How to Maximize Online Casino Bonuses
Casino bonuses have changed a great deal as more players transition to playing online. You can still take advantage of discount hotel prices, meal vouchers and other perks at brick-and-mortar locations, but if you’re an online bettor trying to play from the comfort of your couch you’re probably looking for other bonuses offered by casinos. These types of bonuses can vary by company, and there are so many out there that it could leave you feeling frustrated as you sift through them all to try to figure out which one is right for you.
Our team at Action Network has compiled the different types of online casino bonuses as well as strategies for maximizing them to help guide you in the right direction.
Types of Online Casino Bonuses
There are numerous types of online casino bonuses, but generally the most common are:
- No deposit bonus
- Match bonus
- Reload bonus
- Loyalty bonus
No Deposit Bonus
When an online casino is offering a no deposit bonus, it essentially means this: You don’t have to make a signup deposit when you register for the first time. This is essentially the online casino’s way of offering you “free money.”
When considering no deposit bonuses, you should know there are three types to choose from: Free Cash, Free Spins and Free Spins & Free Play.
- Free Cash. A Free Cash no deposit bonus offers you a set amount of money (often times it’s between $10-$25) to try the online casino out and help you determine if it’s a game you would like to keep playing.
- Free Spins. Online casinos offer a Free Spins no deposit bonus to allow you to pick from a pre-determined set of games and see if you can get a hit with the chance to win prizes. If you land a prize, the more likely you are to sign up with that online casino.
- Free Cash & Free Play. Some online casinos offer a Free Cash & Free Play no deposit bonus which allows you to pick using your bonus on free spins or games.
So which no deposit bonus do we typically see most? The answer is Free Cash and Free Spins. Online casinos will usually give you anywhere between $10-$25 and up to 200 Free Spins when it’s time to register for the first time.
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While no deposit bonuses can be enticing, some online casinos offer another signup bonus that you should seriously consider: a match bonus.
When online casinos offer a match bonus, they are offering the chance to match your first deposit when you register and add it to your account balance. So if you put $25 into your account when you sign up, the online casino will add an additional $25 so that you can begin gaming with $50.
In most instances, casinos specify a maximum amount they will match the first deposit at. For example, BetMGM offers a 100% deposit match up to $1,000 as a part of their signup offer.
A reload bonus is similar to a match bonus but it is typically reserved for existing customers of that online casino. Another difference with reload bonuses is the match percentage is usually lower than the welcome bonus.
This essentially means that if you are an existing customer with an online casino and deposit money, the casino won’t match 100% of what you put into your account. The percentage varies depending on the online casino and the deposit bonus they are offering. You mostly see reload offers fall between 20% and 50%.
Online casinos offer reload bonuses as a way to continue rewarding existing players with the hopes of them continuing to game with the casino. Since signup offers are restricted to first-time registrants, online casinos have to get creative with also appeasing their experienced gamers.
Cashback is a fairly straightforward bonus online casinos like to offer. Basically, cashback is a fixed rate amount of money you will get back into your account after gambling losses and deposits.
This bonus allows you to recoup a percentage of losses automatically and is a way for the online casino to ensure that you will continue gaming with them. Online casinos include cashback percentages into their offers, so you’ll want to look at that percentage when determining if that signup offer is a good option for you. You’ll typically see online casinos offer cashback in the range of 1-10%.
As an example, let’s say you’ve been on hard times and lost $1,000 in a week. If the online casino you chose has a 10% cashback offer, you would have $100 (10%) sent to your account as a part of the bonus.
Loyalty bonuses are exactly what they sound like — they are an online casino’s way of rewarding continued use of their website or app in the form of gifts like free spins, free rolls, free play, etc.
Loyalty bonuses are typically handed out based on your betting history with the online casino and the frequency in which you play. If you play enough to reach a VIP level with an online casino, the better the loyalty program rewards will be. The loyalty rewards will vary depending on the online casino and the levels you have to reach in order to obtain the perks, so be sure to research each one to see what suits you best.
An example of one of the better rewards programs is BetMGM’s M Life Rewards. Players can turn rewards points into real-life and digital perks, like comped rooms at MGM family properties, discounted dining, extended expiration for points, special tournaments and bonuses on playing slots up to 40%.
You can get started on earning M Life Rewards by using the bonus code ACTION at signup when you register for the first time with BetMGM.
READ MORE: Best online casino promotions
Tips and Strategies on How to Maximize Your Online Casino Bonus
Now that you’re aware of the online casino bonus available to you, we’ve compiled some thoughts and analysis on ways you can best maximize the bonuses you’ll have at your disposal.
Be Mindful of Bonus Use Abuse
After reading about all of the different online casino bonuses and the potential money you could earn, you may be excited to sign up with a bunch of different online casinos and take advantage of their offers. We think it’s an unwise choice to register at numerous different casinos in an attempt to abuse the signup system. Instead, pick one or two casinos that best fit what you’re looking for and stick with them. If you keep your online casino websites and apps to a minimum, you’re also more likely to eventually earn VIP status with them which opens the door to further worthwhile offers and bonuses.
Online casinos include a range of rules to prevent users from abusing the system — always make sure to check the terms and conditions to make sure you’re making the right choice for you when you do sign up. Of the rules you’ll find listed, exceeding the maximum stake while playing with any bonus money is one of them.
Speaking of Terms and Conditions, Read Them
We just mentioned that it’s important to look through an online casino’s terms and conditions, but we can’t stress it enough. One online casino’s rules can vary greatly from another’s, so don’t assume they’re all the same or similar. Many things could be different, including the bonus offers, the bonus offer terms and conditions, and the wagering requirements, which refers to the number of bets you must make or the amount of money you are required to wager to become eligible to withdraw any money earned through the use of bonuses.
Speaking of wagering requirements, here’s another bonus tip: if Lady Luck is on your side and you win big, it’s a good idea to forfeit any bonus you have received. If you have struck big, cashing out before you meet any of the wagering requirements makes more sense. You may think this is counterintuitive but in reality, it will help you keep more of your hard-earned money when it’s time withdraw it. Be sure to check with your online casino to make sure it’s possible, though, since not every casino will let you do it.
Take Advantage of the No Deposit Bonus When You Can
Regardless of which no deposit bonus you choose, you should always make sure to take advantage of them when they are offered. It allows you to play without making a commitment (a deposit). You’re essentially playing with free money, so make the most of it!
Match Bonuses Also Have Their Place
While no deposit bonuses are our online casino bonus of choice, match bonuses also have their place, especially if the offer exceeds a 100% match. While that isn’t always the case, some online casinos try to shoot for any advantage they can get when it comes to attracting new users. During your research, you may even find a match bonus of 150% or 200%.
Of course, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. The better the bonus may seem, the more likely it is the stipulation that comes with the bonus probably isn’t worth it.
READ MORE: Best online casino for beginners
If you’d like to learn more about online casinos, specifically the best online casino brands, the bonuses they offer, and the games you can play, check out The Best Real Money Online Casinos in the U.S.