Premium Bond holders have enjoyed the highest prize fund rate since 1999 - but February is the last month to take advantage before it starts to fall.
If you’re waiting to win the £1 million jackpot and get a visit from Agent Million, National Savings & Investments (NS&I) is making it more difficult as it has announced it will be cutting its Premium Bond prize fund rate from 4.65% to 4.4% in the March draw.
This means around 72,000 fewer prizes will be on offer.
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The 4.65% Premium Bond prize fund rate has sat idle since September, when the rate increased from 4%. Since then, the odds of winning have remained at 21,000 to 1 for every £1 Bond, and it will stay the same in March too.
However, the prize fund rate reduction means there will be fewer prizes and £31 million less in total winnings.
Compared to March 2023, the 4.4% rate will still be considerably higher, up from 3.3%.
Find out what you can expect from the February draw, and how to find any unclaimed Premium Bonds you have.
How many prizes will be on offer in the February prize draw?
The prize fund rate is a benchmark used by NS&I to determine how many prizes are given out per value. As the prize fund rate will be lowered from March, the amount of prizes will also fall.
As the fund rate has stayed the same since September, here’s an idea of how many prizes have been on offer each month since then.
|Number of prizes on offer
|Total value of prizes
The last five months have seen around 5.7 million prizes on offer, paying out around £470,000,000 per month, and we can expect a similar offering in February’s draw.
Andrew Westhead, NS&I retail director, explains that the March draw is expected to pay out “over 5.7 million tax-free prizes totalling more than £444 million to savers across the UK”.
That’s around 72,000 fewer prizes. Prizes worth £100 and £50 will see the biggest cut, with the number of prizes on offer reducing by 232,182.
How to get hold of unclaimed Premium Bonds
You could be sitting on unclaimed Premium Bonds, as the latest data provided by NS&I to MoneyWeek reveals there are 2,338,076 unclaimed Premium Bond prizes worth £81,286,025 as of January 2024.
There are several ways to check if you have any unclaimed prizes. You can download NS&I’s prize checker app (available on iOS and Android), or go online and use the prize checker on the NS&I website.
You will need your Premium Bond holder number and NS&I number to hand. If you take either route, you will be shown any winnings from the last six draws, and your unclaimed prizes will be highlighted.
If you’re not one for using a laptop or your tablet, you can also call NS&I for free on 08085 007 007 - but you need to be registered for phone or online banking with NS&I for them to bring up your records.
Another option is you can write to NS&I. Include these details in the letter:
- Current name
- Current address
- Premium Bond holder number
- All previous addresses where you might have registered bonds
- Your signature
You can send your letter to: NS&I, Sunderland SR43 2SB.
How will your Premium Bond prizes be paid?
Prizes are paid automatically into your given bank account or reinvested into Premium Bonds. If you haven’t already, you can set up automatic payments on the NS&I site.
Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University and she has experience working with the likes of Leicester Mercury, Inews and The Week. She also comes from a marketing background, where she has done copywriting and content creation for businesses.
Currently writing about all things personal finance, Vaishali is passionate about finding the best deals around, whether it's the best credit cards or the cheapest personal loans, as well as sharing top money hacks to help people save and better manage their money.
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