When you play bingo online, do you do it just for the fun, for the winnings, for the company in the chat rooms or for the loyalty rewards?
For many it will be a combination of all of the above, but these days, with so much choice when it comes to bingo sites to play at, the operators are really having to raise their game to keep players coming back.
It is difficult for the sites to just throw out random bonuses to players as they used to in an effort to entice them back, as they now have tax implications. So, we are currently in an era where we expect to see many of the sadly neglected bingo loyalty schemes get an overhaul to encourage regular play at one particular site and strong benefits of becoming a VIP member.
We have been taking a look at what is currently on offer from some of the major online bingo providers in early 2018.
The content on this page is relevant as of March 2018. It may be subject to change as the operators listed below alter their offering. Please read all terms and conditions from your operator if you wish to enjoy the VIP and loyalty experiences on offer. These are for existing and paying players 18+ only.
1. Playtech/Virtue Fusion
Playtech Bingo offers a massive omni-channel bingo portfolio and the Playtech One platform so you can enjoy a variety of games seamlessly across any device.
The company provides a bespoke service to the sites on its network and that means that the base product can be tweaked to meet the individual requirements of each operator should they want that level of input and not just the base package.
This extends as far as the loyalty schemes you will find on Playtech bingo sites. While at entry level things may seem quite standard and mainstream with points for playing and depositing, as you move up the levels regular players benefit from real-time automation, meaning the sites have the intelligence marketing tool to enable them to reward customers in real time based on their gameplay.
We can get the full picture from a few examples of bingo loyalty schemes at Playtech platform bingo sites here: https://www.whichbingo.co.uk/software/playtech-bingo/
2. Gala Bingo
Now most people will be aware that at Gala Bingo they want you to ‘Play Happy’, thanks to abundant TV advertising, but did you also know that they also have a motto of ‘Let Happy Points put a smile on your face’ as part of their loyalty scheme. Add to that the ‘Happy Hub’ you will find on the site where the site sets out to ensure everyone who visits the site can play and stay happy and you have a site with a strong sense of community.
You’ll earn Happy Points every time you buy bingo tickets or play any slots or games that are under or featured in the specific ‘Slots and Games’ tab with cash funds.
There are six initial levels
- Chilled Entry level
- Cheery at 3,000 Points
- Chirpy at 12,000 Points
- Cheeky at 25,000 Points
- Chipper Invite Only
- Chuffed Invite Only
Points are calculated on your play on a calendar monthly basis. The points for the period reset to 0 at the end of the month, but this does not affect your redeemable points.
If you do not maintain the points needed for the level you are on, you will move down a level.
That might seem a bit harsh, but it’s amazing how quickly the points add up if you play regularly, especially bingo.
Every £1 spent on qualifying games is worth points – different amounts of points depending on whether you are spending on bingo, slots or games and on your loyalty level. The higher your level the more Happy Points you’ll earn each time you play.
What do I get for my Points?
You can redeem points from 100 upwards and every 1,000 points is worth £1 to play with.
In addition Gala Bingo takes the time and effort to tailor promotions around the differing loyalty levels too, so you actually feel a benefit of moving through the ranks. For example, there are Loyalty Free Bingo Rooms where there is a session each week, a different one for each loyalty level and again, the higher your level the better the prize pots you play for, from £100 at Chilled level to £400 at Cheeky and bigger and better at the invite only levels.
At Chipper level you start to feel the benefits of becoming a VIP; it’s a bit like being a pre-VIP as you will notice that the Points are the same, but you will get a designated manager to ensure you are enjoying the games and sometimes to make special offers.
You will really notice a difference when you are invited to become a Chuffed VIP. There are exclusive promotions and bonuses, extra-special prizes, exclusive bingo three nights a week in a private room, weekly deposit rewards plus double loyalty points on all your play every Saturday, plus much more.
Because there is so much choice at Gala Bingo, if you play there regularly you may be invited to move beyond Chuffed to enter the true VIP levels. These go from Bronze to Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond and you will get special invites to events that will include celebrity meet and greets, VIP events like attending the National Television Awards and the legendary Gala Bingo VIP parties.
We have to agree with Gala’s own words on this scheme – “you don’t know VIP until you’ve experienced Gala Bingo VIP!”
3. Mecca Bingo
At Mecca Bingo you will find Play Points with the tag line o ‘Play-Collect-Redeem’.
You don’t have to do anything to join Mecca Play Points loyalty scheme – just play bingo, both online and on your mobile. There may also be special promotions from time to time that have Points as part of the prize.
There are 5 Play Points levels and the higher the level you’re part of, the more bonus points and treats you can get:
- Pink – Entry Level
- Orange – at 1,000 Points
- Green – at 3,500 Points
- Blue – at 10,000 Points
- VIP – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels
The Points are calculated on every £1 spent on your bingo play calendar monthly and if you don’t maintain your spend levels from one month to another you may move back down to the previous Play Points Level.
What do I get for my Points?
The site will let you know about the great promotions planned for your particular Play Points level, but as you would expect there are some unique features about this Mecca Bingo loyalty scheme.
Redeem your Play Points for bingo bonus of all games bonus, although the redemption rates are different. On bingo 1,000 Points can be redeemed for £1 of bingo bonus, but you need 2,000 Points for £1 of all games bonus. You can redeem from 500 Points.
As well as being able to redeem Points for bonus funds each level has various additional features, such as a Birthday Bonus, Double or Triple Points days, free bingo rooms and a prize draw – each one with a better prize as you move up the levels.
These could be anything from Love2Shop vouchers to an iPad or a TV. There is a draw for each level each month, but you have to enter a code specific to your loyalty level to be in the draw.
Mecca Bingo also features a unique Play Points Store where you can swap your Play Points for fantastic goodies and Bingo Bonus. The goodies on offer range from Mecca merchandise to Leisure Vouchers to wallets to coffee makers.
This operator has kept things very simple and has not changed its loyalty scheme for many years. It doesn’t have anything that particularly makes it stand out and it is one that could be due for an early overhaul.
The base Dragonfish Network loyalty scheme is based purely on deposits and your loyalty level is recalculated on a monthly basis according to the volume of Jewels accumulated from the deposits made during the month.
Every £1 deposit is equivalent to 12 Jewels and the count updates every 24 hours.
- Bingo Rookie – new member 0 Jewels
- Bingo Pro – 1 to 599 Jewels
- Bingo Master – 600 to 2,399 Jewels
- Bingo Champ – 2,400 and over
The sites’ have the right to upgrade or downgrade any player from any Loyalty level on its own sole discretion.
What do I get for my Jewels/Points
Loyalty Benefits are calculated at the beginning of each calendar month, with regards to the previous months’ activity.
Every level enjoys access to a free bingo room with varying levels of prizes. That is the only perk for a Rookie.
When you make a deposit and become a Bingo Pro you get 5% monthly bingo bonus cashback, 5 bonus spins and 2 tickets to the Big £10k game.
Become a Bingo Master to get 10% bingo bonus cashback, plus 5% slots bonus cashback and 5 tickets to the Big £10k game.
Bingo Champs enjoy 15% bingo cashback, 10% slots bonus cashback, 15 bonus spins and 10 tickets to the Big £10k game.
The most loyal players get much more with special promotions, monthly cash-back and even a personal VIP representative.
Cashback bonus is a percentage from losing bets, paid as bonus to accounts the following month, calculated as a percentage of Real Money Wager – Real Money Wins and paid as either Games Bonus or Bingo Bonus with a maximum reward set at £100.
5. Dragonfish Alternative Schemes
Now that is all well and good, but some operators utilising Dragonfish software go a step further. The Mandalay network for instance that takes in the likes of Costa Bingo, Sing Bingo, Wish Bingo and many more have their own loyalty scheme called…
The Diamond Club
You’ll automatically become member of this loyalty programme as soon as you register an account with sites on this network and make your first deposit. With every deposit, you’re moving up the VIP levels.
You immediately access the Diamond Club, where every pound wagered earns you a Diamond. With every new VIP level reached you unlock more purchase options you can get them for less Diamonds. You can use them to ‘buy’ deposit bonuses, bonus spins for your favourite games, exchange them for bonus cash or real cash or get gadgets and branded merchandise.
In addition the sites have exclusive free VIP games available to only Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum VIPs. The higher your VIP level, the more games you can enter.
The beauty of this scheme is that you do not have a different balance of Diamonds at every Mandalay site you may be a member of – the balance is cumulative across all the sites.
The xCite scheme
8BG is a subsidiary of Stride Gaming and they have a range of sites across many different bingo software platforms. With many of the platforms they maintain the standard loyalty scheme of the software, but on their Dragonfish sites they have stepped outside the box a little with the xCite scheme.
At most of their sites you will see it listed by this name in the promotions section, but at sites with an active Bingo Manager the scheme will have a more specific name such as Ruby’s Rewards at Glitter Bingo or VIPink Rewards at Lippy Bingo or We Want Rewards at We Want Bingo. Ultimately though they are the same thing.
You get rewarded for playing with a particular site as you will progress through the levels and unlock offers such as weekly cash back, birthday bonuses and incredible special VIP gifts such as gadgets or city breaks.
In this instance the scheme is not linked and cumulative as with The Diamond Club – you have to stick to one brand to reap the benefits.
The standard levels are Rookie, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Elite levels are reached at Ruby and Emerald.
At Cozy sites you do not need to opt-in to the loyalty scheme, you are automatically included on registration. Depending at the site you play on you will earn 1 loyalty point for either every £1 or £2 you wager in real money of bingo or for £10 spent on slots – nothing in this game for blackjack or roulette!
Be sure to check out the details of the particular offer at the site you play at as we have found slight differences as mentioned above
What do I get for my Points?
There are four initial levels in the Cozy Loyalty Scheme:
- Silver – from entry to 1,000 Points
- Gold – 1,001 to 2,500 Points
- VIP – 2,501 to 5,000 Points
- SVIP – 5,001 Points and over
At these levels you will receive from 100% bonus to 250% bonus on every deposit made.
After that there is a VIP Club to which access is by invitation only and that is when things get really interesting. At this level you can look forward to more bonuses and rewards, free spins, real cashback every week, new game previews and best of all invites to events such as VIP parties, concerts, sporting events and even holidays.
At these sites redeeming points still has limitations at the time of writing. You can redeem for cash or bonus from a minimum of 100 Points, but with a maximum weekly limit of 800 Points, plus you must have made a deposit between Sunday and Saturday in the week you want to redeem.
This is the software that powers Jackpotjoy and Heart Bingo to name just two. For such a small platform you will still find that the loyalty schemes have different names, although they operate in the same way. At Jackpotjoy you earn Joy Points and at Heart Bingo they are simply Reward Points.
What do I get for my Points?
You can transfer your Reward Points into cash with each one worth 1p. Each Point is worth 1p in cash and there is no minimum amount you need before being able to convert.
It’s a very simple mechanic and there are no bells and whistles. There are no levels to work through so no striving to earn a set amount of Points in a month to achieve a certain level of benefits.
These sites have a loyalty and VIP team that monitor natural play habits to determine any extra loyalty bonuses they think might be appropriate or whether a player is suitable for VIP status.
They have fantastic VIP perks, but don’t confirm the criteria that is used to assign a VIP status because as a responsible operator they want members to continue to play at their own natural level and not more in the hope of achieving this status that cannot be guaranteed.
If you’re eligible to become a VIP member you get updated via email or telephone and send you a welcome email that lets you know more about the exclusive VIP bonuses, events, and promotions.
Having said that the sites offer a premium VIP loyalty program to VIP customers and there is a dedicated VIP Team on hand 5 days a week.
As a VIP you can enjoy all of the following benefits:
- VIP-only exclusive promotions
- A dedicated VIP Account Management team
- Regular VIP Box Bonanza games with the chance to win cash prizes
- The chance to win a cash prize on your birthday, and gifts at Christmas
VIPs also have the chance to be invited to prestigious group events, such as:
- Ladies Day at Royal Ascot
- Top international rugby games
- Cheltenham Gold Cup
- Summer and Winter VIP Parties
- VIP-only luxury holidays
When a member becomes a VIP, they hold the VIP status for a minimum of two months. In order to maintain the VIP status a member must continue to qualify as a VIP, playing at their natural level of play.
As you can see loyalty to an online bingo site is quite prized by the operators and if you play at a few different sites, it may be worth choosing a favourite and playing just there for a few months to see if you could benefit more from some to the treats and perks afforded to players regarded as VIPs who make the most of these bingo loyalty schemes.