You might want to cash an EE Savings Bond for a variety of reasons . Depending on the interest rate, you might be able to get a higher rate of return with another investment. You might need the cash for another purpose, like paying down debt or buying a home. If the bond has matured to the point where it has quit earning interest, making the decision to cash it in is a slam dunk. Or maybe you just want a more attractive investment. Whatever your reason, cashing in an EE Savings Bond is a relatively routine transaction that can be carried out at most banks. Nevertheless, you should know a few things before moving ahead.
Ensure that the bond is eligible to be redeemed. You must wait until a Series EE Savings Bond is 12 months old before cashing it. This is determined by the month in which it was bought, so a bond bought in a particular month is able to be cashed on the first of that month, one year later.
Make sure you are the owner of the savings bond. If you are the owner of a bond, you won’t have any trouble cashing it in. If you are a parent of a minor, a beneficiary or legal representative of the person who holds the bond, you'll probably have to jump through a few hoops to get it done. Savings bonds are non-transferable, so you cannot cash a bond if it comes into your possession some other way. If you buy that bond online, you may as well frame it because it’s no longer valid as an investment.
Visit your bank or other financial institution. While some banks will cash savings bonds for non-customers, it's best to go to a bank, savings and loan, or credit union where you're an established customer.
Send your savings bonds to the Federal Reserve. Anyone can do this. But if you’re cashing all at once bonds worth more than $1,000, you must send them to the Federal Reserve. You're required to go to a bank to have your signature verified before sending in the bonds, so this method isn't a time-saver. You can find the address to send your bonds at TreasuryDirect.gov, a U.S. Department of the Treasury website. The specific bank handling your request will differ, depending on where you live.
Redeem your bond online at the TreasuryDirect.gov site. You must have an electronic bond to cash it this way. However, paper bonds can be converted to electronic ones at the TreasuryDirect site. The money will be direct-deposited into the checking or savings account that you designate.
- Take identification with you if you're cashing the bonds in-person. Although banks where you're a customer may not require ID, having it with you might save you some time.
- If you're in an area affected by a natural disaster, you may be able to cash savings bonds less than a year old.
- When cashing a savings bond, you'll be issued a 1099 tax form by the federal government for the interest earned on the bond, so make sure you're aware of the tax consequences. Be especially careful about cashing in a large dollar amount of bonds in the same tax year.
- If you redeem an EE Savings Bond less than five-years old, you'll lose three months’ worth of earned interest.
Julie Mayfield began her freelance writing career in 2006 and has written extensively for eHow. She is also the Business and Entrepreneurs Feature Writer at Xomba.com. Julie has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Kansas.