While a savings bond may say $200 on its face, it's not actually worth that much until 30 years after its purchase date. A United States savings bond earns interest every six months on the original amount paid for it, which is usually half the face value. Although it takes 30 years for a bond to reach its face value, you can cash in a bond for its original purchase price plus accumulated interest payments at any time.
Familiarize yourself with the parts of a savings bond, namely the location of the serial number and issue date. The U.S. Treasury provides a savings bond diagram on its website, TreasuryDirect.
Look in the upper-right corner for which series your bond is in, represented by a letter. A, B, C, D, F, G, H, HH, J, and K bonds are worth their face value, so a $200 bond in any of these series is worth $200.
Enter your bond series letter, serial number and issue date into the U.S. Treasury's bond value calculator on its website. Select $200 as the denomination and click "Calculate" to learn your bond's current value. To check its value on a future date, change the date in the "Value as of" box.
Look up your bond's year of issue in the U.S. Treasury's bond redemption value chart, also available on the TreasuryDirect website. Find the month of issue under the year. Your bond is currently worth the amount listed in the "Redemp Value" box in the "$200" column.
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images