Loyalty Bonuses are some of the most underused and under-appreciated bonuses in the online casino sector. We can’t count how many times we have sung the praises of online casinos that offer these programs, while chastising those that don’t.
The majority of casino players focus only on New Player Welcome Bonuses, while devoting a little consideration to Free Spin Offers. But in this guide, we’ll show you why Loyalty Bonuses are king and why you should always look for casinos that offer these programs and the many benefits they bring.
What are Loyalty Bonuses?
Loyalty Bonuses come in many shapes and sizes, and the term is generally used to refer to a bonus that is offered to an active player, as opposed to a new one. In this sense, bonuses can be split into two simple categories: Welcome Bonuses, which are exclusive to new players, and Loyalty Bonuses, which are offered to current players.
However, when we think of Loyalty Bonuses, and when the average player thinks of Loyalty Bonuses, they’re actually picturing Loyalty Schemes, also known as VIP Schemes, and this is where things get really interesting.
How Loyalty Schemes are Structured
The best online casinos will add you to a Loyalty Scheme as soon as you join. Typically, you will be added at the lowest level and from there, your deposits and your wagers will dictate how high you climb.
King Billy Casino’s Loyalty Scheme is a great example of this and is a scheme that we have highlighted and praised many times here at Coinbuzz. King Billy uses the theme of a king ruling over his kingdom, and as a player, you are one of his subjects.
When you join, you’re given the Peasant rank, which denotes that you’re the lowest of the low. But as bad as that sounds, it means that things can only get better from there! The next step is Baron and Baroness, followed by Duke and Duchess, Prince and Princess, and then King and Queen.
In those latter stages, you’re considered one of the elite and can earn more points, more perks, and more rewards than players at any of the other levels.
King Billy is unique in the way that it structures its Loyalty Scheme. Typically, these schemes are based on colours or metals, such as Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Many of the final levels are listed as Platinum or Black. Such is the case with Baocasino, which also has a solid Loyalty Scheme.
How do Loyalty Schemes Work?
Regardless of how the Loyalty Scheme is structured, they all work in a very similar way, and are based on the following principles.
- Collect Points: Whether you’re spinning a slot, playing a hand of cards, or rolling the dice in Craps, everything you do generates Loyalty Points and these form the backbone of the entire scheme.
- Climb the Ranks: The more points you collect in a monthly period, the faster you will climb through the ranks, eventually earning the highest rank, which comes with the biggest prizes.
- Earn Rewards: As you climb the ranks, you’ll be given a host of extra rewards, including everything from Reload Bonuses and Free Spins, to gifts, event tickets and more. See below for more information.
- Generate Cashback: Many Loyalty Schemes will let you transfer your points into cashback. The more of these points you collect, the greater those cashback rewards will be. It’s a simple equation that everyone can get behind!
The rewards are obviously a major benefit of these programs and they can differ considerably from one program to the next. The best Loyalty Schemes really know how to treat their players and when you make it to the latter stages of these programs you may be offered some or all of the following:
- Account Manager: You will be assigned your very own account manager at the lowest levels of the Loyalty Club. These account managers will be on hand to help when you need them, and when you run deep in the program, they can serve as your own virtual concierge.
- Bonuses: Reload Bonuses and Free Spins are offered throughout the multiple tiers of the Loyalty Scheme. These typically increase as you advance, acknowledging the fact that players in the latter levels will be depositing more money and are therefore more likely to utilise big offers.
- Free Gifts: To keep you onboard, many online casinos will give you free gifts when it is your birthday. Such offers are typically reserved for players in the final levels and can include everything from branded merchandise to gadgets like a new iPhone or Apple Watch.
- Event Tickets: The biggest online casinos love to host snazzy, luxury events for their members. These events include backstage access at concerts, boxes at football games, and more. There is usually plenty of free food and drink to go around and multiple players are invited to the same events.
- Promotional Events: In addition to the VIP events announced above, casinos also host regular promotional events. These work in a similar way, with the difference being that the events are all about promoting the brand and using the VIPs to spearhead their efforts. Some gambling sites even sponsor those players to participate in major Poker tournaments and other gambling events.
How to Benefit from Loyalty Schemes
Now that you know what Loyalty Schemes are, how they work, and what they have to offer you, only one question remains: How can you get more out of them?
To maximise your return on these schemes, keeping the following tips in mind:
1. Stop Checking
Loyalty Schemes work because they convince people to spend more money. This is as true with casino Loyalty Schemes as it is with retail point schemes. Users fall into the trap of focusing too much on their points balance and doing all they can to increase it. They keep one eye on their ideal prize, another eye on their balance, and they start increasing their deposits and their wagers to edge closer.
In doing so, they take a lot of unnecessary risks. The problems mount, and before long, they realise they don’t have any money left in their bankroll and they’re still a long way from claiming the points they need.
Avoid this trap by not checking your points balance. It’s okay to check it once or twice a week, but even then, you shouldn’t pay too much attention to it. As long as you’re spending the points allocated to you and collecting the prizes you’re offered, you’re doing everything you need to do.
2. Play the Right Games
Slots are a great way to build your balance and to play a lot of games without losing a lot of money. In our guide to real money slots, we looked at some of the ways you can increase your earnings, limit your losses, and extend your bankroll.
However, if your goal is to increase your points balance without taking massive and unnecessary risks, you should stick with Blackjack and Roulette.
Both of these games have very unique and effective strategies that allow you to play for hours and hours without losing a lot of money. You need to play the right games and make the right bets, but once you understand the basics, you’ll be ready to play, win, and earn.
In Roulette, for instance, the Martingale strategy ensures you get all of your losses back, and while it’s not always a good way to guarantee a win, it will recover losses on a consistent basis. And at the end of a long session, you won’t have lost any money but you will have a huge number of Loyalty Points.
As for Blackjack, there is a strategy known as Basic Blackjack Strategy that focuses on mathematical probability and helps you to consistently make the right choices. As with the Martingale Roulette strategy, there’s a good chance you will at least break even, which means your Loyalty Points will serve as your profit.
3. Read the Terms
Different Loyalty Schemes have different terms and conditions. It’s important to read all of these thoroughly before you start collecting and spending your points. For instance, some Loyalty Programs give you VIP status for life. As soon as you earn it, you’ve got it for good. Others, however, require you to earn it every single month, which means you need to keep making those big deposits.
The biggest problem concerns whether or not the points expire and what sort of value they have. If you’re collecting points for many months, it’s important to check that those points don’t expire. If your goal is to swap them for cash or bonus credits, make sure you know how much each point is worth.
Additionally, we wouldn’t recommend hoarding points over the long-term. It’s okay to save them for a few months if the casino lets you, but saving them over the course of a year or more is risky.
Your points are not worth anything and can be taken away from you at any moment. If the casino decides to suspend your account for an unrelated issue, or it changes its terms and its program, you may see the value of those points plummet.
4. Calculate the Value of your Prizes
A Loyalty Scheme may tempt you to spend your points on a branded hoodie, a digital avatar, or something else that you don’t really need. It’s easy to be tempted into making this decision, especially if you’re being offered clothing.
Everyone can use an extra hoodie, and if you’re being offered one, you may assume that it will be cheap and will therefore be a good option. But there’s a good chance that piece of apparel will have a massive mark-up, and if you do your sums, you may discover that you get much more value for your money when you swap it for bonuses, cashback, or some other prize.
Always perform these calculations first and don’t rush into making your decision.
What About VIP Schemes?
VIP Schemes work in much the same way as Loyalty Schemes. In some instances, they serve as extra bonuses, ones that are tailored toward high rollers. In other cases, the casino will only have a VIP Scheme and will not have a Loyalty Scheme at all.
In any case, it doesn’t really affect you unless you’re gambling several Bitcoins every month. When casinos say “VIPs”, they really mean “high rollers”, also known as “whales”. These are the players who generate the most profits for the casinos. A single high roller can generate more money than countless casual players.
To put this into perspective, the average player gambles between €100 and €200 a month on average and typically deposits €20 or less each time. These players are offered Free Spins and small Matched Deposit Bonuses, and this is usually enough to keep them satisfied.
A high roller, on the other hand, tends to deposit upwards of €10,000 a month and many of them will go even higher than this. Sure, they may win every now and then, but ultimately, the casino knows they will profit in the long run when all games and all players are considered, and this makes high rollers incredibly valuable.
The idea of gambling more than €10,000 a month or even a day is preposterous to the average casual gambler. In fact, many casual gamblers misunderstand just how much money they need to wager before they can make it into the VIP Scheme.
They have a good month where they win a few hundred Euros, they gamble most of it away, and they start enquiring about the VIP scheme. But unless you’re winning a lot of money and gambling every single minute, you’re not going to make it into those VIP schemes with deposits of €20 and less.
And when you do make it, you’ll know about it. VIP schemes are invite-only, and these invites arrive when you trigger the casino’s deposit and/or wagering limit. In other words, you don’t need to go to the VIP Scheme, because the VIP Scheme will come to you.