A new type of savings product offering £100 cash prizes has attracted 47,318 account openings by the end of April leading to 458 winners in its inaugural prize draw.
Nationwide Building Society’s Start to Save account was launched in February1 with the aim of getting Britain to save more, especially those who have the means to save even a small amount but, for whatever reason, aren’t doing so. It is an online, instant access, regular savings account that pays 1.00% AER/gross p.a. (variable), which allows a balance increase of up to £100 per month. To be eligible for the prize draws, savers need to increase their balance in the account by a minimum of £50 (up to a maximum of £100) in each of the three calendar months leading up to the month of the prize draw.
For the first prize draw (Tuesday 21 July), 17,901 of the accounts were able to save between £50 and £100 each month between April and June, therefore meeting the entry criteria. This generated a total prize fund of £45,800 – that is one per cent of the total balance increase across all the qualifying accounts between April and June.
Winners are being notified by email this week with their prize paid into their account between 28 July and 4 August.
Move towards October’s prize draw
It’s encouraging that since the launch in February, there has been a consistent number of account openings (more than 15,000 each month), even during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of 30 June 2020, the total number of accounts opened reached 83,806 – all of which will be eligible for the second prize draw in October if those savers can increase their account balance between £50 and £100 in each of the three preceding months (July, August and September).
The account has proved particularly popular with those aged between 18 and 39 with more than half (52%) all Start to Save account openings, up to 30 June, made by this age group. This compares to just 28 per cent of that age group opening all other savings accounts.
By the end of June, a total of £15.92 million had been saved in the Society’s new account. Encouragingly, around 41,000 people – enough to fill Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium – who had less than £100 in savings with Nationwide previously, now have more than £100 as a result of Start to Save. That equates to nearly half (49%) of all the accounts opened.
Tom Riley, Nationwide’s Director of Banking & Savings, said: “We’re delighted to be able to reward the savings habit for hundreds of our members through our first prize draw. Our aim with Start to Save is to encourage people to either rediscover the savings habit or embrace it for the first time. It is really encouraging to see more than half of accounts opened were by those aged between 18 and 39.
“As we look ahead to the next prize draw and beyond, we know many may find it difficult to put money away due to the impact of Covid-19. We’re always looking at additional ways that we can both support and encourage people to put away money regularly.”