Best Online Welcome Bonuses
Most online casinos offer different types of bonuses to make new players feel welcome and encourage them to make a first deposit. Bonuses are very helpful because let’s face it, the more cash you have available to play, the more spins you get! Welcome bourses are also about how the casino attempts to gain your loyalty and encourage you to refer your friends. Bonuses encourage you to play more and deposit more.
The money is indeed offered free of charge, but there are some stimulations attached to it. These stipulations are always covered in great detail in the Terms and Conditions, a document you should always read very carefully before accepting a Welcome Bonus. The Terms and Conditions outline how much money you have to spend playing, and how much time you can take to play the amount and how many spins you have to enjoy before being allowed to withdraw your bonus winnings. Our guide explains everything there is to know about the Welcome Bonus, what the playthrough requirements are, what the wagering requirements entail so as to release your funds and important information about the Terms and Conditions.
The Online Casino Welcome Bonus
If you have ever visited a land based casino, you might have noticed that there is no Welcome Bonus for new players. You certainly will be able to sign up for a bonus programme but they won’t hand you cash for walking into their doors. The main reason for this is that they have no idea how long you will be visiting for or the level of action you bring with you to their casino.
Online casinos, on the other hand, have a different marketing strategy. There are so many online casino websites competing for your business and every one of them wants you as their client. At a land based casino, they can offer you restaurants, shows and shopping, an excellent ways to entice, attract and reward players. Online casinos don’t have that and so they offer rewards like Welcome Bonuses. But no two Welcome Bonuses are alike, each comes with its own set of conditions, and here is where you need to understand what these conditions entail, so that you can accept the best Welcome Bonus for your gaming needs.
Examples of Welcome Bonuses
Welcome Bonuses are also known as Sign-up Bonuses and as the name implies, it is offered to new clients to motivate them into signing up and play their online casino games. For a new player, this will be the very first type of casino bonus that they will encounter at the online casino website. The Welcome Bonus is not just free money, however, it’s usually made up of a package that includes free spins with the free cash, some casinos offer one or the other and some casinos offer the combination of a monetary bonus and free spins.
Let’s take for example, an online casino offers you a 100% match deposit bonus of $100 and 50 free spins. This essentially means that they will double any value you deposit up to a maximum of $100. Every casino has a minimum deposit amount, so if you decide to deposit their minimum of let’s say, $20, they will double this and give you $40.
Usually their Welcome offer will be phrased this way: Get 100% up to $150. Deposit & Play on selected slots and get 30 Free Spins on Starburst. 18+. Full T&C’s apply. Min. Deposit: $15.
What they are offering you is a 100% match bonus up to a maximum of $150. Potentially you can get $300 from them but as the minimum deposit is $15, you’re perfectly entitled to only deposit $15, receive $30 as well as your free spins, which in this case can only be played on the Starburst pokie.
The Welcome Bonus Package
In the online casino industry, there are different types of Welcome Bonuses, and casinos often vary their offerings specifically to target their niche markets. There are a variety of popular variations of Welcome Bonus offers.
- Percentage bonus offer – Welcome offers normally come as percentages of whatever amount the player has initially deposited. A casino can offer 50%, 100% or more, and if a player decides to deposit $100, the player’s account will be credited with the extra $50 or $100 respectively. The best and most popular variant is a 100% bonus offer.
- Match bonus offer – A variation of the 100% bonus offer. Instead of focusing on a certain percentage, the casino will match the player’s initial deposit
- 200 % bonus offer – Some online casinos go one step further and offer a 200% or more bonus offer. It’s important to understand that bonuses that exceed 100% will often come with lower caps. For example, a casino might offer a 200% bonus capped at $50.
- Bonus cash with free spins – Free spins will always provide players with the most thrills and an online casino has to do just that, provide enough excitement and anticipation so that the player wants what they have to offer. Some online casinos combine free playing money and free spins. The free spins normally can only be used on selected video pokie games. For example, a casino offers you a whopping $600, and 200 free spins.
- Terms and Conditions – As fantastic as it is to receive free money and free spins, the onus is on the player to carefully read the Terms and Conditions. In accepting a Welcome Bonus package, the player is entering into a contract with the online casino, and the contract is carefully designed to protect both the online casino and the player. Since money is exchanging hands, the contract ensures that obligations are met by both parties.
The Terms and Conditions outline everything the player must know before accepting a Welcome Bonus. For example, free spins are usually only for certain pokies and both the bonus and the free spins come with wagering requirements which have to be met before winnings can be converted to cash allowed to be withdrawn. There are rules attached to playing the bonus cash and free spins and the player must know exactly what is required of them before accepting a Welcome Bonus.
Cashable and Non Cashable Bonus
Welcome bonuses are grouped into two categories, cashable and non-cashable bonuses. A cashable bonus is one where you can withdraw all the profits after wagering has been met. For example, you deposit $100 and are offered a 200% match deposit, therefore you receive $300 to gamble with. You make a profit of $100 after meeting your wagering requirements. You have $400 in your balance but if there’s a maximum cash out limit of let’s say $250, the balance of $150 will be removed from your account. This is why it’s so important to read the Terms and Conditions and see if there is a maximum cash out limit or not.
The non cashable bonus or sticky bonus is intended for play purpose only and it cannot be withdrawn. The term implies that the casino bonus is stuck with the casino and even if the wagering requirement is met, you can only withdraw the profit and the initial deposit you made.
VIP Welcome Bonus
In an effort to offer a great service for an existing player that wagers big amounts of money and the high roller, casinos offer a VIP scheme aimed at this elite crowd. The VIP programme is designed to accommodate elite casino players, and provide them with exclusive bonuses, offers and services. The VIP scheme usually offers the same bonuses that are enjoyed by regular casino players, but the amounts are different. The VIP bonus is a special that often goes beyond the usual casino bonuses and promotions.
VIP casino players get access to perks and premium services and as no two casinos are alike, these services also differ from casino to casino. Usually a VIP player will receive higher withdrawal and deposit limits, access to exclusive events and of course, much higher reload bonuses.
Wagering requirements are conditions that have to be met before a player can withdraw winnings. These requirements are based on the amount of the bonus you have agreed to accept and often the casino imposes wagering requirements on both the bonus and the deposit. The wagering requirement is how much you will have to bet in total to clear the wagering requirement.
Wagering requirements usually start as soon as you begin using your bonus money and there is always a expiry date, for example you have 30 days to meet the wagering requirement.
For example, you are offered a 100% bonus up to $50 on your first deposit with a 20x wagering requirement. You deposit $50 and receive another $50 to use at the casino. The 20x requirement means you need to wager your bonus of $50 20 times, or a total of $1000 before you will be allowed to withdraw your winnings.
There’s always a maximum bet, normally $5 per spin or 50c per payline and only certain games can be played with bonus money, usually only pokies. If you’re allowed to play table and card games or Live Dealer games, they usually only contribute from 10% upwards towards wagering. There’s usually a list of games that cannot be played with bonus money at all, but the information is always clearly outlined in the Terms and Conditions.