Loyalty Bonuses: the types, the terms and the usage

A Loyalty Bonus in online betting can come in many different shapes and sizes. To offer appeal to players, operators run promotions to keep their customer base engaged. Things like the offer of free bets or enhanced odds, can add to the overall experience of an end-user.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to any kind of bonus that you come across in betting, is the terms and conditions. 

Terms & Conditions

All offers that can be found at online bookmakers are subject to some kind of terms and conditions. These will vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, but they will exist. Reading the small print of any kind of deal is never the most fun thing to engage in.

However, it needs to be done. At the very least the key terms and conditions of any bookmaker bonus should be looked at. This is essential for the benefit of the user. For example, a free bet offer may only apply to a wager that has been struck in a certain market.

If you weren’t aware of what the qualifying markets for the offer were, then the deal could be missed. Commonly the main terms of bonuses fall into things like deposit methods, minimum stake and minimum odds. 

Certain offers may only be activated from an account that has been funded through a credit or debit card for example. A qualifying bet for a bonus may, for example, need to be played with a minimum R5 stake at a minimum of 4.0 odds. If the terms of an offer aren’t met, then the user is going to miss out.

Enhanced Odds

Enhanced odds are offered by a lot of bookmakers because they are enticing to the end-user. It’s good business for the bookmaker to get more action on a market. Enhanced odds offers are not commonly going to be too extravagant. A 3.0 option in a regular market is suddenly not going to be offered at 21.00 enhanced odds.

If you find such a deal, then there is more likely than not, only going to be a small maximum stake that you can play on the bet. A good approach to enhanced odds is to find them on selections that you were going to play anyway, because then it’s a genuine enhancement to your set wagering.

Types of Free Bets

The offer a free bet is a staple of online betting. Bookmakers attract new customers with the offer of a free bet. The betting welcome bonus is a one-time deal that customers opening an account with an operator can take advantage of.

Again however, certain terms and conditions will have to be met to do that. It maybe a certain deposit limit, or a lost stake refund if the first bet on an account loses. For existing customers, bookmakers will roll out free bet promotions in a variety of different ways.

Insurance offers are commonly found on things like accumulators. An example could be that if an acca of at least five-selections loses by just one leg, the bookmaker will return a lost stake as a free bet bonus. Or perhaps for a winning accumulator over a set amount of legs, a win bonus will be paid out.

Free bets in horse racing are common as well, such as paying out a lost stake refund if a selection finishes in second place in a featured race to the Starting Price Favourite. In other major sports like Rugby and Football, bookmakers may offer a free bet if you have a losing bet in a match, but under the conditions of a certain event happening. For example, a losing bet could be refunded if Lionel Messi scores the opening goal in a fixture.

Loyalty Clubs

Some bookmakers also offer loyalty clubs for their customers as well. Such a loyalty club will require that the customers place a certain amount of stakes/bets within a given time frame. For example, if the conditions were that a minimum of 5 bets of R10 needed to be made within a promotional weekend (always check for minimum odds requirements as well) then in completing the terms, a free bet would be issued at the end of the period.

Loyalty Clubs can offer a lot of nice additional value to the regular betting of a player. But they are only worth engaging in if it is within the bankroll budget of a player. It’s not worth spending above your limits to try and get a free bet back.

Prediction Games

There has been a big growth in prediction games at online bookmakers. This is where from a set coupon, you have to try and correctly predict the correct scores of six English Premier League fixtures on the day. These types of prediction games offer massive jackpots and are generally free to play as well. They are more of a pot luck aside from betting, but if there is no stake involved, then they are risk-free. 

Conditions of Free Bets

Free bets are not the same as cash. Free bets will have terms and conditions attached to them. A free bet will have an expiration time on them, which in general, is seven days, but always check the specific terms of an offer. Bet credits may also only apply to certain markets, with firm exclusions running on others. 

The value of the free bet may be subject to wagering requirements as well. The value of it may have to be played through x-amount of times before being able to withdraw winnings from it. It may also have to be played as a bet all at once, not being able to split the bonus credit over different bets. Any bets won with a free bet will not return the stake either.

Bonus v Cash

So there is a big difference between picking up a free bet bonus and getting bonus cash. Any offer will clearly state whether or not it is rewarding cash or bonus credits. If real cash is received through a promotion then it will be in your account ready and free to use as if you had funded it yourself. There will be no stipulations over its usage as there is with free bet credits.

If you have to bet R10 on a market that you are not familiar with, to potentially get a free R10 bet credit back if it loses, may not always be worth it. Why? Because of the conditions that will come with the free bet credit that you get back and the restrictions may not offer you the same versatility as if you had the cash in your account still.

Free bets for betting, when used right, can offer nice little enhancements to regular wagering. The best approach to take with them is to not play one that is beyond whatever your regular betting plans. Use them only if they fit into your betting, and avoid chasing free bets just because they are there.

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