Have you got your hands on a Pensioner Bond yet? If not, it's time you got in on the action! These accounts (officially known as the 65+ Guaranteed Growth Bonds) have been flying off the shelves, and although they've only been on sale for less than three weeks, a large chunk of the overall investment allowance has already been sold. In fact, £1.2 billion was sold in the first two days, but there's still time – if you're quick about it.
The chance to secure rates that are far higher than anything else on the market means demand is through the roof, with the one-year bond offering a fixed rate of 2.80% and the three-year equivalent paying an impressive 4%. The top-paying alternatives currently offer just 1.90% (Al Rayan Bank's Fixed Term Deposit) and 2.50% (Harrods Bank 3 Year Fixed Rate Deposit) respectively, so it isn't hard to see the appeal of the Pensioner Bond.
So, if you qualify, these accounts should be snapped up. The Government has set the overall investment allowance at £10 billion, and although that sounds like a lot, the level of demand is equally as high. There's every chance that the bonds could sell out in the next few weeks – rather than six months, as the Chancellor originally predicted – so if you've got at least £500 to invest and are willing to lock your money away for the required term, it's time to take action.
Much was made of the difficulty in applying for these bonds when they were first launched, with NS&I's website buckling under the pressure and crashing within hours of the accounts going on sale. But, since then, the initial furore has died down – which means it's time to head back online.
You could apply by phone should you wish, but chances are it'll take a lot longer. Not only were phone lines jam-packed on launch day, but it looks as though they still are, as even now, NS&I has a warning on its site saying they're experiencing "a very high volume of calls" to their contact centre. Postal applications will also still be welcomed, but given that these bonds have already been on sale for a while, they could be approaching the end of their subscription limit – and if your postal application gets there too late, you've lost out.
That's why applying online will be your best bet. It has the distinct advantage of being immediate, as you'll fill in a simple form and will be told instantly that you've got your bond, so there'll be no hanging around and wondering if it's all gone through. There shouldn't be any further difficulties in applying in this way, either, so it should be far quicker and simpler. Just watch out for scams – these bonds are ONLY available through NS&I, so if you see them offered anywhere else, steer clear.
But, no matter how you choose to apply, the bond should be at the top of the agenda for anyone who meets the criteria. "Quite simply, the Pensioner Bond is the only risk-free savings account available that offers high returns," said Sylvia Waycot, editor of Moneyfacts.co.uk. "It's therefore a no-brainer that you consider it if you're eligible for the account. Yes, the tax has to be claimed back, and it's true the initial launch created a lot of frustration, but at the end of the day, the rates are still the best around."
So, it's time to get serious and get your account before it's too late! If you still need convincing, read more about them in our Pensioner Bond FAQs to find everything you need to know. Alternatively, if you don't qualify, all is not lost – we outline a few Pensioner Bond alternatives that can help every saver secure the best rates possible.
Compare the best fixed rate bonds
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