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Have you won this month’s Premium Bonds?

Have you won this month’s Premium Bonds?

Category: Savings
Author: Leanne Macardle
Date: 01/02/2019

Every month, two lucky Premium Bond holders scoop a £1 million jackpot from NS&I, and thousands of others win smaller amounts ranging from £25 to £100,000. Are you one of them? Find out now!

February's Premium Bond prize winners

February's jackpot winners are a man from Humberside (with the winning bond number 196XA565201) and a man from Devon (bond number 227WY227831), both of whom have had a fantastic start to the month.

The Humberside winner has £30,000 invested in Premium Bonds and is just the third ever jackpot winner from the region, while the Devon winner has a near-maximum of £40,000 invested in Premium Bonds, and is the 14th recipient of the top prize in the county.

However, it isn't all about the big prizes, and you don't need to have the full amount invested to win a substantial sum – this month also saw a £2,100 bond-holder scoop one of the £100,000 prizes, while someone with just £100 invested and another with £159 will find themselves £5,000 richer, showing that everyone's got a chance to win big.

This month, the total prize fund stood at £92,144,925, with 3,223,731 prizes awarded to lucky bond-holders. Go here to see if you're one of them!

Want a guaranteed return? Check out the best savings rates instead

Premium Bonds for less

This month's prize draw coincides with the day that the minimum initial investment limit is being reduced from £100 to £25, marking the first time in the history of Premium Bonds that the limit has been lowered and bringing it back to the lowest minimum purchase price since 1993. The change opens up Premium Bonds to savers who may not be able to invest so much each time, making it an option for those who want to make smaller regular contributions as well as lump sum investments.

Soon, another change will be implemented to allow friends and family members – as well as parents and grandparents – to gift Premium Bonds to under-16s. This means more people will soon be able to gift bonds to younger members of the family, giving even more people the chance to win big.

"I am delighted that people up and down the country can start a savings habit more easily by investing just £25 in Premium Bonds," said Ian Ackerley, chief executive at NS&I. "Investing in Premium Bonds provides the opportunity to win tax-free prizes, whilst ensuring that your money is 100% secure.

"Lowering the minimum investment on Premium Bonds is part of how we can support a stronger savings culture across the country and help those who want to be able to save little and often, and for those who want to give the gift of savings to their loved ones."

Have you lost your bonds?

You may be reading this and wondering whether or not you've got some Premium Bonds squirrelled away somewhere. Perhaps you've got a vague recollection of being given some as a child, or are pretty sure you invested at some stage but have no idea where the details are. Well, fear not – there are ways to track them down!

The key thing you need to do is contact NS&I, who have a tracing service designed for this very purpose. Go here to download a tracing form. Hopefully, by giving enough information, they'll be able to track down your bonds and reunite you with them, and you may even have been lucky enough to win big in the interim!

Find out more about how to find lost Premium Bonds

If, on the other hand, you know exactly where your bonds are but your details have changed, you need to contact NS&I to update them. There'd be nothing worse than moving home or changing email address and realising you can't be contacted, and with so many prizes remaining unclaimed, you wouldn't want to miss out.

According to NS&I, there are over 1.5 million unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes worth £60 million, all waiting to be reunited with their rightful owners. There's no time limit on unclaimed funds so you needn't worry about losing your prizes – just get in touch with NS&I and keep them informed.

What are the alternatives to Premium Bonds?

Premium Bonds may give you the chance to win big, but there's no guarantee. The odds of winning for each £1 bond number are currently 24,500 to 1, and although the annual prize fund interest rate is 1.40% – which means someone with average luck could expect to win prizes equating to interest of 1.40% each year – the reality is often far different.

As such, you may want to look elsewhere to ensure you'll generate a return. This is where savings accounts come in, all of which guarantee you'll earn some form of interest on your investment.

Premium Bonds vs. savings accounts

  • Easy access accounts could be your first choice, as they're the most flexible type of account and in many cases pay interest rates comparable to or over Premium Bonds' annual prize fund rate of 1.40%. This includes RCI Bank's deal paying 1.42%, and the market-leading return of 1.55% on offer from ICICI Bank UK.

  • Fixed rate bonds are arguably similar to Premium Bonds in that you typically lose access to your funds for a set period of time (Premium Bonds may allow you access, but for the most part, they're designed for longer-term saving to stand the best chance of winning a prize). Here, the top rate of 2.75% is available from BLME, though you'll need to tie up your funds for seven years, or for shorter-term deals you may want to look to Al Rayan Bank, with its 18-month deal paying an expected profit rate of 2.32% and 2.17% for its 12-month deal.

  • High interest current accounts could be the best of the bunch for a small savings pot, with rates of up to 5% on offer, such as with the FlexDirect account from Nationwide. Just bear in mind that you'll normally only be able to earn the headline rate on relatively low balances (in the case of Nationwide it's on balances of up to £2,500 for the first 12 months), but for the best cash savings rates available, they could be worth considering.

Of course, a good compromise could be to split your savings between several different pots – you may want a high interest current account for the highest interest rates, an easy access deal for flexibility, a fixed rate bond for a more substantial savings pot, and Premium Bonds for money you don't mind investing in more of a lottery-style product. That way, you can get the best of all worlds – and you never know, you could be a winner!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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