By Anna Paone
For the starting fantasy player, your jaw may drop at the prospect of winning real money playing fun sports games online. I know mine did. But then comes cold, hard reality–what can you afford to put in, and how can you maximize it?
I’m not yet a “real” bettor, or at least not an experienced one, but I’m always looking for a deal. (As an NYC resident, I’m forever dragging out-of-town friends to dive bars and dumpling spots to show them that the city prices can be gamed.) I’ll show you how to start out with FanDuel by finding some great promotions.
Let’s first look at the offers you get for signing up. Just like in online shopping (yes, I’m comparing daily fantasy sports to shopping), it’s easiest if you can get some breaks up front, and ones that you know are reliable and coming directly from the company. Note that promo codes on FanDuel are, generally speaking, for new users, though the helpful customer service may be willing to retroactively apply a code within 48 hours of a first deposit on a case-by-case basis.
Right away when I signed up, FanDuel offered me the chance to use a voucher to play a free entry every night until I win cash. I don’t know about you, but that jump-started me and made me feel confident that I wouldn’t lose anything right away. FanDuel also typically offers a 20% bonus on my first deposit of $10 or more–up to $100. This was front and center in my welcome email–no digging around required. In fact, the second day I was on the site I got an email reiterating this, which was a fun reminder.
But good things also come to those who search, and once I Googled “FanDuel promo codes,” I saw an offer on FanDuel itself for 40% bonus pay with my first deposit, also up to $100. This was clearly noted, with a clear link to offer details–no deceptive fine print. While I might be a little wary of depositing too much, I’ll want to calculate what buck will give me the most bang in terms of the bonus.
You should note that, as of May 17, the Play Free Till You Win vouchers for the NBA, MLB, and PGA were only valid until May 31. Still, that seems perfectly fair, especially since, once I’d signed up, I was eager to get started. I also like how you had this array of spring sports to choose from–MLB and NBA running daily, PGA running weekly. And for those of us who are a little weaker with math–and yes, even if we enjoy stats, we exist!–the FanDuel offers page has some easy calculations. “Deposit $5,” the website reads, and “get $1 credit (20%).” One dollar sounds a lot better when you know it’s such a big bonus percentage-wise. As mentioned before, I might be wary of spending $100 to start, but I know I’ll probably spend that eventually, and I then get a $30 credit. Even I can tell that’s 30%–not too shabby.
The offers page also explains that bonuses come in the form of FanDuel Points (FDP). 2,400 FDP equals $1, and it’s easy to select the appropriate FDP when entering a paid contest. Another reason to want a high bonus to start! These bonus FDP, like the Play Free Till You Win vouchers, currently expire May 31.
And don’t forget to keep checking back on the site. New promotions come up all the time, like a Free Entry to a $100,000 MLB contest that expired last night. You’re not in daily fantasy because you’re bad at keeping on top of things, so keep yourself informed of these deals!
But what about finding promotions other ways? Beyond the coupon-aggregate sites, many ancillary daily fantasy sites have info on some tantalizing offers. The website DailyFantasyCafe.com offers five free contest entries with a click on any of their banners. And in this case, it’s as simple as a click–no promo codes required.
Meanwhile, DFSreport.com has an exclusive deal with FanDuel for a free voucher to a paid NBA contest with a deposit of $10-$99 by a new player. You can get up to three free vouchers this way. LegalSportsReport.com has a similar offer for May 2018–up to three free vouchers as a bonus on first deposit for a paid-entry NBA contest. Again, all that’s required is clicking on their affiliate links.
Perhaps the most attractive third-party offer currently is Rotogrinders’ three months of Rotogrinders Premium for FanDuel with your first deposit, plus the more typical 20% bonus up to $50, and “play free contests until you win cash.” If you’re looking to break down complete daily stats, having Premium is a nice advantage.
What about the coupon-aggregate sites, such as you might use when shopping for something besides pitchers and point guards? Since FanDuel’s promo codes are generally for first-time users, you might already be set with the offers mentioned above. And, as with any other coupon, you’ll want to check the expiration date and success rate (generally sourced from users who report if they were successful or not). But if you can find an active one that fits your needs, it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Going back to the all-important question of deposits, while you’re out there choosing how much money to deposit, don’t forget to check your state’s requirements! Maryland limits deposits to $1,000, as does Massachusetts. Tennessee has a $2,500 limit (this according to Vela Wood Law and other daily-fantasy sites). And it’s good to be up-to-date on your state’s fantasy sports policies, anyway. Fortunately, nowadays DraftKings and FanDuel are active in a majority of states.
Coming back around to promo codes, FanDuel’s thorough help section also encourages players to write in with promotions or bonuses they want to see. I like that they’ll listen to user ideas.