Match Bonus vs. Cashback Bonus: Which One’s Better if You’re New to The Online Gambling Scene?

Online gambling stocks
Online gambling stocks


Everyone likes receiving bonuses. Whether it’s a thank-you meal from your boss for hard work or a freebie at checkout at the supermarket.

Casinos are no different. It will be difficult, if not impossible, for you to find an online casino that does not offer bonuses to its players. Simply stated, bonuses are free playing money that give you a chance to cash out real money.

Bonuses are the main perk of any online casino. As they start playing, punters will soon begin to realise that bonuses are abundant – at whichever casino they choose to play. There are several other reasons for choosing online casinos over brick and mortar ones, but this article will give special focus on bonuses.

What Are the Different Types of Bonuses at Online Casinos

Sure, bonuses are a dime a dozen, and the variety can sometimes confuse players. Here are some of the more common types of bonuses:

  • No deposit bonus – a free bonus without the player making any deposit
  • Welcome bonus – the first bonus(es) offered to a new player for signing up at the online casino
  • Reload bonuses – subsequent bonuses offered to players with existing accounts
  • Match bonus – a bonus that is specified as a percentage of the deposit
  • Cashback bonus – a bonus that is specified as a percent of the net loss incurred over a period


No doubt one of the perks when playing at an online casino is being able to benefit from so many casino bonuses. But with so many different kinds available, it’s difficult to choose which one you should benefit from, especially if you’re a beginner player.


Why Match and Cashback Bonuses Are Important


Match and cashback bonuses are among the most common at online casinos. If they are offered as a part of a package to new players, then they are also treated as welcome bonuses. If they are offered on a regular basis to existing players, then they become reload bonuses.

These two bonuses become important because usually there is a choice involved. You can either pick the match or cashback bonus, but not both. The kind of choice is pretty standard at  most online casinos. When you make a deposit, you can immediately go for a match bonus by entering a code or using any other steps as specified by the casino. If you do so then you will not get any cashback bonus on the deposit. However, if you start wagering the deposit without claiming a match bonus, then you are eligible for the stated cashback bonus.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you understand the concepts and conditions of both these bonuses, so that you select the one that is best suited for you.

Understanding Online Casino Match Bonuses

In our analysis of match and cashback bonuses we will focus mainly on aspects of contrast rather than the conditions that are common to both, since the T&Cs are only relevant once you’ve actually narrowed down your choice from the two bonuses.

How Match Bonuses Are Specified

Match bonuses are usually explained as X% of the deposit in question. Even if you’re a newcomer, it’s easy to grasp the concept and calculate the bonus amount. Suppose the bonus is 150% of the deposit and you deposit $200, then you will get a bonus of $300. Other noteworthy bonus conditions include:

  • A minimum deposit amount for bonus eligibility
  • A maximum bonus amount, irrespective of how much you deposit
  • Wagering requirements, which outline the specific conditions of how you can benefit from your bonus

Calculating Wagering Requirements for Match Bonuses

If you want to win real from your bonus, you must meet the wagering requirements. These are specified and vary from one bonus type to another. Let’s take a look at the below example:

  • Deposit = $200
  • Bonus at 150% = $300
  • Deposit plus bonus = $200 + $300 = $500
  • Wagering = 30 x $500 = $15,000

How Match Bonuses Work

Now we can piece together all the elements of the match bonus to understand the overall workings:

  • When you make the deposit, the amount is credited to your cash account and the bonus is credited to your account.
  • You have to first play with the deposit. You may win a big amount and withdraw it from your cash account. In this case the bonus will automatically be forfeited.
  • If your cash account is used, you can start wagering with the bonus.
  • Every bet reduces the bonus account balance and also reduces the pending wagering requirement. Every win adds to the bonus balance.
  • You have to win enough to reduce the pending wagering to zero without the bonus account becoming zero.
  • If you succeed then you will be allowed to cash out, by transferring the eligible amount to your cash account.

Understanding Online Casino Cashback Bonuses

The cashback bonus is somewhat more complicated. It’s usually stated as X% of the net loss from wagering the deposits. The usual way of defining net loss is amount wagered minus amount won. At most online casinos the net loss is calculated over a period, say a week. If you have wagered $500 and have won $200 then your net loss is $300. A cashback bonus of 10% will amount to $30 in this case.

Cashback bonuses also have minimum net loss, maximum bonus and wagering requirements conditions.

Calculating Wagering Requirements for Cashback Bonuses

The wagering requirements are specified slightly differently as Y times the bonus. Assuming Y as 10 we calculate the wagering requirements as follows:

  • Net Loss = $300
  • Bonus at 10% = $30
  • Wagering = 10 x $300 = $3,000

How Cashback Bonuses Work

The online casino automatically computes the amount wagered from your own deposits during the week. Wagers made from pending bonuses will not count. The wins are automatically computed for the same period. If you have not made a net loss, then there is no cashback bonus. If there is a net loss you get the bonus at the specified percent. The wagering of the bonus is the same as that for the match bonus.

Which Should I Pick – Match or Cashback Bonus?

It is not a straightforward choice because one type of bonus is not totally better than the other. Each has its pros and cons and you have to assess which will work better for you.

Match bonuses have much higher percent values and the wagering require multiple is also higher as compared to cashback bonuses. So, you will end up with larger bonuses but also larger absolute wagering amounts. On the other hand, cashback bonuses will be smaller but will have smaller absolute wagering amounts. The important result is that cashback bonuses will lead to smaller cash outs but players are more likely to complete the wagering and realise those cash outs.

We suggest that new players start with cashback bonuses where the rewards are small, but the risks are low. When they are more confident, they can try for bigger cash outs that have higher levels of risk.