The Paper Savings Bond

While paper savings bonds are no longer available as of 1/1/12, the savings bond certificate for paper savings bonds which have been issued in the past is full of interesting information including:

Face Value

In the Upper Left Hand Corner, there is an amount of money listed. This is known as the bond’s face value.

For I bonds, this amount is the same as the purchase price. For EE Series, the amount is half the face value of the bond. At the maturity date for EE Series paper bonds, the value of the bond is at a minimum equal to the face value. Since 2003, the maturity for EE Series bonds has been 20 years.  Between 1980 and 2003, the maturity dates have ranged between  8 and 18 years.  See below for maturity dates on EE Bonds.

The face value of a savings bonds is not the same as its current value. Click here to find the current value of your savings bonds.

Series & Issue Date

In the Upper Right Hand Corner, there is a Series Number and Issue Date. If the current date is more than 30 years after the issue date, your bond has stopped earning interest and you should redeem it. Using the Series and Issue date you can find out the current value of the bond using this site’s Savings bond Calculator.

Serial Number

In the Lower Right Hand Corner, there is a serial number. Should you wish to convert your paper bonds into electronic bonds, you will need to use this number.


In the center of the savings bond is the name of the owner. If you have inherited the saving bond and therefor are not the listed owner, you will need to fill out some paperwork. For instructions, click here

Issue Date

Original Term

1/80 – 10/80 11 years
11/80 – 4/81 9 years
5/81 – 10/82 8 years
11/82 – 10/86 10 years
11/86 – 2/93 12 years
3/93 – 4/95 18 years
5/95 – 5/03 17 years
6/03 – present 20 years


  1. Darlene Peterson says

    What a shame that I cannot go to the bank and buy savings bonds for my grandchildren. I cannot imagine that it was costing so much to print the bonds that it would stop printing them. Not everyone has a computer to follow through on the “new way” to buy them. What a nuisance.

  2. sharon armstrong says

    Been buying EE bonds for years for my great grand children. I buy approx. 14 a year for birthdays and Xmas gifts. Now I’m at a lost. Don’t understand how to do it on line so I guess my kids won’t be getting anymore and they are still little. This was my gift to them that they would receive long after I’m gone. Actually I’m mad.

  3. A. Holtzan says

    I am lost because there are to be no more paper bonds. Please bring them back.
    It is much too complicated to buy bonds on line.

    • Learn Bonds says

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately we are not familiar with the weekly reader savings bonds could you shed a little more light on exactly what this is? Sorry I could not be of more help here.


  4. Kathleen Wynne says

    I still like buying paper I bonds – trying to do this on line is very difficult – why does our government fix things that aren’t broke and all the things that are broke are left alone?

  5. Evelia Martin says

    I still prefer the paper bonds. One more thing, I used to buy them and pay it thru my credit card which is very convenient. Now, you can not do it. I am planning to buy for my grandkids but it gets complicated.

  6. LynDel says

    All your info on redeeming a Series EE Savings Bond requires a bank acct. I am looking for info. on how I can redeem my Savings Bond but I do not have a bank account. Please tell me how I can redeem my $1000+ EE Savings Bond without a bank account and w/o waiting for 6 months

    • David Waring says

      Hi Lyn,

      Thank you for your comment and my apologies for the delay in reply. Unfortunately I am not aware of how you can redeem your savings bonds without a bank account. Sorry I could not be of more help on this one. Best Regards, Dave

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