What Are Patriot Bonds?

How Patriot Bonds Are Different from Ordinary Series EE Savings Bonds

Patriot Bonds - The Series EE Savings Bonds Patriot Bonds
Patriot Bonds are nothing more than regular Series EE savings bonds. The money is not earmarked for any specific purpose and the entire program was mostly a marketing gimmick that lacked substance. If you own a patriot bond, you own a regular EE bond. Getty Images

Since their release in 2001, I've encountered some investors who seem confused about the difference between Patriot Bonds and Series EE savings bonds, thinking they are somehow different or unique products.  Given the way Patriot Bonds came onto the scene, the misunderstanding is quite reasonable.  Still, clearing up any confusion is useful.

What Are Patriot Bonds?

Put simply, Patriot Bonds are absolutely identical in every way to the paper versions of the Series EE Savings Bonds.

The only difference is that if you bought your Series EE savings bond through a local bank or financial institution after December 10, 2001, the words "Patriot Bond" are printed on the face of the certificate.  That is it.  Really.

At the time Patriot Bonds were released, the United States Treasury told investors that it was a way for them to express support for the country's anti-terrorism efforts; the memory of the deaths, violence, and bloodshed a few months before still fresh in the minds of a population reeling from the sudden shattering of domestic tranquility on such a grand scale.  It explained that the proceeds of Patriot Bonds were deposited into the Federal Government's general fund and spent according to law, which, at the time, included funding the ramp-up in anti-terrorism programs.  

The Treasury also went on to explain that only Patriot Bonds purchased through financial institutions, such as a local bank, were eligible for the inscription because other Series EE bonds, such as those bought through the Payroll Savings Plan wherein employers withheld funds from paychecks at the request of the employee to put the money into savings bonds, were processed through multiple vendors and organizations that didn't have access to the requisite printing equipment.

More About Bonds

If you are interested about learning how to invest in Series EE savings bonds, including Patriot Bonds, you can check out the following articles and resources I've put together on the topic:

You may also want to learn about investing in other types of savings bonds, which have their own benefits and drawbacks:

You can also learn about bond investing in general from these resources: