Premium Bonds rule could mean your prize is revoked by NS&I

Martin Lewis gives updated advice on premium bonds

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National Savings & Investment’s (NS&I) Premium Bonds are Government-backed savings accounts that have been popular since the 1950s. Every month Britons are in with a chance of winning a £1million prize, as long as they don’t flout the rules.

Millions of Britons will be eagerly awaiting the January prize draw to see if they have become a Premium Bonds millionaire.

Anyone can buy these bonds and the minimum investment is just £25. It’s important to be aware that the maximum amount Britons are currently allowed to invest in Premium Bonds is £50,000.

Go against this one rule and savers could find that they are disqualified from winning a prize between £25 and £1million.

NS&I has identified thousands of Britons who have more than one Premium Bonds account in their name exceeding this maximum investment and says it can happen accidentally.

NS&I told The Mirror it had identified 18,000 customers in 2017 who had more than one Premium Bonds holding in their name and had exceeded the maximum holding limit of £50,000.

“This may not have been identified due to different spellings of their name or a missing date of birth on the oldest application.

“All of these customers were written to by the middle of 2018.

“As part of an ongoing process, we are continuing work to ensure that multiple holdings in one name which have exceeded the maximum investment limit are combined so that a customer only has one Premium Bonds holding in their name.”

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At the beginning of every month NS&I unveils two £1million winners and January’s draw will no doubt change someone’s New Year for the better.

That said, some experts such as financial planner Colin Lawson said Britons should end their love affair with Premium Bonds because he claims that there are much better ways of investing one’s money.

Mr Lawson said: “Ask any financial planner if Premium Bonds are a good investment, and you would get a resounding ‘no’.

“Despite being closer to cash than an investment, there are many people holding large amounts of money in them, often for decades at a time.”

Although they have an annual prize fund rate of just one percent, the odds of winning per £1 Bond number currently stand at 34,500 to one.

That’s much higher than the odds for winning the National Lottery where the odds of winning the jackpot is one in 45,057,474.

Owning the maximum of £50,000 per person will of course increase a person’s chances.

Meanwhile, NS&I has confirmed that two million prizes have yet to be claimed worth £74million.

There is no time limit to claiming prizes, so Britons are being urged to check their numbers to see if it could be them.

On its website, NS&I states: “We contact everyone when they win a Premium Bonds prize. But sometimes the good news doesn’t arrive.

“You never need to worry about an unclaimed prize. We’ll hold on to it until you get in touch with us. And there’s no time limit to make your claim.

“Just log in to view your prize history, or use our prize checker to see if you have any prizes you don’t know about yet.”

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