savings bonds

How Do New Savings Bond Interest Rates Affect Older Bonds?

savings bonds

New November 2018 semi-annual U.S. Savings Bond interest rates for Series EE and I Savings Bonds have been announced. The new interest rates apply only to new Savings Bonds issued between November 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. Most older bonds will not earn these interest rates.


  • Series I Bonds issued November 2018 through April 2019 earn a composite rate of 2.83% (until April 30, 2019), an increase of .31% from the previous six months.
  • I Bonds are comprised of a fixed rate (currently .50%) which remains the same for the life of the bond, along with an inflation rate, which changes every six months, currently 2.33% (until April 30, 2019).
  • Investors will earn the 2.83% rate for a six-month period from their I Bonds issue date (if bonds are issued between November 2018 through April 2019).
  • Series EE Bonds issued November 2018 through April 2019, will earn a fixed interest rate of .10%, which has not changed since November 1, 2015.
  • EE bonds issued since May 2005 are assigned a fixed interest rate that will remain the same for at least the first 20 years of the bonds 30-year life.
  • The Treasury may change the interest rate for the last 10 years (years 20-30).
  • If Treasury make a rate or formulae change, it must be done before the 10-year final extension period starts.

Savings bond interest rates can vary a lot depending on the series and issue date. Numerous interest rates, formulae, rules, and regulations have been implemented since bonds began being sold in 1935, in an attempt to make them an attractive, competitive investment.”

Jackie Brahney, Savings Bond Expert

Older Savings Bonds

For older bonds (not earning a fixed rate) the semi-annual interest rates announced every 6 months (May and November) are combined with all the prior years interest rates to create the new overall yield, based on the formulae in effect for each bond.

  • Many investors are sitting on (older) bonds earning much better interest rates. Likely purchased when financial market rates were much higher. For example, a May 2000 series I Bond fixed rate portion was set at an impressive 3.60%, which remains the same until 2030! The fixed rate, combined with the variable rate, is currently yielding 5.96%.* Learn more about how I Bond Rates are calculated.
  • The highest fixed EE Bond interest rates to date are earning 3.70%, issued May 2006 through October 2006. Any EE Bonds purchased in that six month window will earn that rate for at least 20 years from their bonds issue date.
  • EE Bonds purchased before 2005, are earning various interest rates based on their purchase dates. Learn more about how EE Bond rates are calculated.

Confused About Interest Rates?

Unless you are holding fixed rate EE Bonds, trying to determine what rate a savings bond is earning can be daunting.’s complimentary online bond calculator eliminates the guesswork by providing guaranteed accurate cash in values, current interest rates and important financial, maturity and potential taxation issues for (paper) savings bonds.

U.S. financial market interest rates appear to be on the rise and will likely improve the overall performance for most savings bonds (not earning a fixed rate) since savings bond rate formulae are closely tied to these markets.

Always check interest rate performance, maturity dates and never arbitrarily cash-in bonds. Some bonds could be earning approximately 6% while others are only earning a mere .10%. Too many investors mistakenly grab the oldest bonds in their pile when cashing in. Some of them may be the best performers. Those that are no longer earning any interest should be redeemed first, followed by the ones earning the lowest interest rates. also suggests that you learn the total interest earned amounts that should be reported on a Federal Income Tax Return – in the year the bonds are redeemed – before running down to the bank to cash them in.

About 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.

About the author

Jackie Brahney is the Marketing and Editorial Director and most notably, an U.S. Savings Bond Expert for 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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