Buying Premium Bonds from NS&I couldn't be simpler: you can do so online, by phone or by post – whether you live in the UK or abroad, or even if you want to buy for someone else as a gift (or their children).
How to buy Premium Bonds
Millions of Brits buy Premium Bonds every year, which are offered by the Government-backed National Savings and Investments (NS&I).
Rather than paying interest, you’re entered into a monthly prize draw where you can win tax-free prizes worth up to £1 million each.
Your odds of winning any Premium Bond prize are 34,500 to one.
So, this isn’t the account for you if you’re looking to earn a regular income – most people will only ever earn a small amount as a percentage of what they contribute.
How to apply for Premium Bonds
It’s easy to buy Premium Bonds, all you have to do is apply through the NS&I website.
Alternatively, you can apply over the phone by calling 08085 007 007 or +44 1253 832007, but it’s NS&I have asked people to call ‘if they absolutely have to.’
They can even be purchased for children under 16, say if you wanted to buy for a niece, nephew or simply a friend's child (more on this later).
The parents or guardians will need to be nominated to look after the child’s funds until they turn 16.
When you buy a Premium Bond, you’ll get a unique bond number for every £1 you invest. After you’ve had them for a full month, they’ll be included in the draw.
All you need is £25, but you can invest up to £50,000.
Already bought some bonds? Check if you're a big-money winner in the most recent draw.
I live outside the UK. Can I still buy Premium Bonds?
The first thing you should do is check whether local regulations allow you to hold Premium Bonds. Strict gambling and lottery laws in the US mean that it might not be possible or practical to hold Premium Bonds while you’re there.
If you’re in a country that allows you to hold them, you’ll have to make your initial application by post. Once your holding has been set up, you can register for NS&I’s online or phone service.
From there, you can manage your account online or by phone (if you don’t mind the charges) – that includes buying more bonds or cashing them in.
Your other option is to receive prizes by BACS to a UK bank or building society account or an NS&I Direct Saver or Investment Account (you’ll be notified of changes by email) and paperless documents.
Bonds can only be bought online or by phone using a personal debit card issued by a UK bank or building society. But wherever else you live in the world, prizes will be paid out in pound sterling.
Can I buy Premium Bonds for a child, even if they aren't family?
Until the child reaches the age of 16, the parent or guardian nominated on the application takes care of the bonds, no matter who buys them.
The nominated person will be sent the bond record, any prizes won and payment for cashed in bonds until the child turns 16.
Previously, grandparents and great-grandparents were the only other group able to purchase Premium Bonds for kids, but these rules have been relaxed, so you can now buy them for any child regardless of relation.
If applying by post, you need to visit this page, fill in the appropriate form and post it on to:
If you encounter any problems getting Premium Bonds, phone NS&I, send an email or tweet @nsandihelp.
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