What was once an experience reserved for the wealthy and powerful in brick-and-mortar casinos is now available to all online, thanks to the advent of VIP & loyalty programs. Like in many other industries, online casinos will reward loyal players with a set of enticing bonuses.
Our expert guide to online loyalty programs will cover:
An online casino VIP program is just another term for a loyalty program.
Choosing an online casino is a buyer’s market, so players truly are “very important people” to the industry. As such, the best online casinos offer VIP/loyalty programs as a way to entice new players & reward their long-time users.
So, much like airlines offer “frequent flyer miles” to their top customers, online casinos offer VIP program promotions to frequent players. In these programs, rewards are typically accrued simply by participating and wagering on various online slots or table games like blackjack, poker and roulette.
Points-based VIP programs are geared towards those who play a lot. In a points-based programs, players earn points based on how often they play and how much they wager.
The loyalty points earned can then be converted into rewards including cash, free withdrawals, free spins, reduced vig (house edge), tournament entries and more!
A great example of a points-based loyalty program for Canadian players can be found at Bodog. In their casino and poker rooms, VIP points are earned by wagering real money and/or buying into poker tournaments. Players earn one comp point for every cent wagered, and those points can eventually be cashed for rewards.
Tier-based loyalty & VIP programs are among the most commonly found at online casinos in the Canadian market.
These programs are simple – depending on how much & how often a player wagers, they’ll move through “tiers” of rewards. With each new tier, the player will unlock increasingly better rewards systems.
One of our favorite tier-based loyalty programs in the Canadian market can be found at Bodog. At Bodog, new players begin as a “Bronze”, but can move through the ranks of “Silver”, “Gold”, “Platinum”, “Diamond” and “Black” depending on their wagering habits. As mentioned, these tiers correspond to rewards: for every 2500 rewards points a “Bronze” accumulates, they earn $1. A “Diamond” or “Black”, on the other hand, only have to rack up 1,000 rewards points to earn $1.
In most cases, once you’ve chosen an online casino, created a new account and made your first deposit, you’ll be automatically entered into that casino’s VIP program.
From there, the casino’s system will track your wagering activity and move you through the ranks, assign points, etc. depending on exactly how the program works. In short, the more you’re active and the more you wager, the more VIP program points and prestige you will earn.
However, just like in Vegas, some VIP programs are invite-only or exclusive to high-rollers. These types of loyalty programs often aren’t advertised – invitations are received by email or internal messaging service. These perks are highly coveted and, at times, very secretive.
These types of programs are often offered ad-hoc and the terms & rewards typically change on a player-to-player and a casino-to-casino basis. As such, we can’t tell you exactly what to expect, but rest assured, if you’re wagering big bucks – win or lose – your online casino will want to keep you around, and the rewards will be close behind.
Again, many of these rewards are automated. Using internal messaging or email communication, once you’ve reached a certain tier, or accumulated a certain amount of points, the casino will contact you to tell you that rewards are available & inform how they can be claimed.
However, some online casinos require oversight from the player, particularly those with points-based systems, as it’s up to the player when to cash in.
In most cases, your reward progress can be found by accessing your profile page. Use the casino’s navigation to access your profile or bankroll page, and typically you’ll see your reward points or tier progress here, along with an option to cash them in.
As loyalty and VIP programs become more common, online casinos continue to try and best each other in terms of creativity and incentives. They know you’re shopping around – and if you aren’t, you should be – for the best promotional offers tied to the games they play most often.
We recommend finding the reward type that suits you best. While the list of rewards vary from site to site, these are the most common types available to Canadian players.
The most common type of loyalty program reward, any player can appreciate a little extra cash being available in their bankroll. While conditions vary, typically cash back rewards are earned as a percentage of wagers a player makes.
As with any online casino bonus, we recommend reading the fine print – cashback earned as part of a reward program is likely to be subject to terms and conditions, most commonly playthrough requirements that require players to wager the bonus cash a certain amount of times before they can withdraw it.
An exceedingly popular option for real money poker rooms, sites often offer seats at tournaments as a reward for frequent play.
The World Series of Poker is a highly coveted ticket, and some VIP programs offer free seats at their satellite tournaments to their most prominent players. To earn a poker tournament entry, a player would typically have to play a set number of hands, enter a certain amount of tournaments or wager a certain dollar amount.
This is great a great reward for poker players – since you’ll be playing poker regardless, you have the option of taking advantage of the free VIP program and parlay that experience into a free tournament ticket.
Those who enjoy online casino slot games know the more they play, the more VIP points they earn and those are often cashed in for free spins on a weekly or monthly basis. These rewards will sometimes be cashed and added to a player’s account automatically, or may require some action by the player.
In addition, some online casinos will debut a new slot game to VIP players first, giving them a few free spins to incentivize the trial.
These are becoming rarer, but still exist at some casinos, typically in the more premium loyalty and VIP programs.
If an online casino works with third-party partners, sometimes those VIP program points can be exchanges for physical prizes, for example a television, high-end stereo equipment or headphones.
Don’t settle on the first site that offers you inclusion into a reward program. This is exceedingly common, and as a player, you have value. Make sure you find a good deal.
If you’re a frequent slots player, free spins might be the reward for you. If you love table games, maybe you’d prefer cash back. Find a program that offers the best reward for you.
We’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Be sure you understand the terms and conditions, and playthrough requirements of any programs you’re considering. While all bonuses have their upsides, some are more generous than others.
In short, probably the casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, etc. However, this can vary site to site. Be sure to review the promotions / bonus tab and do your homework to maximize your VIP rewards. Also, in some cases, a bet is a bet, and the points earned are based on dollars wagered no matter which games you’re playing.
VIP rewards vary from casino to casino, but the most popular perks are cash back, free spins, tournament ticket entries and reduced juice / vig on bets. Shop around for the VIP rewards tied to the games you play most often.
In most cases, once you sign-up for a new online casino account and make your first deposit, you’re automatically entered into the site’s VIP program. Some require you sign up separately or are by invite-only – especially for high rollers. It can vary site-to-site, but it’s a good idea to check with your casino’s customer support team for clarity before placing your next bet.
Likely not as the “very important person” to the casinos are the ones who wager the most and most often. The good news is after you make you first deposit, most online casinos automatically enter you into their VIP program. So, there’s no extra paperwork.