Looking to Cash In A Savings Bond? It's Easier Than You Think (2024)

Carina Boucher | Citizens Staff

Looking to Cash In A Savings Bond? It's Easier Than You Think (1)

Key takeaways

  • Savings bonds are a government-backed, reliable investment that earn interest, reaching full maturity after 30 years.
  • The different types of savings bonds are E/EE, I, and H/HH. Only E/EE and I bonds are still sold, but all types are able to be redeemed through the Federal Reserve.
  • Cashing in savings bonds is easier than you think!

What are savings bonds?

U.S. savings bonds are a government-backed, reliable investment available in denominations ranging from $25 to $10,000. Bonds issued after April 2005 have a fixed interest rate, and older bonds (1997-2005) have a variable interest rate.

Anyone who’s 18 or older with a valid Social Security number, U.S. bank account, and U.S. address can purchase savings bonds. They’re available to be cashed in after a single year, though there’s a penalty for cashing them in within the first five years. Otherwise, you can keep savings bonds until they fully mature, which is generally 30 years. These days, you can only purchase electronic bonds, but you can still cash in paper bonds.

There are a few types of bonds you may have: Series E/EE, Series I, or Series H/HH. A series E/EE bond earns a fixed rate of interest for up to 30 years. A Series I bond earns interest based on combining a fixed rate and an inflation rate. Series H/HH bonds are a little different — you pay face value and receive interest payments by direct deposit to your checking or savings account every six months until maturity or redemption.

Only series EE and I bonds are still issued, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cash in other types of bonds that you may have. For instance, if you have an H bond, it's no longer earning interest because it’s fully mature and is a primary candidate for redemption. HH bonds and I bonds may still be earning interest based on the issue date.

Looking to Cash In A Savings Bond? It's Easier Than You Think (2)

When is the right time to cash in my savings bonds?

Most savings bonds stop earning interest (or reach maturity) between 20 to 30 years. It’s possible to redeem a savings bond as soon as one year after it's purchased, but it’s usually wise to wait at least five years so you don’t lose the last three months of interest when you cash it in. For example, if you redeem a bond after 24 months, you’ll only receive 21 months of interest. Depending on the interest rate of your bond and your own financial needs, it’s generally beneficial to wait until full maturity to redeem them.

How much are my savings bonds worth?

To determine the value of your E, EE, or I bond, you can use a savings bond calculator. The calculator will have you enter the series, denomination, bond serial number, and issue date. This tool not only helps you calculate the value of your bond; it stores the information you enter so you can view it again at a later date.

To see how much your electronic series EE or I savings bond is worth, you can log directly into your TreasuryDirect account and click the “Current Holdings” tab in your account.

How do I redeem my savings bonds?

Ready to redeem your savings bond?

If you have a paper E/EE or I bond, you’ll need to take a few additional steps. In addition to the bonds, you’ll need to provide proof of identity, like a United States driver’s license, and partner with a notary to notarize and certify your signature on an unsigned FS Form 1522 to your local bank or credit union.

After completing the steps listed above, you can then send the unsigned bonds along with the signed FS Form 1522 and, if you’re the beneficiary of the bonds, supporting legal evidence or other documentation to show you’re entitled to cash the bond to the U.S. Department of the Treasury at:

Treasury Retail Securities Services,
PO Box 214
Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214

Note: When cashing in a paper bond, they must be cashed in full.

If you’re cashing in an electronic savings bond, log in to your TreasuryDirect account and use the link for cashing securities in ManageDirect. You’ll be able to cash a minimum of $25, or any amount above that in one-cent increments. When you cash your bonds online, the cash generally transfers to your checking or savings account within two business days of the request.

For series H or HH paper bonds, the same steps apply, but you’ll mail the unsigned bonds to the U.S. Treasury at:

Treasury Retail Securities Services,
PO Box 2186
Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214

Ready to make the most of your savings bonds?

From making a major purchase to pay for a wedding or paying down debt, there are many reasons you may want to cash in savings bonds. If your savings bond is fully mature but you wish to continue to grow your savings, a certificate of deposit (CD) or money market account may be an option to deposit the funds. A CD is a federally insured savings account with a fixed interest rate and fixed date of withdrawal. You can choose the term length that’s best for you — whether it’s as short as a few weeks or as long as a decade. A money market account is a savings account that allows a limited number of checks to be drawn from the account each month, and usually earns a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account.

Savings bonds are a great, low-risk way to save money. For more information about redeeming savings bonds, different types of bonds, or any other savings bond related questions, you can visit Treasury Direct website.

Looking to Cash In A Savings Bond? It's Easier Than You Think (2024)


Is it easy to cash in savings bonds? ›

It is relatively simple to cash in savings bonds that have matured and are no longer earning interest. If you need access to cash, even bonds that haven't reached maturity may be worth turning in.

How much is a $100 series EE 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

What banks will cash savings bonds? ›

Wells Fargo and Truist are two banks that will do this, provided that the bonds total less than $1,000 and you bring proper documentation.

How long does it take to get money from TreasuryDirect? ›

You just bought a security from the U.S. Treasury. Securities are generally issued to your account within two business days of the purchase date for savings bonds or within one week of the auction date for Bills, Notes, Bonds, FRNs, and TIPS.

Will banks still cash savings bonds? ›

Banks and credit unions can redeem savings bonds over the counter. Find out more about becoming an agent and redeeming savings bonds.

How do I avoid taxes when cashing in savings bonds? ›

You can skip paying taxes on interest earned with Series EE and Series I savings bonds if you're using the money to pay for qualified higher education costs. That includes expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse or a qualified dependent. Only certain qualified higher education costs are covered, including: Tuition.

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 EE bonds really double in 20 years? ›

EE bonds you buy now have a fixed interest rate that you know when you buy the bond. That rate remains the same for at least the first 20 years. It may change after that for the last 10 of its 30 years. We guarantee that the value of your new EE bond at 20 years will be double what you paid for it.

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

They're available to be cashed in after a single year, though there's a penalty for cashing them in within the first five years. Otherwise, you can keep savings bonds until they fully mature, which is generally 30 years.

Can a bank refuse to cash a savings bond? ›

Financial institutions now have the option to not cash savings bonds for both non-customers or new customers. Our Secret Service partners recommend that a customer be established for 12 months before cashing bonds at a financial institution.

What documents do I need to cash a savings bond? ›

Get FS Form 1522. Fill it out. Get your signature certified, if necessary. (If the value of the bond(s) you are cashing is more than $1,000, you must have your signature certified.

Does the post office cash savings bonds? ›

You can't just waltz into any government building and demand your money. (Until 1977, post offices sold bonds, but never redeemed them.) You can either send your savings bonds to the Treasury — more on that later — or try cashing them at a bank.

How much is a $50 savings bond worth? ›

Total PriceTotal ValueTotal Interest

How do I cash out bonds from TreasuryDirect? ›

Note: United States Savings Bonds must be held for a minimum of one year from their issue date before they are eligible to be redeemed.
  1. Log into your primary TreasuryDirect® account.
  2. Click the ManageDirect® tab at the top of the page.
  3. Under the heading Manage My Securities, click "Redeem securities".

Are I bonds taxable? ›

More about savings bonds

The interest earned by purchasing and holding savings bonds is subject to federal tax at the time the bonds are redeemed. However, interest earned on savings bonds is not taxable at the state or local level.

How long does it take for a $50 savings bond to mature? ›

They're available to be cashed in after a single year, though there's a penalty for cashing them in within the first five years. Otherwise, you can keep savings bonds until they fully mature, which is generally 30 years.

Do I have to pay taxes when I cash in savings bonds? ›

In general, you must report the interest in income in the taxable year in which you redeemed the bonds to the extent you did not include the interest in income in a prior taxable year.

Do you get penalized for cashing in savings bonds? ›

Interest Earned and Taxation

These bonds increase in value every month, and interest is compounded semiannually. A 3-month interest penalty will apply to bonds cashed before five years.

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