Cashing in your savings bonds is easy and immensely rewarding. Although each type of savings bond has its own restrictions and considerations, most savings bonds are redeemable via a local financial institution, through the mail or online. Bear in mind that prematurely cashing in your savings bonds forfeits your right to the last three months of corresponding interest.
How to Cash in Electronic Savings Bonds
Series EE (fixed interest rate) and Series I (inflation adjusted) are available in electronic forms and therefore redeemable electronically. Go to TreasuryDirect, log into your account, and follow the appropriate prompts. TreasuryDirect credits the cash amount owed to you via direct deposit to your checking or savings account roughly two business days after the redemption date.
Unfortunately, you cannot redeem your HH or H savings bonds electronically. With all savings bonds types, you must be the owner of the bond to redeem it. If you are not the owner of the savings bond and wish to cash it in, you must file special forms (discussed below).
How to Cash in Paper Savings Bonds
You may cash in your Series EE, E, and I paper savings bonds at a local financial institution. Call ahead to confirm that the institution actually cashes U.S. savings bonds. You cannot cash in your Series HH or H savings bonds at a local financial institution. However your local bank can still assist you with a crucial part of the Series HH or H redemption process.
For example, your local bank can certify or guarantee your signature on your payment request, on back of your Series HH or H savings bond. Your bank can also mail your savings bonds, replete with your direct deposit information, to the Treasury Retail Securities Site. If you don't have direct deposit, please fill out and enclose FS Form 5396.
How to Redeem Paper Savings Bonds by Mail
To redeem your Series EE, E, I, HH and H paper savings bonds by mail, send them to:
Treasury Retail Securities Site
PO Box 214
Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214
This address is valid as of June, 2017.
Special Forms for Individual Owners, Administered and Non-Administered Estates
If you are the primary owner of your savings bonds with or without co-owners or beneficiaries, you must fill out and enclose FS Form 1522.
Complete and include the same form if you wish to redeem any type of savings bond held in an administered estate. Your completed FS Form 1522 and unsigned bonds must accompany certified copies of any letters of appointment and certified copies of death certificates for any person(s) named on the bond.
With a non-administered estate, mail any unsigned bonds you wish to redeem and certified copies of death certificates for any person(s) named on the bond. Include FS Form 5336 for the last deceased according to date or death; or a Small Estate Affidavit with FS Form 5394; or FS Form 5394 with Summary Administration.
Special Forms for Living Estates
If your are a court-appointed legal guardian for an estate desiring to redeem savings bonds, please mail any related unsigned bonds to the Treasury Retail Securities Site along with FS Form 1522 and Power of Attorney or a certified copy of the Letter of Appointment.
Special Forms for Savings Bonds Held in Trust
To redeem paper savings bonds held in trust via snail mail, mail any unsigned savings bonds to the Treasury Retail Securities Site. If you are a trustee in the bond registration, you only need to mail FS Form 1522 with your unsigned bonds. If you aren't a trustee, then you must mail your unsigned savings bonds, FS Form 1522 and a copy of the entire trust document or relevant pages.
Savings bonds are a great way to tap non-passive income later in life, during lean times, to put kids through grad school and for a variety of other reasons. With bonds, its always best to wait before cashing in, since bonds like Series EE must double in value every 20 years by law. However, cashing in your sales bonds at any time you choose needn't be a headache.
As of 2012, TreasuryDirect no longer sells paper savings bonds at financial institutions. In fact, all Series EE savings bonds are electronic, and you must purchase, manage or redeem them online. You also have the option of converting your old paper savings bonds to an electronic format. Doing so translates all of your bonds into consolidated online format, making them easier to manage and redeem at will.
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