Fantasy Sports Bonuses and Promotions

Online fantasy is a relatively young market but competition is already heating up. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that more than 41 million North Americans participated in at least one fantasy league in 2014, mostly in traditional leagues hosted in the real world. Those in the industry understand the implication: there is a lot of room for growth in daily fantasy betting.

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Apart from massive advertising campaigns, one of the primary ways in which fantasy sites compete for your business is through the use of bonuses and promotions. All the major sites are already handing out bonuses worth hundreds of dollars in return for customers signing up and trying a few real money leagues.

It’s good to be a customer in the world of online fantasy. You have dozens of sites at your fingertips and almost all of them are handing out cash like nobody’s business. With that in mind, we figured it would be good to put together a guide to fantasy bonuses and promos. On this page, we will look at all the major bonuses that are running right now, explain how they work and then leave it up to you to decide which bonuses work best for you.

First Deposit Bonuses

First time deposit bonuses are offered to all potential customers as an incentive to sign up and make a deposit. Each fantasy sites on the market knows that the first step in creating a long term customer is to get that first deposit. Once you get a taste for the games, the hope is that you stick around and help the site grow.

A typical welcome bonus adds extra cash to your first deposit. In most cases, it is issued as percentage-match bonus. This means that the size of your bonus is determined by the size of your first deposit. For example, a 100% welcome bonus would double your first deposit. If you plop down $100, they will add $100 on top of that, giving you a total of $200 to play with.

Clearing a Bonus

The thing to keep in mind is that deposit bonuses are not free money. Every bonus offer comes with terms and conditions. Most common among these is a requirement that you participate in some number of real money leagues before the bonus cash can be withdrawn or used to buy in to contests.

Are fantasy bonuses a good deal?

Yes. Although all bonuses come with fine print, most are a good deal. You get extra cash in return for doing something that you probably would have done anyways. A deposit bonus just makes the deal a little sweeter for the new player.

If you have any intent on participating in real money leagues, you might as well get a bonus while you’re at it. You can play in games like you would have anyways while slowly releasing the bonus cash. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Let’s take a look at some of the welcome bonuses that are available today.

FanDuel: 5 Free Contest Entries

FanDuel welcomes all new customers with 5 free double-up contest entries. The value of each entry varies based on the amount you deposit. Smaller deposits give you entry to smaller buy-in contests while larger deposits give you entry to more expensive contests.

If You Deposit:You Get:
$10 - $24.995 free entries to $0.25 50/50 contests
$25 - $99.995 free entries to $1 50/50 contests
$100 - $199.995 free entries to $5 50/50 contests
$200+5 free entries to $10 50/50 contests

Visit FanDuel:

DraftKings: 100% up to $600

The welcome bonus at is a simple offer to let you play in one $3 contest free of charge for any sport you like. All you need to do is sign up for an account and make a deposit. Your first real money contest is on the house.

Visit DraftKings:

More Welcome Bonuses

FanDuel and DraftKings are not the only fantasy sites that offer bonuses to new customers. Plenty of other sites also host their own welcome bonuses for first time depositors. Below is a comprehensive list of bonuses offered by all the main sites.

Site NameBonus Match RateMaximum BonusVisit Website
FanDuel5 Free Contest EntriesN/
DraftKingsFree Contest EntryN/

Other Fantasy Betting Promotions

Welcome bonuses are far from the only types of promotions you’ll encounter in your daily fantasy career. Sites are always coming up with some new promo or other as an incentive to keep you happy and active. The possible varieties are endless so for now I’ll just cover a few of the most basic types of promos you’re likely to see.

Promos change all the time but you’ll be notified by e-mail whenever your site comes up with something new. The main thing to remember is that it is important to read all the details before you take up any offer. Read the fine print and make sure the promotion works with your budget and style of play.

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses are just like welcome bonuses. The only difference is that reload bonuses are open to existing customers who may have already made a deposit in the past. Some sites randomly offer reload bonuses to everyone while others sometimes send you an offer via e-mail if it’s been a while since your last deposit.

Any reload bonus that you get will also come with clearing requirements. What this means is you’ll be asked to participate in some number of real money leagues before you can withdraw the bonus or use it to enter paid contests.

Free Entry to Daily Fantasy Leagues

Free entry promos let you participate in certain contests without paying the buyin like you normally would. Sometimes these are just small contests while other times you can join large tournaments with major prize pools.

It’s quite common to see free entry tickets offered as an incentive for depositing. For example, DraftKings is currently offering a 100% deposit bonus AND free entry to one paid contest. Sometimes you even get free entries just for signing up. Back when I first joined DraftKings, they let me play in one $1 heads-up NFL league. It wasn’t the most valuable thing in the world, but it was nice because it gave me a chance to test the games there without depositing.

Frequent Player Points

Most fantasy sites have some sort of rewards program designed to encourage player loyalty. For example, FanDuel awards FanDuel Points (FDPs) every time you enter a game. These points add up over time and can be used to take advantage of other promos or enter paid contests for free.

Refer-a-Friend Programs

Any fantasy site that doesn’t have a refer-a-friend program is missing out on loads of potential customers. In this competitive market, all the big names have referral programs that are designed to reward you for inviting other people to sign up and play.

Each site does it a little differently, but most give you extra cash in return for every paying customer you refer. Some sites give you a percentage of whatever your friends spend on contests while others give you a flat fee for each person you invite. One easy way to make a load of quick cash is to invite all your buddies from your real-world fantasy league. There are millions of fantasy players who have not yet tried online fantasy betting.

Major Contests

The largest fantasy sites all host the occasional major contest that offer significantly larger-than-normal prize pools. FanDuel and DraftKings are the most noteworthy examples of this type of promo. Both of those sites host special events every year for each sport.

Here are a couple of examples from last year that show just how lucrative major contests can be.

DraftKings: $2.2 Million Millionaire Maker

The flagship NFL event for 2014 at DraftKings was a $2.2 million guaranteed contest with a $1,000,000 first place prize. People were able to buy in direct for just $27 or win seats through satellite events for as little as $0.25.

draftkings millionaire

DraftKings saw a lot of growth last year and ended up hosting a couple of these Millionaire Maker events. It’s amazing to think that normal people actually turned into millionaires just for playing fantasy football online.

FanDuel: World Fantasy Football Championship

If you thought $2.2 million was a lot of money for a fantasy league, just take a look at last year’s flagship NFL event at FanDuel. The 2014 World Fantasy Football Championship awarded a total of $10 million in prizes with $2,000,000 of that going straight to the first place winner.

In this event, 100 finalists were flown to Las Vegas to participate in the grand championship at the Cosmopolitan. First place paid $2 million, second place paid $1 million, 3rd place paid $500,000 and the prizes from there went all the way down to 100th place who got $15,000. This all came in addition to free travel, free lodging and three days of partying in Vegas.

Contests in Other Leagues

The NFL naturally generates the most interest but all major sports leagues have some sort of flagship event with a large prize pool. You’ll find special events year-round for whatever sport is in season. Large contests are hosted for the MLB, NBA, college sports and more. One of our plans with is to keep you updated on important contests at all the major fantasy sites. Check back in with the FantasySites Blog for all the latest updates.