A BIG change is coming to a popular account used by millions of savers.
Premium Bonds holders will have a better chance of winning big money prizes from July.
The Premium Bonds prize fund ratio will hit a 15-year high from the July draw, increasing from 3.30% to 3.70%.
This means there will be an additional £39m colossal prize pool for bondholders.
The odds of each £1 Premium Bond winning the prize will remain at 24,000 to one.
But people will have more chances each month to win prizes worth between £50 and £100,000.
The smaller £25 prize pool is estimated to be reduced in July.
Among the changes, savings giant NS&I estimates there will be 71 prizes worth £100,000 in July, up from 63 awards in June.
There will be an estimated 141 prizes worth £50,000, up from 125 in June.
And around 284 prizes worth £25,000 are expected to be awarded, up from 252 in June.
The estimated £1 million prize pool will remain the same, at two.
What are premium bonds?
Premium bonds are a way to save but are different from savings accounts because they don’t yield interest – more than 22 million people own them.
Instead, you have the chance to regularly win prizes of up to £1 million.
Premium bonds can be purchased from government-backed National Savings and Investments (NS&I) also offers a variety of savings products.
You can deposit and withdraw whenever you want.
You need to deposit a minimum of £25 to get started and you can invest up to £50,000.
Every £1 you put into a Premium Bond is one entry into the monthly sweepstakes.
Because Premium Bonds are backed by the government, your money is safe and there is no risk of losing cash.
What is a Premium Bond Award?
Lotteries are held every month and winning numbers are chosen by a computer called ERNIE (short for electronic random indicator device).
There are three types of awards as follows:
- Prizes worth more than £5,000, £10,000, £25,000, £50,000, £100,000 and £1million
- Prizes worth £500 and £1,000
- Prizes worth less than £25, £50 and £100
How likely am I to be a winner?
The chances of winning the prize, with a personal bond, are 24,000 to one.
Each bond has an equal chance of winning, and the more you buy, the higher your chances of winning.
Most Premium Bonds savers will find that their investments don’t keep up with inflation, but it’s hard to find savings accounts that also beat inflation.
You can check your odds depending on how many bonds you have and how long you will hold them using this Useful calculator from MoneySavingExpert.
That makes it easy to see if Premium Bonds are right for you or if you should use other forms of savings.
It’s also important to note that Premium Bonds winnings are tax-free.
Anyone who has exhausted their annual ISA and personal savings allowance may want to check out Premium Bonds for savings.
How do I check if I have won??
You can use Online NS&I Premium Bond Award Checker to see if your number has gone up.
You will need to know the Premium Bond number which can be found in your Bond profile or through your online account.
If you lose track of your numbers, you can ask NS&I for them.
For this, you will need to use your NS&I number instead of each Premium Bond number.
It is 11 digits long and will be in any communication you have with NS&I.
You don’t always need to check your numbers as you can get prizes under £5,000 paid directly to your bank account or automatically buy more Premium Bonds.
For prizes of more than £5,000 NS&I will contact you by post and if you win a £1 million jackpot someone will visit you to notify you. know!
NS&I will no longer mail prize checks.
How do premium bonds compare?
Before you sign up, it’s important to check how it compares to the rest of the market to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
We used The truth about money to compare NS&I’s rates on its Direct Saver account with other easily accessible accounts on the market today.
Chip’s Easy Access Saver is currently offering an interest rate of 3.40% – which is the highest of those accounts available.
While savers can open a Leeds Building Association fixed-rate cash ISA and get 4.20%.
Or you can get one year fixed rate with Isbank Raisin for 4.10%.
So you should consider what is best for you.
Always compare accounts before opening one and make sure you understand how much you can save over a period of time.