When it comes to encouraging new players to sign up with an online casino it seems that reputation is not as important as it once was. Nowadays it's all about having the top casino welcome bonus and the bigger the better. Type 'top casino bonus' into any search bar and you'll be overwhelmed with the number of hits. There are online casinos giving money away left, right and center. Not just for new customers but for regular players too. But is a top casino bonus as good as it appears on the surface? Sorry to say, probably not. Sign up at a top bonus casino and you'll have to meet certain conditions in order to make the most of any bonus. You don't need to worry though. Keep reading and you'll get a better understanding of what's involved. You won't get caught out by something that's in the small print. And by looking at top casino offers with a more knowledgeable eye you'll be able to increase your bankroll. Used correctly they are brilliant. But not used sensibly they can work out to be a costly mistake. We look at some of the best casino bonuses when we write our reviews. So, look at these as well before committing to anything.
There Are a Number of Different Types of Casino Bonus
Anyone wanting a way to increase their bankroll is going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to an online casino best bonus. Understanding how they work is the best way to finding the right one. We can help with that as well as making it clear with regards the pitfalls, and we're going to start by giving you some details about the promotions, special offers and bonuses you're most likely to encounter.
The Best Casino Welcome Bonus
Nearly every online casino you visit will be offering what it considers to be the best casino sign up bonus. It's almost become a tradition for all types of casino, both new and old. Not each one will be identical. Some will require a deposit is made, while others just the completion of the registration process and verification of credit or debit card details. If a deposit is required, the bonus will be given as a percentage of that and is often called a match bonus. Generally, there will be an upper limit for the bonus and a minimum amount for the deposit. The sole purpose of this type of bonus is to encourage new players to sign up and open an account. Don't think the bonus will cost nothing though. Wagering requirements will be imposed. Before we go any further we need to explain what wagering requirements are.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Also known as playthrough requirements, they are imposed on players who accept a top online casino bonus. And not just the best casino sign-up bonus. Wagering requirements will be a part of accepting almost all promotions, bonuses and special offers. They are a way for the casino to recoup the money that is being given away. Because let's face it, is anything really given away for free anymore? Generally, wagering requirements will be 20 times the sum of a deposit plus any bonus. However, a word of warning. There are online casinos that impose far higher requirements on the unsuspecting customer. You find the figures in the terms and conditions attached to any kind of bonus and you will need to check them very carefully. We have come across casinos with 80 times and even higher. An online casino is obliged to provide this information but it's not always easy to find. If you're struggling to find the wagering requirements in the terms and conditions, get in touch with the casino's customer support and ask for clarification. A top casino bonus will have very reasonable playthrough requirements, but you should always check.
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A Top Bonus Casino Will Reward Regular Players
Top casino offers aren't just for newcomers. They are used to encourage players to keep coming back for more too. Before you open an account check to see whether there are any loyalty or VIP programs you can join. In a bricks and mortar casino a loyalty card is often used, and the points accumulated on the card can be exchanged for gifts, free accommodation or tickets to a special event or show. Online casinos have something very similar and every time a player plays a real money game, points will be awarded. Known as comp or complementary points, they are collected and exchanged when a certain level has been reached. The terms tend to be 1 loyalty point for every $10 wagered and 100 points exchanged for $1 of real money. The rules of these schemes are different depending on the casino you visit so check them out before signing up to take part.
Another way of rewarding players is with membership of a special rewards club. There will usually be different levels you can work your way through with each one offering bigger and better rewards, privileges and promotions. For example, extra bonuses, cash rewards, exclusive games or complimentary tickets to special events.
High Rollers Can Expect Extra Special Treatment
If you can afford to spend big money at an online casino you can expect the red-carpet treatment. Just like in a land-based casino you'll get preferential treatment. It won't be bottles of champagne and free hotel rooms, but it will be something like matching deposit bonuses, extra special offers and promotions reserved for those making larger deposits.
Reloads and Banking Bonuses
A reload bonus is one that rewards players every time more funds are added to their accounts. Rather than being fixed, it's usually offered as a special promotion and will include time limitations. It can often be a very generous bonus as well but will require a certain amount of real money to be wagered. A top casino will be one that offers this type of bonus as well as a good selection of others.
A banking bonus is given when a certain method is used for making payments. Not all casinos will have this type of bonus but those that do will be offering this type of bonus because of country specific issues regarding online gambling and various restrictions. In the US, for example, federal law prohibits financial transactions relating to online gambling. One way of skirting round the law is to offer alternative payment methods such as e-wallets and prepaid cards.
Refer a Friend Bonus That Requires Nothing in Return
If you find a top casino and enjoy the experience why not share it with your friends? The refer a friend bonus means you can be rewarded for simply spreading the word. It doesn't require any financial commitment from you. But you will have to wait until your friend has opened an account, deposited some funds and started playing, before receiving any bonus. There will be terms and conditions laid out, but these tend to revolve around the person being referred. Rather than requiring a deposit is made by you.
Top Tips for Anyone Considering an Online Casino Bonus
There are a number of things to consider before accepting any kind of bonus from an online casino.
Size Isn't Everything
- It's all too easy to get bowled over by the size of a top casino bonus, and to forget about reading the small print. We regularly come across offers of $5,000 and more. The best casino bonuses are not always the biggest however. These enormous bonuses are often attached to ridiculous wagering requirements, or requirements you've got no hope of meeting. You may also find that such a large advertised bonus is split over the course of several deposits. So always look a little closer into what's being offered before being bowled over by the number of zeros.
- There are very few bonuses that won't include specific wagering requirements. In fact, in the time we've been playing casino games online there's not one single offer that hasn't had wagering requirements attached. We're not saying there aren't any. Just that we've not found any yet. We've also found that the wagering requirements seem to be something that many players have problems with and like to complain about. They are part and parcel of even the best casino bonuses and this is just a fact that has to be lived with.
Activating the Bonus
- There are various ways a bonus can be claimed or activated. A bonus code could be required, or the bonus could be automatic. In which case you'd also need to find out if it's possible to opt out if you wanted to. The way to activate a bonus will usually be found in the terms and conditions, or you can check with a casino's customer support team.
Is Opting out an Option?
- Even a top online casino bonus is not always the best option and you might want to forgo what's being offered. Promotions and bonuses are a good feature to look for, but they don't always match a player’s needs. For example, the bonus might only be available for spending on slots games. And if you don't plan to play slots, what is the point? You might feel unable to meet the wagering requirements and don't want to have any problems when it comes to making a withdrawal. Not all bonuses can be opted out of so it's always better to check.
Are There Any Other Restrictions?
We advise all players to read the terms and conditions attached to a bonus because there may be a number of other restrictions you'll need to take into consideration. Some bonuses are country specific. Some can only be claimed when deposits are made using a certain method. There may be a limit placed on the bets that can be made with any bonus money as well as the games that can be played. It's also possible for there to be a time limit attached to the bonus and any wagering requirements. So, check all of these as failure to comply may result in forfeiting the bonus and any winnings made from it.
These tips are very important to keep at the front of your mind when considering claiming a bonus. There's one further thing we'd like to mention, and we've already touched on it briefly.
Always Read the Terms and Conditions
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If there's one thing that catches players out more than anything it's the terms and conditions. When it comes to casino promotions the devil is most definitely in the detail. And unfortunately, we've become very good at ticking the box to say we've read them but not actually doing so. It's not just a case of reading them either as it's equally important to understand what's being asked of you. We do a lot of our own research and have found a common complaint from players is being unable to withdraw winnings or funds from their accounts. When we look a little closer we discover that these problems tend to be a result of players not reading and understanding the terms and conditions. Don't fall into the same trap and read what is being asked of you before being lured into accepting any kind of special offer.
The online casino industry is becoming increasingly competitive. With new casinos coming online every day it seems there's no limit to the offers that are being touted. New games get launched, often with attractive promotions to encourage new players and every special occasion in the calendar can be used for another seasonal bonus if you want to know about a casino’s promotions you can read our reviews. But for the most up to date information check out a casino's promotions page.
One last thought before we finish this bonus page is to remind you there is no such thing as a free lunch. Yes, they can be a great way of increasing your bankroll, but they usually come with some kind of cost.