Deposit vs. No-Deposit Bonus: Differences and things to consider

Many players will assume that the differences between the deposit bonus and the “no deposit” bonus is pretty much in the “deposit” part of the terms. And while this is certainly true, there are quite a few other features that make these two offers quite unique from one another. In this guide we will take an in-depth look at the more intricate details of both types of bonuses you can get at the online casinos.

To Deposit Or Not, That’s The Question

At every online casino today the player will find bonuses, plenty of bonuses. And while each of them will differ, we can easily group them into two main categories: those requiring a deposit by the customer in order to claim, and those that do not. As the description of the two already indicates, the major difference is the “deposit” part. With the no-deposit bonus, the free money from the offer is not tied to a deposit you must make. Instead, all one has to do is simply claim the no deposit bonus code and the free chips are automatically made available.

On the other hand, the deposit bonus, often referred to as “match bonus” is the type of promotion which directly corelates to a specific deposit you make. For example, a 200% match bonus means that when you claim this offer and make a deposit, the casino will give you twice your deposit amount in bonus money.

Everything so far has been very simple and in line with what every player would’ve expected, when asked to compare the two types of casino bonus offers. But there are a few intricacies, mainly with the no deposit bonus, of which we believe every player should be aware.

The Deposit Bonus: Percentages and Dollar Amounts

We’ll begin with a brief note on the deposit bonus, just so we can get the easier part of the way. One thing everyone should consider when comparing bonuses, regardless of their type, is that when it comes to a deposit-related bonus, it’s all about percentages.

A good example of a welcome bonus being properly advertised as a percentage match to the player’s deposit.

You will, however, most likely see many online casinos advertise their bonuses as dollar amounts instead. It is not uncommon, especially with the welcome bonus, that the casino advertises the free money (in dollars or your local currency) you will receive when claiming it; for example, $5,000 free for new players. While these types of ads are true, they are a bit misleading. What the online casino is advertising is the maximum amount of money you can get as a bonus, based on a percentage of your deposit. So when you look at deposit bonuses, always look at the actual percentage on which the dollar amount advertised is based. Some online casinos may offer only $2,000 in bonus money, but if based on 400% match on your deposit, it certainly beats a $5,000 offer based on 200%.

This is the main reason we prefer to refer to these types of bonuses as “match” bonuses, rather than simply deposit bonuses. Yes, they do require a deposit, but the actual free money you will receive is always derived as a percentage of your deposit.

The No-Deposit Bonus: Crack The Code To Win

The “no deposit bonus”, on the other side, doesn’t require any money to be risked by the player, which is why it’s one of the most sought after feature by many gamblers. With the no deposit bonus, the casino provides a code, much like you would find with store coupons. When the player claims the code at the casino cashier section, the amount of money or free spins is applied to their account. You can read much more about it and even see the latest codes on our No Deposit Bonus page, which is updated daily with the most relevant bonus codes. So we won’t be diving too deep into the no deposit bonus itself, rather give you a list of some of the things you must know about this popular casino promotion.

Deposit vs. No-Deposit: Things To Consider

Difference between deposit and no deposit bonus offers on our own website.
As you can see from this shot of our Casino Bonus page, we have clearly separated the deposit and the no-deposit bonuses.

Free Chips or Free Spins

The first thing you should be aware of is whether the no deposit bonus is about free chips or free spins. A no-deposit bonus could be either of the two and knowing which one you are claiming is very helpful. Sure, either one will let you play for free and win real money, but they do it in a very different way. If the bonus is about free chips, it often means that once claimed, the player can use the free money the casino just deposited into your account to play nearly every game the online casino offers, or at the very least – most of the video slots.

If the no deposit bonus code gives you free spins, on the other hand, it means that the bonus is tied to one and only one particular slot machine. You will still get the free spins or in some cases, the free dollar amount, but you will only be able to wager it them on that one video slot. It is also very likely that the wager level will be set and locked to the one the casino has determined.

None of these restrictions apply to the deposit bonus. You are free to use it as you wish: you can play the slots you want to play and you can bet as much as you wish on those slots. That is a big difference between the deposit and no-deposit bonuses. The lack of major restrictions on the gameplay sometimes can make the match bonus more attractive and give the player a better chance of winning.

Maximum Withdrawal Amount: No Cap

Another big difference between the deposit and the “no deposit” bonus is that with the latter, there is always a cap on how much you can cash out using it. If you claim a no deposit bonus, you can bet that there is a limit on the amount of money you can withdraw. You won’t have a restriction on how much you can win, but any winnings over the max cashout amount will be lost once you request a withdrawal.

The match bonuses rarely, if ever, have those restrictions. If you claim a deposit bonus, fund your account and get the free money added to your bankroll, you can play and win as your heart desires. And in the end – you can cash it all, granted you have met the wagering requirements. And speaking of the devil, let’s take a look at how those compare between the two types of bonuses.

The Wagering Requirements Difference

Every casino bonus will come with wagering requirements, that’s a given. If they didn’t, people would just claim the bonus and withdraw it right away, putting the online casinos in a big hole. But those playthrough requirements will significantly differ, both among bonuses of the same type, as well as between the deposit and no deposit bonuses.

One thing you should know about the no-deposit bonus is that it will always have wagering requirements much greater than a standard bonus would. If it’s not uncommon to see match bonuses with wagering requirements in the 20x or 25x times the bonus, most of the no deposit bonuses will have wagering requirements in the 60x, 70x, and even 80x the bonus amount. This means that your chances of covering them are much slimmer than it would be the case with the regular deposit bonus. Many people manage to take care of them, of course, otherwise the no deposit bonus would be simply an exercise of futility, and no one wants to waste their time. But it will be much harder and will take longer before you can withdraw your winnings.

New Players Considerations

And finally, one thing we feel we must cover is the possibility of taking a no-deposit bonus as a new player. That is, a first-time customer of a particular casino, rather than a beginner at online gambling. While most no-deposit offers are for existing customers of the casino, some online casinos will also extend their offers to both new and existing players or may even have a no-deposit bonus code for new players only.

You can claim those offers, and while we are not passing judgement either way, one must consider the possibility of losing on the welcome bonus if you do claim the no deposit one. This would be highly dependent on the specific online casino you’ve decided to patronize, but there is always the possibility that once you’ve taken the no deposit bonus for new players, you would no longer be considered “new”, and you may not qualify for the welcome bonus. The signup bonus is the largest and best bonus you can get at the online casinos, so the possibility of losing the ability to claim it should be thoroughly investigated before committing to the no deposit bonus for new customers. Make sure that you check with customer service before claiming a no deposit bonus as a first-time customer, before even making a single deposit with the casino.

In Conclusion

Both the deposit and no deposit bonuses are great, as long as the player knows exactly what they are doing and they don’t assume neither the terms and conditions of the bonus, nor the expectations of any of them. In this deposit vs. no-deposit comparison you have learned that there are quite a few differences between the two. Some will give you a better advantage to winning while others may make it harder or prolong the time until cashout request. But as long as you are fully aware of the specifics and know exactly what each of the bonuses you claim entails, claiming them will always be more advantageous compared to simply risking your own money.