Premium Bonds customer hits out at little-known NS&I rule that ‘reduces potential returns’ | Personal Finance | Finance

A Premium Bonds customer has hit out at a restriction on when Bonds are entered into the monthly draw saying they would have liked to know about the rule sooner.

They said in a message to NS&I over X: “Re Premium Bonds, I now understand the numbers will be entered into the prize draws once I’ve held them for one full calendar month following the month I bought them.

“So if bought 10 June, I am wasting 20 days interest earning opportunity vs. leaving in a savings account.”

The disappointed saver added: “Would have been good to see this prominent before buying as I should have waited 20 days.

“Also for shorter term investments, the 30 day waiting period also reduces potential returns and again is not very prominent when applying.”

NS&I replied to explain the rules. A representative said: “Premium Bonds must be held for one full calendar month, before being eligible to win in our monthly prize draws.

“Any Bonds purchased in the month of June will be eligible to win prizes from the August prize draw. When purchasing Bonds online, it is in the terms and conditions of our product that there is a wait of one full calendar month before the Bonds are eligible to win prizes.

“If you are looking for guaranteed returns over a short period of time, you may wish to look at our other products here.”

They included a link to this information page with details about other NS&I accounts, including the Guaranteed Growth Bonds, Guaranteed Income Bonds and Green Savings Bonds.

Once a person’s Bonds become eligible, each £1 Bond has an equal chance of winning a prize, including one of the £1million jackpot prizes.

A person can increase their chances of taking home a prize by buying more Bonds, up to the holding limit of £50,000.

Lucky savers who win prizes often choose to use their winnings to buy more Bonds, and so increase their chances of winning again.

A customer recently asked if the system that selects the winning Bond numbers can choose a number that doesn’t exist.

NS&I said in response: “ERNIE (our Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) generates numbers completely at random.

“While ERNIE randomly generates winning numbers, he doesn’t store any numbers, so there’s no way any Bonds can be left out of the draw.

“We match the numbers generated against eligible Bond numbers to determine the lucky winners.

“We do not restrict prize amounts for holders based on where they live or where they come from, every holder has an equal chance of winning the maximum amount on Premium Bonds.”

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