Buying Prize Bonds in a Post Office

I used to have some Prize Bonds but cashed them in as I found the return to be quite poor compared to other options. Back then I was getting 4.75%+ on my savings with Rabo. Today is a very different story with my Rabo account earning just .4% interest. Take into account the DIRT at 39% and the returns are miniscule.

Prize Bonds cost €6.25 (with a minimum purchase of 4/€25) and each Prize Bond is entered into a draw each week where it can win a tax free prize. After 90 days holding period, you can cash in the Prize Bonds for the amount you paid for them.

The Prizes:

  • Quarterly €1 Million Prize
    The quarterly €1 Million Prize is awarded in the last draw of every quarter, i.e. March, June, September and December.
  • Weekly Top Prize €50,000, other than when the €1 Million prize is awarded.
  • 10 prizes @ €1,000
  • 10 prizes @ €500
  • All remaining prizes @ €50

The amount of €50 prizes vary each week with the total prizes issued per annum is 0.85% of the total value of all Prize Bonds issued.

I have a couple of grand that I will need in 4 months. If I stuck it into a savings account the interest earned would be negligible so I decided to go for Prize Bonds. I don’t expect to win anything and so any prizes would be a bonus.

Required Documents

If you haven’t purchased Prize Bonds since the 5 October 2014 you need to verify your identity. The required documentation is available online.

You can do either:

Public services card and proof of address

-OR-

Proof of identity, proof of address and proof of PPS number.

Proof of Address

Utility Bill (dated within last 6 months)
Financial Statement (dated within last 6 months)
Letter from Revenue or Department of Social Protection (dated within last 6 months)
Insurance certificate or renewal notice (dated within last 12 months)*

Proof of Identity

Passport
Drivers Licence
National ID Card

Proof of PPS Number

Social Services Card
Letter from Revenue or Department of Social Protection
P60, P45 or Payslip
EHIC
Drug Payment Scheme Card

*The website is quite clear that the insurance certificate or renewal notice can be dated within the last 12 months but when I got to the Post Office they wouldn’t accept it saying it had to be within 6 months so I had to come back with a printed copy of my bank statement.

Process

Once you have the required documents and the completed application form you can take it to any post office. You can pay by Cash, Cheque or Debit Card. The process took 5 or so minutes as they photocopy your documents so I’d recommend doing it when the post office isn’t busy. Once you have completed this ID check, in future you will not need to verify your identity again.

I purchased the PrizeBonds on a Saturday and they arrived two Friday later, so it took 10 working days to receive them which was much longer than I expected.

 

There is a good thread over on boards.ie discussing Prize Bonds and tracking wins. I don’t really see my Prize Bonds as an investment and will only be holding them for a short term. It’s just a place to put my money to make sure I don’t spend it and any wins will be a nice unexpected surprise.

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