Best Casino Welcome Bonuses & Sign-up Bonuses
Are you tired of hunting for casino welcome bonuses online? Do you want a one-stop destination that gives you all the latest welcome offers from trusted South Africa online casinos? A place where you can compare the different casinos and pick the best one for you?
Your search ends here. On this page, you will find a comprehensive list of the finest welcome bonuses available to South African players at online casinos. We only showcase casinos that pass stringent quality and reliability tests, undertaken by a team of online gambling experts.
Finding the right bonus is not easy when just about every online casino out there has enticing promotional offers. They come in all size and different combinations – with cash bonuses, free spins, no deposit bonuses, and more. Casinos offer them as a marketing ploy, to attract new customers.
And if you happen to be new to the whole online casino scene, don’t forget to take a look at our detailed guide and FAQ section. It will answer all the doubts you may have about the wonderful world of online casino welcome bonuses!
What is a Welcome Bonus?
A welcome bonus is an online casino promotional offer available exclusively to new players. From an online casino’s perspective, a new player is someone who is joining that particular casino for the first time.
Casinos tend to be very generous with welcome bonuses – they dwarf all other bonus offers in terms of size. Bonuses that offer tens of thousands of Rands and hundreds of free spins are not uncommon. Casinos do this to make a positive first impression and convince players to sign up.
Welcome bonuses are crucial for the survival of online casinos – particularly the newer ones. There is intense competition among online casinos for players. Since many casinos offer the same slots and games, having a bigger, better welcome bonus can make all the difference.
A welcome bonus is a one-time offer – if you join a casino, leave it, and come back a year later and create a new account, this offer will not be available to you! Of course, you can claim multiple welcome bonuses by signing up at different online casinos.
Welcome Bonus vs Sign Up Bonus vs First Deposit Bonus
These are three terms that you may come across when you visit an online casino or come across a casino ad. Don’t get confused by the different terms – they all refer to the same type of casino bonus awarded to new players! So, why use these different terms instead of just “welcome bonus”?
To claim a welcome bonus, you first need to sign up at the casino – due to this reason they are also called sign-up bonuses. Further, you also need to make a cash deposit to claim this kind of bonus – so, another name for the welcome bonus is the “first deposit” bonus.
The term “first deposit bonus” usually indicates that the casino has split the welcome bonus into different parts. You can claim each part by making the appropriate cash deposit. Some welcome bonuses extend to your fourth or fifth deposit at the casino!
Picking the Best Welcome Bonus
Picking the best welcome bonus is not a simple matter. Many players make the mistake of choosing a bonus based on just size. While size is an important factor, there are several others to consider as well. This is the tried and tested strategy that we use to rank casino welcome bonuses:
- Check wagering requirements – Give priority to bonuses with a lower wagering requirement, below 30X is ideal.
- Bonus percentage – A higher bonus percentage will give you more bang for your buck.
- Cashout Limits – The best bonuses don’t limit the amount of money you can withdraw as winnings.
- Payout speeds – Look at the casino banking rules and ensure that the casino offers fast and secure payments.
Types of Welcome Bonuses
There is no strict definition of what a welcome bonus should be. Online casinos are free to design promotional offers according to their brand, budget, target audience, and other considerations. That said, sign up bonuses tend to follow these broad categories:
Cashable vs Non-Cashable
Since new players often find it hard to understand the difference between the two, we will use an example to explain. Consider an R500 welcome bonus – after bonus play, imagine that you managed to win another 500, meaning you have R1000 total in your account.
If the bonus is cashable, it means that you can withdraw the entire R1000, subject to other bonus rules. But if it is a non-cashable bonus, the casino will cut the original bonus amount from your withdrawal – you will only be allowed to take the remaining R500.
A non-cashable bonus is also called a “sticky bonus” – the bonus amount given to you sticks (remains) with the casino after play.
Free spins are a type of bonus that you can use exclusively on video slots. Each spin gives you a real cash bet – the value of the bet is fixed by the casino beforehand. Free spin bonuses are usually linked to specific slot games.
A welcome bonus made up entirely of free spins is quite rare. More often, free spins are included as an additional feature in a bonus cash welcome package.
No Deposit Welcome Bonus
This is a very special and relatively rare type of welcome bonus – not all online casinos offer it. As the name suggests, this offer does not require you to deposit cash – you can claim it simply by signing up at the casino.
On the flip side, since it is a 100% free bonus, don’t expect to get thousands of Rands or hundreds of free spins. You only get a small sample, like 25 free spins or R50 – enough to give you a taste of real cash gambling.
Casinos that offer a no deposit bonus will have a separate sign up bonus. After claiming and using the no deposit offer, you can make a cash deposit and claim this other offer if you choose.
Match Deposit Bonus/Cash Bonus
This one is pretty straightforward – when you deposit cash, the casino will match that amount up to a certain percentage. Here is how it works – If you deposit R500 in a 100% welcome bonus, the casino will add R500, giving you a total of R1000 betting money.
A match welcome bonus can go up to 300%, effectively quadrupling your betting account balance. To sweeten the deal further, casinos often combine it with a free spin bonus to make a welcome bonus package.
A match welcome bonus can be linked to a single deposit or staggered across multiple deposits. In the latter instance, a huge bonus is split into smaller units of different sizes and linked to your first 3, 4, or 5 deposits.
Make Your Own Bonus
To stand out from the crowd, some casinos give you the freedom to pick from different welcome bonus packages. A few may even allow you to create a package, adding specific match bonus, free spin offers etc.
How to Choose the Best Casino Sign Up Bonus
If you are looking for the best casino sign bonus in 2021, don’t forget to check our South Africa welcome bonus page. All the offers here are hand-picked to offer you the maximum value and fun. We also refresh our pages regularly to include the latest top offers.
In a previous section, we briefly outlined the important features that decide if a casino welcome bonus is great, or just mediocre. In this section, we will explain those features in greater detail to help you pick a great welcome bonus online on your own!
Check the Bonus Percentage and Maximum Limits
A welcome match bonus has two parts – the bonus percentage and maximum limit. Both are important factors that decide the total value you get from a bonus. But bonus banners can be quite misleading – sometimes they only mention the maximum limit, like in this example:
- “R6000 Welcome Bonus” – the amount mentioned is just the maximum bonus cash you can claim.
What it does not tell you is how much cash you have to pay to get that R6000 bonus. To know that, you need to know the bonus percentage. Different percentages can have a huge impact on the value of a bonus. See the following examples, where both offers promise R6000:
- A 100% sign up bonus – to get R6000, you have to deposit R6000
- A 300% sign up bonus – to get you only need to deposit R2000
On the other hand, if the bonus title only mentions the percentage, it does not tell you how much you need to spend to get the maximum value. Imagine that you have R1000 to spend – consider these two different offers, with the same 100% bonus:
- Max limit R1000 – you will get full value if you deposit the entire R1000.
- Max limit R500 – there is no point in spending more than R500 as you will only get R500 as bonus cash.
The key lesson here is that you should never be swayed by what the bonus title says. Read the bonus terms and conditions to get the full picture – you need to look at both the bonus percentage and cash limit for that.
Read the Wagering Requirements
One of the most important factors that determine the worthiness of a welcome bonus is its wagering requirement (WR for short). Almost all bonus offers from online casinos come with a WR restriction.
Here is what a WR does to you – once you use up a welcome bonus and win money, you may feel wish to withdraw it straight away. But you are not allowed to do that until you fulfil the conditions of the wagering requirement.
A wagering requirement means that you have to use your bonus winnings to make a specific number of bets – this basically gives the casino a chance to win back some or all of the money you won using a bonus.
Here is a sample of this rule, which is found in the bonus terms – “30X wagering requirement on bonus+deposit.” The important thing you need to know here is that number before the “X”. The higher this number, the bigger the number of bets you have to make. Consider this example:
You deposit R500 and get R500 sign up bonus. Using the total R1000, you played and won R2000. If the WR on the bonus is 30X, you are required to use that R2000 to make bets worth a total of R30,000 (multiply your bonus+deposit amount by 30).
If the same bonus had a 60X WR, you would have to make bets worth R60,000 using the same R2000! This is why the size of the wagering requirement is so important. At higher WR, most players will end up losing all their bonus winnings while trying to fulfil the rule.
Other Terms and Considerations
Casinos are very careful when offering any kind of bonuses – if players win a lot of cash, it results in a loss for the casino. So they use a combination of different bonus terms and other casino rules to minimize the risk.
When you play with a bonus without reading and understanding these terms, there is always a chance that you will accidentally end up violating a rule. The casino can use this opportunity to cancel your bonus winnings.
The best sign up bonuses will have clear bonus terms, explained in simple language, and without complex and convoluted rules. If you don’t feel confident about the bonus terms, or simply don’t care about a sign-up bonus, you can always opt-out of the welcome bonus.
How to Claim a Welcome Bonus
The process of claiming a welcome bonus is quite easy. There is just one thing to consider – some casinos use a system of bonus codes. These are a random series of 5-8 numbers and alphabets. You can find such sign-up bonus codes right here.
If a casino uses codes, it will give you a chance to enter the said code, either during the sign-up process or when you make a cash deposit. If there is no code mentioned in an offer, it means that you can just follow the steps mentioned below:
- Select a sign-up bonus after reading all bonus terms and features.
- Go to the casino website and click on “Sign Up” or “Register” to start the process.
- Fill in your personal information and contact details in the registration form.
- Confirm/verify your identity using the email or SMS code sent by the casino.
- Log into your account and head to the banking section to deposit money.
- Select your preferred payment method and deposit cash – ensure that you add at least the minimum amount needed to claim the bonus.
- The casino will add the bonus funds to your account as soon as the money is credited.
- Enjoy playing and winning!
How to Cash Out a Welcome Bonus
As we already explained in a previous section, when you play with a welcome bonus, you cannot withdraw your winnings right away. You have to make the required amount of bets using the money in your account – if you still have any balance left after the wagering, you may make a withdrawal request following these simple steps:
- Log into your casino account and check the account balance to ensure that you have enough for a minimum allowed withdrawal transaction
- Head to the cashier/banking section and go to the “withdrawals” tab
- Pick a valid payment method and specify how much you want to withdraw.
- Click the button at the bottom to send the withdrawal request to the casino.
- The casino will now take between 24-72 hours to process your request.
- After that, your money will reach your bank account/wallet in a few days.
Popular Cash Out Methods at South Africa Casinos
Players from the Rainbow Nation have at least half a dozen payment options available at online casinos. But not all of them support cashout transactions. Here are the most common options available at SA online casinos:
How to Calculate a Welcome Bonus Percentage
Let’s use an actual SA Casino welcome bonus to explain all the different parts of an offer – Springbok Casino has an R11,500 Welcome Bonus spread across your first three deposits. To illustrate our point, we will use the First Deposit Bonus only. Let’s look at the different parts:
- Bonus Amount – The first deposit bonus has a max bonus of R1500.
- Bonus Percentage – It is 100%, meaning if you deposit R500, your betting account will get a double value of R1000. To get maximum value, you have to deposit R1500.
- Minimum Deposit – Is R20, meaning at the lowest rung, this bonus will give you a total bankroll of R40.
- Wagering requirement – 30x, meaning if you deposit R100 (and get R100), you will have to use your winnings to wager up to R6000 (30 x R200) before making a withdrawal request.
- Wagering Contribution – 100% on slots, meaning you need to use slots to complete your wagering requirement with speed and efficiency.
As you can see, figuring out the actual value of a welcome bonus is not that easy. There are many factors involved. You should read the full bonus terms and conditions to get a rough idea of it. Never sign up and claim a bonus blindly.
Pros and Cons of Welcome Bonuses
Like all other things in life, sign up bonuses also have two sides – there are both advantages and disadvantages to using a welcome bonus. You should consider the following pros and cons before deciding if a welcome bonus is a right option for you – casinos do give you the option to deposit and play without claiming any bonus.
Increase your playtime – Welcome bonuses often double or triple your bankroll, extending your playtime at the casino by a huge margin.
Helps you test a casino – Especially with a no deposit bonus, you can test a casino for free. Even with a deposit bonus, you get more time to test the games and features.
Better chances of winning – As long as you carefully pick a bonus (with low wagering etc), more betting money means you have a better chance of hitting a winning combo.
Risk of Disputes and Voided Wins – If you don’t pay attention to bonus rules, your winnings can get voided for violations.
No instant withdrawal – Due to wagering requirements, you cannot make a quick withdrawal of your winnings. The process can take a long time in some cases.
Primarily due to the hassle of wagering requirements, many seasoned players choose not to use welcome bonuses at online casinos. But these offers are still a great option, especially for beginners looking to get the maximum bang for their buck at online casinos.
What casinos offer the best welcome bonuses?
Often, you can find the best welcome bonuses at new online casinos. As they are hungry for new players, their offers tend to be very lucrative, with generous terms. But they also carry some risk due to lack of reputation. For the best welcome bonus offers in terms of both value and safety, check out our top ten list above.
What should I consider when choosing a welcome bonus?
The important thing to remember is this – don’t pick a bonus just because it promises a massive cash bonus. Look at the following factors when choosing a welcome bonus:
- Bonus percentage – Tells you how much value you get for every Rand deposited.
- Maximum bonus – Tells you how much you have to deposit to get full value from the offer.
- Wagering requirement – Lower is better as it improves your chances of cash withdrawal.
- Fast payouts – ensure that the casino does not take a long time to process payouts.
What’s the difference between a welcome bonus and a no deposit bonus?
Both offers are only available to new players at the casino. The main difference is that you can claim a no deposit bonus simply by signing up. To claim a welcome bonus, you also have to deposit money at the casino. Also, welcome bonuses tend to offer a lot more bonus cash and free spins than no deposit bonuses.
What are bonus wagering requirements?
They are a tool used by the casino to limit the financial losses caused by free bonuses. The principle behind it is this – “the casino is giving you free betting money, if you win cash, you give the casino a chance to win it back by placing more bets with that money.”
If you lose all your winnings while trying to complete the wagering requirement, the rule is working as the casino intended it to work. A lucky few players will complete the wagering and still have money left over to withdraw.
All regular casino bonuses have wagering requirements. You should try to pick bonuses with lower wagering requirement below 30x. If that number is above 50 or 60x, your chances of getting bonus cash wins out of the casino are next to zero.
Are sign up bonuses worth it?
If your main aim at an online casino is to have long play sessions, yes, sign up bonuses are absolutely worth it. They can double or triple the money you have to place bets. But if your main aim is to win and withdraw money, things are a bit complicated. You have to then look through bonus offers and carefully pick ones with features like low wagering and high bonus percentages.