For every online casino out there, there’s tens of casino bonuses that each offers.
No Deposit Bonuses
Free Spin Bonuses
WRITTEN BY Geraldine
LAST UPDATED / 23 August 2018
No Deposit Bonuses
Free Spin Bonuses
No Deposit Bonus
What is a casino bonus?
A casino bonus is a deal or offer that an online casino provides for its players in order to reward them.
Online casinos can give bonuses during weekly promotions, as part of a loyalty (VIP) program, and for ‘welcome bonuses‘. These are bonuses offered only to new players. Usually, a welcome bonus can be either a match-up bonus (e.g. ‘100% up to $100’), a no-deposit bonus, a free spins bonus, or a combination of more than one of these.
Typically, a casino welcome bonus is triggered only when a new player makes their first deposit. This is with the exception of no-deposit bonuses, which are small cash bonuses given to players just for signing up to the casino.
The point of casino welcome bonuses is to give your first few deposits an extra boost. Instead of playing with, say, $50, a 100% match-up bonus would allow you to play with $100 instead. That’s double the amount!
Other types of bonuses, for promotions and the loyalty program, can also be either match-up bonuses, free spins bonuses or cash bonuses. It varies from promo to promo, and depending on what tier you’re on in the loyalty program.
There are a lot of terms and conditions that come with casino bonuses. Take a look down below for extensive information on how they work, and what you should look out for.
How do casino bonuses work?
This depends largely on what type of bonus you’re working with, but the most ‘complicated’ to understand are by far match-up bonuses. They also happen to be the most popular form of welcome bonus, and are also used in a lot of promotions.
It’s called a ‘match-up’ bonus precisely because the casino matches up your real cash deposit by a certain amount. To know how much it will match-up, you have to pay attention to the percentage.
For example, a ‘100%’ match-up bonus will double your deposit, because it will match 100% of your money. If you deposit $50, the casino will match 100% of that $50 with another $50. And voila`! You’ll have $100 total in your casino account to play with.
If it’s a ‘50%’ match-up bonus, the casino will meet you half-way. If you deposit $50, it will match 50% of your money by giving you an extra $25. That means you’ll have a total of $75 to play with.
Match-up bonuses always come with a limiter number. So, the casino will present it as ‘100% up to $100’, or ‘50% up to $100’. What this means for the player is that the casino will not go beyond $100 in bonus money, even if you deposit beyond this amount. Let’s say you decide to deposit $200 instead of $100 on your first time. If the limiting number is up to $100, the casino will not match-you with another $200 to play with $400. Instead, it’ll cut off the bonus money at $100 so you’ll have $300 to play with.
For welcome bonuses, you’re more likely to find high-limiters. For example, 100% up to $500. For promotions and loyalty rewards, it’s more likely to be a small limiter or percentage. Example: ‘50% up to $100’ or ‘100% up to $50’.
No Deposit Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are either small cash bonuses, usually anywhere between $10 – $30, or a small amount of free spins.
It’s no where near the amount of match-up bonuses, but no deposit bonuses do have their own perks. These bonuses do not require any deposit from the player to activate. Instead, the casino automatically awards the player with a no deposit bonus the second they create an account.
For the top Canadian casinos with no deposit bonuses, check out this page.
Free Spin Bonuses
This type of bonus is self-explanatory. Instead of bonus money, players get awarded free spins. Usually, it’s a set amount of free spins which can range from 50 free spins to 200 free spins on average.
In addition, the casino will also specify which slot/s these free spins can be used on. For Canadian players, this is normally a selection of Play’n GO or Microgaming slots. Other players will get a selection of NetEnt slots.
For the top Canadian casinos with free spin bonuses, check out this page.
What's the difference between no deposit bonuses and free spins?
The difference between these two is very straightforward. In fact, just from checking out the above section you can decipher it for yourself.
But, if it’s still not clear, here’s the main difference:
- No deposit bonuses are bonuses that some casinos offer players before they make their first deposit. Pretty self explanatory. This means that even before putting money into your new casino account, you can use no deposit free spins or no deposit cash.
- As for free spins, these are usually given as part of the welcome bonus after you’ve made your first deposit. Either that, or the casino will offer free spins with a promotion. Even so, promotions will require deposits
Of course, no deposit bonuses are the better option of the two – since they are the truly 100% totally free. It’s also why they’re more rare to find than other bonuses, like welcome bonuses or promotional bonuses.
You can find out where to get no deposit bonuses at the top casinos right here!
How to activate casino bonuses
Activating a welcome bonus is easy. When you first sign up to a casino, it’ll take you through a quick and short account-creation process. The casino will ask for basic details like:
- Your name
- Your location
- Your age
In the case of no-deposit bonuses, signing up is enough to get cash or free spins deposited directly into your account from the casino. It’s why these types of bonuses are so popular with casino players. They have less strings attached than most other bonuses.
Once you’ve created your account – it’s time to make your first deposit!
Casinos have ‘Payment’ sections, also known as ‘Cashier’ sections (just like at a real casino). From here, you choose your preferred payment method and hook it up to your casino account. The moment you complete your first deposit transaction, you’ll activate your welcome bonus.
Be careful, because sometimes welcome bonuses cannot be triggered using certain payment methods. It’s pretty normal for online casinos to disqualify Neteller and Skrill first-time deposits from getting a welcome bonus.
As for promotion bonuses and loyalty bonuses, these will have a set of requirements according to the casino. To find out more on those, you’d have to read our casino review for the specific casino. And read our promotion news for the full details.
How to withdraw casino bonus?
Withdrawing money from a casino bonus is a little bit trickier than depositing money for a casino bonus.
For one, before withdrawing money, you need to have fulfilled the wagering requirements/play-through requirements. More on this down below, and on our wagering requirements page.
For another, the efficiency of withdrawing bonus money depends on the type of payment method you’re using. You can check out our fast paying casinos in Canada page to find out which ones are the most dependable for you.
Other than this, the process of withdrawal itself is simple enough. Once again, you have to head over to the Cashier/Payments section of the casino, and choose to ‘Withdraw’ instead of ‘Deposit’. You specify the amount you want to withdraw, and the payment method of choice. You hit proceed, and sit back and wait.
Even the fastest casinos will need around 6-12 hours to deliver your money, so sit tight and be patient. If you have any issues, contact the casino’s customer support.
What are wagering requirements?
Wagering requirements are the conditions placed on all bonuses. Unless an online casino specifies that a bonus doesn’t come with wagering, assume that it does.
You can read about this is much more detail in our wagering requirements page. But here’s the general gist.
Whether it’s a match-up bonus, free spins or no deposit bonus, they will all likely have a wagering requirement attached. This is the amount of money you have to wager/bet in a set amount of time in order to be able to withdraw your winnings.
Basically, the online casino has agreed to fork over a certain amount of cash to help you along. But, to ensure that players don’t just withdraw their bonus money without playing, casinos put wagering in place.
Players will have to bet between 30x – 50x (depending on the casino) their bonus money to be able to withdraw it. Usually, they also have to do this within the span of a month, or even just 20 days. If the player doesn’t fulfill these requirements before then, then all winnings made using bonus money will be automatically forfeited to the casino.
For example, let’s say you’ve deposited $50 and got $50 from the casino to play with $100. If a casino has a wagering requirement of 40x, you will need to wager $4,000 (40 x $100) before you can withdraw your winnings.
Different games throughout the casino will contribute differently to the wagering requirement. Most slots have 100% weighting, whereas table games can have as little as 15% weighting. Make sure to read up on the casino’s bonus terms and conditions before you start wagering.
Are casino bonuses worth it?
First things first, players should know that they can opt out of any bonus if they want to. That’s including the welcome bonus.
Secondly, most bonuses can truly work out to your advantage if you proceed with caution. For instance, do not deposit $400 on your first deposit if the casino has a wagering above 40x. That’s going to lead to some insane conditions which you might not be able to meet in the period of a month.
But, most match-up bonuses, free spin bonuses and no deposit bonuses can really add an extra kick to your casino experience. They can give you more for less, and make it worth your while to play at an online casino.
If you want to find out which bonuses are the best of the best – check out our list above. We carefully research and hand-pick each of these to suit our Canadian players. It’s all about having fun, and doing it safely.