Casinos work hard to secure new customers, and they do this by creating ever-more tempting looking welcome bonus packages. But which one do you choose? What should you look out for?
Our guide will cover everything from how bonuses work to what sort of hoops you need to jump through to benefit from them! Make sure you read on to discover our hand-picked list of the latest and best welcome bonuses around!
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Welcome Bonus Packages
Welcome bonus packages can come in all manner of shapes and sizes. Some big, some small, some with a side order of spins! With many casinos, it’s a case of smoke and mirrors and is used as a way to attract new players with a seemingly big bonus only to find out later that there are unreasonable terms attached or that the casino you’ve chosen is not all it’s cracked up to be. It can be a minefield!
This article will cut through a lot of the confusion surrounding welcome bonuses and provide some clarity on the types of bonuses available and what to look out for.
This article will cut through a lot of the confusion surrounding welcome bonuses and provide some clarity on the types of bonuses available and what to look out for. Being in the know will allow you to take advantage of some of the best offers around and hopefully, you won’t come away feeling deflated by a poor choice of casino.
What are Welcome Bonus Packages?
A welcome bonus package is an offer that is created by the casino to attract new players to sign up and play. They can take many different forms; deposit match bonuses, first, second and third deposit match bonuses, match bonuses plus bonus spins…the variations and size of offers available can range dramatically!
They are usually dependant on you making a qualifying deposit. After all, nothing in this life is totally free! When you see a massive £2000 welcome package offered by a casino you will usually find that it is split over several deposits and in some cases, you may have to deposit thousands of pounds to get the full bonus amount!
UK licensed casinos must display clear terms and conditions so players can make an informed decision. But make sure you do your own due diligence and thoroughly read the small print before signing up to anything!
We really like it when we see a casino has got creative with their welcome bonuses. It’s a chance to show off some of their personality and the type of experience you are likely to have while playing there. A run of the mill basic deposit match is all very well, but it’s not hugely inspiring. A bonus that includes a “prize every time” wheel of fortune, or free spins for a brand new game and you’ve definitely got our attention!
The critical thing to remember about welcome bonuses is that they are exactly that, a welcome bonus package to kick-start your gameplay at your chosen casino. They don’t last forever; you’ll spin your way through your spins, play your way through your bonus cash and then what? If after all that, the casino is excellent, offers great service, seamless gameplay and a solid rewards scheme, then it’s all good. However, if behind all of that new casino pizazz is a whole lot of nothing, then you may want to keep looking.
Are they worth it?
Yes and no.
Before you jump right in and grab that big old bonus with both hands, it’s wise to take a moment to have a look around your chosen casino.
Before you jump right in and grab that big old bonus with both hands, it’s wise to take a moment to have a look around your chosen casino. Make sure you know what you are getting into and what you can get out of the bonus if anything. In some cases, a bonus that can appear to be generous can carry such high wagering requirements that there is a snowball’s chance in hell of ever winning anything. We’ll delve a bit deeper into the wagering requirements to look out for later on.
On the flip side, a smaller bonus may offer more of a chance at coming away with something at the end. A casino that offers a more modest bonus may have much more reasonable wagering requirements than one that has thrown a big wad of virtual cash out there that you have very little chance of ever getting your hands on!
Some Examples of Welcome Bonus Packages
First Deposit Bonuses
E.g. 100 % match bonus up to £200. For every £1 you deposit, the casino will match it with £1 in bonus funds up to a maximum of £200. To gain the maximum £200 bonus, you need to deposit £200.
First Deposit Bonus Plus Bonus Spins
E.g. 100% match bonus up to £100 plus 20 Bonus Spins on Starburst.
Possibly one of our favourite types of bonuses as you get the best of both worlds. But as with the other bonuses, watch out for the play through requirements and other terms and conditions. The example we have given above is game specific. You will often find bonus spins are attributed to a particular game or choice of games and each spin will have a set value.
Welcome Bonus Package
A welcome package may offer a higher amount of bonus cash, but this could be spread across your first three or more deposits. Below is an example of a typical £1000 welcome package. Taken at face value it sounds pretty good, but read on to discover how much you’d need to deposit to get the full bonus hit…
- First deposit = 100% match bonus up to £200
- Second deposit = 50% match bonus up to £300
- Third deposit = 25% match bonus up to £500
You’ll notice how the match percentage gets smaller as the numbers get bigger. This is quite common, and something to be aware of as the actual amount you need to deposit to get the full bonus amount can be thousands of pounds!
In this example, you would need to make a first deposit of £200 to receive your full £200 bonus. Then to get the £300 maximum bonus with the second deposit you’d have to deposit £600. Finally, to max out this bonus and get the full £500 hit with your third deposit, you’d need to chuck £2000 into your account! So in total, to get our £1000 in bonus cash we have deposited a massive £2800! And that’s before we’ve even started on the playthrough requirements!
The thing to remember is, the more you deposit, the more you can lose. Always make sure you are comfortable with what you are depositing and never feel pressured into depositing more just to get the bigger bonuses. Often it’s better to opt for a smaller bonus with better wagering to stand more of a chance of coming away with something and even if you don’t, you’ve not lost too much, and you’ve still enjoyed your session.
How to claim your bonus
If you’ve done your research and settled on a chosen casino the first thing to do is check the Ts&Cs attached to their welcome bonus package. Yes, we know it’s super dull but believe us, we have been caught out more times than we care to mention! Check our section below on the things to look out for.
There may be a bonus code required and in most cases, you will need to opt into the bonus offer. This may be by following a link or in some cases, you may have to contact their customer support team to trigger the offer. There is usually a grace period where you can still sign up for the welcome bonus within 7 days of registering your account so even if you don’t go for it straight away you still have a chance to claim.
Typically you’ll need to make a deposit of a set value before claiming your offer, and once your account is verified, the casino is usually pretty quick to issue you with your bonus cash or spins so you can start enjoying them straight away!
Bonus Wagering Requirements
We have mentioned wagering requirements a few times in this article as it’s one of the leading causes of complaint from casino goers when it comes to claiming bonus winnings. Often, they can be hard to find or misleading, so always ensure you are playing at a reputable casino that displays their terms where you can easily find them!
So what does wagering or play through requirements mean?
Most casinos will provide details of how many times a bonus or bonus spins winnings must be turned over before you can cash out any winnings. The majority tend to be between 30x – 40x but they can range from wager free right up to 99x so you can see how this can be a huge factor in your chances of being able to gain anything at all from your bonus.
Here is an example of the type of wagering requirements you might see with a simple deposit match bonus:
100% match bonus up to £100 with a minimum deposit of £10, play through x30 (bonus + deposit amount)
If you deposit £20, the casino will give you a £20 bonus so you will have £40 to play with. The play through requirements dictate that you must turn over the bonus plus deposit amount 30 times so you have to play through a total of £1200 before you can even think about withdrawing your winnings.
Here’s an example of a welcome bonus that offers you 20 bonus spins with a 50x playthrough requirement.
If you are lucky enough to win £11 with your 20 bonus spins, your winnings will be transferred to your account as bonus funds and therefore must be wagered 50x so in this case that would be a playthrough requirement of £550.
Things to watch out for:
- Are any payment methods excluded from claiming the bonus offer?
- What are the wagering requirements?
- Check for games contributions towards wagering and also excluded games
- How long will the bonus be available for?
- Is there any cash out limits?
- What is the maximum bet size during the offer?
- Is there any location restrictions in place?
- Which games can be played with the welcome bonus?
Best Welcome Bonus Packages
Who’s got the biggest package? Welcome package that is! We have searched the length and breadth of the online casino world to bring you the best welcome bonuses around. Here are our top picks:
Wow, that was a lot to take in! The world of casino bonuses is a complex one with so many variations out there it’s mind boggling! Hopefully, we have shed some light on the types of bonuses you can expect to find and the things to look out for when selecting a casino. Have you checked out our top picks of the best welcome bonuses available right now?