If you have several savings bonds accruing interest, it may be beneficial to learn how to cash a U.S. savings bond so you have the money when you need it.
How to Cash a U.S. Savings Bond
Unless you have special circumstances, figuring out how to cash a U.S. savings bond is relatively easy. Cashing in bonds under unusual circumstances, such as in the death of the bond holder, for a minor child, or other circumstance, may require additional information. Check with your financial institution regarding these circumstances.
Redeem Series EE/E and I Bonds
Most Series EE/E and I bonds can be cashed at your local banking institution. Before cashing them, you need to make sure you have held them for over 12 months. If you cash them before five years from the issue date, you will lose three months worth of interest.
You can only redeem up to $1,000 of bonds at a time at a financial institution. If you need to redeem more, see your local bank to fill out proper paperwork to submit to the Treasury Retail Securities Site nearest you.
To cash an EE/E or I bond, follow these steps:
- Bring the paper bond to the banking institution where you hold an account.
- If you do not hold an account with a financial institution, or have not held one for very long, bring government-issued forms of identification, such as a driver's license or passport, with you.
- Sign the bond in front of the teller when cashing it.
Redeem Series HH/H Bonds
Because Series HH/H bonds are no longer issued, regular banking and financial institutions will not cash them. Instead, you must do the following:
- Visit your local banking institution to have your signature on the bond certified or guaranteed.
- Send the bond(s), along with any necessary additional forms, to the Treasury Retail Securities Site nearest you.
Payment for Series HH/H bonds are through direct deposit into your banking account.
TreasuryDirect Bond Redemption
An electronic account called TreasuryDirect is the newest way to buy and redeem government-issued bills, notes, bonds, TIPS, and savings bonds. With the online account, you do not receive a paper form of your bill. Instead, everything is managed online, including redemption. Follow the instructions within your account in order to redeem the electronic certificates.
Bond Redemption Considerations
IRS Form 1099-INT is issued when you cash a savings bond, which is used for tax purposes. Tax considerations for Series EE/E, Series I, and Series HH/H are different, so take that information under advisement before cashing large amounts in one year. You may want to seek financial advice from your tax professional before cashing. Something else to consider before cashing in your bonds is the actual value of the bonds you want to cash. Use the Savings Bond Calculator to figure out how much your bonds are worth. If they are not worth much more than what you paid, or if they have a high interest rate, you may want to wait to cash them in.