Premium UK Bond Investing Explained – Ultimate Guide

Are bonds an attractive investment? Investors must examine numerous criteria, such as the kind of bond, the amount of interest the bond pays, and the duration of the investment’s commitment.

Investors must also consider their risk tolerance in relation to a bond’s risk of default, which occurs when the bond issuer fails to repay the investment. The good news is that the government of the United Kingdom guarantees premium British bonds. They are suitable investments for retirees or those nearing retirement and younger investors seeking a reliable return.

Bonds are debt instruments that firms and governments issue to raise capital. Investors acquire bonds by making an initial investment of a certain amount, known as the principle. When the bond expires or matures, also known as the maturity date, the principal is returned to the investors. Bondholders typically get a set monthly interest payment in exchange for their investment.

Invest in premium bonds, especially premium UK bonds, may be an excellent investment for people seeking a consistent rate of return.

At the present pace, Premium Bonds are exceedingly unlikely to outperform inflation.

If your savings are not increasing at the same rate as inflation, then your savings are really diminishing. If the return on your assets is more than the rate of inflation, then your savings are increasing; otherwise, they are declining.

The coronavirus epidemic caused a dramatic inflation decline, resulting in an uncommon circumstance where the Premium Bonds rate was greater than the inflation rate. However, the economic recovery and widely reported supply-chain disruptions have resulted in price increases, which have now contributed to skyrocketing inflation rates.

With these increased rates, as shown in the table below, the prospects of overcoming inflation with Premium Bond wins are minuscule, regardless of how much you have saved.

Unfortunately, with savings rates ranging from 1% to 3%, there is nowhere to save at a greater rate than the current inflation rate of 9%. Despite this, you should always maximise your return on investment.

How do Premium Bonds Work?

The fact that premium bonds are sometimes referred to as lottery bonds reveals something about their operation. On the surface, purchasing a premium bond is comparable to purchasing a lottery ticket. However, the benefit of premium bonds over the lottery is that your money never leaves your possession. Each £1 saved with NS&I is rewarded with a bond.

Premium bonds are still a form of savings, with the addition of a lottery as an incentive. Also, there is no danger, since you may get your money back at any moment, win or lose. There are additional advantages to investing your money in premium bonds. Before discussing the benefits, let’s examine the fundamentals of premium bonds:

  • Premium bonds may only be purchased via NS&I.
  • You will obtain a unique bond number for every £1 of savings you deposit; for example, if you invest £50, you will receive 50 bond numbers.
  • You must deposit at least £25
  • The maximum investment amount is £50,000, which is the maximum holding level.
  • Each bond number has an equal chance of winning; thus, the more bond numbers you have, the better your odds of winning.
  • Once your freshly purchased bonds are at least one month old, they are eligible for the monthly drawing.
  • The monthly draw’s cash rewards are tax-free.
  • You must be 16 or older to acquire premium bonds; however, you may give premium bonds to a kid under 16 as a gift.

If you are conversant with these principles, you will have a solid grasp of premium bonds.

How Much do Premium Bonds Pay in Interest?

Premium bonds do not pay interest on savings, but as of June 2022, the average amount received is 1.4%, dependent on the probability of winning a prize. This rate has been at 1 per cent since December of 2020.

It is important to remember that for every £1 million jackpot, there will be a large number of individuals who do not win anything at all; so, although fortunate people may get the equivalent of 1.4% or more, the ordinary person will gain less than this or nothing.

What is the Typical Return Rate on Premium Bonds?

Premium Bonds do not provide an interest rate comparable to that of other savings products; instead, they offer an average rate of return.

The chances of receiving a reward for a £1 bond are 24,500 to one, which is rather low. This equates to a “prize rate” of 1.4% beginning in June 2022. (up from 1 per cent before this).

However, there are two important considerations regarding these calculations:

  1. Even a low-interest savings account would have been preferable if you did not win any Premium Bond awards.
  2. The more Premium Bonds you own, the greater your chances of winning (this is not reflected in the 1.4 per cent prize fund rate, which is just an average for everyone)

How Likely are You to Win, and Who is Ernie?

Premium bonds function similarly to a lottery so that you may win the jackpot or nothing at all. Currently, the chances of each £1 bond number becoming a winner are 24,500 to 1.

Ernie, the NS&I’s “Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment,” selects the winners. Ernie is a computer that creates random numbers that are then compared to qualifying bond numbers to decide the winners.

Prizes range from £25 to two £1 million monthly jackpots. The overall prize pool fluctuates monthly. According to the graph below, the number of awards decreased in December 2020 but increased dramatically in June 2022, keeping with prize fund rate adjustments.


Around 21 million Britons hold premium Bonds, but their suitability for you depends on your financial situation.

Investing your whole life savings in Premium Bonds is unwise since you will not earn enough to keep pace with inflation (unless you are very lucky and win the jackpot).

Hopefully, you found this guide on UK premium bonds to be useful.