NS&I to keep paying Premium Bond prizes by cheque after complaints force U-turn
Premium Bond-holders will be able to continue getting paper prize cheques after NS&I bowed to complaints about plans to axe them.
Currently some Premium Bond holders opt to have prizes paid in the form of a paper 'warrant', which is like a cheque – though you can also choose to have prizes paid straight into your bank account, or reinvested to buy more Premium Bonds.
In September 2020, NS&I - which runs Premium Bonds - said it would start moving customers who get paper warrants over to bank transfer prize payments from December 2020, with paper warrants being phased out completely by March 2021. It argued that paying Premium Bond prizes directly into bank accounts is quicker, easier and more secure, and less likely to result in prizes going unclaimed.
But it now says it's rethought those plans, following feedback from customers, and will continue to issue prizes as cheques where requested. NS&I has faced a high level of complaints over customer service in recent months, and a significant backlash to the decision to axe cheques.
For full details on how Premium Bonds work, including our analysis of whether they're worth buying, see our Premium Bonds guide.
How to decide how you receive Premium Bond prizes
If you want to continue receiving paper prizes, you can. NS&I says there is nothing more you need to do.
However, if you want to change the way you receive prizes, here's what to do:
- You can make a change via your online account. If you don't already have an NS&I account, you can register online. Then to choose how you want your prizes to be paid, log in to your account and select 'Your profile' and 'Your prize options'.
- If you don't have or want an online account, you can make the request without one. You can call NS&I on 08085 007 007.
Remember, NS&I will NEVER phone you and ask for your bank details, so if this happens to you it may be a scam.
What does NS&I say?
A spokesperson for NS&I said: "Paying prizes directly into customers’ bank accounts is quicker, more secure, more sustainable and better value for the taxpayer.
"Customers who want to sign up to have their Premium Bonds prizes paid directly to their bank accounts do not need to choose to bank online or over the phone, and our customer service teams will be on hand to help them in whichever way they choose."