How to check old premium bonds

With £67m in unclaimed Premium Bonds, find out if any of that money has your name on.

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

There are currently more than 1.8 million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, worth more than £67m, according to the latest figures. When you read that three questions should come to mind: Is any of that money mine? How do I find out? Should I buy some Premium Bonds now?

How to check old premium bonds

If you’ve got £25 minimum to spare, Premium Bonds give you the chance to be randomly picked for a prize every month. The prizes are tax-free and range from £25 to £1m. However, before you get too excited, the chances of winning has just gone down, thanks to a rate decrease.

From December 2020, the Premium Bonds prize fund rate was reduced from 1.40% to 1.00%. The odds of any £1 Bond number winning any prize have decreased from 24,500 to one to 34,500 to one. Being tax-free isn’t the pull it used to be since the personal savings allowance was introduced and most people’s savings interest is tax-free. So if you want your money to work for you, check out all savings options.

How to check old premium bonds

Why are so many prizes unclaimed?

Let’s face it, life’s full of so much admin these days, that it’s easy to lose track of things. You might have moved and forgotten to update your contact details, or been given Premium Bonds as a child and forgotten about them. Or, the letter might simply have got lost. The good news is that if you’ve won anything and NS&I can’t get hold of you, the money will sit and wait for you. NS&I keep it indefinitely, so even if it’s years later, you can still claim.

How to check old premium bonds

How do I check for unclaimed Premium Bond prizes?

*If you know your Premium Bond holder’s number, you can go to the prize checker section on the NS&I website or download the prize checker app – at the App store and on Google Play. If you own Amazon Alexa, there’s a Premium Bonds prize checker skill there too.

To check for prizes, NS&I are urging customer to use their Prize Checker online and help keep call centre capacity for customers with an urgent financial need, during the pandemic. Customers should also only send NS&I anything by post if they have no other choice.

If you are one of the two monthly jackpot winners, ‘Agent Million’ will contact you. In these days of social distancing, don’t expect a knock on the door but, NS&I say, they are ‘well-equipped’ to deliver the good news. If you’re registered for the online and phone service, you can choose to have any future prizes paid directly into your bank account. NS&I will notify you either by email or text message if you win.

*If you don’t know your Premium Bond holder’s number, but have an old letter from NS&I, you’ll find your NS&I number there. Use that, with your surname and password to log into NS&I online and find your holders number on the account details page.

*If you can’t find your holder’s number or account number, you can phone NS&I on 08085 007 007 or write and ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you. Give as much detail as you can about your past addresses, where and when you bought the Premium Bonds and how much they might be worth.

*Alternatively, you can use the NS&I Tracing Service or My Lost Account to track down your Premium Bond details.

How to check old premium bonds

Rule change for Premium Bond gift buyers

A recent rule change means any adult can buy Premium Bonds for children (under 16s). So, whether you’re a grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, godparent, next door neighbour or family friend, you can buy them as a gift online at nsandi.com/gift or by post. But you will need to nominate one of the child’s parents or guardians to look after the Bonds until the child turns 16.

How do Premium Bonds compare to savings accounts?

They aren’t really comparable as there’s no guarantee of winning anything. The nearest thing Premium Bonds have to an annual interest rate is their annual prize fund interest rate which means ‘on average’ the annual return is 1.0%. If you want to get an educated guess about how much your bonds are likely to earn you, try Moneysavingexpert’s Premium Bond probability calculator. Put in how many bonds you have and it will predict your likely winnings and compare them with savings.

How to check old premium bonds

Can Premium Bonds be passed on?

Premium Bonds remain eligible to wins for 12-months after the holder has deceased. You can’t pass Premium Bonds on but the executor can cash them in to form a part of the deceased’s estate. And they aren’t inheritance tax-free.

Prizes won before the 12 month limit can still be claimed – there’s no time limit. Here’s what to do if a NS&I customer has died.

Premium Bonds might be for you if:

*you want the chance to win £1m jackpot every month, and other tax-free prizes

*you have more than £25 to invest (the max you can invest is £50,00 per person)

*want 100% security for your money (because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury).

*want to make the most of tax-free investment opportunities (if you have used up your personal savings allowance)

*want to buy a money gift for a child

Premium Bonds might not be for you if:

*you want a regular income from the money

*are looking for guaranteed regular

*are concerned about inflation eroding your savings

*you want to invest jointly with someone else or in trust

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Got some old ones. Talking 45 years old.

Probably never ever been checked. Is there anyway to check them at all – for anything ever?

Only about £20 but surely something would have been won?

Replies

I think the odds will probably be against it.
Has your address changed in that time ? As long as you’ve kept NS&I up to date then you would have been notified of any winnings at the time.

You can write to NS&I to get a history of any prizes you;ve won – from their website;

you can write to us asking for your prize history (remember to include your name, address and NS&I number or Premium Bonds holder’s number). We’ll send you a list of the prizes you’ve won.

Post your letter to:
NS&I
Glasgow
G58 1SB

A win is unlikely.

(The MSE Premium Bond calculator shows that if the interest rates and prize allocations had always been as they are now you would stand less than 4% chance of winning something in 5 years.)

“As Premium Bonds have always been valued at £1 since day one, perhaps the certificate you had from your grandmother was for a different product?”.

That’s very interesting, I never knew that (obviously), I wonder what the heck it was that she gave me, no wonder NS& I had never heard of me!

A savings certificate? I am sure you could get these for less than a pound. You could get them from the post office?

This was a long time ago!

A savings certificate? I am sure you could get these for less than a pound. You could get them from the post office?

This was a long time ago!

In 1943 “one unit” was 15 shillings so still not down to ten bob.

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Premium Bonds cost £1 per bond, and can be bought with a minimum investment of £25. The Premium Bonds numbers are then entered into a monthly prize draw. Rather than earning interest on the bonds, the holders instead get the chance to “win” money at different prize levels. This is determined randomly, using Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment – also known as ERNIE.

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Premium Bonds holders could win in the prize draw

It’s possible to check to see if one has won a prize by using the holder’s number or the NS&I number.

A person can use their holder’s number on the prize checker on the NS&I website, as well as in the prize checker app.

All the Premium Bonds are grouped under a unique holder’s number.

By using one’s NS&I number, a person can check if they have won a prize using the Premium Bonds prize checker app, which is available on iOS or Android.

It’s not possible to use the Bond number or numbers in order to check if a person has won a prize.

However, people who don’t know the other number or have lost the documents, are able to write to NS&I in order to ask for a Bond record.

How to check old premium bonds

Where to check old Premium Bonds: Premium Bonds could see some scoop a prize in the draw (Image: GETTY)

NS&I state that they contact all prize winners, however there are cases where the good news may not be received.

The website explains that this could be for a variety of reasons, such as not having an up-to-date address or other personal details, or the letter has gone astray.

NS&I hold onto the prize until the winner gets in touch, with there being no time limit for claims.

In addition to checking via the prize checker online and on the apps, it’s possible to write to NS&I in order to ask for one’s prize history.

In order to do this, Premium Bonds holders should include their name, address, and NS&I number or Premium Bonds holder’s number.

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How to check old premium bonds

Where to check old Premium Bonds: Some letters may not have reached the winners (Image: GETTY)

More than 3.3 million prizes were available in September 2019.

The prize fund amounted to in excess of £96 million.

This included two £1 million winners, while six people scooped a £100,000 payment.

NS&I unveiled details about the two holders of the top level Winning Bonds.

Both male, one person is from Surrey, while the other is from Hertfordshire.

United Kingdom – NS&I Premium Bonds

NS&I (National Savings and Investments) is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, with over 26 million customers and more than �100 billion invested. NS&I separated from the Post Office Savings Bank in 1969, becoming National Savings. In 1996, it became an Executive Agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

�1.8bn in lost investments that can be searched by National Savings and Investments include: � British Savings Bonds � Capital Bonds � Children�s Bonus Bonds � Deposit Bonds � FIRST Option Bonds � Fixed Rate � Savings Bonds � Income Bonds � Investment Accounts � ISA or Direct ISA � Ordinary Account � Pensioner�s Bonds � Premium Bonds � Save As You Earn � Savings Certificates � Yearly Plans; in addition to old Post Office savings accounts and savings certificates.

The Unclaimed Prize database currently holds �56,223,325. Five savers still haven’t claimed �100,000 prizes. Many prizes are owed heirs of deceased relatives and owners who received Premium Bonds long ago as a child, and have since forgotten of their existence. here is no time limit on claims, which are paid with interest. To search for unclaimed premium bonds and prizes complete the form below:

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I’ve found some old Premium Bonds belonging to my MIL, she has Alzheimers and is in a care facility. Can anybody advise me what to do with them please? They aren’t worth much at all but if she has ever won prizes on them then will they still be waiting for her? I am unsure about the whole thing and some advice would be greatly welcomed.

Replies

contact NS&I, with details, bondholders address, bond numbers.

Y’all take care now.

To see if there are any unclaimed ‘wins’, go here:

Enter the ‘holders number’ and select ‘unclaimed prizes’ from the drop down menu, hit return.

Then contact NS&I as stated above.

Contact NS&I to find out the procedure. They will not allow you to do anything with your mother’s Premium Bonds – whether surrendering them or just continuing to hold/operate them for her – without seeing a certified copy of the Power of Attorney, which they will make a note of for their files.

Do not send the original Power of Attorney (whether EPA or LPA), only a certified copy – sometimes the person you speak to mistakenly asks for the original; a copy will suffice. If the original goes missing, you’ll have real problems.

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Please can someone tell me what is the easiest way for someone to check what premium bond holdings they still have, with and without their holder’s number?

Also, is it possible to check whether a bond is still active (as opposed to having been cashed in) from its number only?

Finally, if one cashes in a bond, do they have to send the certificate? In other words, if one still holds the certificate, is that a fair indication that the bond is still active?

Replies

I guess the link ‘managing your bonds’ might be a good place to start.

I guess the link ‘managing your bonds’ might be a good place to start.

Already tried there, thanks. My impression from the NS&I site is that one would likely have to register with them by post, to get an NS&I and password.

Anyone know of a quicker/easier way?

Already tried there, thanks. My impression from the NS&I site is that one would likely have to register with them by post, to get an NS&I and password.

Anyone know of a quicker/easier way?

I don’t really know, but I would’ve thought that if you don’t have online access, then (one way or another) you’d have to write to them anyway. This could be by email perhaps which may turn out to be quicker?

I think if I was in the position you sound to be in where you want to work out properly what your current PB holding is, I’d just resign myself to having to contacting NS&I to find out what the procedure is (by email?) then following it, even if it meant having to write to them.

I don’t really know, but I would’ve thought that if you don’t have online access, then (one way or another) you’d have to write to them anyway. This could be by email perhaps which may turn out to be quicker?

I think if I was in the position you sound to be in where you want to work out properly what your current PB holding is, I’d just resign myself to having to contacting NS&I to find out what the procedure is (by email?) then following it, even if it meant having to write to them.

It does say that you have to print the form, sign it and post it.

You’re probably right in that it will likely come down to this, albeit a bit annoying if my wife, my daughter and I each have to do it, especially if it turns out that we don’t actually have any left!

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Premium Bonds are issued by the National Savings and Investment company, or NS&I as it is commonly known. Each month, a prize draw takes place which creates two lucky millionaires alongside a whole host of other prize winners. Savers invested with Premium Bonds will hope to be in with a chance to win each month, and with the August 2021 results released, many will be waking up significantly richer.

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With winners announced, many who hold older Bonds may be wondering if they could secure winnings.

Bearing this in mind, Express.co.uk peeled back the curtain and spoke to Agent Million, the anonymous person who tells lucky Britons about their jackpot win.

Agent Million explained the process, and said: “The only rule you have to bear in mind when it comes to Bonds is that they have to be eligible to participate in the prize draw.

“Each individual number is entered into the draw and has an equal chance to win.

How to check old premium bonds

Premium Bonds: Your old Bonds could still win the jackpot – check prize draw now (Image: PA)

“When you purchase Premium Bonds, if you purchase them, say, throughout the month of January, then you have to hold them for February – and then they will enter the draw from March.

“They will remain in that prize draw and can generate prizes until such time as a person repays them – or in other words cashes in the money.”

The “repayment” process is a simple one, and if someone invests a certain amount, this is the exact sum they will receive back.

This is because there is no interest rate on Premium Bonds, with the prize rate fund going towards ensuring NS&I can pay out winnings each month.

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But those holding Bonds which date back a number of years will be pleased to note they could still be in with a chance.

Agent Million continued: “Older Bonds can still win, which is the important thing to stress.

“We don’t programme any numbers into ERNIE, and ERNIE just merely generates numbers, that is what he is designed to do.

“He isn’t looking from a list, or anything like that, it is just automatically generated.

“There is an equal chance for older Bonds to win, just as much as there is for newer ones.

How to check old premium bonds

Premium Bonds: Express spoke to Agent Million, the anonymous NS&I worker (Image: Getty)

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“But the only thing I will say, is that obviously we at NS&I have been going since 1956 – a lot of those original Bonds will have been repaid.

“And some of the original owners of those Bonds will have sadly passed away during this time.

“So, those Bonds are repaid and never reissued to anyone else again.

“The number of older Bonds in existence is definitely getting smaller over time, and as people are buying new ones.”

Back in July 2004, NS&I shared a woman from Newham won the £1million jackpot in July 2004 with a Premium Bonds holding of £17, where the winning Bond was purchased in February 1959.

For a number of years, the minimum purchase amount for Premium Bonds has been £25.

However, many may hold less than this if they have older Premium Bonds, as Agent Million explained.

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They added: “Yes, people can still win and take part. If a £1 unit were to generate more than one prize in a prize draw then you would be allocated the highest prize.

“For example, if a £1 unit generated a £500 and also a £25 prize in the same draw, you would be allocated the £500 and the £25 would be ineligible in this instance.

“But it isn’t a case of one £1 unit winning and then it can’t win any more, it can go on to win prizes in following months.”

For those who do have, Bonds, particularly older holdings, Agent Million concluded by urging people to check.

They said it could be worthwhile for individuals, as many may find they could secure winnings years after their purchase.

The two lucky winners this month are from Devon and Wales, with the winning numbers 404KX510146 and 202ZQ082477, respectively.

Britons can check whether they have won by using NS&I’s dedicated prize checker, via Amazon Alexa, their smartphone or on the website.

Premium Bonds were first introduced by a man named Harold Macmillan in 1956. A Premium Bond is a lottery bond that is issued by the United Kingdom Government’s National Savings and Investment Agency.

The Bonds are entered a regular prize drawing. If you no longer want your Bonds entered the drawing, the government will buy them back for the original price that you paid.

If you are thinking that you want to buy Premium Bonds, you should understand how they work first.

What Is the Minimum and Maximum Investment Allowed?

If you are thinking about purchasing bonds and you don’t want to invest too much money, the minimum number you can buy is £100.

If you are looking to invest more, the maximum holding you can have is £50,000.

How Can I Buy Premium Bonds?

There was a time that bonds could be purchased at any of the post office branches. This is no longer the case. Post office branches no longer sell these bonds. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can purchase them.

  • Apply Online: NS&I Premium Bonds makes buying very simple by offering an online buying option. You would simply visit the website and then follow the links.
  • Apply By Phone: If you don’t have internet access or if you don’t feel safe entering your personal and financial information online, you can apply by phone. To apply by phone, you can contact NS&I at 0500 500 000. A highly trained representative will take your order over the phone quickly and efficiently.
  • Apply By Post: If you prefer to do your ordering through the mail, this is an option. On the NS&I Premium Bonds website, there is a downloadable form. You would simply download and print the application form and then fill it out in its entirety. Once you have decided how many bonds you are going to buy, you would need to write a cheque for that amount. The application and the cheque would be mailed to: NS&I, Glasgow, G58 1SB

When Do New Premium Bonds Enter the Monthly Drawing?

When you first purchase your bonds, you would need to wait one full month before they would be entered the next drawing.

The drawing happens at the beginning of each month. Depending on when you purchased your bonds, it could be anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks from your original purchase date before you would have your first chance to win.

For example, if you were to purchase your bonds in the month of September, you would need to wait until that same date in October for your bonds to become effective.

This means that you would need to wait until November 1st before your bonds would be entered the drawing. It is important that you understand how your bonds work and when they are entered the drawing.

If you have any questions regarding when your bonds would go into the drawing, you can call and speak to someone. There are plenty of representatives on staff who can help you understand how the drawing dates work.

How Much Can I Win With Premium Bonds?

Currently, the lowest prize available is £25 and the highest prize amount available is £1,000,000. The amount of money that you can win depends on your initial investment and the number of bonds that you purchased.

What Are the Chances of My Premium Bonds Winning?

Every Premium bond that is entered the drawing has an equal chance of winning the prize. If one of your bonds wins a prize, your other bonds can also win a prize that same month. If one of your bonds wins a prize, you have an equal chance of winning the next month.

It is important to understand that each drawing is separate and the results have no effect on any future drawings.

Where Does the Money For the Winning Draws Come From?

Premium Bond holders are required to pay monthly interest rate of 1.35 percent. The prizes that you can win comes from the combination of all the interest rates paid by buyers.

How Many Prizes Win Each Month?

Every month over 2 million of the Premium Bonds purchased will win a prize There are two prizes in the amount of £1,000,000 paid out every month. There are many other prizes awarded as well. They include:

Multiple winners for the lower amount prizes in the amounts of £25, £50, and £100

  • £500
  • £1,000
  • £5,000
  • £10,000
  • £25,000
  • £50,000
  • £100,000

How Do Higher Rate Taxpayers Benefit From Buying Premium Bonds?

If you are in a high tax bracket, you can benefit from buying bonds. A general savings account will pay out no more than 1.6 gross interest. This equals out to about 0.96 percent after taxes for people in a high tax bracket. The 1.35 percent interest rate on bonds is tax-free. Higher rate taxpayers have a potential to earn 0.04 percent from the tax-free bonds.

It is important to understand that the interest rate would be applied to the entire fund and not to your initial investment. This means that you could end up with several pounds to invest.

If you are in a higher tax bracket, there is a chance that you can beat the standard savings accounts that are taxable.

How Are Premium Bonds Prizes Paid To Me If I Win?

There are many ways that you could be paid your prize.

  • Default Payment Option: If you choose the default payment option, you can have a cheque sent to your registered address.
  • Direct Deposit: If you don’t want to wait to receive a cheque, you can have the money paid directly to your bank account. This is much faster than the default payment option because you wouldn’t need to wait for the cheque to be printed and then sent to you. Also, you will have access to the funds immediately. With the default payment option, you would need to wait at least a week for the cheque to clear.
  • Reinvestment: If you don’t want the cash, you can have your winnings automatically reinvested into your bonds account. This will increase your chances of winning the next monthly drawing.
  • ** If you win and you already hold the maximum number of bonds allowed, you would receive a cheque.

Who Can Benefit From Buying Bonds?

There are a few savers who these bonds would be suitable for:

  • Anyone who wants a chance to win the £1 million jackpot and other tax-free prizes
  • Anyone who has at least £100 to invest
  • Anyone who wants 100 percent security on their investment
  • Anyone who wants to take advantage of tax-free investment opportunities

Who Will Not Benefit From Buying Bonds?

There are certain people in certain situations where bonds would not be beneficial.

  • Anyone who is hoping to earn a regular income by purchasing bonds
  • Anyone who is looking for a guaranteed return on their investment
  • Anyone who is worried that inflation will erode their savings

If you want to invest your money in something where you have a chance of winning, you should consider buying Premium Bonds. If you like taking the chance and the gamble, this is an investment that can be very enjoyable.

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