Great news from ERNIE: Premium Bonds maximum investment increased to £50,000

Customers will be able to invest a further £10,000 in Premium Bonds from Monday 1 June 2015 after the maximum holding limit was increased from £40,000 to £50,000.

  • Premium Bonds limit increases to £50,000 from Monday 1 June 2015.
  • NS&I launches ‘Premium Bonds made by ERNIE’ Facebook page.
  • Parents can now buy Bonds for their children online or over the phone for the first time.

The change follows the Chancellor’s announcement in the 2014 Budget that NS&I would help support savers by increasing the Premium Bonds investment limit. It comes 12 months after the Premium Bonds limit was increased from £30,000 to £40,000 with a second £1 million prize winner also being introduced from August 2014.

The total amount invested in Premium Bonds has increased from £19.7 billion in 2003 (when the previous £20,000 limit was increased to £30,000) to over £53 billion today – an increase of 169%.  The total Investment value has increased by £6bn since last June and NS&I expect the total amount will increase again following changes on 1 June this year.

Premium Bonds remain popular with savers for a variety of reasons: they offer a chance to win tax-free prizes, they can be easily bought and managed online or by phone and due to the excitement that ERNIE brings each month when he creates two £1 million jackpot winning Bond numbers and delivers over 2 million other prizes from £25 to £100,000 in value, across the country.

To celebrate the increase to the allowance – and to encourage Premium Bonds holders and fans of ERNIE to share their Premium Bond stories – NS&I has launched a new Facebook page ‘Premium Bonds made by ERNIE’.

The page will give people the chance to explore the history of one of Britain’s most loved savings products and invites them to share with the world some of their own experiences using ‪the hashtag #‎ERNIEmoment.

Premium Bonds made by ERNIE on Facebook

In addition to the changes to the Premium Bonds limit, from Monday 1 June 2015 parents or legal guardians will now have the opportunity to purchase Premium Bonds for their children directly online or by phone for the first time.

Previously parents could only buy by post, or at a Post Office branch, but they can now purchase Bonds for their children (so long as they are under 16) through the internet or over the phone.

Jane Platt, NS&I’s Chief Executive said:

“Premium Bonds are one of the nation’s favourite ways to save. Last year we saw a huge level of interest when we raised the limit from £30,000 to £40,000 and this latest increase to £50,000 is further good news for customers who want to save more and to give themselves extra chances to win a tax-free prize.”

“Premium Bonds have been with us for almost 60 years and the process of buying them, how much you can invest and even the Bond record itself has changed a lot in that time – but ERNIE and the randomness of how our winners are picked is timeless and well-loved.

“Our new Facebook page means there are now more ways that people can share the excitement and randomness of winning with Premium Bonds and ERNIE, and we look forward to our customers and savers as a whole connecting with us on Facebook this summer and beyond.”

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin said:

“Our long term plan is all about supporting savers and boosting working people’s financial security at all stages of life.

“That’s why we have increased the amount people can invest in Premium Bonds for the second time in two years. As a result of our changes people will be able to invest up to £50,000 tax free, and 100% backed by the government.”

Premium Bonds facts

  • Since the first Premium Bonds prize draw in June 1957, over 316.2 million tax–free prizes have been paid out.
  • Each month ERNIE, our Blackpool-based random number generator, produces numbers that deliver prizes ranging from £25 up to the £1 million jackpot.
  • In May 2015, ERNIE paid out over 2 million prizes, together amounting to over £60 million in value. The overall value of prizes paid out each month is based on the prize fund rate and the number of Bonds in the draw. This means the more money invested in Premium Bonds, the higher the overall value of prizes awarded for a given prize fund rate.
  • Like all NS&I products, Premium Bonds offer investors 100% capital security because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury. Investors can cash in their Premium Bonds at any time.

Some myths about ERNIE

  • Can Bonds be left out of the draw?

No. ERNIE just generates random numbers. No numbers are entered or stored in ERNIE, so no eligible Bonds can be left out of the draw.

  • Does changing numbers change your luck?

Sadly not! If you cash in and buy new Bonds you will have to wait another calendar month for your new numbers to enter the draw. And meanwhile ERNIE might have picked your old number.

  • Why do people in the South East of England win more often?

Because there are more Bonds held there compared with the rest of the UK.

  • Why do old Bond numbers never win?

They do win. But there are so many more new Bond numbers in the draw that it is less likely – over 91% of eligible Bonds have been bought since the year 2000.

How to buy Premium Bonds

  • Direct transfer from your bank account – if you already have some Premium Bonds and know your holder’s number, a quick and easy way to buy more Bonds is to make a transfer from your bank account
  • Apply online – visit the NS&I website at
  • Apply by phone – call any time on 0500 500 000
  • Apply by post – complete an application form available from NS&I and post it back to us.
  • Apply at your local Post Office – over the counter.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Premium Bonds were introduced in November 1956 and the first draw took place on 2 June 1957. Premium Bonds customers will only be able to increase their holding above £40,000 from 1 June 2015 and not before.
  2. ERNIE – Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment.
  3. NS&I is one of the largest savings organisations in the UK, offering a range of savings and investments products. All products offer 100% security, because NS&I is backed by HM Treasury.
  4. For further information, interviews with Julian Hynd and digital images, contact the NS&I Media Team. An ISDN line is also available for interviews.

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