I decided to ‘invest’ in some Prize Bonds earlier in the year as I had money that I wouldn’t need for several months. When I went to buy the bonds in the post office by N26 debit card was initially rejected although after a bit of back and forth with An Post it then worked once they updated their BIN database. I opted to receive any prizes by Bank Transfer to my N26 account and they accepted the German IBAN when buying online.

I was lucky enough to win a €50 prize and expected to see the funds in my bank account in around a week but they never arrived. After I got home from travelling I saw a cheque waiting from Prize Bonds. I emailed Prize Bonds stating that I requested prizes to be paid by Bank Transfer and could they arrange to transfer the money to my bank account. I included my German IBAN in the email.  They told me to return the cheque and they would complete a bank transfer to my account.

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Prize Bonds cost €6.25 each and are entered into a weekly draw giving you the opportunity to win tax free cash prices. Previously the prizes awarded were calculated based on an interest rate of 0.85%, this has now been cut to 0.5% starting from August. The rate cut isn’t that surprising considering how low interest rates are. Prize Bonds are part of the government debt and 0.85% interest rate was much higher than the government could otherwise borrow money at. Regardless this is bad news for those who have invested in Prize Bonds.

Old Prize Structure:

  • €1 Million Prize awarded 4 times a year (March, June, September and December)
  • Weekly Top Prize €50,000, other than when the €1 Million prize is awarded
  • 10x €1,000 prizes
  • 10x €500 prizes
  • All remaining prizes @ €50

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A while back I bought Prize Bonds. This was the first time I purchased Prize Bonds since they brought in the stricter ID requirements. I generally find Prize Bonds a poor return on investment but decided to give it a go more for entertainment sake.

After I was registered on the system apparently it is much easier to purchase further Prize Bonds online and in a Post Office as you no longer need to verify your identity again. One of the places the N26 debit card was not accepted was at Post Offices and to purchase Prize Bonds online. This was because these systems identified the BIN (first 6 numbers of the card number) as a credit card and not a debit card. I got in touch with An Post regarding this and to their credit they had it fixed very quickly.

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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.

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