Savings Bonds

savings bondsBelow is the most comprehensive guide on the internet covering how savings bonds work, the different types of savings bonds how to buy and cash in savings bonds, special tips on how to get the most out of your savings bonds, and more!

 

Current Savings Bond Rates

I Bond Rate:        1.38%  -  This rate applies only for 6 months following the issue of the bond, for purchases that occur between November 1st, 2013 and April 30th, 2014.

EE Bond Rate:      0.10%  - This rate applies to all EE bonds purchased between November 1st, 2013 and April 30th, 2014.

For more on how savings bond rates work go here.
To find out the value of an existing bond go here.

 

How Savings Bonds Work

There are two different types of savings bonds (the EE and I Series Bonds) which are currently available for purchase.  You can learn more about each in the articles below:

Why people purchase savings bonds
EE and I Series Savings bonds and their Differences
How savings bond interest rates work
Why I Bonds are currently more popular than EE Bonds
Inflation protected bonds: I bonds vs. TIPS
Savings bonds vs. Savings Accounts
Taxes on Savings Bonds
How to know if your bonds have stopped paying interest

 

How to Buy and Cash In

Unfortunately you can no longer purchase paper savings bonds.  All new bonds must be purchased via Treasurydirect.com.  Learn more about buying electronic bonds and converting your paper  bonds so you can cash them in at the links below:

How to buy US Savings Bonds
How to cash in/redeem US Savings bonds.
How to cash in/redeem savings bonds before maturity.
What happened to the paper savings bond?
5 things you should know about buying savings bonds.
What to do if you savings bonds have been lost or stolen
3 ways to increase your return when buying on savings bonds
How to earn 3.5% on a US Savings bond

 

Gifting and Using Savings Bonds for Education/Retirement

Savings bonds make great gifts and can be tax efficient ways to save for both education and retirement.  There are some things to be aware of however which you can read more about in the links below:

How to Give Savings Bonds as a Gift
Using savings bonds to save for education
Buying savings bonds for your retirement

 

More Resources

The 5 Best US Savings Bonds Websites
What the paper savings bonds look like

  Want to learn how to generate more income from your portfolio so you can live better?  Get our free guide to income investing here.
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Comments

  1. Willam Porter says

    Marc Prosser :
    Recently saw article in the Naples ( Fla ) Daily News by Claudia Buck of The Sacramento Bee concerning Savings Bonds . I have purchased bonds for my daughter & grandchildren for 40 years . The new ” digital only ” system is a disaster ! First , it does not seem to recognize the needs of its customers . Perhaps , more importantly the fulfillment process is a nightmare . The Treasury Direct Website is extremly difficult to use . Worse yet is that responses to e-mail questions are never answered or only after days waiting and a second e-mail . The telephone respose system is worse . The number is 304-480-7711 . It is a toll call and not a professional call answering system . The last time I called the call was answered after 15 minutes by a lady helping out the department . She said she could only take my name & number and they would call back . That was April 3 . It is now April 10th . Still no call !
    I am convinced the Government wants to get rid of individual bonds . They do not care ! I bet their sales have dropped dramatically .
    I am writting to Secretary Geithner . Bet I never get a response . How can we have a Government Agency like this which does not seem to care ?

  2. trish says

    i just have a question, i have ee series savings bonds most of which are over 5 years old, their marked at 5000 dollars but there not worth that yet. how many can i cash in one year, and what are the consequences if i exceed that number?

    • Learn Bonds says

      Hi,

      Thanks for the comment! As long as they are older than 1 year you can cash them in however if they are less than 5 years old then there is a penalty of 3 months worth of interest for cashing them in. There is no limit to the amount that you can cash in. Keep in mind however that interest rates have fallen dramatically in the last few years so if these bonds are more than a few years old they are probably earning a nice above market return.

      If you still want to cash them in however you can find out the value using this calculator: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice

      For information on how to cash in savings bonds go here: http://www.learnbonds.com/cash-in-savings-bonds/

      Hope that Helps!

      Thanks
      Marc

      • trish says

        i was told by my lawyer if i cashed in more then 10,000 a year in bonds there would financial consequences come tax time. i was wondering if the 10,000 pertained to the face value of the bond, or the value i can cash them in for now.?

        • Learn Bonds says

          Hi Trish,

          Thanks for the comment. We are not attorneys or tax advisors however to our knowledge there is no $10,000 limit regarding tax consequences for savings bond investors in general so we would not be able to answer this question. Perhaps this is something to do with your specific situation. Sorry we could not be of more help here.

          Marc

  3. Justin Smith says

    “Maximum Purchase Limit Per Year $5,000″ is not correct. According to TreasuryDirect, this is $10,000 for both EE and I electronic bonds, plus some amount, I think $5000, of paper bonds from tax return.

  4. Joe says

    Question, I bought a series I (1,000.00) savings bond for a family member approximately 4 years ago. I wrote down all of the information about the bond. Can I check and see if it was ever cashed? Thank you for your response.

  5. Carol says

    I am trying to decide about giving savings bonds to my 1 and 3 year old grandchildren. I do not know why it seems to be so complicated. Where else can I get information?

    • David Waring says

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reading and for the comment. As you have alluded to in your question there is a difference between default and bankruptcy. A bankruptcy of the US government is close to impossible. The reason why is because the government controls the currency and can therefore basically print as much money as they need in order to pay off debtors. If the country did somehow go into bankruptcy however it is likely that the debt held by existing bondholders would be restructured so that you would still receive some portion of the money owed. That is what has happened with other countries like Argentina for example.

      All the government has to do to default on its debt however is not make a payment. There is a legitimate concern around default if the government does not raise the debt limit quickly enough. Just because they miss a payment however does not mean that they will not make it up once the debt limit is raised. While this is also very unlikely, it is a possibility.

      The bottom line is that US government debt is about as safe as it gets even with the problems making headlines.

      Hope that helps. Let us know if there are any other questions.

      Best Regards,
      Dave

  6. jamadison4 says

    It is an established fact that the U.S. Citizens are the worst savers. However, the one bright spot since 1935 has been the purchase of U.S. Savings Bonds. Despite the lack of marketing over the last 30 years; paper U.S. Bonds had continued to sell.
    As of January 1, 2012 the United States Treasury has discontinued the “paper” sale of the U.S. Savings Bonds….No Paper Bonds….ONLY ELECTRONIC SALES !!!!!
    The U.S. Treasury has effectively destroyed the U.S. Savings Bonds Sales. Not only has this form of national thrift-savings been eliminated, but the U.S. Treasury has lost a substantial source of cheap credit. To worsen the situation, “paper” U.S. Savings are being redeemed, but not replaced.
    Congress should correct this. Reinstate, the sale of “paper” U.S. Savings Bonds.
    Note: The U.S. Treasury has refused to publish sales figures for FY 2012 on the electronic / computer sales of U.S. Savings Bonds.

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