Those that tend to place bets on a regular basis know that the best thing to do is to ‘play the game’ a little and have accounts with a number of different bookmakers. This allows you to not only find the best odds but also take advantage of the various offers that companies put forward on a regular basis in order to firstly attract and then maintain their customer base. There’s also the fact that some bookies are better than others at covering specific sports, so it’s handy to be able to chop and change depending on the bets that you’re looking to place and the coverage that they offer.
The explosion of top-class websites over the past few years, to say nothing of the applications made for mobile phones that allow you to bet on the go, have probably kept you out of the various bookmakers shops on the high street in recent times, but if you’re anything like me then you’ll still go in from time then there are some added advantages to be had. One of the things that’s likely kept you out of the physical shops in favour of sticking with your online betting routine is the fact that you can move money around much faster online, as well as the fact that if you place an ante-post bet then you don’t need to worry about finding the time to go into a shop in order to collect your winnings.
Bookies aren’t stupid, though, and they’ve noticed that these are reasons why punters aren’t opening their door as regularly as they used to. The country’s leading bookmakers therefore came up with an idea to combat these objections that combine the benefits of betting online with the convenience of doing so in a shop you’re walking past. Online betting sites with high street shops have launched store cards can be used to deposit and withdraw from online accounts almost instantly, in cash that doesn’t need to go through a bank. They can also be used to get additional promotions, loyalty points and free bets and can allow you to even play casino games online using cash if you want to.
Multi-Channel Store Cards From UK Bookmakers
Here I have a look at the different schemes that are on offer for you to take advantage of, explaining how they work and what you can do to make sure you get the best value possible.
Let’s start with the nitty-gritty of the cards and what they offer punters. There are four main bookies that have a store card scheme, so I’ll look at them each in turn and then discuss what you might want to think about.
LADBROKES: The Grid
The Grid helps you to unify your online and real-life accounts, but it’s primarily useful because it’s something of a one-stop-shop for all of your betting needs. Ladbrokes have taken the approach that if you’re going to offer a service that is supposed to streamline things then you’re best off ensuring that customers actually find it useful. As a result, the system allows you to place a bet online before withdrawing the cash in a shop, making life considerably easier. You can also deposit funds in a shop that will then appear on your online account, which is handy if you happen to have some cash on you for whatever reason and don’t want to wait for it to clear into your bank account before you can bet with it online.
The real key thing as far as The Grid is concerned is that you can keep an eye on all of your bets in one place so you don’t forget what it is that you’re waiting for to come in. You can place a bet in a shop, for example, and as long as you’ve done so with your The Grid card it will come up in your online account. Likewise you can view your online bets in-store and make decisions about whether to Cash Out or leave it riding. The Grid system offers detailed stats on all of the most popular sports, assisting you in the research that I always say that you should do. Whether you want to place an accumulator bet and want to do so via an electronic system rather than writing it all down or you want to accumulate points from all of your bets in order to take advantage of loyalty offers, you’ll be able to do it with The Grid.
Placing a bet through the Grid also gives access to live streaming, offers such as best odds guaranteed on UK racing and cash out facilities.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
The Coral Connect system is similar to The Grid, which isn’t a major surprise considering the fact that the two companies merged in recent years. In all honestly, Coral Connect probably offers a little bit less than The Grid, but it’s still worth getting if you’re a Coral customer. You can do the same things as with your Ladbrokes account in terms of depositing cash in store for your online account or withdrawing winnings in-store for a bet you won online, but you don’t get the ability to track your bets from both disciplines like you do with The Grid.
You will get offers and promotions through the Coral Connect card, meaning that your in-store betting will be similar to those you place online in the sense that you won’t miss out on any major deals as long as you’re paying attention. The card has a maximum deposit limit of £5,500 per day and a withdrawal amount of £500 per day, but that can be changed if you agree it with the company in advance. Coral like punters who have a Connect card, so they offer promotions to people when they sign up; that’s why I did it, not because I particularly love using Coral’s in-store services but because I thought it was silly not to take advantage of what they had to offer me.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
WILLIAM HILL: Plus
William Hill’s Plus system is similar to the others I’ve told you about here. As well as being able to deposit and withdraw funds to and from your online account inside a William Hill store, the Plus card ensures that in-store customers get similar offers and promotions to those that only use the company’s website. The card is most similar to The Grid in that it allows you to track bets placed in-store via your online account or mobile app.
If you use your Plus card to place bets on the Self-Service Betting Terminals inside a William Hill store then you’ll have the ability to use the Cash Out function which is normally reserved for online wagers. If you like the sound of all of this and want to get yourself one of the cards then you’ll need to register online first before picking it up from one of the shops and registering it. You can then deposit up to £2,500 a week onto it and withdraw up the same amount.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
PADDY POWER: Cash Card PPLus
With deposits and withdrawals as little as £1 permitted, Paddy Power’s card is one to consider if you’re interested in the idea of a cash card but don’t want to invest loads of money finding out how they work. You can use it to play on the company’s gaming and betting machines in-store, which is handy if that’s one of the reasons you go into the shops in the first place. You can, of course, use it to deposit and withdraw online funds in one of the company’s shops, but it’s the other things that Paddy Power offer that will likely snatch your attention.
The PP Card is a basic one, but you can also get a PPlus Mastercard, which allows you to use it like any other credit card to buy things, with the major difference being that it will use your Paddy Power account balance to make payments rather than pre-paid credit. You can have both cards linked to your account too, so you don’t need to limit yourself. The other thing that might interest you is if you’re a Betfair customer; the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair means that you can use your card to deposit money into a Paddy Power shop for your Betfair account.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
Bet Online In Cash Using Bookmaker Store Cards
The absolute stand out betting feature with bookie cash cards is that you can bet online and if your wager is a winning one you can then head into a shop and withdraw the cash from there without the need to wait for it to work its way through the online banking system. That said, there are often limits put in place in terms of how much you can deposit and withdraw, but if you speak to the store in advance then these can be changed for you, and for most typical bettors the limits are high enough.
Of course depositing in cash is also a huge benefit to many, who may not have or want a bank account or who simply want to keep their betting transactions instant and away from a bank altogether. It is worth noting that to have an online account with UK bookies and deposit, bet and withdraw with them you must verify yourself. Even though you don’t necessarily need a bank account you will need to prove your age and residency before you can access the cash card features. The money laundering laws also mean you may be challenged as to the source of any large cash deposits in a shop.
I should also mention PaySafeCard quickly here, too. They don’t offer the same benefits as store cards, but they do give bettors the chance to use cash to place bets thanks to the fact that they work by letting you deposit cash onto them after you’ve used cash to buy vouchers that are then applied to the card. I’ve written about it in more detail elsewhere on the site, but figured it was worth giving the card a brief mention here.
The Grid: Best Bookmaker Cash Card
How long is a piece of string? The reality is that the answer to this question will really depend on your own personal betting habits. If all you do is bet with Paddy Power then you’re not really going to care that Ladbrokes’ card allows you to view stats on sports like horse racing and football, after all. I personally like The Grid the most because of the fact that they’ve tried to make it as all-encompassing as possible, but they’re all much of a muchness to tell you the truth. The Grid also gives users the chance to place bets on horse racing and receive three Best Odds Guarantees a day when they’re normally only for online punters.
I do like the Paddy Power PPlus card though, I have to say. The ability to use it to spend money with my winnings via the MasterCard is a real bonus, especially as I used to move money from my betting account to my current account in order to pay for my shopping. Ultimately, of course, you’ll have your own things that you like and your own personal quirks that will dictate which one you think will be more useful to you. Given that they’re all free to obtain and each of them comes with some offers and promotions, it might be worth getting them all and having a bit of an experiment. When all’s said and done you’ll know much better than me which shops you use and what you normally do when it comes to your betting.
Benefits Of Bookmaker Cash Cards
As is so often the case with schemes, offers and plans released by bookmakers, whether or not you’ll find them useful comes down to how you personal like to place bets. Just as someone who doesn’t like to place accumulator wagers won’t really find much use from an Acca Insurance type offer, so too someone who doesn’t like to step inside a bookies in the real world won’t find much use out of a store card. The system also works best when it’s used in collaboration with an online betting account, so if you consider yourself to be something of a technophobe and haven’t yet opened one you’ll struggle to really get the most out of one.
There are several advantages to these cards, in addition to cash betting, that mean you should consider getting one though, even if you don’t think you’ll make proper use of them. For starters, they often come with promotions of their own that you’ll miss out on if you don’t get one and there are also loyalty points with some of the cards.
If you already bet in store then it makes sense to use something like The Grid as it gives you access to so many more features such as Cash Out, stats, live streaming and the ability to track your bet too.
Of course there are disadvantages to using store cards, namely that you need to go into a store which isn’t always practical or possible for some. The Paddy Power ATM card would possible be of more use in this scenario as you can use the card to withdraw from the hole in the wall as well as pay for things in stores and online, without needing to ever visit a Paddy Power shop.
Play Bingo, Casino and Games Online With Real Cash
The majority of people who read this site will be like me in that they’ll be most interested in sports betting. There are plenty of people out there who like to use their online accounts for the likes of bingo and casino gaming, however, and they’ll be interested to know that you can use money deposited onto your cash cards for whatever you like with your online account.
That means that you could pop into a William Hill store and deposit money into your online gaming account with some cash, then head online and play poker, roulette or bingo using your William Hill account. You’ll often be given bonuses and other offers for doing so, which isn’t a reason to get the card but if you’re going to be betting on those games anyway then it’s worth thinking about.