Premium bond v cash ISAs


Investing in premium bonds and Cash ISAs can be a great way to save and potentially earn a return on your money. However, as with any investment, it’s important to consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

What’s a premium bond?

First, let’s take a look at premium bonds. Premium bonds are a type of savings bond offered by the UK government. Instead of earning interest on your savings, your money is entered into a monthly prize draw for a chance to win tax-free prizes ranging from £25 to £1 million. While the chances of winning a large prize are slim, premium bonds can be a good option for those who want to save money in a safe and secure way while also having the chance to win some extra cash.

One of the biggest advantages of premium bonds is that they are backed by the UK government, which makes them a safe and secure investment. Additionally, because the prizes are tax-free, you get to keep 100% of your winnings if you’re lucky enough to win. Finally, premium bonds are easy to purchase and manage, as you can buy them online, by phone, or by post, and you can cash them in at any time without penalty.

However, there are also some downsides to investing in premium bonds. First and foremost, the odds of winning a prize are low. According to the National Savings and Investment (NS&I) website, the odds of winning any prize with a single £1 bond are 34,500 to 1. While the odds of winning increase as you hold more bonds, the chances of winning a large prize are still quite slim. Additionally, because premium bonds don’t earn interest, you may end up losing money in real terms if inflation outpaces the value of your winnings. With interest rates now substantially higher than they were a year ago, that is a factor that has to be carefully considered.

What’s a Cash ISA?

Now let’s turn to Cash ISAs. Cash ISAs are a type of savings account that allows you to save money tax-free. You can choose from a variety of different Cash ISA accounts, including instant access accounts, fixed-term accounts, and easy-access accounts. Cash ISAs can be a good option for those who want to save money in a low-risk, tax-efficient way.

One of the biggest advantages of Cash ISAs is that they offer tax-free savings. This means that you don’t have to pay any income tax on the interest you earn, which can be a big advantage if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer. Additionally, because Cash ISAs are offered by a variety of different banks and building societies, you can shop around to find the best interest rates and account terms to suit your needs.

Cash is not always king

However, there are also some downsides to investing in Cash ISAs. Although interest rates have been rising, interest rates on Cash ISAs can vary widely. Additionally, some Cash ISAs have restrictions on how much you can save or when you can access your money, which can be inconvenient if you need to withdraw funds in an emergency.

More important is the impact of inflation on your money. Inflation means the general increase in prices of goods and services over time. When inflation is higher than the interest rates, it means that the purchasing power of your cash will fall faster than the interest you earn on it. That’s because the prices of goods and services are rising faster than the rate at which your cash is growing. As a result, the real value of your cash decreases, and you can buy fewer goods and services with the same amount of money. Therefore, it is important to consider inflation and interest rates when making financial decisions to ensure that your money retains its value over time.

Premium bonds or Cash ISAs?

So, should you invest in premium bonds or Cash ISAs? Ultimately, the answer depends on your individual circumstances and investment goals. If you’re looking for a low-risk, tax-efficient way to save money and potentially win some extra cash, premium bonds may be a good option for you. However, if you’re looking for a more traditional savings account with tax-free savings and a guaranteed interest rate, a Cash ISA may be a better fit.

If you’re saving for the long term, you should also consider investing some of your money in a Stocks and Shares ISA. A Stocks and Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) is a tax-efficient investment account that allows individuals to invest in a range of assets, including shares, bonds and funds. Statistics show that over the long run, investing always outpaces cash. This blog on Children’s savings is a great example of long-term investment performance.

Benefits of a Stocks and Shares ISA

Tax-free growth: The investments held within a Stocks and Shares ISA can grow free from capital gains tax and income tax, which means you get to keep more of your returns.

Flexibility: Stocks and Shares ISA offers a wide range of investment options to suit your financial goals and risk appetite. You can invest in individual stocks, bonds, funds and other assets as well as cash.

Diversification: With a Stocks and Shares ISA, you can spread your investment across different asset classes and sectors, which can help reduce your overall risk.

Long-term growth potential: Investing in stocks and shares can potentially offer higher returns than traditional savings accounts in the long run, making it a great option for those who are looking for long-term growth.

Overall, a Stocks and Shares ISA can be an excellent way to invest your money tax-efficiently and potentially grow your wealth over time. However, it is essential to understand the risks involved and seek advice from a financial adviser if you are unsure about your investment options.

When making your decision, it’s important to consider your overall investment portfolio, your risk tolerance, and your long-term financial goals. You may want to speak with a financial adviser to get personalised advice on which investment options are right for you.


In summary, both premium bonds and Cash ISAs can be good options for those looking to save money in a tax-efficient way. However, it’s important to consider this as part of your overall long-term saving and investment plans — too much cash could also mean that your assets underperform over the long run.

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