Until the beginning of 2012, you have the option of purchasing US Savings Bonds in both paper form and electronically. There are some slight differences between the two, including the denominations sold and at what value. Purchasing paper bonds however is about to be a thing of the past.
As of January 1st, 2012, you will not be able to buy paper savings bonds.
Ending over-the-counter (OTC) sale of paper bonds at financial institutions is part of the Treasury’s initiative to go electronic in an effort to cut costs in areas such as printing, mailing, storing and processing fees paid to financial institutions. In fact, it is estimated that ending the sales of OTC bonds and converting old paper bonds to electronic ones will save a total of $120 million over the next five years.
Going electronic means investors will no longer have to worry about storing or losing paper bonds. In order to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds electronically, an account must be opened through TreasuryDirect.gov.
Opening an account with Treasury Direct is free and once established, investors can:
- Convert Series EE and I paper bonds to electronic ones.
- Purchase, manage and sell Series EE and I savings bonds.
- Enroll in an automated payroll savings plan for purchasing bonds.
- Invest in all other U.S. Treasury securities.
If you currently have paper savings bonds you can either convert them to electronic ones or continue to redeem that at financial institutions. If a bond which has not yet matured has been lost or destroyed, you may have them reissued in either paper or electronic form.
Want to check the value of your savings bonds? Try Our US Savings Bonds Calculator