Premium Bond holders can be alerted to prize wins by text message

Premium Bond holders can now opt to be notified by text message if they have won a prize, NS&I has announced.

The Treasury-backed savings giant, which has 25 million customers, said bond holders will have the choice of receiving a text to tell them they have won a prize.

But they will still need to log into their account to find out how much they have won.

They already have the choice of receiving email notifications and they can also find out if they have won a prize in each month's draw by using the prize checker on NS&I's website – – or by downloading the NS&I prize checker app. Alternatively they can use its telephone prize checker.

People with an Alexa-enabled device can already use it to find out the exact value of their prize.

The changes have been announced after NS&I recently unveiled a raft of interest rate reductions across its products, including changes to Premium Bonds.

NS&I, which has a duty to balance the needs of savers, taxpayers and the wider market, previously said the rate cuts will take effect from May.

The odds of any £1 bond number winning any prize will decrease from 24,500/1 to 26,000/1 from the May 2020 draw.

Around 173,718 fewer Premium Bond prizes will be handed out in May compared with February.

In another change announced on Tuesday, which NS&I said it hopes will help it to attract younger savers, parents or guardians of children under the age of 16 who have had Premium Bonds bought for them will now have the opportunity to have any prizes won paid directly into their bank account.

This is instead of receiving warrants, which are like cheques. The designated responsible parent or guardian retains control of the child's account until the child's 16th birthday.

Parents or guardians managing Premium Bonds on behalf of children can also choose to be notified via email or text message if a prize is won.

NS&I said the changes will help its commitment to reducing the amount of paper warrants issued, as well as reducing its carbon footprint.

Jill Waters, NS&I retail director, said: "By allowing children's prize wins to be paid directly into a parent or guardian's account we are making life easier, ensuring that they have access to their winnings faster.

"By providing the option of a text message notification, we are providing customers with different ways to find out if they have won a prize.

"With more and more people engaging with NS&I through digital channels, it's important that we make our products as accessible and easy to use as possible."