Check or Calculate the Value of a Savings Bond Online
Savings bonds are a way for average Americans to buy U.S. government debt. Currently, U.S. Savings bonds are considered one of the safest investments that you can buy, because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, and most have a face value between $50 and $10,000. The face value of the savings bond is what the bond is worth when it’s mature, and when you purchase it, you but it for less than the face value.
For example, a series EE bond that has a face value of $50 can be bought for $25. It will reach full face value after 20 years and will stop earning interest after 30 years. This type of bond must be owned for at least one year before it can be redeemed and has to be owned for at least five years to be redeemed without any penalty. The penalties are usually small, but if you want to get your full money’s worth, you need to make sure you hold the bond for five years.
Calculating the Value of Savings Bonds
To calculate the value of your savings bonds, you’ll need to know it's type, denomination, serial number, and issue date. Once you have this information, you can use a savings bond calculator to find out how much your bond is worth right now. The primary site to do this is treasurydirect.gov, which is run by the government. Along with the calculator, you can find detailed instructions on finding out your bond's future value, how to build and save an inventory of bonds (if you have more than one), and how to find the interest to report to the IRS—which you can do as you go or when the bonds mature.
A Trick to Get the Most Out of Your Savings Bonds
Savings bonds traditionally have low interest rates. Luckily, the Treasury has made a promise to double your investments in EE savings bonds in no less than 20 years. So, if you buy bonds, it’s a good idea to have a plan to hold them for a full 20-year timeframe. Because if you redeem them early, you only get the interest rate that was guaranteed up until that point, which will be significantly less than if you wait the full term. Incorporate savings bonds as part of a long-term investment strategy.
Most investment professionals consider U.S. Treasury savings bonds are one of the safest ways to invest your money. The high reliability of these returns is balanced by the generally lower potential returns than other asset classes. As a result these investments appeal to those who desire a predictable return over a given period of time.
FINRA. "Agency Securities." Accessed April 2, 2020.
TreasuryDirect. "Comparing Series EE and Series I Savings Bonds." Accessed April 1, 2020.
TreasuryDirect. "Series EE Savings Bonds." Accessed April 2, 2020.
Internal Revenue Service. "Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed April 2, 2020.
TreasuryDirect. "May 2005 and Later (EE Bond Rates and Terms)." Accessed April 2, 2020.