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NatWest launches Premium Bonds alternative

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NatWest has unveiled a new competition for savers, offering the chance to win £1,000 cash prizes.

The competition is open to savers who open a Digital Regular Saver account in March, and save between £1 and £50 in April, May and June. Qualifying savers will be entered into a draw, which will take place in July. 10 winners will walk away with a £1,000 prize.

Lewis Broadie, savings expert at NatWest, commented: “Since the launch of the Digital Regular Saver we have seen that once customers begin to save they develop a really good savings habit and with the added incentive of a chance to win £1,000 we hope to help even more customers kickstart a savings habit.”

How does a regular saver work?

Regular saver accounts are designed to get people into the savings habit, as you have to commit to put a certain amount aside each month. In return you then enjoy a decent rate of interest, before the account ‘matures’ ‒ usually after a year ‒ and you receive the money plus interest you’ve saved, to do with as you please.

NatWest’s Digital Regular Saver pays a rate of 3% on balances of up to £1,000, and is only open to those who have a current account with the bank.

Unusually, the Digital Regular Saver actually allows you to withdraw money from the account without having to close it. Many regular savers don’t permit you to make any withdrawals at all, with savers instead forced to close the account and sacrifice the interest if they need to get their hands on their cash. 

Winning a prize by saving

Getting a decent return on your savings is not that easy in the current low interest rate environment, so the lure of potentially winning a cash prize on top of any interest paid can be particularly powerful.

For example, the nation’s favourite savings account, Premium Bonds, doesn’t pay any interest at all but instead runs monthly draws with winners bagging a £1m prize. While more than 21 million people hold bonds, savers have started to look elsewhere in recent months after National Savings & Investments ‒ the government-backed bank which runs the bonds ‒ slashed the prize rate.

Halifax runs its own monthly prize draw, which is open to anyone with savings of £5,000 or more in qualifying accounts. There are three top prizes of £100,000, 100 prizes of £1,000 and 1,500 prizes of £100.

Nationwide has also launched its own scheme aimed at encouraging people to get started with saving, called Start to Save. The Start to Save account pays 1% interest, and in order to qualify you have to pay in between £50 and £100 in each of the three months before one of its quarterly prize draws.

The number of winners for each draw will vary, based on the prize fund, which is calculated as 1% of the total increase in balances in qualifying accounts for the three months before the draw.

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