The truth about alternative payment method bonuses and their value to players/casinos.
Online and mobile casinos have always used special promotions and incentives to draw more players to their websites. It’s a highly competitive business – one of the most lucrative in the world. Over the years, many operators have come up with different ways to campaign for players, and many of these methods have been copied by their competitors.
The most common is, of course, the new player welcome bonus. These promotions give a new member a big bankroll boost on their first deposit, matching 100% or more in free casino credits. While that extra cash is certainly appreciated, a smaller number of sites will also provide another type of promotion to players who use the right banking method to make that deposit.
These are called Alternative Payment Method Bonuses, and they do offer an added incentive for players. However, they often benefit the casinos more than they do the players. It all depends on how much the bonus is worth, and whether the eligible payment methods on the list are good for the player.
Benefits of Alternative Payment Method Bonuses
These special promotions aren’t as common as they used to be, but they do still exist. Here’s how they work.
The casino will list its standard welcome bonus offer for all first-time depositors. Then, they will promote an add-on bonus, wherein the player can receive an additional percentage-match bonus, but only if they are willing to one or more use specific payment methods take make the purchase.
For example, a new member may be offered 100% up to $100 on their first deposit. Thus depositing $100 would give them an additional $100 in bonus credits, effectively doubling their bankroll. Alternative payment method bonuses may grant an additional 20% in bonus credits, which would give the same player a starting bankroll of $220 ($100 deposit + $120 in bonus credits).
Of course, there will be wagering requirements, with expiration dates, attached to both of these promotions. For more information on that, you’ll need to read the fine print listed under in each promotion’s terms and conditions.
The Casino’s Advantage in Alternative Payment Methods
The objective for casinos who offer alternative payment method bonuses is to save money. Credit cards are never on the list, because they tend to charge the highest fees to casino operators. This is, in fact, why the AMEX deposit option has become so incredibly rare.
Visa and MasterCard became multi-billion dollar companies by charging merchants (including online casinos), on average, 2% of their overall sales. So when a casino receives a $100 deposit via credit card, they have to hand over $2 of it. American Express charges 50% more, collecting at least 3% on all sales.
For this reason, online casinos would much rather their players use e-wallet deposits. Online payment processors like EntroPay, Neteller and Skrill charge a small fee, but it’s generally lower than credit card companies, and usually has a cap on the max charge per transaction.
If a casino does enough business with these e-wallets, they can get an even better deal. Let’s say an operator grosses $15,000/month in deposits via one online payment processor, and has to pay 1.5% of that to the e-wallet. If that operator were to take in $25,000+, their fee might be reduced to 1%, or maybe 0.5% for $50k+ in deposits.
That’s more money in their pockets, and more than enough reason to reward players for using such methods.
Are Alternative Payment Method Bonuses Worth It?
That’s a relative question, and one that can only be answered by each individual player. You must ask yourself if the payment methods on that list work to your advantage in any other way than receiving a slightly larger bonus.
First of all, are the eligible payment methods ones that you’re familiar with? Are there any additional costs to consider on your end? Is the hassle of signing up with an e-wallet worth the added bonus credits? Are the wagering requirements something you’ll be able to complete in the limited time allotted?
Last but not least, will you be eligible to collect more alternative payment method bonuses with subsequent deposits? Can you answer affirmatively to each, or at least most, of these questions? If so, it may in fact be worth it to use an alternative method.