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 would a $50 savings bond be 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.

Why should you wait to cash out your savings bond? ›

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.

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.

Do savings bonds double every 7 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.

How long does it take for a $100 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.

What is the final maturity of a $100 savings bond? ›

U.S. Savings Bonds mature after 20 or 30 years, depending on the type of bond: Series EE bonds mature after 20 years. They are sold at half their face value and are worth their full value at maturity. Series I bonds are sold at face value and mature after 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 is the penalty for not cashing matured 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.

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.

Is now a good time to cash in EE savings bonds? ›

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.

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.

What happens to EE bonds after 30 years? ›

If you moved your EE bond into a TreasuryDirect account, we pay you for the bond as soon as it reaches 30 years and stops earning interest. If you still have a paper EE bond, check the issue date. If that date is more than 30 years ago, it is no longer increasing in value and you may want to cash it.

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.

How much is a $50 savings bond worth? ›

Total PriceTotal ValueTotal Interest

When you receive a savings bond worth $100, you can cash it for $100 right away. True or false? ›

The correct answer is False. Explanation: A savings bond is a bond that offers a fixed interest rate that applies for a specified period, so it cannot be collected before that time is up.

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.

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