonus because they are familiar with how casino games work and are willing to put up the amount specified in the wagering requirements.
As with a no-deposit bonus, free spins can allow you to become familiar with a slot. You can often see whether or not you like the game before wagering any of your own money. For those that do require a deposit, the amount is normally very minimal as well.
New player welcome bonuses have become a standard in the online gambling industry, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks involved. As with any reward, you should know the limitations and ensure you follow the rules. Always check the terms and conditions of any match bonus or registration bonus before claiming.
You need to understand the wagering requirements and any other stipulations such as max conversion and max bet permitted. Doing so will allow you to make the most of the best online casino bonuses without facing any hidden surprises.
Casino Welcome Bonus FAQs
Why do gambling sites offer a welcome bonus?
Simply put, welcome bonuses are used to attract new players to a site. New casinos, in particular, need to build a player base quickly. They will create lucrative bonuses so that new users sign up and test out their site.
What type of casino welcome bonus can I claim?
When you identify a new casino site, it is likely you will run into one or two types of bonuses. The first is a sign up bonus or as it is also known, a no deposit bonus. You can claim these without making a deposit and they usually consist of free money or bonus spins. The second is a welcome bonus that you receive in return for your first deposits. These can contain bonus money and/or free spins.
Can I win real money with the best casino bonuses?
Yes, as long as you complete any wagering requirements on your bonus amount before cashing out. Deposit bonuses, free spins, and most other casino bonuses will have certain playthrough requirements you need to adhere to.
What games can I play using a welcome bonus?
Most online casinos will let you play video slots when wagering casino bonus funds. Others may let you play other games such as live casino and virtual table games. Before claiming, just check to see what you're allowed to play. If you can find a bonus that lets you enjoy your favorite casino games, all good!
How do I claim a welcome bonus?
How you claim a welcome bonus can differ from platform to platform. For instance, one site might automatically credit you with your bonus amount once you have made a minimum deposit using your chosen payment method. Others may ask that you opt-in before claiming. Finally, in some cases, you may have to enter a bonus code to claim your welcome bonus.
Where to find the best casino welcome bonuses?
If you're looking for the best online casino bonus, you are in the right place. At Playcasino we review the best sites and casino games. Our expert team will know which platform currently has the best casino bonus. In our casino reviews, we dissect the bonuses so that you know what to expect. We tell you about any wagering requirements, the minimum deposit needed, and all other information you need to know. Furthermore, we list all the latest casino bonuses so that you can check them out before anyone else!