savings

How to Cash in Savings Bonds

Paper savings bonds are no longer being issued, but many banks will still redeem them.

My daughters are headed to college this fall and I need to redeem some paper savings bonds that were purchased before everything went electronic. Our bank says it doesn’t deal with savings bonds anymore. How do I go about cashing them in?

The U.S. Treasury switched to electronic savings bonds in 2012 and stopped issuing paper bonds. Now that you can only purchase savings bonds electronically, many banks no longer redeem paper bonds. But several major banks still redeem them for customers, and some will redeem them for non-customers, up to certain limits. You should be able to find a bank that will redeem the bonds in your area.

For example, Citibank branches will redeem an unlimited amount of Series E and EE savings bonds for customers who have had a Citibank account for at least six months. Non-customers and those who have been customers for less than six months can redeem up to $1,000 in bonds.

Bank of America branches will also redeem an unlimited amount of savings bonds for customers who have had an account for at least six months, and up to $1,000 per day for non-customers and those who have had an account for less than six months. BB&T will also redeem paper bonds for people who have been customers for at least six months, and for non-customers in certain circumstances. Contact the bank branch to find out what information you need to provide, such as a driver’s license or other photo ID.

If you can’t find a bank that will redeem your savings bonds, you can mail them to: Treasury Retail Securities Site, P.O. Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214. You’ll need to have a certifying officer at a bank where you have an account certify your signature in the “request for payment” section on the back of each bond. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number. See the Treasury’s factsheet for more information about redeeming savings bonds and special rules if the bonds are not in your name.

If your savings bonds are electronic, just log in at TreasuryDirect.gov and follow the directions. The cash amount can be credited to your checking or savings account within two business days of the redemption date. For information about converting paper savings bonds to electronic form, see TreasuryDirect’s SmartExchange information page.

And see Paying for College With Savings Bonds to find out whether you can qualify for a tax break when using the savings bonds for college tuition.

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