How to check old premium bonds

Last Updated: January 20, 2021 References

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Premium Bonds are a type of savings investment offered in the UK by National Savings and Investment (NS&I). Every month, the Premium Bonds are put into a monthly drawing to win tax-free prize money from £25 to £1 million. Since they do not expire, you can still cash in old paper Premium Bonds if they’ve been selected. First, find your holder’s number and NS&I number from a bond report or tracing service. Once you have the information, you can check your Premium Bond online or the bond checker app to see if you’ve won!

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

Warning: NS&I won’t be able to process your information if you haven’t signed the bottom of the letter. If you’re over 16 and the investment was given to you as a child, then you must also have a witness signature from someone who is 18 and not related to you.

With £67m in unclaimed Premium Bonds, find out if any of that money has your name on.

How to check old premium bonds

How to check old premium bonds

There are currently more than 1.8 million unclaimed Premium Bond prizes, worth more than £67m, according to the latest figures. When you read that three questions should come to mind: Is any of that money mine? How do I find out? Should I buy some Premium Bonds now?

How to check old premium bonds

If you’ve got £25 minimum to spare, Premium Bonds give you the chance to be randomly picked for a prize every month. The prizes are tax-free and range from £25 to £1m. However, before you get too excited, the chances of winning has just gone down, thanks to a rate decrease.

From December 2020, the Premium Bonds prize fund rate was reduced from 1.40% to 1.00%. The odds of any £1 Bond number winning any prize have decreased from 24,500 to one to 34,500 to one. Being tax-free isn’t the pull it used to be since the personal savings allowance was introduced and most people’s savings interest is tax-free. So if you want your money to work for you, check out all savings options.

How to check old premium bonds

Why are so many prizes unclaimed?

Let’s face it, life’s full of so much admin these days, that it’s easy to lose track of things. You might have moved and forgotten to update your contact details, or been given Premium Bonds as a child and forgotten about them. Or, the letter might simply have got lost. The good news is that if you’ve won anything and NS&I can’t get hold of you, the money will sit and wait for you. NS&I keep it indefinitely, so even if it’s years later, you can still claim.

How to check old premium bonds

How do I check for unclaimed Premium Bond prizes?

*If you know your Premium Bond holder’s number, you can go to the prize checker section on the NS&I website or download the prize checker app – at the App store and on Google Play. If you own Amazon Alexa, there’s a Premium Bonds prize checker skill there too.

To check for prizes, NS&I are urging customer to use their Prize Checker online and help keep call centre capacity for customers with an urgent financial need, during the pandemic. Customers should also only send NS&I anything by post if they have no other choice.

If you are one of the two monthly jackpot winners, ‘Agent Million’ will contact you. In these days of social distancing, don’t expect a knock on the door but, NS&I say, they are ‘well-equipped’ to deliver the good news. If you’re registered for the online and phone service, you can choose to have any future prizes paid directly into your bank account. NS&I will notify you either by email or text message if you win.

*If you don’t know your Premium Bond holder’s number, but have an old letter from NS&I, you’ll find your NS&I number there. Use that, with your surname and password to log into NS&I online and find your holders number on the account details page.

*If you can’t find your holder’s number or account number, you can phone NS&I on 08085 007 007 or write and ask for a replacement bond record to be sent to you. Give as much detail as you can about your past addresses, where and when you bought the Premium Bonds and how much they might be worth.

*Alternatively, you can use the NS&I Tracing Service or My Lost Account to track down your Premium Bond details.

How to check old premium bonds

Rule change for Premium Bond gift buyers

A recent rule change means any adult can buy Premium Bonds for children (under 16s). So, whether you’re a grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, godparent, next door neighbour or family friend, you can buy them as a gift online at or by post. But you will need to nominate one of the child’s parents or guardians to look after the Bonds until the child turns 16.

How do Premium Bonds compare to savings accounts?

They aren’t really comparable as there’s no guarantee of winning anything. The nearest thing Premium Bonds have to an annual interest rate is their annual prize fund interest rate which means ‘on average’ the annual return is 1.0%. If you want to get an educated guess about how much your bonds are likely to earn you, try Moneysavingexpert’s Premium Bond probability calculator. Put in how many bonds you have and it will predict your likely winnings and compare them with savings.

How to check old premium bonds

Can Premium Bonds be passed on?

Premium Bonds remain eligible to wins for 12-months after the holder has deceased. You can’t pass Premium Bonds on but the executor can cash them in to form a part of the deceased’s estate. And they aren’t inheritance tax-free.

Prizes won before the 12 month limit can still be claimed – there’s no time limit. Here’s what to do if a NS&I customer has died.

Premium Bonds might be for you if:

*you want the chance to win £1m jackpot every month, and other tax-free prizes

*you have more than £25 to invest (the max you can invest is £50,00 per person)

*want 100% security for your money (because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury).

*want to make the most of tax-free investment opportunities (if you have used up your personal savings allowance)

*want to buy a money gift for a child

Premium Bonds might not be for you if:

*you want a regular income from the money

*are looking for guaranteed regular

*are concerned about inflation eroding your savings

*you want to invest jointly with someone else or in trust

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MSE Highlights 4/6

My Mums been tidying up and found £25 in premium bonds from way back when, perhaps over 50 years old, I seem to remember she did this a few years back and I found somewhere I could check them – alas I can’t seem to find that now, NS&I want a holders number, which I don’t have.

MSE Site seems to suggest I’m not going to be able to check them and will have to contact NS&I – Which seems like it could be a chore.

Any advice much appreciated! – Clearly with £25 it’s low odds there’s anything to claim but there you go!


Awesome! Thanks, sadly no winners! – Not surprising I guess!

Now to figure how how, if it’s worth it, getting them digital, I guess giving them a bell or posting them off.

Awesome! Thanks, sadly no winners! – Not surprising I guess!

Now to figure how how, if it’s worth it, getting them digital, I guess giving them a bell or posting them off.

Please let us know how you get on.

My wife has £5 worth and we’ve never worked out what to do with them.

Awesome! Thanks, sadly no winners! – Not surprising I guess!

Now to figure how how, if it’s worth it, getting them digital, I guess giving them a bell or posting them off.

Cool – cheers for that – I’m not even sure who the original owner was – either my deceased Aunt or Uncle, not sure which. My folks also have a few which will either be in their name or mine!

Cool – cheers for that – I’m not even sure who the original owner was – either my deceased Aunt or Uncle, not sure which. My folks also have a few which will either be in their name or mine!

You can’t transfer premium bonds into another name, so the bonds will still be registered in the name of the deceased aunt or uncle, and the executor or administrator of the holder’s estate should contact NS&I and cash them in.

Bonds are only eligible for prizes for one year after the holder’s death, so keeping them in an estate after that is pointless as any prizes allocated to those numbers will be void and the nominal value of the bonds is being eaten away by inflation every year.

How to check old premium bonds

Premium Bonds cost £1 per bond, and can be bought with a minimum investment of £25. The Premium Bonds numbers are then entered into a monthly prize draw. Rather than earning interest on the bonds, the holders instead get the chance to “win” money at different prize levels. This is determined randomly, using Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment – also known as ERNIE.

Premium Bonds holders could win in the prize draw

It’s possible to check to see if one has won a prize by using the holder’s number or the NS&I number.

A person can use their holder’s number on the prize checker on the NS&I website, as well as in the prize checker app.

All the Premium Bonds are grouped under a unique holder’s number.

By using one’s NS&I number, a person can check if they have won a prize using the Premium Bonds prize checker app, which is available on iOS or Android.

It’s not possible to use the Bond number or numbers in order to check if a person has won a prize.

However, people who don’t know the other number or have lost the documents, are able to write to NS&I in order to ask for a Bond record.

How to check old premium bonds

NS&I state that they contact all prize winners, however there are cases where the good news may not be received.

The website explains that this could be for a variety of reasons, such as not having an up-to-date address or other personal details, or the letter has gone astray.

NS&I hold onto the prize until the winner gets in touch, with there being no time limit for claims.

In addition to checking via the prize checker online and on the apps, it’s possible to write to NS&I in order to ask for one’s prize history.

In order to do this, Premium Bonds holders should include their name, address, and NS&I number or Premium Bonds holder’s number.

How to check old premium bonds

More than 3.3 million prizes were available in September 2019.

The prize fund amounted to in excess of £96 million.

This included two £1 million winners, while six people scooped a £100,000 payment.

NS&I unveiled details about the two holders of the top level Winning Bonds.

Both male, one person is from Surrey, while the other is from Hertfordshire.

MSE Highlights 4/6

I’ve found some old Premium Bonds belonging to my MIL, she has Alzheimers and is in a care facility. Can anybody advise me what to do with them please? They aren’t worth much at all but if she has ever won prizes on them then will they still be waiting for her? I am unsure about the whole thing and some advice would be greatly welcomed.


contact NS&I, with details, bondholders address, bond numbers.

Y’all take care now.

To see if there are any unclaimed ‘wins’, go here:

Enter the ‘holders number’ and select ‘unclaimed prizes’ from the drop down menu, hit return.

Then contact NS&I as stated above.

Contact NS&I to find out the procedure. They will not allow you to do anything with your mother’s Premium Bonds – whether surrendering them or just continuing to hold/operate them for her – without seeing a certified copy of the Power of Attorney, which they will make a note of for their files.

Do not send the original Power of Attorney (whether EPA or LPA), only a certified copy – sometimes the person you speak to mistakenly asks for the original; a copy will suffice. If the original goes missing, you’ll have real problems.

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MSE Highlights 4/6


I have around 13 £1 bonds given to me when i was a baby in the early 60’s and have twice won £50 with them – once in 1978, and once in the late 80’s, but statistically that does make me very very lucky!

The list of premium bond high value winners published each month gives the total holding of the winner, the value of the block containing the winning bond, and the month and year in whcih it was bought. You do occasionally see single bonds and/or ones bought a while ago winning.

For example, the million pound winning bond in June was bought over sixteen years ago, in January 1995

The list also shows that someone holding only £116 of bonds in total won £50,000 with a bond bought in December 1980, someone from Somerset with only £3 of bonds won £1,000 with a bond bought in 1971, as did the Kent holder of a single £10 bond from 1983 and soeone now living in Australia with a total holding of £5 bought in 1959. So it does happen!

Note that although the majority of winners are those bought relatively recently, this does NOT mean that any individual bond bought a while back is less likely to win than one bought more recently – it’s simply a reflection of the fact that far more bonds have been bought recently than in previous decades, and that many of those bought in the earlier days have been cashed in as people die or chose to withdraw their investment. Similarly, someone with the maximum holding of £30,000 has 29,999 more chances to win a prize than someone with a single bond, and so you see more winners holding a lot of bonds winning that those with a few. It’s not favouritism, it’s statistics!

The number on each voucher is not the number needed to check if it has won anything. There is no other paperwork only the 2 vouchers.

Have checked online but cannot see how I can find out, that’s if I can find out without the ID number. Are they good only for the bin now after this long?

no all premium bonds are still worth something albeit only face value i think.

i have one from my first birthday in 1969. There is an online search thing you can do but there’s an awful lot of numbers to trawl through.

I had this probelm – I wrote to them and they said the only person who can find out if they have won is the person who bought the bonds in teh first place. My bonds were bought for me when I was born by my grandfather who is now no longer with us so I think they are now worthless. They were only worth £6 so i persue it but if it’s a larger amount there must be a way. Sorry I realise I haven’t really been much help!

I meant to type I didn’t persue it!!

oh yeah. You know when you look at a word and you just know it’s wrong. Very tired late night last night!!

Face value is only £1 each and they were bought by dh’s (now deceased) grandmother.

I probably won’t pursue it, I just had this wishful fantasy that they were sitting on a million quid fortune!!

they will have been bought in dh’s name no?

simply write with details DH name, address (when bought) and numbers and ask if they’ve won anything .. you never know you might be sitting on a million pounds . doubt it but worth doing

You need the holders number

I don’t know my holder’s number.

If you cannot find a record of your holder’s or customer number, please write to us with your name, address, details of the accounts or investments you hold, purchase dates and amounts and any account, Bond or Certificate numbers. If you have moved house or changed your marital status and forgotten to tell us, please also include previous surname and/or addresses.

To make sure we provide the highest levels of security, we cannot disclose or update personal information without the Bondholder’s signature(s). If the Bond(s) were bought for you as a child, we may not have your signature on file in which case your signature should be witnessed by one of your parents (or another adult if your parent cannot sign) so that control of any Bonds can be transferred to you.

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More than £63 million in Premium Bond prizes have yet to be claimed by winners across the UK. There are […]

More than £63 million in Premium Bond prizes have yet to be claimed by winners across the UK.

There are still five prizes worth £100,000 left where no winner has come forward, as well as lots of smaller amounts waiting to be claimed.

This includes 92,000 unclaimed prizes in Scotland, and 559,000 unclaimed prizes in London and south east England.

Get financial advice and industry news, to you help manage your money

An unclaimed prize is classified as one that has not been claimed within 18 months of it being won. There is no time limit to making a claim.

NS&I, which runs Premium Bonds, contacts winners when they have a prize to claim, however sometimes this does not work if contact details are not up-to-date or letters get lost in the post.

And sometimes people may not know that they could potentially be due a letter, having forgotten about bonds they bought a long time ago or were given as a gift.

How to check if you have Premium Bonds

If you think there is a chance that you could have Premium Bonds, but you are not sure, there is a tracking service on the NS&I website.

To check if you have any bonds you need to fill out a form with your personal details and send it off. If you do have Premium Bonds, then you will be contacted.

How to check if you have won a prize

If you know you have bonds and want to find out if you are owed a prize, you can also do this on the NS&I website.

To do so you need your unique holder’s number, which can be found on your bond record or by logging into your account on the NS&I website.

It is a nine or 10 digit number, or an eight digit number with a letter at the end.

You then need to enter this number into the prize checker and it will tell you whether you are due to claim a prize or not.

You can also use your NS&I number to check if you have won a prize, but this can only be done in the app and not on the website.

If you have an NS&I number, you’ll find it on most communications you’ve had with them.
If you only know your bond numbers, or have lost your documents, then the only way to find out if you have won a prize is to write to NS&I and request a bond record.

This will show all the bonds you hold as well as your holder’s number and your NS&I number.