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Premium Bonds are a saving product administered by NS&I, where, unlike other accounts, interest is not acquired in a traditional way. Savers are instead automatically enrolled into a jackpot lottery, which could see them win up to £1million. Despite this enticing opportunity, some experts believe there is a chance savers will not get “any return” on the money they invest.
Gary Hemming, the commercial lending director at ABC Finance, addressed his concern over whether Premium Bonds is a worthwhile investment product or not.
Mr Hemming explained: “Premium Bonds are a safe way to invest, but you run a big risk of not receiving any return on your money – especially if you hold less than £5,000.
“While you can win big and benefit from excellent returns, the reality is that this is unlikely and with average returns of 2.2 percent, you can get stronger returns from regular savings accounts currently.
“With inflation higher than even the highest interest savings accounts, the real value of your savings will drop over time so it’s important that you mitigate this by locking in valuable interest at the best rate you can get to protect the buying power of your money as much as possible.”
Outside of the £1million jackpot, savers can win other cash prizes including £100,000, £50,000 or £25,000.
The winners of each month’s Premium Bonds draw are announced at the beginning of every month with the next announcement to take place in January 2023.
Recently, NS&I raised the prize fund rate for Premium Bonds in October from 1.40 percent to 2.4 percent.
As a result, an additional £76million has been to the prize fund going forward, according to the financial institution.
Before this decision, the odds of someone winning money from NS&I’s price draw were one in 24,500.
After this change, the odds of winning at least one cash prize from Premium Bonds have now changed to 24,000 to one for each bond someone holds.
Ian Ackerley, NS&I’s chief executive, believes this decision from NS&I will give savers more opportunities to win each month.
Speaking in September, Mr Ackerley said: “With over 22 million holders, Premium Bonds are the nation’s favourite savings product and are more popular than ever.
“It’s great to be able to increase the prize pot and give our customers more chances each month to win tax-free prizes.
“This is the second increase to the Premium Bonds prize fund rate that we have made in less than six months.
“These changes have helped us ensure that Premium Bonds remain attractive, while also ensuring that we continue to balance the interests of savers, taxpayers and the broader financial services sector.”
For the month of December, there were two £1million jackpot winners from the Scottish Highlands and Wandsworth.
The first winning Bond number drawn from the Highlands was 414XW486235 with the winner holding £45,000 in Premium Bonds.
This winning Bond in September 2020 with the winner being the first to come from the Scottish Highlands.
The second winning Bond number drawn from Wandsworth was 159FZ477948 with the winner holding £29,042 in Premium Bonds.
They purchased their winning Bond in August 2009 and are the second millionaire from Wandsworth.