Premium Bond alternatives
In this guide, we explore some alternatives to Premium Bonds and whether these may be a better savings option for you.
Premium Bonds are a popular savings vehicle.
These bonds don’t pay interest. However, for every £1 invested in Premium Bonds, you’ll get one entry into a monthly prize draw. The top prize is £1 million.
The popularity of these bonds proves that some UK savers like the idea of gambling on a large cash prize, rather than receiving a steady regular income.
In this guide, we’ll explore some other savings vehicles that give you a chance to win a large cash prize. We’ll also compare these products to more traditional savings accounts.
Alternatives to Premium Bonds
Here are a few direct alternatives to Premium Bonds.
Halifax Savers Prize Draw
Halifax offers a monthly prize draw to all customers who hold at least £5,000 worth of savings. These savings must be held in Halifax or Bank of Scotland savings accounts or ISAs (but not children’s savings accounts).
Each customer gets one free entry into the monthly draw.
Every month, Halifax gives away:
- 3 x £100,000 prizes
- 100 x £1,000 prizes
- 1,500 x £100 prizes
Halifax doesn’t reveal how many people enter its monthly draw, so it’s not possible to compare the odds of winning with Premium Bonds.
However, it’s worth remembering that you’ll earn interest on your savings as well as your place in a monthly prize draw.
Nationwide Start to Save Prize Draw
This prize draw has ended its current run. Every 3 months, Nationwide held a prize draw for its “Start To Save” savings account holders, with the final draw being held in January 2022.
To be eligible for the draw, your account balance must have increased by between £50 and £100 in each of the previous 3 months. The idea was that this encouraged savers to keep adding to their accounts.
The prize on offer was £100. Nationwide said the odds of winning fluctuated between one in 34 and one in 67, depending on the number of entrants.
Account holders also earned interest on their savings, regardless of whether they won a prize.
Nationwide hasn’t confirmed if or when it might bring back its prize draw.
TSB Spend & Save Prize Draw
TSB launched a new prize draw in 2021 to help its customers get into the habit of saving, and it will be running until the end of May 2022.
To be in with a chance of winning, Spend & Save and Spend & Save Plus current account holders must either set up a new Savings Pot, or change an existing one, to include the words “my dream” in its name. The Savings Pot must also have a balance of £10 or more.
Each month until the end of May, TSB will award 5 prizes of £1,000 and 50 prizes of £100 to randomly selected customers meeting that criteria, with the prize money paid directly into their Savings Pots.
Family Building Society Windfall Bonds
This prize draw is now closed to new accounts, but it continues for existing account holders. If you have already invested £10,000 in a Family Building Society Windfall Bond, you’ll be automatically entered into its monthly prize draw.
The prizes on offer are:
- 1 x £50,000 prize
- 2 x £10,000 prizes
- 3 x £2,500 prizes
- 15 x £1,000 prizes
The odds of winning a big prize are significantly better than with Premium Bonds. The odds of winning with a Family Building Society Windfall Bond are 1 in 714 each month, or 1 in 60 per year.
Family Building Society says that the odds of winning are almost 6 better than with Premium Bonds.
On top of that, you’ll earn interest on these bonds at the Bank of England base rate.
Comparing traditional savings accounts to Premium Bonds
Not sold on the idea of a prize draw? Here’s a quick look at how other types of savings accounts compare to Premium Bonds.
Savings accounts and cash ISAs
You won’t earn any interest on Premium Bonds.
The amount of money paid out in prizes per year is determined by the Annual Prize Fund Interest Rate. This dropped to 1% in December 2020.
This is technically the amount that each bond pays out, taking into account the odds of winning. Premium Bond holders will be hoping to earn a lot more, but the majority of them will earn less.
If you prefer to earn a guaranteed amount of interest, find a good savings account or cash ISA that pays at least this amount.
Stocks and Shares ISAs
A stocks and shares ISA is a platform that allows you to invest in stocks and shares tax-free.
Stocks and shares tend to pay higher returns than cash savings in the long run. However, there is a risk that the value of your investment can go down, as well as up.
Peer-to-peer lending websites allow you to lend money directly to borrowers. The lack of overheads needed for these websites to operate allows them to offer superior rates of return compared to most banks’ savings accounts.
There is a slight risk of you losing your investment, should the borrower default on their loan. However, most good peer-to-peer lending websites have protections in place to compensate savers (the lenders) in this situation.
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