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Can I check a premium bond number?

Yes, it is possible to check the numbers on your premium bonds. There are a few different ways to do this depending on whether you want to check online, by phone, or in writing.

Checking Premium Bond Numbers Online

The quickest and easiest way to check your premium bond numbers is to do it online via the NS&I website. To check online you will need to log into your NS&I account. If you don’t already have an account, you can register for one using your premium bond holder’s number.

Once logged into your account, you will be able to view all of your current premium bond holdings, including the bond number and value of each one. The numbers will be displayed clearly next to each bond. You can also search for a particular bond number using the search box.

As well as checking individual bond numbers, you can also see an overview of all your bond holdings on the ‘Your Bonds’ page. This shows the total number of premium bonds you have, their total value, the issues they are from and their odds of winning.

Checking By Phone

You can also check your premium bond numbers over the phone by calling the NS&I customer service team on 08085 007 007. You will need to have your holder’s number to hand.

An adviser will be able to look up your account and read out the numbers of each of your bonds. They can also tell you the value of each bond if needed. Sometimes there are options to speak to an adviser via an automated phone system. So you may need to make selections in order to get through to someone who can give you the details.

Phone operating hours are generally 8am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. Calling is a convenient option if you need to check a bond number quickly and don’t have access to your account online.

Checking In Writing

You can also request your bond numbers and other details in writing from NS&I. To do this you need to write to:


G58 1SB

In your letter you will need to provide your name and holder’s number. Make it clear you are requesting details of your current bond holdings. Within 10 working days you will then receive a written response with all of your bond numbers listed.

This is a more time-consuming method but can provide a handy paper record of your holdings if needed. You may wish to check in writing annually or if you need to provide evidence of your holdings.

Tracking Bond Numbers For Draws

As well as just checking your existing bond numbers, you can also track numbers to see if they have won in the monthly prize draws.

The quickest way to do this is online by using the prize checker tool. You can enter any premium bond number to see if it has won a prize and how much. This covers all bonds entered in draws in the past 180 days.

If you want to check older draws for wins, you would need to do so in writing. Send your bond numbers to NS&I asking them to check for wins in a specific period. The minimum period you can check is one calendar month.

Bear in mind that the further back you go, the less likely it is your bonds will have won. The odds of any premium bond number winning are just 24,500 to 1 each month.

Protecting Your Premium Bond Numbers

While it’s easy to check your premium bond numbers, you shouldn’t share the numbers with anyone else without good reason. This is to help protect your holdings against potential fraud.

NS&I treats bond numbers like sensitive financial information. Someone with your bond numbers could potentially make changes to your holdings or withdrawals against your wishes.

If you need to share your bond numbers with a third party like a financial adviser, only do so if absolutely necessary. Never publish or share your numbers publicly online or anywhere they could be accessed by others.

How Bond Numbers Are Allocated

When you first purchase premium bonds, the numbers are allocated randomly. The numbers consist of two letters followed by seven digits e.g. AB1234567.

The first letter indicates the year of issue and the second letter indicates the month. So ‘AB’ bonds were issued in 2022, ‘BC’ bonds in 2023 and so on. The seven digits are completely random when issued.

Each premium bond number is unique. The numbers are stored against your holder’s number in NS&I’s systems so they can track ownership.

You don’t get to choose your premium bond numbers and can’t change them. The numbers stay the same during the lifetime of each bond.

How Many Premium Bond Numbers You Can Have

There is no limit on how many different premium bond numbers you can hold. The bonds are issued in units of £1, so your total number depends on your holding size.

For example if you held £10,000 in premium bonds, you would have 10,000 different bond numbers. Even for the minimum £25 holding, you get 25 different numbers.

The more bond numbers you have, the greater your chances of winning. Although each number has the same odds in each draw, having more gives more chances to win.

NS&I currently limits any one person to holding £50,000 in premium bonds. So the maximum number of bond numbers per person is 50,000.

How Long Premium Bond Numbers Last

Premium bond numbers remain active and eligible to win prizes as long as you keep holding the bonds. There is no expiry date or time limit on bonds.

Even bonds you purchased decades ago maintain the same numbers and can still win. The bond numbers only get removed once the bond is cashed in or redeemed.

So if you keep reinvesting your winnings into new bonds, you can accumulate more and more active numbers over time. Maximising numbers is one way to boost your prize draw odds.

Losing Track of Premium Bond Numbers

It’s quite easy to lose track of your bond numbers over time, particularly if you hold a large number. You may forget specific numbers and not have a record of them.

But this isn’t generally a problem as NS&I keeps track of all numbers for you. As long as the bonds remain in your holder’s account, the numbers stay active.

If you need to check the numbers, you can view them on your account or request a statement. The numbers don’t expire so there is no time limit on finding out lost numbers again.

Checking Numbers After Encashing Bonds

If you cash in some or all of your premium bonds, the encashed bond numbers are removed from your account. They are no longer eligible to win prizes after encashing.

It’s not possible to check numbers of bonds you have encashed. NS&I delete the details once bonds are cashed in. The only record is on your statement showing the encashment.

So if you need the actual bond numbers for reference, you must check them before cashing the bonds in. Take note of any important numbers you may need later.

Options If You Lose All Your Bond Numbers

In very rare cases, you may completely lose track of all your premium bond numbers. This might happen if you lose all your account details and statements.

Unfortunately without any bond numbers, it’s very difficult to access your account. NS&I will need some proof of ownership to restore bond numbers.

Your best option is to visit your bank in person. Most banks can print out past bank statements showing premium bond transactions and details. This can act as proof to restore bond numbers.

Alternatively any paperwork showing your name, address and holder’s number can help verify identity. You may be able to rebuild your account and numbers over time.

How Winners Are Picked For Premium Bonds

Premium bond numbers are entered into a monthly prize draw to determine winners. A computerised random number generator is used to pick the winning numbers.

For each prize, the generator will pick a bond number at complete random from the billions of eligible numbers.

The process is tested and audited to prove it is truly random. Each bond number has exactly the same 24,500/1 chance of being picked in a given month.

Winners are determined solely on the randomly generated bond numbers. The value of each bond number doesn’t affect its chances.

How Prize Money Relates To Bond Numbers

The amount of prize money won depends on which premium bond number is drawn, not the value of that bond.

So if a £1 bond number is picked, it will win the same prize as a £500 bond. The bond value doesn’t determine the prize.

For example in the December 2022 draw, bond number 109MS67482 won £1 million. This was paid out regardless of what the actual bond value was.

There are set prizes for each winning number picked – £1 million, £100,000, £50,000, £25,000, £10,000, £5,000, £1,000, £500, £100, £50 and £25.

Unclaimed Premium Bond Prizes

On rare occasions, a winning premium bond number belongs to someone who fails to claim their prize. This may happen if the person moves house without updating details.

If a prize remains unclaimed for more than 28 days after the draw, NS&I will start trying to trace the winner. First, they will try to contact the winner directly using account details.

If this fails, NS&I has access to databases like the electoral roll to carry out tracing. The aim is to find current contact details wherever possible.

If they are unable to trace the winner after around 6 months , the money will be paid back into the prize fund. Unclaimed prizes allow additional prizes to be given out each month.

How To Improve Your Chances of Winning

While the prize draw is completely random, there are a few things you can do to maximise your chances of picking a winning premium bond number:

  • Hold the maximum £50,000 in premium bonds to have the greatest number of eligible numbers
  • Reinvest all your winnings to build up more bond numbers over time
  • Buy bonds for other family members using their holder’s number
  • Wait until you have the maximum amount before buying bonds to maximise numbers quickly
  • Consider buying bonds as gifts for children – they get own holder’s number

Ultimately, the more bond numbers you have, the more tickets you have in each monthly draw. While this doesn’t guarantee wins, it does make winning more likely over time.

How Long It Takes To Receive Prizes

If one of your premium bond numbers wins a prize, you will receive the money within a few days of the draw.

For the majority of prizes over £500, NS&I will transfer the money straight into your nominated bank account via BACS transfer.

Smaller prizes under £500 are generally sent as a warrant. This is a cheque issued by NS&I which you then bank or cash to get the money.

With both methods you will receive winnings within around 5 working days. Larger prizes may take a little longer to validate before payment.

How To Cash in Premium Bonds

There are a few different options if you want to cash in premium bonds and withdraw money:

  • Online – Log into your account and select ‘Cash in your bonds’. Pick which bond numbers to encash.
  • By post – Download an encashment form and post back requesting bonds to be cashed in.
  • By phone – Call customer services and ask for specific bonds to be cashed in.
  • In person – Visit the NS&I Glasgow centre with ID and request bond encashment.

Once processed, funds will be released to your nominated bank account, usually within 5 working days. Encashed bond numbers are then removed.

How To Gift Premium Bonds

As well as buying bonds for yourself, you can also purchase them as gifts for other people including children and grandchildren.

Each recipient will get their own holder’s number. You can buy the bonds on their behalf and have the numbers assigned to them.

Premium bonds make excellent gifts for new births, birthdays, weddings and other occasions. The minimum gift amount is £25.

As the recipient, they will then be able to manage the bonds online or via phone using their holder’s number. You don’t have to reveal the bond numbers.

How To Check Numbers Bought As Gifts

If you have bought premium bonds as a gift for someone else, you won’t be able to view or track their bond numbers.

The recipient will have their own account and bonds separate from your holdings. So you can’t log in and check their numbers.

However, you can ask the recipient to confirm their numbers with you if needed. They have full access to the bond details through their account.

As the bonds are a gift, you relinquish ownership and management of them once purchased. The recipient takes full control.

How To Locate Lost Premium Bond Certificates

Premium bond certificates used to be issued as proof of bond purchases. However, these paper certificates are no longer used.

All records are now stored electronically in your online account. So you don’t need to worry about locating paper certificates.

If you previously had premium bond certificates and have lost them, don’t worry. The certificates only acted as a record of your holdings.

The actual bond records are held by NS&I electronically. Your bond numbers and holdings remain valid without certificates.


Checking your premium bond numbers is quick and easy to do through the NS&I website or over the phone. Keeping track of your numbers allows you to monitor holdings and see if you have won any prizes.

Protecting access to your numbers helps keep your bonds secure. But even if you lose your numbers, NS&I can still verify your identity and restore access.

Maximising the number of active bond numbers you hold gives you the best chance of winning. Although prizes are random, more eligible numbers equals more chances to win.