It would be impossible to argue against the fact, that the bonus offer is among the most important features players value in an online casino. Sure, number of games, banking methods, reputation, etc. are all important, but more than half of the online casino players end up making the choice at which casino to play, based solely on the bonus offers. We also recognize this fact and you will find plenty of articles focusing on the various bonuses, from the signup casino bonus, through no deposit bonus codes, we have information on all the latest promotions the online casinos post, but today we will focus on the basic: the different types of casino bonuses and what they entail.
One can divide the online casino bonuses into many categories, depending on which factor you choose to separate them. For instance, you can divide them into cashable vs non-cashable bonuses. In our opinion, however, the very basic division goes as follows:
Types of casino bonuses:
- Signup Bonus (Welcome Bonus)
- Existing Player Bonus
- Free Spins Bonus
- Free Trial Bonus
- Cashback Bonus
- Deposit Method Bonus
- Comp Points
Let’s look at all these types of bonuses in more detail.
Welcome Bonus/Signup Bonus
Of course we had to start the guide to the various casino bonus offers with the best and biggest the casinos have to offer – the signup bonus. It is the most popular tool in every online casino’s toolbox, when it comes to attracting new customers, as well as competing with other internet casinos.
As the name implies, the welcome bonus, or signup bonus, is offered to players who are making their first deposit (or in some cases, deposits, but we’ll explain later). The signup casino bonus is without doubt the biggest chunk of free money a player can get at the casino, although there will be many more bonuses one can claim, even some no deposit bonuses for existing players. But for your first deposit, make sure you take advantage of the welcome bonus at its fullest.
There are two ways the signup bonus is usually advertised by the online casinos – as a percentage of your deposit or as a dollar amount. Regardless of how the casino chooses to present the welcome bonus, keep in mind that in reality it will always be a percentage derivative of your deposit. For example, a casino may advertise $5,000 signup bonus, but this doesn’t mean that the player will get $5K as soon as they open an account. Usually, there will be a qualifier, for instance, 400% up to $5,000. This means that in order to claim the max signup bonus amount possible, one must deposit $1,000. That deposit, along with the 400% match for the online casino, will get you playing with the full $5,000. Of course, a player doesn’t have to deposit that much. One can deposit just $100, and since the signup bonus advertised is dependent on the deposit, you’d still get a 400% extra, playing now with $500.
Another casino may advertise a 200% match bonus on your first deposit as a welcome offer, instead of a dollar amount. In this case, it is more obvious that the welcome bonus is based on a percentage of your first deposit. Note here that even in this case, there will be a qualifier, something like “up to $10,000”. This is to indicate that the bonus is not limitless, but within a certain range. As with the previous version, you don’t have to deposit the max amount, you will simply get the 200% regardless of the actual money number you put in your casino account.
Another great feature of the free signup bonus is that it will usually have the lowest wagering requirements. This greatly improve your ability not only to win big, but to be able to cash out big, as well.
Existing Player Bonus
We won’t dwell much on this type of casino bonus, since it’s always going to be one of the other types of bonuses we talk about here. The only difference is that unlike the signup bonus, the existing player bonus is for people who have already signed up for a casino account and claimed the welcome bonus. The welcome bonus is a one-time deal, but that doesn’t mean the bonuses stop there – after that, every other bonus you get, whether a percentage of deposit, free spins, cashback, is considered an “existing player” bonus.
Free Spins Bonus
This free spins bonus initially was offered as an existing players bonus only or for special promotions when new slots came out, but with time the casinos wisely began giving this promo for new players, as well. Today it is not uncommon to see a welcome bonus that offers both deposit match bonus and free spins, at the same time.
So what is the free spins bonus and how does it work? It’s rather simple, the casino will give the customer a certain number of free spins, and depending on the terms and conditions, you can withdraw your winnings stemming from that free spins offer.
Every casino will do the free spins a bit differently, but there are some basic truths. For example, the free spins will usually apply only to one specific slot machine, you won’t be able to pick and choose the slots. As noted earlier, the free spins are usually given out as a promotional tool when a new video slot is being introduced by the online casino, as a way to drum up some buzz about the slot machine.
While no deposit is necessary to take advantage of this type of bonus, wagering requirements would be on the high side. Oftentimes you would also be limited to a max cashout amount, so keep an eye on this term, as well. Best practice is to withdraw once you’ve reached the max cashout amount and covered the playthrough requirements. All and all, this is a very good bonus and coveted highly by the casino players.
Free Trial Bonus
This bonus type is a variation of the casino signup bonus, but with a twist (and a good one for the player, too). This free trial bonus is the quintessential real money bonus no deposit needed option for the player and it works in the following manner. The online casino will give the player a certain amount of free money as a bonus, without the need for the customer to deposit any real money. The player, then in turn can play with that bonus and once its wagering requirements are met – the player can withdraw actual real money won with the bonus.
What is the catch, you ask? Well, for starters, the wagering requirements are the highest you will find among all the different types of bonuses. For example, if the usual welcome bonus has a playthrough requirement of 25 times the bonus, the free trial bonus will have something like 70. Another stipulation is that you won’t be able to cash out all your winnings from this bonus, rather it’s limited to a small amount, usually anywhere between $100 to $200.
What makes this bonus amazing, however, is the fact that it is an actual “something for nothing” type of bonus. You don’t need to make a deposit in order to claim the bonus money, and you stand to win actual real money from the bonus. As you can imagine, it’s very hard to find online casinos offering this type of bonus, but you can click here to see a list of casinos currently offering a free trial bonus of this nature.
This is where thing become really interesting. Unlike the usual bonus offers, where you will get a bonus based on your deposit, the cashback bonus works a bit backwards. Essentially, the players get back some of the money they have lost during a certain period. We consider this a bonus because there are wagering requirements, albeit very low, attached to the cashback money.
Once again, the actual specifics will vary from casino to casino, but the fundamentals remain the same throughout. Online casinos which offer cashback (since not all of them would), would do so based on the money you lose within a period of time. For example, all your losses from Monday through Friday could qualify for a 35% cashback bonus. This means that if you lost $100 over the week, you can get $35 as a cashback bonus on Saturday.
One should always read the actual terms of the cashback bonus as they could vary wildly between different casinos. For instance, some online casinos would stipulate that only money deposited without claiming any bonus would qualify for the cashback, while others have no such requirements. And as mentioned, some casinos may have specific days of the week, during which your losses qualify for the cashback bonus, while others won’t. So always make sure you peruse the T&C of the cashback bonus.
Deposit Method Bonus
This type of bonus became vary popular with the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies by the online casinos, more specifically Bitcoin. Just like any other business, the online casinos have always taken on extra risk when players deposit using credit cards, while the Bitcoin casino deposit are much easier, cheaper and more secure. So in order to incentivize their customers to use Bitcoin as a depositing method, the online casinos began offering extra bonuses tied to this banking method. Some casinos today offer literally thousands of dollars in bonuses just for depositing with Bitcoin. All one has to do is claim a bonus code, and even if you already took advantage of all other bonus offers, just for depositing using this method you qualify for even more. Not a bad deal, considering that most casino players today also prefer Bitcoin due to the speed of withdrawals.
Including the comp points as a type of bonus may be seen by some as controversial, since it doesn’t quite fall into the requirements for a bonus – no codes, nothing to claim, it comes automatically (with most casinos), but our main qualifier has always been the wagering requirements, and comp points do have them more often than not.
What are comp points? The comp points are points you accumulate every time you play a casino game, and are derived from the amount you wager. For example, for every $10 you wager you receive 1 comp point. Then, in turn, you can convert those comp points into real money based on a formula specific to a casino, most of them using 100 comp points = $1. Unlike a casino bonus, you don’t have to claim any codes – the comp points accumulate in the background.
There are many casino-specific variations with the comp points, but generally speaking, the amount you accumulate would also directly correlate, and at the same time qualify you, for the different VIP levels the casino may offer. The more comp points you get, the higher your VIP status with the online casino, all while the higher your VIP status, the more comp points you get for every dollar wagered.
When you decide, you can convert the comp points for chips to play at the casino. Some casinos also offer prizes, raffle tickets and merchandise, you can “purchase” using comp points, although these days this is seldom the case. Most online casino simply give you the option to convert the comp points into cash.
In conclusion, as you can see, there are plenty of bonuses you can get at the online casinos. Which one you should chose is entirely up to you – you can claim them all or you can claim none. You don’t even have to claim the welcome bonus, if you so desire. But regardless of the type of bonus, always make sure you read the conditions of the bonuses you plan on claiming, as they differ not only between the casinos, but within the same casino as well. Just because last month you claimed a bonus, it doesn’t mean that this month it’s terms haven’t changed. And as always – have fun but do it wisely!