Posted inMoney Saving

How to Cash in Savings Bonds


Savings bonds have long been a reliable and safe investment option for individuals looking to save for various financial goals. However, as these bonds mature, you may find yourself wondering how to cash them in to access their value. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of cashing in savings bonds, covering different bond types, rules, and options.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into the process of cashing in savings bonds, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of these financial instruments:


Types of Savings Bonds: There are two primary types of savings bonds issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury – Series EE and Series I bonds. Series EE bonds are typically purchased at a discount and mature over a set period, while Series I bonds offer inflation protection.



Maturity Dates: Each savings bond has a specific maturity date, which is the point at which it stops earning interest. For Series EE bonds, this is typically 30 years from the issue date, while Series I bonds can have varying maturity periods.



Interest: Savings bonds earn interest over time, and this interest can be tax-free when used for qualifying educational expenses. The interest may also be subject to federal income tax when redeemed.



Ownership: Savings bonds can be registered in different ways – individually, jointly, or with a beneficiary. The registration type can impact how you cash them in.


Now, let’s explore the steps to cash in your savings bonds:

Check the Maturity Date

Before attempting to cash in your savings bonds, determine their maturity date. This date can be found on the bond itself or in your records. It’s important to wait until after this date to get the maximum value from your bonds.

Choose the Right Time to Redeem

You can redeem your savings bonds at any time after the initial holding period, but there are some critical points to consider:


Waiting too long: While EE bonds continue to earn interest after maturity, I bonds do not. To avoid missed interest, consider redeeming I bonds after their 30-year maturity.



Avoiding penalties: If you redeem your savings bonds before holding them for five years, you will forfeit the last three months’ interest. To maximize your returns, it’s advisable to hold your bonds for at least five years.


Gather Necessary Information

To cash in your savings bonds, you’ll need the following information:

The savings bonds themselves

A valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport

Your Social Security Number

A certified signature if the bond is not registered in your name (e.g., for a beneficiary)

Locate a Financial Institution

You can cash in your savings bonds at most financial institutions, including banks and credit unions. Be sure to call ahead to confirm that the institution handles savings bond redemptions and to inquire about their requirements and procedures.

Consider Tax Implications

The interest earned on your savings bonds may be subject to federal income tax. However, if you use the proceeds for qualifying educational expenses, you may be eligible for a tax exemption. It’s essential to understand the tax implications before redeeming your bonds and to consult a tax professional if necessary.

Use the TreasuryDirect Website

For electronic savings bonds, such as Series EE and I bonds purchased through the TreasuryDirect website, you can cash them in online. This method is convenient and can expedite the redemption process.

Keep Records

It’s crucial to keep accurate records of your savings bond redemptions for tax and financial planning purposes. This includes noting the date of redemption, the amount received, and any tax considerations.

Explore Partial Redemptions

You don’t have to redeem your savings bonds all at once. If you only need a portion of the funds, you can choose to do a partial redemption and leave the rest of the bonds to continue earning interest.


Cashing in savings bonds can be a straightforward process if you understand the rules and options available to you. Whether you’re saving for education, a major purchase, or retirement, unlocking the value of your savings bonds is a step toward achieving your financial goals. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering the tax implications, you can make informed decisions and access the value you’ve been saving for over the years.