If you’ve ever received US savings bonds as gifts or purchased them yourself as a low-risk savings vehicle, you may be wondering about your options for redeeming them. Redeeming savings bonds is simple. You can redeem them at a local bank, a Federal Reserve Bank.
Make sure the bond is eligible for redemption. You can redeem EE, E, and I savings bonds 12 months after you buy them. However, you will pay penalties and lose accrued interest if you redeem them before they are fully due.
Redeeming an I or EE bond before its 5th birthday will result in the loss of the last 3 months of accrued interest.
EE and I bonds earn interest for 30 years if you don’t redeem them. All bonds are guaranteed at least at face value for 20 years.
Redeem the voucher at the correct time of year. If you’re cashing in a savings bond issued in or before April 1997, then you should redeem it at the right time of year to ensure you don’t lose interest. These bonds earn interest every 6 months, so if you redeem them near the end of the 6-month period, you will lose the interest for that 6-month period. Determine in which month the bond was issued. Redeem the bonus in that month or 6 months from the month of issue.
Determine if you are eligible to redeem the bonus. To redeem a savings bond, you must be the owner, co-owner, or eligible person. An authorized person includes someone with power of attorney or a legal guardian.
If you are the beneficiary of someone who is deceased, you must bring a death certificate to provide proof that you can collect bail.
If you are a parent or guardian, you must bring a birth certificate or other identifying material if you wish to post your child’s bond.
An owner or co-owner can collect the bond without the knowledge of the other person.
Visit your local bank. Go to your local bank to redeem your savings bond. If you are a customer, you may just need to have an active account and proper identification. If you are not a member of the bank, the bank may not redeem the bonds or may place restrictions on them, such as limiting the amount they will collect.
Contact your bank before redeeming them. Find out if they redeem savings bonds, what their dollar limit is, and what documents you need to redeem the bonds.
If the bank won’t redeem your bonds, try the Federal Reserve Bank. You can do this electronically or by mail.
Have proper identification. Carry proper identification, such as a driver’s license or social security card. When redeeming the bonus at your bank, the name on the bonus, the name on your account, and the name on your ID must match. You may need to have a bank account for at least 6 months. If you do not have an account, you will need to show a photo identification and provide a signature.
You can also have an identifier take you to your bank where you have had an account for 6 months. The person with the account must have a legitimate connection to the person collecting the bonus. For example, you cannot be a landlord-tenant or employer of a business. Both will be asked to provide names and addresses, relationships and time of acquaintance.
You will need to sign the “Payment Request” section of the voucher. Your signature must match the signature on file. If you’re at the bank with someone who has an account, you’ll need to sign the “Request for Payment.”
The bank will write your account number on the back of the voucher. They can also write the type of identification or their address on the back.
Fill out a power of attorney form if needed. If you are in a situation where the bail bond owner needs a power of attorney, such as if the bail bond owner is in the hospital or at home, you can complete the power of attorney form (PD F 5188). This form authorizes the person whose name appears on the form to sell or redeem the bonds.
Another way to do this is to send a certified copy of the power of attorney to the bank. The power of attorney document must explicitly state that you can cash in the savings bonds. The document must be notarized. If you do this, only a Federal Reserve Bank can collect the bonds.
This form is located on the Treasury Department website.
Put in writing that the child is too young to charge if you change for a minor. If you are the parent of a child too young to sign the application form, you must provide adequate identification that you are the parent.
On the back of the bond, you will enter something like this: I certify that I am the parent of John Doe with whom John Doe resides / who has been awarded legal custody. He is 3 years old and does not have enough knowledge to make this request. Nick Doe on behalf of John Doe
If a child is old enough to sign their own name, they can go to the bank and sign the bonds accompanied by an adult.
Redeem vouchers electronically. To redeem your bonds electronically, go to the US Treasury’s online marketplace, TreasuryDirect.gov. TreasuryDirect.gov gives people the ability to redeem their electronic savings bonds online and transfer the proceeds to a bank account. You can also request a check for earnings.
TreasuryDirect.gov also offers a service that allows you to convert your savings bond certificates into electronic savings bonds for easy filing and tracking. This will relieve you of the burden of storing your certificates. Makes redeeming bonuses much easier.