Guide to online casino loyalty and VIP programs

Online casinos offer various loyalty and VIP programs to bring more value to their active players and win their regular custom. As the name suggests, these schemes are designed for loyal customers who pick a casino to play in regularly and stick to it.

Choosing a casino based on the quality of its loyalty program can seem like a daunting task. After all, you're looking to commit to a casino where you'll be playing for a long while, not just the next time you feel like a slots session.

This guide aims to make your choice as easy as possible. We explain:

What is a loyalty program?

There are as many online casinos as there are leaves in the park these days. With new online casinos popping up at an increasing rate, there's a fierce competition to capture the hearts of loyal players.

Since there's a lot that overlaps from one casino to the other, online casinos use different methods to acquire new players, and the competition for repeat customers is especially intense. One of their means of attracting players to their offerings over and over again is to offer different loyalty schemes.

How do loyalty programs work?

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

Loyalty and VIP programs are a system of gradual rewards, often combined with fair terms and conditions, to provide an overall great experience for long-term players.

Casinos have two main ways of rewarding players:

Most loyalty programs adopt either of these approaches; the best online casinos combine both of them.

Loyalty and VIP programs are increasingly being incorporated into gamified aspects of the casino. In such settings, players benefit from an immersive gaming experience that feels more like playing a video game.

To learn how this is done, read our complete guide to gamification.

CASINO CURRENCY – BUY YOUR BONUS WITH POINTS

Very often, online casinos develop their own currency or points system for rewarding regulars. This is frequently named after the casino or its mascot. You earn casino currency by playing the casino's games. Some casinos also hand out points for deposits or just for logging in regularly.

You can exchange your casino points for a selection of prizes at the casino. Free spins and deposit match bonuses are the most common prizes, but some casinos may also convert your points to no deposit bonuses, cold, hard cash or even cool gadgets like iPhones and smartwatches. Even luxury holidays bought with casino points have materialised for players in the past!

How the points are accrued depends on the casino. The rule of thumb is:

However, this is just a general example and you should always check what each casino's point system entails before playing or deciding to go loyal.

The game you play will also affect the number of points earned. This principle works in the same way as contribution percentages for bonus wagering requirements.

Most online casino slots earn you 1 point for every C$10 you bet, whereas you have to bet C$100 in table games live-dealer games and certain high RTP slots for the same point. On the other hand, playing bingo can earn you 1 point for every C$5 you bet.

LEVEL UP AND GET REWARDS

The levels system has become a very popular element of casino online loyalty programs. With this system, every time you place a bet, you get a little closer to the next level. Levels in online casinos work similarly to the ones in video games.

You can monitor your progress by checking the bar or meter in the casino website, game interface or player account dashboard. When the bar is full, you advance to the next level and get your reward.

The rewards unlocked by playing through levels can be either predetermined or random. Some loyalty programs list all of the levels with their corresponding rewards upfront. Others invite you to spin a wheel with the chance of scoring ever better bonuses.

Like the bonuses acquired with casino points, level-up rewards also come in all shapes and sizes. Free spins, big spins, deposit and no-deposit bonuses, cash without wagering requirements and loads of goodies can be yours when you climb through those levels.

The difference between loyalty and VIP programs

The term "VIP program" has recently suffered from some inflation. When VIP levels kick off from the very first C$10 that players deposit, it doesn't really mean these casinos roll out the red carpet for any Tom, Dick and Harry. Instead, it's just another name for a loyalty program. Don't be fooled by those fancy three letters!

That being said, there's still genuine, exclusive VIP treatment to be enjoyed by high rollers. These VIP casinos offer tangible gifts with a personal touch that makes all the difference.

True VIP programs usually combine casino points with a tier-based system, where every new level brings additional luxurious benefits to the table.

The first levels generally offer presents on birthdays and casino membership anniversaries, in addition to standard casino point accumulation which can later be exchanged for real-life gifts.
You'll gain points more quickly in the higher levels, along with a dedicated account manager, exclusive bonuses and invites to VIP events.

Most VIP programs clearly outline what it takes to become a VIP. Others play it mysterious and only invite their most valued players to indulge in exclusive perks.

Have a go at becoming a VIP in these casinos with the best VIP programs:

Article by:

Lauri Ronkainen

Lauri has worked in online gambling for over 3 years reviewing hundreds of online casinos, bonuses and games. Lauri has a masters degree in history from the University of Tampere. He is a live casino aficionado who has also created his very own roulette strategy.

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