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Do EE Savings Bonds Earn 3.5% interest?

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Learn how to gaurentee your EE Savings Bonds earn approximately 3.5% interest regardless of the fixed interest rate assigned to the bond.

Despite recently low-interest rates on EE savings bonds, there’s a simple way they can earn approximately 3.5% interest.  Just buy and hold EE bonds for at least 20 years. That’s all you need to do. Be careful! If the bond is redeemed even one day before it reaches 20 years, you will only earn the guaranteed rate that was set at the time the bond was issued.


Currently, EE Savings Bonds issued between November 1 through April 30, 2019, only offer a measly 0.10%* interest rate for the first 20 years.

“At a minimum, Treasury guarantees that a bond’s value will double after 20 years, its original maturity, and it will continue to earn the fixed rate set at the time of issue unless a new rate or rate structure is announced.

If a bond does not double in value as the result of applying the fixed rate for 20 years, the Treasury will make a one-time adjustment at original maturity to make up the difference.”

U.S. Treasury Department.

Savings Bonds are NOT created equal. EE Bonds issued since May 2005 offer a fixed rate of interest. Older EE bonds have different rules, varying interest rates and will reach (initial and final) maturity at different times, depending on the bonds issue date.

To learn values and performance for your Series EE (and Series I) bonds, use a complimentary savings bond calculator, which also includes a printable, color-coded Savings Bond Inventory Report that indicating cash in values, total interest earnings, interest rates, maturity and taxation issues. A “what this means to you” explanation educates investors about each bonds values and performance.

5 Things To Know About The New EE Savings Bond

  1. Double in value adjustment (if held at least 20 years) applies to bonds issued May 2005 and after.
  2. Bonds must be held a minimum of one year.
  3. If redeemed prior to 5 years, a three-month interest penalty is applied.
  4. Maximum individual purchase amounts of series EE savings bonds is $10,000 per year.
  5. Bonds earn interest for 30 years (guaranteed rate for first 20 years – considered original maturity date). Interest rate can be adjusted for last 10 years until bond reaches its final maturity. Investors will be notified prior to any rate changes.

Why Isn’t Uncle Sam Promoting High EE Interest Rates?

Recently investors have been turning up their noses on savings bonds due to low interest rates. This little known EE bond secret is not advertised or promoted by the government. Why? Given the recent historically low interest rates, earning essentially 3.5% is a really good return. The “one-time adjustment… to make up the difference” is THE difference why some EE bonds offer such a high return. They are a great, affordable ($25 minimum purchase), safe, secure, long-term investment, backed by the U.S government. I continuously scratch my head wondering why the Treasury is not promoting this excellent EE bond interest rate to investors? I believe it would dramatically improve savings bond sales.

*Interest rates for bonds bought between May 1, 2018, through October 31, 2018, is an annual rate of 0.10%.


About SavingsBonds.com: SavingsBonds.com is an online financial bond management company providing essential U.S. Savings Bond information since 1992. For over 26 years, bond experts have created various consumer programs, tools and services not offered elsewhere, including an online complimentary savings bond calculator, providing cash in values with important financial information presented on a personalized, color-coded Savings Bond Inventory Report. Unique savings bond management services include signature monthly summary emailed Savings Bond Statements, which help bond owners maximize their investment, avoid losing money and paying unnecessary taxes.

Last Updated: February 26, 2019

About the author

Jackie Brahney is the Marketing and Editorial Director and most notably, an U.S. Savings Bond Expert for SavingsBonds.com. Since 1991, she has done extensive research on savings bonds and state of the art savings bond valuation systems, and heads the company's public relations and marketing initiatives.

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