Martin Lewis gives updated advice on premium bonds
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Every month, National Savings and Investment (NS&I) pays out millions of prizes as part of its Premium Bonds prize draw, with two savers winning £1million. Bondholders can deposit and withdraw money from their accounts whenever they want, but unlike traditional savings accounts, interest isn’t paid out monthly.
Instead, there’s a monthly prize draw which offers savers the chance to win up to £1million.
Currently, the annual prize fund rate for Premium Bonds stands at one percent but this is subject to change.
The results of the next draw will be revealed on May 4, offering bond holders potential winnings from £25 to £1million.
NS&I said people can “further their chances to win” the monthly draws by topping up regularly each month.
Because of the prize fund rate aspect, savers who expect or require a guaranteed return on their savings generally avoid this product.
Bond holders with £5,000 or more invested are more likely to win due to the way the bonds work, according to Martin Lewis.
He wrote on MoneySavingExpert.com: “The more bonds you have, the closer you get to the prize fund rate, and this is where the scales start to tip in Premium Bonds’ favour.”
This is because each bond is purchased at £1 and like any prize draw, the more one buys, the higher their chances of winning.
There are estimated 21 million bond holders currently in the UK, many of which reinvest any winnings they receive to buy more bonds.
Bond holders can invest as little as £25 to purchase Premium Bonds.
The maximum holding level is £50,000.
As a Government-backed savings and investment institution, Premium Bonds is considered a secure and safe option for savers as their money is protected.
Customers can choose to have their prizes paid directly to their bank account.
Alternatively they can choose to have their wins automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds.
By having prizes paid directly, it reduces the number of prizes that go unclaimed and means that customers can benefit from their wins more quickly, NS&I explained.
Premium Bonds holders can check to see if they have won a prize in March’s prize draw, by using the nsandi.com prize checker.
There are many theories as to what can help Britons to be more likely to secure a prize each month. However, these have often been dispelled as just rumour, with the system operating in a specific way.
NS&I has rejected this claim, instead explaining how its Bonds draw works on a monthly basis.
It said: “The machine we use to generate the numbers for each prize draw—ERNIE—generates numbers completely at random, which are then matched to our database of eligible Bonds to determine the winners.
“Since no Bonds are actually entered into ERNIE, it doesn’t ‘know’ anything about the Bonds themselves, such as whether the Bond number is part of a sequence of numbers or not.”
Savers may be surprised to find there is no sophisticated trick to increasing their chances.
Instead, NS&I explains individuals will simply have to hold more Premium Bonds to have a greater chance of clinching a prize.
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