How VIP Loyalty Programs Work with US Casinos
How VIP Loyalty Programs Work with US Casinos
You have probably heard of them or seen something about them online. Casinos offering VIP Loyalty Programs are very common and if you do a little bit of shopping to compare VIP programs between online casinos, you may be able to find the best fit for your style of gambling. In this article, we will explore the mechanics of an average VIP program and spell out for you what you can expect when you qualify for such an incentive program.
What Is A VIP Program?
In simple terms, a VIP program is one way an online casino can “spoil” special players. However, from the perspective of the casino operator, a VIP program is a tool used to seek, retain and reward an elite level of player. Think of the VIP program as a bonus you would receive for being a good, regular customer. The idea here is that once you reach VIP status, you will be able to access bonuses and features that casual players can’t access. In a way, you become a special asset to the online casino, and to keep you happy, playing regularly, and add to your playing experience, you get the VIP treatment. It is an effective incentive that offers bonuses and specials that converts the idea of becoming a VIP into a goal to shoot for. This is what the online casino wants and the more VIP players they have, the more money they make as the VIPs will be regular customers who either play daily or bet amounts higher than the casual players do.
How To Become A VIP
Your gambling activity is monitored by the online casino. This means that if you spent a great deal of time at your preferred site, several factors of your behavior at the online casino are tracked. This can include your playing patterns, the amount of time you spend logged into the casino, the number and size of your wagers, the number and size of your deposits, your win percentage, and other metrics that will distinguish you from a casual player. You could also become a VIP program member just by being recommended by another VIP. You will also be asked to invite friends to join the casino and suggest those who could qualify for VIP status. Regardless of how you reach the level that earns you a welcome into a loyalty program, it is a big deal for both you and the casino. You will receive various extras for being a VIP and, as we’ve stated, the casino will earn more of your money the longer you stay a VIP member.
Types Of VIP Programs
There are three common types of VIP programs available at online casinos. The choice of loyalty programs offered is left to the discretion of each individual casino, but you may find one that offers more than one specific VIP program. This is not uncommon. The different programs include the Tiered VIP program, the Awards VIP program, and the Unofficial VIP program. Here is a closer look at what each of these incentive programs contains:
The Tiered VIP Program
This is very likely the most common of the VIP programs offered by online casinos. It usually contains a total of five different levels, with each higher level providing additional benefits. You will know these programs by their names which are descriptive of the differences in their levels. The five-tier program starts at Bronze, then climbs to Silver, Gold and reaches beyond to Platinum. The top of the tiered system is the Diamond program. Incentives to expect would include free spins, free money, win, match, and cashback bonuses. The specific tier you are at will determine the bonus percentage as that will differ at each level.
The Awards VIP Program
This incentive program is very much like the Tiered VIP Program only the advancement you make remains within the level you are at. So, if you are an Awards VIP member, the more you wager and the better you play, the more additional bonuses and benefits you will unlock.
The Unofficial VIP Program
This is a loyalty program that is normally reserved for just the high rollers. Wagering and game performance will determine whether or not you are considered a high roller at your online casino. The account manager will be building a close relationship with you as you climb towards getting into the Unofficial VIP Program. The benefits are many and could include unannounced deals that are not available to anyone else along with gifts and other incentives.
How You Get Selected To Be A VIP
As we’ve stated, each casino has its own way of doing things and that includes how they run VIP programs. There are essentially two very distinct methods that a casino will use to calculate VIP points collected by a player. A casino can use either a wager-based system or the deposit-based system. Both give the casino a way of tracking activity that will determine your style of gameplay and if you are a likely candidate for an in-house VIP program.
The Wager-Based System
Keeping in mind that no two casinos do this the same, an example of how the wager-based system operates is that you earn points each time you place a wager. Let’s say you bet $10 on a table game and that earned you one point. For each ten-dollar wager at that game, you get another point. A $100 wager earns you ten points. But then you move to a different table game or the slots. Your $10 wager may be worth more or fewer points depending on the game. Although the points you earn will differ based on what games you are playing and the amount you are wagering, each bet earns you points. Once your point total reaches a predetermined amount, you will qualify for a VIP program.
The Deposit-Based System
This point system revolves entirely around the number of deposits you have made. However, to qualify for any level of a VIP program using this system, the points you earn concerning your deposit activity will be time-limited. For example, the number of your deposits made in three months or six months will contribute to your point total. This means that once you reach a predetermined level at an online casino that uses the deposit-based method, you will have to continue to make deposits at that rate to retain the VIP level you are at. Both methods have pros and cons but if you are a regular online casino player, the deposit-based system may work to your advantage.
The Types Of VIP Bonuses Available
Depending on the online casino, you can expect a variety of different bonuses and extras once you enter a VIP program. Here is a look at the most common of the bonuses available:
You have probably received your share of Match Bonuses as a regular player, and they are very much the same as you are accustomed to when they are offered at a VIP level. They may have names such as High Roller Bonus, VIP Bonus, Weekly VIP Bonus, or Monthly VIP Bonus. They are a reload match bonus just like you are already used to but at the VIP level, the match may be at a more generous amount or some other added feature to make it somewhat different.
These are gifts that the casino operator gives to you. They are available in two basic formats. Either you will receive Free Spins or Free Cash. You will earn them when you attain specific targets which means you will see free spins or cash as level-up, level maintenance, or as performance bonuses.
This has got to be the most popular of the VIP bonuses offered by online casinos. Not only do high rollers like Cashback Bonuses, but casinos have found that this is the one extra that will keep players from moving to another online casino. This bonus feature works on a simple math level. The casino will set the percentage, but as an example, let’s say that amount is 10-percent. A Cashback Bonus is when the casino gives you 10-percent back of the money you lose playing. Conditions are differing from casino to casino, but essentially, you get back a portion of your losses. The bonus here for the casino is that you will use the cash you get back to add to future bets along with more of your own money.
The account manager will have engaged you in conversation to determine certain preferences from you. It is from those conversations that targets would be established where you would receive various gifts. The casino will present you different free presents on an anniversary when you level up and other times during your membership at the online casino. Other targets will be in place where you will win additional, large-scale prizes such as electronics, trips, or whatever else the casino has access to that would be a great gift.
The “Not Valid For All Games” Disclaimer
Now that we’ve covered the basics of VIP Programs and outlined the typical bonuses that you can expect from an online casino, there is one very important detail that can’t be missed. There are going to be times when your casino offers a VIP bonus that you are going to want to earn as quickly as possible. Before you launch into marathon gambling sessions, it is a wise idea to review the qualifications for that specific bonus offer. That is because not all offers will operate the same. There will be some restrictions and additional qualifying requirements depending on the type and size of the bonus. That means there will be some games excluded from certain bonus offers. It also means that deposit limits, wager size, and other details may be included in the special bonus requirements. One of the most common complaints filed against online casinos is when a player does not receive a bonus they believe they had won. Usually, the misunderstanding comes from a failure to go over the qualifying information for a particular bonus offer.
How To Find The Best VIP Programs
There are several ways to determine what VIP programs are the best being offered by online casinos. You can visit review sites. Be sure that the review site you are visiting is not sponsored by any of the online casinos mentioned in the reviews as that may hint at the review being included as a means to promote the sponsoring casino site. There are plenty of independent sources out there worth exploring. Also, when comparing VIP programs, do not include offshore casinos. While they will typically have some of the best incentive programs in the online gambling world, offshore sites are illegal for you to access from anywhere in the US. To protect yourself from any issues related to offshore casinos, visit the casino website you are considering joining and look for a logo or notation from a US state gambling authority that indicates the casino has been licensed to operate in the United States. Another way to research VIP programs is to just visit the casino websites you have narrowed down as potential online casinos you would like to join. Visit their Terms and Conditions page and read about their bonus program, loyalty program, and VIP program.
The Downside Of VIP Programs
Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. We have spent a lot of time going over the benefits of VIP programs for both the casino and player. But what about the negatives? Well, there are a few and they may help you to determine whether or not you are VIP material before you start placing your first set of bets.
VIP Programs Are Aimed At High Roller
Sure, you may qualify for some lower-level bonuses as a casual player, but you won’t ever see the big prizes that a VIP Program member will. If you don’t consider yourself a high roller and don’t think you will ever get to that level of gambling, then a VIP Program is the last thing you should be trying to achieve membership to. Online casinos have lots of room for casual players just like you and will provide you with enough incentives to keep you interested.
You Have To Work To Retain Levels
One of the hardest things about VIP programs is that if you progress to the Silver Level at an online casino, there are requirements you will have to keep meeting if you intend to stay at that level or try to climb up to the next level. For high rollers, this is not much of a hurdle but for casual players, the stress of having to maintain a specific wagering or deposit level or points total can be very difficult (and costly) to keep up.
They Make It Hard To Quit Gambling
If you have a compulsive gambling problem, a VIP Program is one of the last things you need. This is simply because of how the incentive programs are made, they level you up when you keep gambling. Your overall activity on the online casino site is tracked and the more you deposit and the more you wager, the better the prizes become. For a gambling addict, this is problematic and can cause that gambler to go deeper into debt.
Should A VIP Program Membership Be Your Goal?
That depends. If you gamble online just for fun, being part of a VIP program is going to drastically alter your gambling experience. However, if you crave bigger prizes, more bonuses, and the thrill of being in an elite group of individuals, and can afford to be there, a VIP program could be a lot of fun for you. There is no doubt that a VIP program will enhance your gambling experience regardless of what level you sit at in the VIP rankings. It is also important to note that there is nothing wrong with leaving one online casino site after a while and going to another. This is far easier to do when you are not in a VIP program. The main idea behind these programs is to keep you in place. But, since the internet has made the world much smaller, it isn’t hard to come across programs being offered by a competing online casino trying to drum up some new business. Will a loyalty program keep you at just one online casino? That also depends on several factors related to your personal preferences. If you are typically not loyal to anything in your day-to-day life, then a loyalty program for a single casino is probably not going to keep you interested for any length of time.
VIP programs are common. You can find them in any online casino. However, the specifics of any VIP program will be as unique as the individual casino site. Several different incentives come by being a VIP member and they all become available to you once you reach certain targets. The targets may be associated with your wagering activity or connected to your deposit activity. The main reason for VIP programs is to keep you playing at a casino and not leaving it to join a different online casino. If you are a regular player, VIP programs are not likely a good fit for you but if you are a high roller, there is a VIP program out there that will keep you interested. Be sure to review bonus qualifications frequently, and as long as you stay an active gambler, you should enjoy all the benefits that come to you once you reach the VIP level.
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