Premium Bonds winner cheques to be scrapped: Act now
NS&I will be phasing out cheques paid to winners from December, instead paying prizes direct to customers’ bank accounts. Here’s what you need to do.
Premium Bonds prize winners can receive paper warrants – like a cheque – in the post which are valid for three months, though can be accepted at a later date depending on the user’s bank.
However, NS&I has announced that between December 2020 and March 2021, it will phase out paper warrants, with customers moved to having prizes paid directly into bank accounts or reinvested into more Premium Bonds (maximum £50,000).
During the transition, customers will be issued with a prize claim letter telling them how to arrange future payment of prizes.
Since March, nearly half a million customers have switched from receiving paper warrants to having their prizes paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested.
And in the September 2020 prize draw, almost three quarters (74%) of the 3.85 million prizes were paid directly into customers’ bank accounts or reinvested into more Premium Bonds.
NS&I said payment by BACS is more “cost-effective and environmentally sustainable” than warrants sent by post and will mean customers will receive prizes more quickly and securely.
Customers need to act now
Premium Bond holders who opted to receive warrants will need to ensure NS&I has their up-to-date UK bank account details and email address or mobile phone number.
NS&I is urging customers to do this as soon as possible, adding that it will never call customers and ask for their bank details.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Already registered for online and phone services? You’ll need to input bank account details by visiting nsandi.com and using the secure log in. Go to ’Your profile’ and select ‘Your prize options’ and choose to have prizes paid directly to their bank account or to have prizes automatically reinvested into more Premium Bonds.
- Not registered? You’ll need to register for NS&I’s online and phone services at www.nsandi.com/online-registration and can then manage prize options as above.
- No internet access? Call NS&I on 08085 007 007 to either provide NS&I with their bank details or register to manage their savings, including Premium Bonds, with NS&I.
Customers can check the Premium Bonds results via the online prize checker at nsandi.com, the NS&I prize checker app, and the Premium Bonds Alexa skill. Alternatively, Customers will be notified of any prize win via email or text.
Ian Ackerley, NS&I chief executive, said: “Paying Premium Bonds prizes directly into customers’ bank accounts is quicker, easier and more secure for everyone. It will also mean that we can reduce the number of Premium Bonds prizes that go unclaimed where we don’t have a current address for the winner. Customers can also continue to have any prize wins reinvested into more Premium Bonds up to the £50,000 limit to increase their chances of winning in future draws.
“There is an understandable affection for prizes being received by post, but since March, nearly half a million customers have switched from receiving paper warrants to having their prizes paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested. As well as being beneficial to our customers, this change will allow NS&I to manage Premium Bonds prize distribution more cost-effectively and with a much lower environmental impact.”