Many of the top sportsbooks in the United States provide bonus bets to customers as a part of welcome offers or promotional deals. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, and many other platforms currently offer all new users an opportunity to earn bonus bets when they first sign up. 

In addition, sportsbooks that have customer loyalty programs generally offer a wide range of bonus bets as prizes. But what exactly is a bonus bet, and how does one work?  Continue reading to learn all about bonus bets, how to claim them, helpful tips for using them, and much more!

Best Bonus Bets

SportsbookPromotionPromo Code
Bet365
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000SQOREBONUS
Caesars
$1,000 First Bet on CaesarsSMARTPLAY1000
BetMGM
Up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets
*Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.
SQOREBET

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER CO, DC, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WY
Call 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY),Call 1-800-327-5050 (MA), 21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Call 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-270-7117 for confidential help (MI). 

What Are Bonus Bets?

Bonus bets, also known as bet credits or bonus money, are a type of site credit offered by various online sportsbooks. These allow customers to place wagers on sporting events without using their money. Customers typically need to deposit or place a real-money wager to earn bonus bets, so they are not "free bets" or "risk-free bets," which used to be the former terminology for this type of bonus. However, they still provide a valuable opportunity for users to bet without risking their cash.

Different Terms Used

  • Promotional Bets: Special offers or promotions where bettors receive bonus bets as part of a marketing campaign or promotional event.
  • No-Deposit Bets: A type of bonus bet that doesn't require the bettor to deposit any money into their account. It's typically used as a sign-up incentive.
  • Matched Bets: The sportsbook matches the bettor's deposit or initial bet with an equivalent amount in bonus bets, effectively doubling the betting power.

When a customer wins a wager made with a bonus bet, they receive the winnings in real money but not the original bonus bet amount. 

For example, a sportsbook might offer $200 in bonus bets if you sign up and make a $10 deposit. If you use $100 of those bonus bets on an underdog with +200 odds and they win, you'd make a $200 profit. However, you wouldn't receive the initial $100 bonus bet amount, just the winnings. If your bonus bet loses, the bonus amount disappears, leaving you with only the money you initially deposited.

It's important to understand that winnings from a bonus bet might not be immediately available for withdrawal. Many promotions come with wagering requirements. For example, a $100 bonus might have a 10x wagering requirement, meaning you'd need to bet a total of $1,000 before any funds could be withdrawn from your account.

By offering bonus bets, sportsbooks aim to provide a low-risk introduction to their platform, encouraging users to engage more frequently with their betting services while offering an exciting way to increase their winnings potentially.

How to Claim Bonus Bets

Guide to Claim Bonus Bets With Sportsbooks

It is often very easy to take advantage of promotional offers and earn bonus bets from online sportsbooks in the United States. Although the specific steps can vary across different platforms and for different opportunities, these are the general steps you will want to take to claim bonus bets now.

1 Find A Bonus Bet Offer

Choose an exciting offer from a sportsbook you trust, and make sure you are eligible to claim this promotional deal.

2 Sign Up for an Account

Begin the registration process by entering all necessary personal information such as name, address, phone number, social security number, and more. You may also need to verify your identity by following the platform's instructions.

3 Opt In to the Promotion

You may need to choose to opt in to the welcome offer or promotional deal by selecting the option during the registration process or when making a deposit. A promo code will sometimes be required.

4 Make a Qualifying Deposit or Wager

You will generally need to make a qualifying deposit or wager to receive your bonus bets. Be sure to adhere to the promotional offer's terms and conditions provided by the sportsbook.

5 Receive Your Bonus Bets

The bonus bets will generally be credited to your account immediately or within a few days. You can then use the bonus bets to start placing wagers on matchups or sporting events of your choice. Make sure to use the bonus before it expires!

Helpful Tips for Claiming & Using Bonus Bets

Listed below are a few tips that you may find helpful when claiming and using your bonus bets with your sportsbook.

  • Read the Terms & Conditions: Before claiming or using your bet credits, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the rules and requirements for the promotional offer in which you are participating. The bonus bets may only be available for use on certain types of wagers (straight bets, futures, etc.) or when odds requirements are met (e.g., -110 or longer).
  • Maximize Your Benefits: Every opportunity to earn bonus bets and bet credits is different. For example, certain promotional deals offer greater amounts of bonus bets for larger initial wagers and first deposits. As a result, you will always want to be aware of how you can maximize your benefits and, depending on your risk tolerance and betting style, act accordingly.
  • Place Bets Strategically: It is always important to make sure that you use your bonus bets strategically based on the terms and conditions of the promotional offer. For instance, some sportsbooks will provide $200 in bonus bets if you win your first wager on the platforms. When claiming these offers, it may be a good idea to figure out the odds requirement and place your qualifying wager on the lowest possible odds to increase your chance of success.

Bonus Bets FAQ

How Are Bonus Bets Paid Out?

If a bonus bet is successful, the bettor will get the full winnings from the wager added to their account balance. However, the initial bonus amount is not included in the payout.

Do Bonus Bets Expire?

Bonus bets typically expire within a week or month after they are awarded to a user. It is always important to read the fine print when claiming a promotional offer and make sure that the bonus does not go to waste.

Can I Withdraw Bonus Bets?

Bonus bets are not real, withdrawable funds. Bonus bets provided by U.S. sportsbooks can only be used to place sports wagers. However, if your bonus bets are successful, their winnings can be withdrawn, assuming all wagering requirements are met.

Is a Bonus Bet the Same as a Free Bet?

Bonus bets are occasionally referred to as “free bets” or "risk-free bets." They generally have the same meaning; however, “free bet” is not the most accurate term because it is often not free and requires real-money deposits and wagers to be made in order to earn them.

Are Bonus Bets Real Money?

Bonus bets, formerly referred to as free or promotional bets, are not real money but promotional offers from sportsbooks. They can only be used for placing wagers and often come with restrictions, such as wagering requirements, expiration dates, and specific market limitations.