How long does it take for Series EE bonds to mature? | Bankrate (2024)

When looking into “safe” investments, many people like the idea of using government bonds, since they’re backed by the U.S. government.

Savings EE bonds are a popular type of government bond: They earn a fixed rate of return, and only require $25 to buy. Like other savings bonds, they give consumers an opportunity to earn extra cash through compounded returns.

When you choose Series EE bonds, you have the opportunity to double your investment if you hold them for 20 years. However, the nominal rate is often less than what you’d see with the best online savings accounts. The bonds must be purchased electronically through Treasury Direct.

Let’s take a closer look at how Series EE bond maturities work, and what you can expect when you invest in them.

Maturity dates for Series EE bonds

Currently, Series EE bonds are guaranteed to earn a fixed interest rate for 20 years, which is when the bond matures. At 20 years, the government ensures that you will be paid double the face value of the bond. Although they technically mature after 20 years, since that’s when the guaranteed interest rate ends, these bonds actually don’t expire for 30 years.

“All Series EE bonds expire in 30 years,” says Jim Pendergast, general manager of altLine by The Southern Bank. “This means that the most you have is 30 years to let interest add up and compound, even though, theoretically, you can redeem your bond at any time.”

As long as you cash in your bond at the maturity date, you can guarantee your investment will double. So, if you buy a Series EE bond today for $25, and hold it for 20 years, you can cash it in for $50. The Treasury Department makes an adjustment to the interest earnings if needed.

Historically, though, Series EE bonds have taken less time to mature. Here are the historical maturity dates for Series EE bonds:

  • January – October 1980: 11 years
  • November 1980 – April 1981: 9 years
  • May 1981 – October 1982: 8 years
  • November 1982 – October 1986: 10 years
  • November 1986 – February 1993: 12 years
  • March 1993 – April 1995: 18 years
  • May 1995 – May 2003: 17 years
  • After June 2003: 20 years

How long to wait to cash Series EE bonds

While you can’t cash Series EE bonds within a year, you can redeem them any time after that. Pendergast points out that the longer you hold your bond, the more likely you are to benefit from it. Just remember, he says, that you’re only guaranteed to see double the face value when you hold the bond until maturity.

You can receive years of “extra” interest by holding the bond beyond the maturity date, but once 30 years have passed, you won’t accrue any extra interest.

If you want full value, you should hold the Series EE bonds at least until maturity, and if you want extra, you can hold them until 30 years. But once 30 years have passed, it’s a good idea to cash them in because you won’t get any extra benefit.

In some cases, you might actually be better off cashing them in before maturity, Pendergast points out. If you can move the money into a more liquid investment vehicle with higher returns, it might make more sense depending on your goals for the money.

However, know that if you redeem the bond before five years pass, there’s a penalty: you lose the last three months of interest you earned. So, for example, if you cash in a Series EE bond after 2 years, you’ll get to keep the first 21 months of interest.

Interest accrual and compounding on Series EE bonds

Series EE bonds issued since May 2005 accrue interest at a fixed monthly rate, which is compounded semi-annually. If you have bonds bought prior to that, especially paper bonds, the U.S. Treasury offers a savings bond calculator that can help you figure out what you’ve earned — and what your bond is worth today.

When deciding when to cash in your Series EE savings bonds, wait until after the compounding date. You can get an idea of when to expect your interest to be added to your bond with this chart:

Month of Series EE bond issueMonth (first day) interest will be added
January or JulyJanuary or July
February or AugustFebruary or August
March or SeptemberMarch or September
April or OctoberApril or October
May or NovemberMay or November
June or DecemberJune or December

Are Series EE Savings bonds a good investment?

A Series EE Savings bond could be a good investment if you’re looking for something that’s long term and low risk, since it’s backed by the Treasury and is guaranteed to double its value in 20 years.

However, 20 years to see only two times your initial investment might not help you meet certain goals. “Other vehicles like a 529 savings plan for education or even certain mutual funds offer greater returns with only slightly more risk,” Pendergast says.

Series EE Savings bonds also aren’t a good idea if you’re looking for something with liquidity. They’re not accessible unless you redeem the full value of the bond, and are required to be held for at least a year. For a more liquid (but still low-risk) investment, consider opening a high-yield savings account — many of these accounts are paying rates much higher than the rates on savings bonds.

Carefully consider what you plan to use the money for and its place in your portfolio. If you want a cash component and aren’t concerned about immediate liquidity, Series EE bonds might be the right choice. However, if you’re looking for growth, adding other assets to your portfolio can make sense.

— Miranda Marquit wrote a previous version of this story.

How long does it take for Series EE bonds to mature? | Bankrate (2024)


How long does it take for Series EE bonds to mature? | Bankrate? ›

Series EE savings bonds

savings bonds
Answer: The Series I bond is an accrual type savings bond tied to inflation. The bond is issued at face value. with a 30-year final maturity--a 20-year original maturity period immediately followed by a 10-year extended maturity period. › forms › savpdp0039
are a low-risk way to save money. They earn interest regularly for 30 years (or until you cash them if you do that before 30 years). For EE bonds you buy now, we guarantee that the bond will double in value in 20 years, even if we have to add money at 20 years to make that happen.

How much is an EE bond worth after 20 years? ›

We guarantee that the value of your new EE bond at 20 years will be double what you paid for it.

When should I cash in EE savings bonds? ›

You can get your cash for an EE or I savings bond any time after you have owned it for 1 year. However, the longer you hold the bond, the more it earns for you (for up to 30 years for an EE or I bond). Also, if you cash in the bond in less than 5 years, you lose the last 3 months of interest.

How long does it take for a $100 EE savings bond to mature? ›

All Series EE bonds reach final maturity 30 years from issue. Series EE savings bonds purchased from May 1995 through April 1997 increase in value every six months.

Do EE bonds mature in 20 or 30 years? ›

Current Series EE bonds mature after 30 years, but they are guaranteed to double in value in the first 20 years during which time the interest rate is fixed. For example, if you invested $5,000 into Series EE bonds today, you are guaranteed to have at least $10,000 in 20 years.

How much is a $100 series EE savings bond worth after 30 years? ›

How to get the most value from your savings bonds
Face ValuePurchase Amount30-Year Value (Purchased May 1990)
$50 Bond$100$207.36
$100 Bond$200$414.72
$500 Bond$400$1,036.80
$1,000 Bond$800$2,073.60

How much is a $50 Patriot bond worth after 20 years? ›

After 20 years, the Patriot Bond is guaranteed to be worth at least face value. So a $50 Patriot Bond, which was bought for $25, will be worth at least $50 after 20 years. It can continue to accrue interest for as many as 10 more years after that.

Do you pay taxes when you cash in EE bonds? ›

If you hold savings bonds and redeem them with interest earned, that interest is subject to federal income tax and possibly federal gift taxes (highly unlikely as the per-person cap is $10,000 and the gift tax exemption is $17,000).

Are EE bonds taxed when cashed? ›

Key Takeaways. Interest from EE U.S. savings bonds is taxed at the federal level but not at the state or local levels for income. The interest that savings bonds earn is the amount that a bond can be redeemed for above its face value or original purchase price.

Can you still cash EE bonds at a bank? ›

Where do I cash in a savings bond? You can cash paper bonds at a bank or through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's TreasuryDirect website. Not all banks offer the service, and many only provide it if you are an account holder, according to a NerdWallet analysis of the 20 largest U.S. banks.

Do EE bonds really double in 20 years? ›

Series EE savings bonds are a low-risk way to save money. They earn interest regularly for 30 years (or until you cash them if you do that before 30 years). For EE bonds you buy now, we guarantee that the bond will double in value in 20 years, even if we have to add money at 20 years to make that happen.

Is there a penalty for not cashing in matured EE savings bonds? ›

While the Treasury will not penalize you for holding a U.S. Savings Bond past its date of maturity, the Internal Revenue Service will. Interest accumulated over the life of a U.S. Savings Bond must be reported on your 1040 form for the tax year in which you redeem the bond or it reaches final maturity.

Are EE bonds guaranteed to double in 20 years? ›

Currently, Series EE bonds are guaranteed to earn a fixed interest rate for 20 years, which is when the bond matures. At 20 years, the government ensures that you will be paid double the face value of the bond.

Should you cash in EE bonds before maturity? ›

It's a good idea to hang on to your bond for as long as possible, ideally until it matures, so you can take full advantage of compound and accrued interest. Here's how that decision might pay off with EE bonds. Let's say you purchased the maximum of $10,000 in EE bonds today, with the current interest rate of 2.10%.

Which is better, EE or I savings bonds? ›

Bottom line. I bonds, with their inflation-adjusted return, safeguard the investor's purchasing power during periods of high inflation. On the other hand, EE Bonds offer predictable returns with a fixed-interest rate and a guaranteed doubling of value if held for 20 years.

Do savings bonds double every 7 years? ›

In a less-risky investment such as bonds, which have averaged a return of about 5% to 6% over the same period, you could expect to double your money in about 12 years (72 divided by 6).

What happens when a EE bond reaches maturity? ›

Key points. Series EE bonds mature in 20 years but earn interest for up to 30 years. The U.S. Treasury guarantees Series EE bonds will double in value in 20 years. You don't receive the interest on your Series EE bond until you cash it.

How much is a Series EE bond from 1980 worth today? ›

If you own any such bonds, you can calculate their current value using a tool on You'll need the bond series, denomination, serial number and issue date. A $50 bond issued in August 1980, which sold for $25, is now worth $167.40. To cash in your 1980-issued bonds, you can go to your local bank.

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