How to cash in a savings bond
Wednesday, July 7th, 2004
Categorized as: Cashing in US Savings Bonds
I'd like to cash in a savings bond. Can you you please tell me how to do so?
In most states, most banks, savings and loans, and similar institutions will cash savings bonds for you. The process is similar to cashing a check, but you might want to call ahead, as some financial institutions no longer offer this service.
You will be required to provide identification that matches your name on the savings bond. You will be asked to sign the back of each bond and the financial institution will certify your signature.
A savings bond has to be held at least one year before you can cash it. For example, if it was issued in November 2005, the first day you can cash it is November 1, 2006.
There's a penalty of the most recent three months of interest if you cash a savings bond before its fifth anniversary. For a bond purchased in November 2005 there would no longer be a penalty beginning November 1, 2010.
This penalty has already been deducted from the bond values our Saving Bond Calculator gives you. That is, the calculator shows a bond's redemption value, not its actual value.
If you have bonds issued in April 1997 or earlier, their value increases every six months beginning from the month of issue. So if you have a bond issued in January, it's a mistake to redeem it during December - you'll lose the interest from July through December. Try to cash these older bonds in the month they were issued or the month six months after that. Bonds issued since May 1997 increase in value each month.
Best time to cash Savings Bonds
|Bond issued in||Best months to redeem|
|Jan||Jan or Jul|
|Feb||Feb or Aug|
|Mar||Mar or Sep|
|Apr||Apr or Oct|
|May||May or Nov|
|Jun||Jun or Dec|
|Jul||Jul or Jan|
|Aug||Aug or Feb|
|Sep||Sep or Mar|
|Oct||Oct or Apr|
|Nov||Nov or May|
|Dec||Dec or Jun|
If you have a large number of bonds, see my post Redeeming 100 Savings Bonds.
If you can't find a bank who will redeem your savings bond for you, click here to find out how to send savings bonds to the Federal Reserve for redemption.
My answers to many other questions about cashing savings bonds are filed under Cashing in US Savings Bonds.