Premium Bonds: Expert suggests when the NS&I savings option ‘might be worth a flutter’ | Personal Finance | Finance
Prizes range from £25 right up to the jackpot prizes of £1million. The odds of winning in each Premium Bonds monthly prize draw is currently 34,500 to one for every £1 Bond number.
He was speaking following new data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed Cash ISAs attracted 1.2 million more savers in 2019/20, as an increasing number of people ignored low rates to put money away.
The data showed savers paid into a huge number of cash ISAs during the 2019/20 tax year.
Figures reached 9.7 million in total, up from 8.5 million the year before.
Commenting on the statistics, Mr Andrews said: “Cash ISAs are firmly established in the nation’s mindset as the go-to place to put any spare cash – having been first introduced in 1999.
“But while more people dropped their savings into them last year, they’ve possibly never been less rewarding.
“The value of their tax-free status was heavily eroded with the introduction of the personal savings allowance in 2016, letting people earn £1,000 of interest a year before income tax is applied (£500 for higher-rate taxpayers), while interest rates hit new, all-time lows of 0.1 percent last year.
“But in a time of uncertainty, the familiarity of the brand seems to trump both these concerns.”
Mr Andrews went on to urge people to ensure their money is working as hard as possible.
“If you’re one of the millions of people putting money into a cash ISA, you need to make sure it’s as rewarding as possible – particularly as you can only put money into one each year,” he said.
“First, carefully consider how accessible you need the cash to be.
“The longer you can lock the money away for, the more interest you will get.
“You can also frequently transfer any existing ISAs you have into the new, hopefully better paying, account once you’ve found it.
“Second, be honest about if cash ISAs are for you at all.
“Smaller deposits can earn far more in products like high-interest current accounts or regular savers.
“If growth, rather than certainty, is your goal – take a look at stocks and shares ISAs too.
“There’s more risk with these, but there’s also the chance you could make far larger returns – especially if you’re prepared to leave the money alone for a few years.”
Mr Andrews went on to highlight how it may be some choose to save money via Premium Bonds.
“Finally, if all you’re doing is putting money away for a rainy day, Premium Bonds might be worth a flutter,” he said.
“Your money’s safe, you can get it back within a week or so if needed, and there’s a chance you could win £1million tax free.
“Most people don’t, of course, and many win nothing at all, but with the interest on cash some easy-access cash ISAs sitting at 0.01 percent – and even the best-payers only offering 0.46 percent – that’s a lot less of a problem than it once was.”