Welcome and Deposit Bonuses
These are part and parcel of casinos and are available when you sign up. They often come in the form of first deposit match bonuses but can also be free spins, a no deposit bonus or even a mix of the above.
To keep players playing, some casinos will spread their welcome bonuses out over multiple deposits that can take up to a year to claim. We advise that you only get involved with these bonuses if you’re in it for the long haul.
For those not quite so committed, single deposit bonuses are ideal. Their amount can range from £5 upwards. However, it’s worth remembering that when it comes to deposit bonuses, bigger isn’t always better. 32Red, for example, offer quite low bonuses but they remain popular because of reasonable terms & conditions.
The key to identifying a good welcome bonus is the wagering requirements and what games count towards these requirements. Low wagering requirements are ideal and you can expect around 20x on a fair welcome bonus.
The name of deposit bonuses gives the game away really. They consist of extra cash that you receive when making a deposit. The listed bonus amount is a percentage but the actual cash you receive depends on how much you deposit. For example:
50% Deposit Bonus
Deposit £80 and you’ll receive a £40 bonus (50% of £80) leaving you with £120 to use in the casino.
As they’re more regular, deposit bonuses tend to be smaller than welcome bonuses. Some casinos choose to offer weekly deposit bonuses while others might offer them every month. They can even be tailored to specific games with slots bonuses being fairly common.
Low wagering requirements are what you want here. Most range from 20x to 30x and some bonuses even go as low as 10x. The details of wagering or playthrough requirements are included in the bonus terms and conditions which you should always consult before claiming.
No Deposit Bonuses
Picture the scene – you wander along Las Vegas Boulevard to be greeted by MGM Grand employees handing you free chips and inviting you to come inside and play.
Your first reaction would be to think ‘what’s the catch?’ and there is one, but we’ll get to that later. The point is that this would never happen, which shows just how good online no deposit bonuses are.
These bonuses don’t require you to risk any of your own funds – so in theory, it’s free money.
Casinos view no deposit bonuses as a lure. Meaning that they throw them out there, where hundreds and even thousands of players will take them up, but few will go on to become long term customers. And the ones that do? Well they might get lucky and net themselves a big player. Job done.
So it’s no surprise that there are some pretty tight terms and conditions attached to them. These may include, non-cashable, high wagering requirements 40x plus and low bonus amounts (usually around £5 or £10). But hey it’s free so who cares?
Free Spin Bonuses
Plenty of online casinos let you play their online slots for fun, and it’s a great way to pass the time or learn the rules of their features – but isn’t it a shame you can’t win real money when you’re playing for free?
With free spin bonuses, you are effectively given free money to spend on spinning the reels, with the chance to keep whatever you win.
It’s a no-risk cross between playing for fun and playing for real – but there are some things you should know.
First up, free spin bonuses often apply to a specific slots title, which might be a newly launched game the casino wants you to try, or their game of the month.
Or it might be part of a slots tournament where, rather than keeping your winnings, the players who ‘win’ the most from their free spins get a set amount of prize money instead.
Either way, it’s still free money, so you can’t grumble too much at the terms and conditions – and if you play for money anyway, you might find you fall in love with a new slot you wouldn’t normally have tried.
As always, read the terms and conditions – all of them – because the worst-case scenario is hitting a huge jackpot on a promo spin, then finding out it doesn’t count for some reason.
VIP Casino Bonuses
High rollers, big players, whales… Whatever you want to call them, online casinos love a big spender so they’re more than happy to cater for them by providing plenty of special VIP bonuses.
But here’s the big secret, you don’t always have to spend that much in order to gain VIP status at an online casino. Casinos are more than happy to hand out special bonuses to customers that are likely to play at a high level if they believe it will guarantee player loyalty. This is something that you should take advantage of.
You don’t even need to be betting £50 per slot spin or £500 on every hand of blackjack to be seen as an online casino VIP. By simply depositing a large amount you can achieve VIP status without even placing a bet. Also, don’t be afraid to ask customer or VIP support for special treatment – after all, what have you got to lose?
Casino VIP Schemes
Almost all online casinos have some form of VIP or loyalty scheme. Some will require you to sign up to them, whereas others will automatically include you when you register at the casino. The more exclusive schemes operate with a ‘your name’s not on the list, you’re not coming in’ policy. To get included in these you have to be seen flashing the cash in order to get an invite.
Most casino loyalty schemes consist of different levels and as you wager more you’ll move up these levels. In turn as your level increases so does the size and regularity of bonuses you’re offered. Not only that but once you get to the top levels you’ll be provided with a whole host of other extras.
These can include but certainly aren’t limited to:
- Birthday bonuses
- Gifts (cigars, chocolate and drinks have been used before)
- Invitations to exclusive events
- High reward point conversions
- Personal service with a specified VIP manager
- Sports events and concert tickets
VIP Welcome Bonuses
Schemes aren’t the only way to benefit from playing big at an online casino. When making your first deposit, some online casinos offer a VIP welcome bonus. This is basically a bigger bonus that you receive when you place a bigger deposit – makes sense right?!
But while the cynics among us might expect for wagering requirements to be very high, they’re often not actually that bad. You can expect requirements of 25x – 50x on your bonus. However, from our experience, most VIP bonuses are non-cashable so you won’t be able to withdraw the bonus amount.
If you can’t see an advertised VIP welcome bonus then it’s always worth contacting customer support. When doing so, tell them how much you’re planning to deposit and ask if there are any special bonuses that they can offer you.
Some online casinos prefer to do this more than others while a few don’t do VIP casino promotions at all. Whether or not they appeal to you depends on your level of play and you should choose the right casino accordingly.
VIP promotions can be completely unique promotions that are only open to VIP players and include large or easy to win prizes. Alternatively they can be the same as a regular promotion but with the size of the buy-in and prizes available increased.
PartyCasino are known to often run two promotions simultaneously, one for regular players and one for their Palladium VIP players. You get no prizes for guessing where the bigger payouts are!