Online casino bonus guide USA

Lauri Ronkainen. Updated:
All casinos featured on Bojoko are our partners with valid gambling licenses. Ad Disclosure
All casinos featured on Bojoko are our partners with valid gambling licenses. Ad Disclosure

1-minute introduction: What is a casino bonus?

Online casinos use bonuses to attract new players. If you accept an internet casino bonus, you have more funds to the site and make the games last longer.

As a new player, the most relevant bonuses for you are included in the casino's welcome package. When you sign up to a casino, you can often get:

Most bonuses come with strings attached. Remember to check out the terms and conditions to avoid surprises.

There are also more bonus types aimed at different players. Casinos hand these out at different stages of your player journey.

In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about bonuses offered by US online casinos. Click on the links to jump ahead:

List of US online casino bonus offers

On this list, you can find bonuses offered by licensed US online casinos. Use the quick filters to narrow down your search results and play at a casino with bonus.

Why compare casino bonuses on Bojoko?

Bojoko is the best way to find and compare online casino bonuses in the USA. Here's why:

  • Accuracy: Our casino listings are created by the casinos themselves and checked by a team of professionals. The bonus info is regularly updated and verified.
  • Honest reviews: Each listing is reviewed by both our community and experienced casino testers. We ask these players to try out the site and the bonus with real money and give their educated, unfiltered opinions in the casino bonus reviews.
  • Powerful tools: Our comparison tool packages all this data in an easy to use format. Find bonuses available in your state and in categories most relevant to you. Whether you're looking for a massive match bonus or something with easy playthrough requirements, we've got you covered.
  • Expertise: All our casino content is written by casino professionals with years of experience in the gambling industry. This is our career and we're proud of what we're doing here. Everything is published with our own names and faces.

US casino bonuses

Article by:

Joonas Karhu

Joonas Karhu has over a decade of experience in online gambling and casino. He started playing online poker in 2006 and later worked as a blackjack dealer for the Finnish gambling monopoly Veikkaus (Then RAY). Joonas's previous roles also include senior management positions for large online casino companies. He holds three business degrees, including an MBA in gambling and marketing from the University of Malta.

Joonas's texts about the online casino industry are frequently featured in industry publications, including CalvinAyre, iGamingTimes, SBCNews, EuropeanGaming, TotallyGaming, and more. Joonas lives in Malta and is based in Bojoko's Gzira office. He's the Chief Business Officer at Bojoko.

Article by:

Lauri Ronkainen

Lauri Ronkainen has worked in the online gambling industry the last four years. He has managed an online casino comparison site for Good Game and worked in research, content writing, translations and SEO. Lauri holds a master's degree in history from the University of Tampere, Finland.

Lauri has reviewed hundreds of online casinos, slots and table games. Although he knows his way around bonuses, banking methods and slot features, Lauri's absolute specialty is live dealer games. He's always looking for the new ways to play the classic games and is one of the few people in the world who has created his own roulette strategy: Fibonacci dozens.

Article by:

Toni Halonen

Toni Halonen has an extensive online casino player experience starting from the early 2000s. He has worked over 10 years in the online gambling industry from which six years as a professional poker player.

Toni is a Master of Economics from the University of Tampere, Finland. He has built and acted as a content writer close to a dozen of Finnish and English gambling websites. These websites have covered gambling topics such as online poker, online sports betting and online casinos. He has been featured in podcasts and publications like iGaming Capital and the Malta Chamber of Commerce as an iGaming entrepreneur.

He contributes to Bojoko as a product feature designer and fact checker.

Read more about our authors.

US casino bonuses explained

There are many different types of bonuses. In this online casino bonus guide, we explain how they work and how to use them to your advantage.

How does a casino bonus work?

  1. Pick a bonus using our comparison tool and sign up at the casino
  2. Choose the bonus and make a qualifying deposit
  3. The bonus activates if your real money balance runs out
  4. Complete the wagering requirements
  5. Withdraw your winnings

Different types of casino bonuses

Online casino bonuses

First, you need to understand the difference between deposit and no deposit casino bonuses:

These are the main types of bonuses available in US-licensed online casinos:

In addition, you need to consider these things while choosing a bonus:

Below, we'll look at these factors in more detail.

No deposit bonuses

No deposit bonuses are a great way to check out the casino before putting your own money down. However, the casino is essentially giving away free bonuses, so the terms and conditions are quite strict.

Pros

Cons

Verdict

No deposit bonuses are a free sample of what the casino has to offer. However, the low bonus value and difficult bonus terms mean it's unlikely to have enough winnings left to withdraw anything.

Deposit bonuses

Deposit bonuses give you an extra boost when you deposit money at an online casino. Terms and conditions do apply, but they're usually less restrictive than with no deposit bonuses.

Pros

Cons

The minimum deposit qualifying for a bonus may be high

Verdict

A deposit bonus is a great option when you've found a casino you like and are ready to put some money on the table.

Pay attention to the fine print. When you choose your bonus well, it will give you another chance to win if your real money balance runs out.

Bonus funds vs cash

In the USA, casino bonuses can be either bonus funds or cash. When you play with bonus money at a casino, you have to follow the bonus terms and conditions. If you break these rules, you risk losing your bonus.

Cash has no such restrictions. You can play any game you like with any bet you can afford, or withdraw your remaining balance at will.

Obviously, cash is the more desirable casino gambling bonus option. However, casinos don't like to hand out free money with no strings attached. That's why online casino real money bonus deals aren't widely available.

Turn your bonus money into cash by completing the playthrough requirements. After that, you can use the remaining balance as you please.

Free spins

Free spins are complimentary rounds in popular slots. You get a set number of spins in a prespecified game.

Free spins can be either the entire bonus (e.g. the no deposit bonus) or just a part of it (on top of your deposit match bonus).

These spins are free in the sense that the bets aren't deducted from your cash or bonus funds.

The winnings are paid out in either bonus money or real cash that hasn't got any strings attached.

EXAMPLE: You get 10 free spins in Starburst. Each spin is worth 10¢. During your 10 spins, you win a total of $2. Before you can win this sum, you have to complete the playthrough requirements.

Cashback

Cashback is a very straightforward and fair bonus type. Cashback bonuses give you back a percentage of your net losses.

EXAMPLE: A casino offers a 5% cashback bonus. You play through your initial deposit of $100 without winning anything. The casino gives you $5 (5% of $100) as a cashback bonus.

Cashback bonus T&Cs may include time limits, wagering requirements and maximum bonus caps. However, cashbacks are usually given as wager-free cash with no strings attached.

Casino bonus terms and conditions

Practically all online casino gambling bonus deals come with some strings attached. The idea is to guide players to use the bonus on casino games and limit the risk to the casinos.

Every casino and every bonus type has its own specific terms. Here's a quick overview of the terms and conditions you may encounter:

This may sound confusing and intimidating. However, we want you to be a well-informed player who's ready for everything. Do your homework and avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Wagering requirements

Wagering requirements tell you how much you need to bet before the bonus funds become real money and can be withdrawn. They're also known as playthrough or bonus rollover.

The wagering requirement is expressed as a multiplier of the bonus sum, e.g. 35x (B). However, it may also apply to your deposit (D) or both (D+B).

In most cases, wagering only begins when your real money deposit and winnings run out and you start to play with bonus funds. Even though you have only the bonus funds to complete the wagering, you may need to bet the total sum of your deposit and bonus multiplied by 30 or more.

Rule of thumb: Any wagering requirement over 35x (B) is hard to complete.

A high bonus percentage usually goes hand-in-hand with high wagering requirements.

Minimum deposits

All casinos have a minimum deposit limit. Because handling money transfers and onboarding new players aren't free, casinos try to incentivize players to deposit more on one go.

However, the casino's minimum deposit may not qualify you for the bonus.

EXAMPLE: The casino's minimum deposit is $10 but the minimum qualifying deposit for the bonus is $20. If you only deposit $10, you can play the games with real money but you won't get the bonus.

Excluded banking methods

Most casinos have a long list of supported deposit and withdrawal methods. However, your options for the first deposit are more limited.

Many casinos routinely exclude e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller from bonuses. Also PaysafeCard is occasionally on the exclusion list.

This may be down to KYC procedures but mostly for safety concerns. Since e-wallets provide a degree of anonymity, some casinos would rather play it safe and exclude them.

Online gambling regulators work to ensure that casino operators aren't used for fraud or money laundering. They're not the biggest fans of the methods listed above: the chances of fraud and money laundering increase twofold with e-wallets.

Neteller and Skrill are often connected to bonus abuse. Players try to exploit loopholes in the terms and conditions to increase their chance of making a profit.

Additionally, e-wallets have some of the highest fees amongst deposit methods. This makes them both costly and risky for operators when they are offering a bonus.

Maximum bets

The maximum bet is the biggest bet allowed on a single spin while you're wagering your bonus.

For most deposit bonuses, the maximum bet is $5. Some casinos also have limitations for bet per payline and the max bet compared to the deposit.

Check the T&Cs to be sure.

Time limits

Deposit bonuses are only valid for a certain time. Once you make a deposit and claim your bonus, you only have a limited time to complete the wagering.

The wagering only starts after your real money balance is depleted, but the clock starts when you accept the bonus. However, you usually have a week or even a month or two to complete the playthroughs.

Check the expiration time so you don't accidentally miss your bonus.

Restricted games

While wagering your bonus money, your game options at a casino are somewhat limited. Although you can play most slots, some high-RTP game types don't get you closer to completing the playthroughs.

Casinos have three mechanisms to restrict the games:

  • Banned - Playing these games breaches the T&Cs and voids the bonus
  • Non-contributing - You can play these games, but it doesn't count as wagering
  • Partially contributing - The bets placed in these games only count as part of their value

EXAMPLE: Playing live dealer blackjack contributes 10% towards wagering. Every $10 bet counts as $1 in wagering.

Bonus caps

Many bonuses have so-called "maximum conversion", also known as the bonus cap. This is the maximum sum you can win and withdraw from a certain bonus. Everything above that is confiscated.

EXAMPLE: You get a $50 bonus and the maximum win is capped at $250. After completing the wagering, you have $350. You can only withdraw the $250, the casino keeps the rest.

Minimum withdrawals

As with deposits, also handling withdrawals costs the casinos money. Besides, they'd rather see you playing that money instead of taking it home just yet. That's why casinos have a minimum withdrawal limit.

You have the right to withdraw your real money balance at any time. However, if your withdrawal is below the minimum threshold, the casino can charge additional handling fees. These can be several dollars, which makes the fees swallow up a large portion of your withdrawal.

Deposit to confirm a banking method

This rule is relevant to no-deposit bonuses.

You can win real money without risking your own. Unfortunately, you can't get it out of the casino without making a deposit.

Casinos need to satisfy anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) rules. That's why they need you to verify a banking method for withdrawals. This happens by making a deposit and playing through it one more time.

The banking method needs to be one that supports withdrawals. That's why many pay by mobile phone methods are off the table.

There's really no way around this step. All you can do is pick a casino with a low minimum deposit.

Calculate the value of your bonus

When comparing bonuses, there are two main goals:

  1. Get the biggest bonus with the smallest deposit
  2. Complete the wagering and withdraw a big portion of the bonus

Often, these are mutually exclusive. As the bonus sum and the bonus percentage grow, so do the wagering requirements. These in turn hurt your chances of withdrawing.

This is what you need to know to calculate the expected value of a bonus:

Here's how you calculate what you will have left after completing the wagering. It's a bit tricky, so let's break it down into five steps:

  1. Bonus sum = Your deposit x the bonus percentage
  2. Total sum to be wagered = Your bonus sum x wagering requirements
  3. Expected loss = Total sum to be wagered x (1 - RTP)
  4. Expected value = Expected reward - expected loss
  5. "Return on investment" = Expected value ÷ original deposit

EXAMPLE: You get a 100% bonus up to $100. The wagering requirement is 30x (B) and the highest RTP allowed is 97%:

  1. Bonus sum = 100% x $100 = $100
  2. Total sum to be wagered = $100 x 30 = $3,000
  3. Expected loss = $3,000 x (1 - 0.97) = $90
  4. Expected value = $100 - $90 = $10
  5. "Return on investment" = $10 ÷ $100 = 0.1 = 10%

Why is the "return on investment" in quotes? You can calculate how much value you get compared to the money you put down. However, you shouldn't consider the money spent on gambling an investment. Besides, the bonus money only becomes relevant after you've lost your original deposit. A consolation prize would be a more accurate term.

Remember, these calculations only give you averages. The RTP (return to player) of a casino game is based on the results of thousands of rounds. Your results within a single gaming session will vary.

Conclusion: Are bonuses worth taking?

Depends on the bonus.

A good bonus can make your games last longer and act as a second chance if your real money runs out.

However, a bad bonus may actually hurt your chances of coming out ahead.

Here are our casino bonus tips. Only accept a bonus if it's:

Unfortunately, this stuff is usually in the fine print. Most players pay more attention to bonus sums, bonus percentages and free spins. Although they make the bonus more appealing, they're just the icing on the cake.

Don't be a sucker. Choose your bonus carefully and have fun playing.

Casino bonus FAQ

You want to convert your casino bonus balance into withdrawable cash. This happens by meeting the wagering requirements. Here's how wagering requirements work:

  • The wagering requirement may apply to the bonus sum (B), your original deposit (D) or both (D+B).
  • Bonus sum x wagering requirement multiplier = total amount to wager.
  • Wagering starts when your deposit amount runs out.
  • Only bets made with bonus money count as wagering.
  • Completing the wagering turns your remaining bonus balance into withdrawable cash.
  • Wagering requirements over 35x (B) can be hard to meet.

Read more about wagering requirements.

Many US online casinos use bonus codes to unlock casino bonuses to players. The rewards earned vary from one site to another, but the best online casino bonus codes unlock:

  • no deposit bonuses
  • free spins
  • deposit match bonuses

Not all sites require you to enter a casino promotional code to get your bonus. When a casino reviewed on Bojoko features a first deposit or no deposit bonus code, this info is displayed on the listing page. In addition, you can see the bonus codes on our curated casino lists.

  • An online casino bonus code is a case-sensitive combination of letters and numbers.
  • Use the casino bonus code to redeem a special offer when prompted on the casino website.
  • You'll normally be requested to input the code when you create an account or make your first deposit.
  • In some casinos, you may need to contact customer support to redeem your code, although this has now become rare.

On Bojoko, you can find the bonus code in the casino reviews.

Many casinos want to save their most generous bonus offers to trusted partners like Bojoko. With a special bonus code or a unique link, you'll get exclusive casino bonus offers that can't be found anywhere else.

Take a look at our bonus list, apply the Exclusive bonuses quick filter and bag some secret goodies.

Article by:

Lauri Ronkainen

Lauri has worked in online gambling for 4 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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