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The bingo bonus is an incentive that Internet bingo sites use to attract and retain bingo players to their websites. There are very few of us who fail to at least pause and ponder the possibility of getting something free and that is the purpose of a bingo bonus offer – catch the eye and capture the attention of the bingo player. Whilst many of the bonus offers that bingo sites tender look the same or similar, they do in fact come in different sizes and shapes and as you may expect, there are conditions upon which the bonuses fall under.

How bingo bonuses work

As we mentioned, the goal of a bingo bonus offering is to capture the eye (and then the money or business) of the bingo player. In theory, you see the bonus offer and then you are enticed or persuaded to deposit at that bingo site. At first glance, you win because you get the bonus money, thus having more money to play bingo with and the bingo site wins because they get a new player. In fairness, whilst the player wins – there is a bit more to the story and we will explain how exactly bingo bonuses work so that you have a full understanding of the terms and conditions commonly associated with this seemingly free bonus money.

The Welcome Bonus Offer

The first and easiest part to understand is the actual bonus offering. In our explanation on bonuses and how they work, we will continue to use a single example – the Polo Bingo 300% up to £200 welcome bonus offer for first time depositing players.

Clearly, there are two parts to this bonus offer. The first part is the percentage of the bonus (to what extent the bingo room will match your money), whilst the second part is the maximum amount of the bonus offer. As you can probably guess, in our example offering, Polo Bingo will give players a 300% bonus on their deposited funds up to a maximum amount of £200. In order to take full advantage of this bonus offering, you would deposit £66.67, which then gives you a full £200 in bonus money.

However, there’s no rule that says you “must” make the maximum deposit to take full advantage of the bonus. So, if you deposit £5 (the minimum amount Polo Bingo accepts as a deposit), you would receive £30 in bonus money from them. Whether depositing the minimum amount, the maximum or somewhere in between – you will receive your 300% match bonus all the same. The bonus money associated with this offer is credited straight away to your player account. As a result, if you have deposited £50 under this welcome bonus offering, you get £150 extra in bonus money from the bingo site. The deposit plus the bonus money leaves you with a total balance of £200 (£50 from your original deposit and £150 in bonus money courtesy of the bingo site).

The Red Tape

As you may or may not be able to guess, the welcome bonus is not cut and dry in so much as you are able to do whatever you please with the bonus money. The bingo sites place certain conditions on the bonus money they have issued and these conditions often restrict how the bonus money is used, as well as where it can be used.

When the bonus is paid into your player account, the money is segregated from your actual deposited balance. In fact, in your player account, you can see your deposited amount and your bonus amount. Naturally, there is good reason for this. Per the terms and conditions of most bingo sites, the bonus money may never be redeemed for cash (cashed out). A snap shot of your account statement would read £50 in cash balance and £150 in bonus funds for a grand total of £200 in your player account at Polo Bingo.

Play Through Requirements

Bingo sites place requirements on the money that is involved in the welcome bonus offerings. The requirements often involve wagering, as well as the types of games that can be played in support of said wagering. In black and white terms, the Polo Bingo welcome bonus terms state that you must wager four times the amount of bonus money plus your deposit before you may request a cashout. So, in revisiting our Polo Bingo bonus example, we received £150 in bonus money and had deposited £50 of our own money (£200 total). Before we are permitted to cash out our player account, we must wager £800 at Polo Bingo (£200 * 4 = £800). Per the terms, if we ask for a cashout before we’ve “played through” our bonus, the bonus is forfeited or lost.

Restrictions on Games

In addition to placing restrictions on playing through your bonus, bingo sites often place restrictions on which games or types of games count towards playing off your bonus money. In our Polo Bingo example, if you play slots games or other instant games that are not specifically bingo games – the activity or play does not count towards the bonus wagering requirements. This means that you must play bingo games in order to work through your bonus requirements. If you play slots games or decide to play scratch cards, these games will not count towards your bonus.

In looking at the prices of the bingo games at Polo Bingo, you will see that many of the games cost 1p each. When thinking of a single pence in comparison to your bonus play through requirement, it is natural to wonder how you can possibly clear your bonus off playing penny games. Simply put, you can buy and play multiple tickets in each bingo game you decide to play. You can spend nearly a quid in each game. Games start constantly, so you can really play through your entire bonus amount in a very short amount of time. How can you handle playing so many bingo cards at once, you ask? No worries, Polo Bingo will track and daub your cards for you automatically, so playing through your bonus is a cinch!

Also worth mentioning is that while you are playing off your bonus money, you are also accumulating bonus points and when these bonus points are redeemed, you get more bonus money later on that you can cash in for use in yet more bingo games!

Find the best bingo bonuses to suit your needs

Whether you are looking for a big bingo bonus, a small bingo bonus, an instant bonus, or even a bonus you can cash out nearly straight away, we know where you can get the best bingo bonus you are after. Use any of the resources below to find the best bingo bonus based on your needs. Alternatively, if you know of the bingo site that you want to play and get their welcome bonus, we have quite a collection of quality trusted Internet bingo sites that we have reviewed and recommended. They are all listed on the right side of this page in our Internet Bingo reviews section.