Beginner’s Guide to Casino Loyalty Programmes
Many casinos these days have some kind of loyalty programme in which frequent players are rewarded for their loyalty. These loyalty programmes, also known as reward programmes, are meant to do exactly what you would think from its name: to reward players who frequently visit the same online casino and thus show their loyalty. If you are a frequent player who regularly bets online, these programmes can make your playing experience a lot better as some bring immense benefits.
What is a loyalty programme?
Online casinos are not the first to use loyalty programmes. As a relatively new industry which has only really came to fruition at the beginning of then new millennium, the online casino industry was quick to learn to what are great tools to increase both their own profit as well as the overall happiness and satisfaction of their players. Loyalty programmes are already in existence for dozens of years in other industries. The most traditional programmes can be found in the retail and airline industry, where such reward schemes have been booming for many decades.
Even though these programmes do have different designs and rules, they basically all work more or less the same. You basically receive points as a reward for every pound, dollar or euro which you spend at a certain retailer, whether this is an airline, supermarket or casino. Obviously, the more points you collect, the more rewards you can get! Loyalty programmes of casinos work the same: for every dollar, pound or euro which you bet, you collect points. Whether your bet is a winning or losing one does not matter, it is all about the money you wage.
Exchanging points for rewards
The most basic aspect of loyalty programmes is that you can exchange your earned points for rewards. Even though modern-day loyalty programmes can be notoriously more complicated having many different aspects, exchanging points for rewards is still the core of almost all of them. Where supermarket reward programmes might allow you to exchange your points for free groceries or other goodies, and where airline frequent flyer programmes obviously allow participants to exchange their points (called ‘miles’ in such loyalty programmes) for free flights, it is a bit different when it comes to online casinos.
It highly depends on each individual casino what they offer as rewards to loyal customers in their loyalty schemes. Generally, many casinos allow players to exchange earned points for bonuses, such as free spins on certain slots. Others might allow you to exchange them for rewards such as a cashback bonus. These can all be valuable rewards as they either increase your chances of winning something (free spins) or act as an insurance in case you might have some unexpected losses (a cashback bonus would see the casino return some of your losses to your online bankroll). There are nowadays even plenty of online casinos where you can exchange your earned points for cool prizes. We have seen ourselves electronics such as brand new phones or laptops, holidays and even cars being offered by online casinos! All you need to do is to earn enough points by playing a lot at the same casino.
Some casino loyalty schemes have divided their programme into different levels. By categorising their players, they can clearly see who are their most loyal customers and who might just be an infrequent visitor. The more points you gather, the higher the category or level in the loyalty programme you will reach. Obviously, newly registered gamblers start off at the lowest level, but you can quickly work you way up towards the highest levels.
If a casino has a loyalty programme which has been designed to work with different levels, your rewards and benefits would depend on how you are categorised by the casino. As a newly registered player you will of course receive little to no extra benefits as you would first need to show your loyalty. But if you visit twice or so each week, you can quickly see yourself climbing up the ladders of the loyalty programme. Most of these programmes have fixed benefits for those on the upper levels of the programme. For example, the mid-tier levels of a casino loyalty programme might offer players who qualify a guaranteed weekly cashback bonus and reload bonus if they deposit money to their account. If you reach the top levels, you might have the same cashback and reload bonus benefits, but then with even higher bonus percentages and without restrictions!
How to participate?
Participating in casino loyalty programmes is almost always free. Some casinos even automatically sign you up for it upon registration of your online casino account, although other casinos might require you to register separately for an loyalty account after registering with the casino. Even though it makes sense for everyone to join such loyalty schemes – as no matter how low your bets are and how infrequently you visit, you will still accumulate points – it does make much more sense for high rollers and those who frequently play at online casinos.
Upsides and downsides
The upsides to casino loyalty programmes are clear. They are free to join and everyone – whether you are a high roller or infrequent player – can collect points at their own pace. Obviously, high rollers will much faster reach the level where they either automatically receive great benefits or where they can exchange casino loyalty points for rewards and prizes. We would however recommend all players to take a look at the rules of a loyalty programme of the casino where you prefer to play, if it has such a programme that is. To maximise the benefits it would however require you to do all your playing at the same online casino, as of course you won’t earn any rewards at Casino A if you play 50 percent of all the time at Casino B. Instead of dividing your time between casino A and B, you might be better of sticking all your business to Casino A.
There are no real downsides to participating in a loyalty programme at all. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and even if you decide halfway not to bother with it anymore then nothing is lost. Of course, to make loyalty programmes work for you in terms of rewards you need to show loyalty to a single casino. Each time when you will play online, you have to visit that particular casino if you wish to move further up in their loyalty programme. If you are the kind of gambler who is not loyal to a certain casino, but rather makes different bets at different casinos each time – you will find it hard to achieve anything out of such loyalty programmes. If having the flexibility where to play is more important to you than collecting points and rewards, then it might be best not to bother with such programmes. That said, it still never does any harm to sign up just in case!
What is the benefit for the casino?
It might seem clear to you what the benefits for you as a player can be, but what are the reasons why casinos have launched these loyalty programmes? We kind of explained it already between the lines in the previous few paragraphs. Casino marketing consists out of two aspects: attracting new players, and making sure that these players remain at your casino. Online casino registration bonuses and advertisement are examples of a PR campaign of a casino to attract new players. It is vital for the casino’s existence to always have a new crop of players as there will always be some customers who walk over to a competing casino or might quit playing altogether.
It is of course equally vital for each casino to make sure their current customers are happy and satisfied. The idea is that if you reward loyalty – it will pay back itself on the long run as such players will be unlike to visit other casinos or stop playing. It does not only work like this with casinos, but also with supermarkets or with airlines. If you fly British Airways a lot, and the airline gives you such benefits as the occasional upgrade and free business lounge access, then why on earth would you suddenly start to fly Lufthansa where you would not have such benefits? So yes, even though handing you all those casino benefits such as extra bonuses and prizes will cost the casino quite some money, they hope that in the long run it will earn the investment back.
Where to find the casinos with the best loyalty programmes?
It is important to select a good online casino to play at. You should always play at a reputable casino which is fully licensed by the official regulatory authorities of the country it is based in to ensure that your money and data remain safe and that all casino games are honest and fair. In the review section of our website we have made an overview of recommended casinos. In these reviews we take an unbiased and honest look at each and every casino, listing both their strong points as well as their downsides. Do note that not all these casinos might have their own loyalty programme (if the casino has one, we of course discuss it in the review!) although this does not always have to be a deal breaker.
Selecting a casino should always be a trade-off between many different factors – and there is much more besides loyalty programmes which makes a casino truly excellent or just mediocre. Sure, a good loyalty programme can be a huge benefit – but you are better off playing at a great casino with a huge game selection and regular bonuses which does not have a loyalty programme, than at a mediocre casino with a sub par gaming experience which does happen to have a good loyalty programme. Do also check our beginner’s guide on how to select a casino and register for an account on more information how to select the casino which is the best fit for you.