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The Most Common Bonuses From Online Casinos

There are several different types of casino bonuses you can get when you're playing online, and to make it even more complicated, some of the bonuses go by different names. If you're not that familiar with the world of online gambling, it could be a bit tricky to figure out what the offer really is. What you need to do to claim your bonus at a casino and how you can use it are other common questions. To help you sort this out, here's a brief explanation of each of the top casino bonuses and types so you can understand just what it is the casino is offering you.

Sign-up and Registration Bonus

Perhaps the most popular and best online casino deals among players looking for new casinos to play at are sign-up bonuses, also known as registration bonuses. If you're offered a sign-up bonus, you should always take advantage of it. This best online casino bonus type is completely free. The only thing you need to do to claim one is complete your registration for a player account, which is, of course, always free.

What you get as a registration bonus may differ from casino to casino, but the most commonly offered sign-up bonuses consist of free spins. These are no deposit casino bonuses, meaning you don't have to risk any of your own money to play your spins. Alternatively, if the offer you get for signing up isn't free spins, you might get free money or a free bet. This means you get some money, usually between €5 and €10, and you can spend it playing whatever game you want.

Some bonuses will only allow you to play casino games, while others also allow you to bet on sports, play bingo, or choose a game from any other game category the casino offers. The best online casino promotions give you more perks, more freedom and include as few restrictions as possible.

Deposit Bonus and Match Bonus

All those biggest casino bonuses you'll see are deposit match offers. If you get an offer for a deposit bonus, you'll have to risk a bit of your own money. When you make a deposit, the casino will give you a percentage of your deposit as a bonus.

New players claiming casino welcome bonuses can receive as much as 500% of their deposit, which is obviously a very good offer. In terms of ongoing bonuses for existing players, the match bonus rarely exceeds 100%, although this can happen at times. What you need to check for is the max amount you can claim for a deposit bonus since the max can be anything between €20 and €1,000.

The bonus schemes at the various online casinos are, of course, different, but most of them offer some sort of deposit bonus to their loyal players at least once a week. Some even give you a bonus for every single deposit you make, and these are the casinos where it will pay to play in the long run.

Free Spins

The next most common type of online casino bonuses you'll find are free spins. In fact, chances are that you'll always find some free spins up for grabs unless you're unlucky enough to find a no bonus operator. As in, a casino that doesn't offer any bonuses at all. A free spins bonus allows you to play for free on a slot, and what you win is your bonus. Sometimes you'll get spins that you can only use on one specific slot, while at other times, you might be able to choose from a whole bunch of different slots. The game or games the bonus can be applied to will be specified in the offer.

Normal free spin best casino bonuses are valued at the minimum possible bet amount for the slot you get to play. This means you can get spins valued at anywhere between €0.05 and €0.25 per spin. If your spins are worth more than usual, like the examples listed below, they'll usually be given a name that indicates this. 

  • Big Spins – Free spins with a value of, normally, between €0.40 and €0.60 per spin.
  • Super Spins – Free spins with a value, normally, between €1 and €2 per spin
  • Mega Spins – Free spins worth more than €2 per spin.

In addition to this type of online casino bonuses, you may also come across something called Cash Spins. This isn't a separate type of free spins bonus based on the value of each spin. Getting Cash Spins means that no matter what slot they apply to, whatever you win from your spins is paid out in cash and not as bonus money. However, not all casinos use different names for the different types of free spins bonuses, so you could get free high-value spins or spins without a wagering requirement, even though they're both called Free Spins.

Free Bet

While not usually one of the biggest online casino bonuses, a free bet is to odds what free spins are to slots. When you get a Free Bet as your bonus offer, you get to place a bet without risking your own money. Once the bet is placed, you just have to wait to find out the result of the event you chose to bet on, and if you win, you'll get the winnings. The bet amount itself will not be paid out; you'll only get to claim the actual winnings. This is standard procedure even for the top casino bonuses that include free bets.

It varies from bonus to bonus whether you'll be able to choose what you want to bet on or whether the free bet only applies to a specific match. The only thing that's always certain is that you never have to spend your own money on a free bet. So, you'll never have anything to lose by participating in an offer like this, something that can't be said for casino deposit bonuses, for example.

Reload Bonuses

Reload casino bonus deals are deposit match offers available after you use your casino welcome bonus. For example, operators may give you 50% up to €100 on Monday deposits or 100% up to €50 on weekend deposits. Sometimes, there's only one weekly or monthly opportunity to claim reload casino deposit bonuses. Depending on the promotion, you may or may not need to enter a casino bonus code to activate your reload promo.

Cashback

If you get a cashback, you get money back if you lose. This means you have to make a deposit first and play with your own money. If you're unlucky and you lose your money, the casino will give you a certain percentage of your loss back as a cashback. How much you get will vary, but anything between 10% and 50% is considered normal. The best casino bonuses may grant you even better cashback, but that's usually reserved for the VIPs only. If you don't lose money, and you're lucky and win with your deposit instead, you won't be eligible to get a cashback bonus. Basically, a cashback is a bit like insurance that allows you to try your luck without the risk of losing your entire bet.

Top-up

A top-up bonus is the opposite of a cashback, and quite often, your bonus offer will consist of either a cashback or a top-up. The top-up online casino bonuses are something you'll only get if you win with the money you deposit yourself. If you win, the casino will top-up your winnings, so you get even more than you'd normally get. For example, if you win €100 and you used a 10% top-up bonus, the casino will give you 10% more, so your balance will be €110. 

With top-up and cashback bonuses, you'll get something whether you win or lose, so this combination is, of course, the ideal one. Still, only casinos with the best online gambling offers can boast such generous casino bonuses.

Loyalty Program and VIP Bonuses

Loyalty never goes unnoticed at online casinos, and that's why VIPs get the biggest online casino bonus deals. While new members are always warmly welcomed, returning customers are more important. This is when loyalty programs and VIP bonuses enter the picture. A free bonus like spins or cash is a common perk for returning users. Loyal members also get access to exclusive casino bonuses, like an online casino free bonus on their birthday or exclusive codes in their inbox.

VIP clubs are popular features of the best online gambling sites. Some of the traditional perks for VIPs include exclusive no deposit bonus casino deals, account managers, access to VIP tournaments and invitations to VIP events.

Refer a Friend Bonus

These are popular bonuses among players as they let them earn rewards for referring friends. Such offers don't qualify as the best casino bonuses as they tend to be modest. Basically, the user gets their personal referral link. When their friends use that link to register with the casino, the referring member and/or both players get a reward. Refer-a-friend online casino bonus deals usually go between €50 and €100. Plus, casinos often limit the number of referrals one can make. Still, this is a great way to ensure that you get at least some treat for spreading the good word.

Claiming Online Casino Bonuses

Exactly how you claim a bonus differs from casino to casino. There are some casinos that simply add a bonus to your account as soon as you've qualified for it, whether it's a no deposit bonus or a bonus where you have to make a deposit. Other casinos require you to redeem a bonus code or opt-in for the bonus before it's added. The latter option is the most common, and this is why it's always important to make sure you've activated the bonus before you fund your account with a deposit.

For casino deposit bonuses, in addition to making sure you've opted in to get the bonus, you also have to make sure your deposit aligns with the terms for the bonus. There's usually a minimum amount you have to deposit to be able to claim the bonus, and there will always be a maximum amount you can get as a bonus. Depositing more money than you can claim as the max bonus may be somewhat pointless, depending on the bonus terms.  

Some online casino bonuses are claimable from the deposit page, while others through a separate bonus section in your account where you can see a list of all the offers you're eligible for. At the very best online casinos, this list will also be divided according to the game type the bonus is valid for, which makes it easy to see if you can get something extra for the types of games you're looking to play. If you need bonus codes to claim a welcome bonus, you'll find them in our casino reviews right here at GoodLuckMate!

Withdrawing Your Bonus Winnings

Cashing out your winnings from desktop and mobile casino bonuses is possible at all casinos, but the rules are somewhat different at each. Some casinos offer bonuses without wagering requirements, and if your bonus doesn't have any, you can withdraw your winnings at any time. But, you can generally only withdraw the winnings you get from a bonus and not the bonus itself.

You'll have to play for the bonus amount first, and normally, you can only play for the bonus after you've played for the money you've deposited. In other words, you'll have to lose the real money you deposited before playing for the bonus amount. After playing the bonus, you can withdraw whatever is left in your account. These rules apply to online casino sign up bonuses, reloads, cashback, and any other types of bonuses. And it's not only them. In fact, every casino bonus comes with individual rules that reveal what you need to do in order to cash out.

If your bonus does have a wagering requirement, you'll have to play with the bonus a set number of times before the bonus funds are converted into real money, which you can then withdraw.

Converting Your Casino Bonus

Most of the latest casino bonuses you get from casinos are added to your account as bonus money. This money is locked into your account and can't be withdrawn. To be able to withdraw bonus funds, you first have to convert them into real cash. This is done by completing the wagering requirement. How the wagering requirement works is different from casino to casino, but it always means you'll have to turn over the bonus you get. The two main types of bonus wagering work like this:

Wagering Your Online Casino Bonuses

If you only have to wager your bonus, you almost always have to play for your real cash first. If you lose this money, you'll start playing for your bonus funds, and then the wagering starts. Usually, you'll have to play for the bonus amount 35 times, but the number of times you need to play can also be higher or lower. The best casino bonuses, naturally, have lower playthrough. So, always make sure to check the bonus terms before you opt-in for the bonus. Once you've played for the bonus as many times as you need to, all of the money in your account gets converted into real money, and you can request a withdrawal.

Wagering Bonus and Deposit

Some casinos have wagering requirements that are applied to both the casino bonuses you get and the money you yourself deposit. On one hand, this means the amount you have to turn over is higher than it would be if you only had to wager the casino bonus, but on the other, you can start the wagering right away. In other words, you don't have to lose your real money before you can start turning over your bonus to convert it into real money. The standard wagering requirement for a bonus like this is 30x.

Game Contribution Rates

Most players focus on the wagering requirements, and they completely overlook the game contribution rates. This is a huge mistake because whether you'll meet the playthrough depends on the contribution rates at your free bonus casino operator. Even the best casino bonuses online have some restrictions when it comes to contribution rates.

What exactly is game contribution, you may wonder. Well, this is the share of the bet placed on a certain game that counts towards the rollover. Slots usually have a wagering contribution of 100%. This means that if you wager €100 on slots, you've cleared €100 of your bonus funds. Table games, by contrast, usually contribute only 5-10%, and this applies to the top online casino bonuses only. Sometimes, they don't contribute at all. So, if the blackjack playthrough contribution is 5% and you wager €100 on the game, you've cleared only €5. As you can see, meeting the wagering if you play blackjack would take much more time. Alternatively, there may be live dealer online casino promotions, in which case slots would have zero wagering contribution.

The best casino bonus deals let you wager your funds on all games, and table games contribute at least 10%. Unfortunately, such promotions aren't common. Instead, users should expect lots of restrictions in terms of accepted games. These days, operators also exclude high-RTP slots from deals. In fact, many new casino bonuses come with long lists of excluded titles.

Always Make Sure to Read the Bonus Terms

The wagering requirement is only one aspect of the bonus terms since there might also be other rules you have to follow. Knowing what you can and can't do with a bonus is very important because this may affect your eligibility to withdraw your winnings. If you have broken the bonus terms in any way, the casino could deny a withdrawal request if you win.

Even the best online casino bonuses can turn into a nightmare if you're not careful. So, you should always check the bonus terms and conditions, which may include answers to the following questions:

  • How do you claim the bonus? Do you need a bonus code? Will you have to opt-in on the campaigns page? Can you activate it from the bonus section on your account, or will it simply be added once you're qualified for it?
  • Is there a limit on which games you can use the casino bonus for, or can you use it across all of the game types the game operator offers? If you can't use it for whatever you want, which games are restricted?
  • Is there a maximum or minimum bet amount per spin or game round while you're using your bonus money? If you can use the bonus for sports betting, what are the minimum odds you can place a bet on?
  • How many days do you have to complete the wagering requirement, and how many days is the bonus active for?
  • Is there a maximum or minimum amount you can win and withdraw with bonus money? If so, what is the limit?

All these questions are essential to determine what online casino bonuses are worth your time. So, never overlook the fine print and always respect the rules of play. That's the surest way to make the most out of all online casino offers.

Eve Luneborg
Eve LuneborgUpdated: 07 Dec 2021
Eve started working at an online casino back in 2014, and she's been involved in the iGaming industry ever since. Starting off as a support agent at LeoVegas Casino, she later took...

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