Everything You Need to Know About Online Casino Bonuses

Chloe Wilson - EditorChloe Wilson - 01 August 2019 in Features

Online Casino Bonuses Explained

Everything you need to know about online casino bonuses

Since the first online casinos started to emerge in the mid-1990s bonuses have been widely offered to new and existing players and can be in the form of credits or free spins.

In fact online casinos and bonuses go hand in hand, and only in rare cases will you encounter casino sites that don’t offer bonuses of any kind.

New player bonuses are designed to encourage first time players to sign up at a casino, while existing player bonuses (commonly known as reload bonuses) are designed to retain players i.e. to keep them depositing and playing and loyal.

From an online casino standpoint, bonuses are undisputedly the most powerful and successful marketing tool they have. They’re collectively responsible for tens of thousands of new player registrations every day.

From a player point of view, online casino bonuses are a great means to boost their deposited funds and in the case of no deposit casinos free spins / credit bonuses, to play eligible games for real money and cash out what they win – 100% free.

In this article we’ll explain how online casino bonuses work, what types there are, how easy it is to claim them, how their wagering requirements and other terms and conditions (T&Cs) work, and most importantly, where you can claim the very best Australian-friendly online casino bonuses right now.

How do Online Casino Bonuses Work?

Think of a casino bonus as an incentive or ‘up-front’ reward. Where land casinos reward players with a proven track record in the form of free or complimentary items (comps) such as meals, rooms, tickets, transfers etc., online casinos work differently in that they reward players up front.

In the case of new player bonuses, for instance, you can claim any number of bonuses from any number of online casinos as long as you meet three basic requirements:

  • You’re over the legal gambling age of your country, state, province or territory.
  • You’ve never before had an account with the casino offering the bonus.
  • You’re eligible to play at the casino. (In other words you don’t live in one of the casino’s restricted countries).

Bonuses can be in the form of extra credits, extra spins, 100% free credits or 100% free spins depending on the bonus type and the respective casino.

Note: It’s important to note that every bonus under the sun has its own T&Cs which you have to adhere to in full or risk having your bonus cancelled, your bonus winnings removed, and even your membership permanently revoked.

The Types of Casino Bonuses

There are a handful of bonus types you’ll come across at the very best Australian online casinos which are all explained below:

  • Welcome Bonuses – These are the earliest type of bonuses and still one of the most popular. Also known as ‘Matching,’ ‘New Player,’ ‘Match’ or ‘Sign Up’ bonuses, these always require you to make an initial deposit in order to unlock them.
  • A 100% Sign Up Bonus of up to $200 is a common example of a Welcome Bonus, where whatever you deposit will automatically be doubled up to a maximum of $200. So if you deposited $200, you’d receive a grand total of $400 in playing funds.

  • No Deposit Bonuses – These came later than Welcome Bonuses but are currently enormously popular in Australia and beyond on account of their being 100% free to redeem and claim i.e. no deposit required.
  • There are two kinds of no deposit bonuses – free credits and free spins.

    You can use the former to play a variety of eligible games including slots, keno, certain table games and scratch cards. Only if you win enough and meet the bonus wagering requirements can you make a withdrawal.

    You can only use the latter to spin the reels for free on one or more pre-selected slot games. Whatever you win is converted to bonus cash and only if you meet the bonus wagering requirements can you cash out.

    No deposit bonuses can be used to play real money online casino games and most will let you withdraw some real money winnings provided you meet the bonus T&Cs in full (which can be hard if they’re too stringent).

    If you’re wondering what the catch with these bonuses is there really isn’t one as they are 100% free. That said most come with nominal maximum withdrawal limits. This means that you’ll never get rich from them.

  • Cashback Bonuses – Alternatively known as ‘Rebate Bonuses,’ these are also a fairly recent addition to the online gambling scene. The way they work is a casino will ‘refund’ you a percentage of the total deposits you made over a given period of time.
  • One of the things that make cashback bonuses so appealing to players in Australia is that some of the casinos that offer them don’t attach wagering requirements to this cashback bonus money.

    This means that whatever winnings you accrue with your cashback money you can withdraw whenever you like without any constraints or limits.

How to Redeem Online Casino Bonuses

How to Redeem Online Casino Bonuses

There are a few ways you can redeem a bonus depending on the casino and the type of bonus offer. That’s why below we’ve highlighted the steps of three of the most common ways:

Redeeming a Bonus without a Bonus Code

  • Follow our link to your selected online casino.
  • Click the first Register or similar button you find.
  • Fill out the new account registration form in full.
  • Visit the casino’s banking page, find your bonus offer and claim it.
  • Confirm that your bonus has been added to your account balance OR navigate to the casino lobby and confirm the specified slot game has been preloaded with free spins.
  • Pick and play any real money games you like / the specified slots.
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Redeeming a Bonus using a Bonus Code

  • Follow our link to your chosen ‘bonus code casino’.
  • Click the first Sign Up or similar button you see.
  • Complete the new account registration form.
  • Navigate to the casino’s Cashier page and under the Coupons tab enter / paste your bonus code and click the Redeem Bonus button.
  • Check to se that your bonus has been credited to your account OR find the slot game(s) and check that your free spins are already loaded.
  • Pick and play any real money games you choose / the specified slots.
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Redeeming a Bonus via a Casino Support Agent

  • Follow our link to your desired online casino.
  • Click the first Claim Bonus or similar button you encounter.
  • Enter the required information in the account registration form.
  • Contact a casino support agent via Live Chat and ask them to activate your bonus.
  • Look to see that your casino balance reflect your bonus OR find the promotional slot and ensure your free spins have been added.
  • Pick and play any real money games you want / the specified slots.
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Online Casino Bonus Terms and Conditions

As sure as the Sun rises in the east in Australia, so every online casino bonus has a long list of T&Cs attached. These are effectively the ‘rules and regulations’ of the bonus which you must adhere to exactly, or risk having your bonus removed.

Here are the most important bonus T&Cs:

  • Wagering Requirement – This is designed to prevent you from cashing out your bonus credits / free spins winnings as soon as you’ve redeemed / won them.
  • As such, a wagering requirement is the minimum number of times that a casino requires you to wager / play through your free credits / free spins winnings before you’re allowed to withdraw them.

    For instance, a $15 free credits bonus with a 20x requirements means you must make no less than $300 in bets to cash out any winnings. Failure to meet a bonus wagering requirement means you can’t cash out winnings.

    Some casinos set their bonus wagering too high which makes them very difficult to meet. We avoid reviewing and featuring such online casinos, and choose instead to showcase sites with far more lenient i.e. easier to achieve wagering requirements to increase your chances of cashing out.

  • Maximum Withdrawal Limit – This is the maximum amount of winnings you’re allowed to withdrawal if you meet the wagering requirements.
  • This is set in stone and non-negotiable which means even if you managed to rack up $1,000 in winnings, if the bonus has a maximum withdrawal limit of $100 that’s all you’ll be paid out and the rest will be removed.

  • Eligible Games – Many online casino bonuses can only be used to play selected games which are clearly highlighted in the bonus T&Cs.
  • These are known as eligible games and if you use bonus funds to play any games other than these, you risk forfeiting your bonus and any bonus winnings you may have accrued.

    Some bonus T&Cs also list games you cannot play using bonus money.

  • Country Restrictions – Some casinos don’t allow players from certain countries to claim their bonuses and these restricted countries are highlighted in the bonus T&Cs.

  • One Bonus per Household – All casinos are strict about the fact that they only allow one account and thus one bonus to be redeemed per player, IP address, household, credit card, email address or bank account.
  • In other words multiple casino accounts by the same player or connected players is a huge no-no. In fact, online casinos that catch players trying to open or operating multiple accounts typically ban them for life.