Welcome bonus: these two magic words that players google like crazy. If you are one of them, there is no wonder why you end up in this article. These bonuses are the ‘sweet candies’ that operators give players to lure them to their site. A great signup offer is like a first impression: it can shape your opinion towards the casino.
There is no legitimate casino brand that doesn’t feature this promotion. At first glance, all offers look awesome but trust us when we say they need some research before selecting them. To locate the best casino welcome bonus, you should be able to recognize the types and the factors that affect them. Keep reading to get all the necessary information and check our list with the best casino welcome bonuses.
Best casino welcome bonuses (2021)
Casino Welcome Bonus Types
Signup offers differ from casino to casino, as operators attract players by multiple types of bonuses. Yet, some trends have prevailed in the online casino industry and seem that they last. So, let’s break down the most typical welcome bonuses you will encounter.
First Deposit Bonus
This is the most common casino signup bonus you are ever going to find. After your registration, you make your first deposit and then if you select to claim the welcome bonus, it will be credited to your account. Usually, this offer is a matching bonus of your first deposit up to a certain percentage (most often 100%). According to the operator’s promotional strategy, the first deposit offer can be preceded by a no deposit bonus straight after registration and can also be accompanied by free spins.
Many operators want to engage their players more, and they prolong their casino welcome bonus to three, four or even five installments. By installments, we mean that a new bonus is credited to you each time you deposit. The total amount of the ‘welcome package’ can be quite generous: these promos can reach up to a 4-digit matching bonus and a 3-digit bunch of free spins, depending on the casino’s allowance. If they come along with a no deposit bonus, it is almost always granted before the first deposit. If you wonder what a welcome package looks like, check out the offer of Joo Casino.
No information availableB50 recommended welcome bonuses
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are granted after your registration to the site. Don’t expect though, to find one for every new casino bonus that you land, not all operators feature them. They are divided into two categories: free spins and free cash (or free chip). In the first case, you are granted a certain number of free spins that should be used on a specific slot of the casino. In the second case, the casino delivers you free cash to begin your journey.
Naturally, the amount is small (€/$4-5) and enough for just a few bets. There are no wagering requirements on no deposit bonuses. Whatever winnings you manage to extract are yours. Still, these bonuses frequently have maximum payouts, meaning you can win up to a certain amount. An extraordinary no deposit bonus you could claim right away on our site is the one of 888 Casino: €/£88 free cash to start your adventure instantly.
Some casinos operate with bonus codes. To activate their promotions, signup offers, too, you need to insert bonus/promo codes. Usually, you will find a bonus code tab in the ‘Cashier’ or ‘Deposit’ section of the casino, where you will enter the code to land the welcome bonus. The casino provides these codes, or you can find them on casino comparison sites like best50casino.com. In their majority, bonus codes are used once per user or IP, cannot be activated in other casinos and can exclusively unlock a series of promotions linked to your first deposit, from no deposit and free spins bonuses to the welcome bonus itself. For instance, in Playamo Casino, you could receive the signup offer of 100% up to €100 plus 100 free spins by providing the site with the code FIRSTDEP.
Free Spins – Keep what you win
Probably one of the best casino welcome offers. If not the best, then definitely the most honest. The casino grants you normally between 20 to 100 free spins or cash spins as they are called in some jurisdictions (UK, Sweden) that come with no wagering attached. Any earnings shall be added to your account immediately, all you have to do is to play. Of course, the casinos aren’t a charity organization, so the maximum bet per spin is kept low (from €0.10 to €1), but it’s still an honest approach. You will make a modest profit, which will give you the green light to invest more in the casino.
Cash Back Bonuses
This is an unusual casino welcome bonus that is mostly featured in the UK casinos. The operator grants a cashback percentage (10-20%) on the net loss you will make while wagering your first deposit money. This type of bonus can come along with a typical matching offer or as a stand-alone. Cashback may guarantee you that you aren’t going to lose your real money during playing through the bonus, but it ceases to apply if you exceed the maximum payout that it comes with.
You should also note the following: in some casinos, the cashback bonus doesn’t apply to every loss, but only after you have dropped under a specific amount of bonus money (for example, under €10).
Meanwhile, don’t confuse a cashback welcome bonus with a regular one. What’s the difference? The cashback welcome bonus is in effect only for your first deposit money while the regular one for your whole membership period on the casino.
Exclusive Casino Bonuses
This is where we step in. Sure, you can go ahead and claim the standard welcome offer of your favorite casino, but we strongly advise against it before you check if we offer an exclusive welcome promotion. For example, the regular signup percentage in Casinoin and Bao Casino is set at 100%. If you join these casinos through our links, you will be granted an additional 20%. We also offer other surprises in the form of free spins or no deposit bonuses that you could claim with a simple click.
Online casino bonus guide
So now that you learned all about the types of welcome offers, it’s time to choose where to claim them. Straight to the casino with the highest matching bonus, right? Wrong! As the cliche says: ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. In this case, it’s the small letters of Terms and Conditions of each welcome offer that count, not the big, colorful numbers of the bonus that you see on the homepage. Don’t worry if you feel lost. We have a full online casino bonus guide with valuable instructions that will help you understand everything.
Read the Bonus Terms and Conditions Carefully
As we mentioned earlier, the first thing you have to do before landing the best online casino welcome bonus that you can find is to read its terms and conditions. You will discover what steps you have to take to claim it, which is the minimum deposit to activate it, if it has any restrictions, and many more that we will analyze later. There is a good possibility though, to face a casino that is unwilling to pay you back your gains from the welcome offer.
The casino could (rightfully or not) claim that you breached the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of the bonus, so you need to know precisely which actions are allowed and which are banned regarding the welcome offer. It’s the equivalent of knowing your rights as a citizen. We are going to say that again: ALWAYS READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE WELCOME BONUS.
Wagering requirements refer to how many times the bonus funds should be played through before you are allowed to withdraw your prize money. In our opinion, it’s the most important number regarding a welcome bonus, more important than the bonus amount itself. For example, you could land a matching bonus of 100% up to €5,000. If the wagering requirements are too high (50x or more), practically there is a slim chance to get back any winnings, therefore the massive bonus amounts you received would get wasted.
A casino bonus with low wagering requirements is your best option. Industry-standard wagering requirements are estimated between 30x and 45x. Anything lower than this is just incredible, while anything higher makes redeeming the bonus funds improbable. Why do casinos impose wagering requirements on their welcome bonuses in the first place, you may ask? The reason is financial. Online casinos are businesses like any other, and their target is to make a profit. Welcome bonuses are practically free money given away by the casinos, but with the essential safeguard of wagering requirements. Welcome bonuses’ goal is, on the one hand, to attract players to the casino, but on the other hand, their terms should ensure that few players will actually manage to get something back.
No information availableBest welcome bonus by wagering requirements
Wagering requirements are linked to the expiry dates of the online casino welcome bonuses. Wagering a welcome bonus is a race against the clock. The casino gives you an activation period, usually from 7 to 60 days, to wager the bonus. If you manage to play through the amount within this period, you will be granted your earnings back. However, if you fail to complete the requirements until then, any bonus funds left shall be confiscated by the casino. For us, a reasonable period is considered at 15 days or more, ideally a month, especially for casinos with high wagering requirements. On the other hand, operators that allow just a week before the activation period expires -to put it politely- they don’t want you to get any money back.
Like all these weren’t inconvenient enough, every time you claim a new online casino bonus, you also have to pay attention in which games you can redeem. Not all games contribute the same to the wagering requirements. Most frequently, slot games have the lion’s share, as bets placed on them assist 100% while other games like table/card games or Live Casino games share a much lower percentage (5-10%).
This difference has to do with the house edge. It’s easier for a player to wager the bonus on blackjack due to the low house edge. That’s why operators reduce table games’ contribution. In addition, it’s common that not even all slots participate in the wagering. Jackpot wins are also excluded by the playing-through as a player would complete the requirements with just a single bet. That’s also why most operators set a maximum bet per spin or hand (most regularly at €/$5). Larger bets naturally bring bigger wins, so the casinos want to ensure that meeting the wagering requirements would be difficult.
Payment Methods Affect Bonuses
You have studied all the above, and you feel ready to claim the welcome bonus of your dreams. You head up to your favorite casino, make your first deposit, and suddenly realize that the bonus was never credited to your account. What did you do wrong? First of all, you violated our number one rule: you didn’t read the Terms and Conditions carefully. Secondly, you selected a payment method that is excluded by the casino’s terms and conditions. Usually, these exclusions refer to e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller. Why is that? These payments have been reported as ideal for bonus abusers due to their quick withdrawal times. It’s not rare for a player to find a ‘hole’ in the conditions, abuse the bonus and manage to withdraw it. SThat’s why they decide to rule out these types of payment methods.
Are online casino bonuses worth it?
There is no final answer to this question. Our response would be, it depends, as all these factors mentioned above come into play. First of all, you should always check the wagering requirements of casino welcome bonuses, the period given by the operator to meet them and which games contribute to playing through. If you decide that the most probable outcome would be to lose your money, why get involved in the procedure in the first place? On the other hand, a welcome bonus means free money, that’s why it has become such a big attraction for players. There are bonus hunters that roll from casino to casino, receiving the welcome offers with high hopes of walking out with big wins. Our take is that only after you have considered all the factors involved, you should proceed with the registration process, especially when your deposit money is tied to the wagering.