Everything You Need to Know About Series E Savings Bonds

Last Updated: March 5, 2019 | by Jackie Brahney | reviewed by Jack Quinn

E Savings Bond

Series E Savings Bonds can be a complicated investment. Learn cash-in values, interest rates and how to cash in this investment.

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What Is An E Savings Bond?

Series E Bonds are no longer available for purchase – all have reached final maturity and are no longer earning interest.

 EE Bonds replaced E Bonds.

  • Series E Savings Bonds are U.S. Treasury Securities. The most durable of all the savings bond series and the world’s most widely held security.
  • Introduced May 1, 1941- which was also the start of a USA national volunteer program.
  • Also known as “Defense Bond” in 1941, the “War Bond” in 1942-45 then subsequently E Bond – it was purchased by tens of millions of families.
  • The volunteer program enlisted the nation’s financial institutions, community leaders, volunteer committees, and advertising and communications media to promote the new bond.
  • Bankers, business executives, newspaper publishers, Hollywood entertainers, all served to provide the bond program with manpower and support, making it a success for more than six decades.
  • Many Fortune 500 companies’ executives, who served as members on the Volunteer Committee from 1963- 2003, played an essential role in the success of the Payroll Savings Plan.
  • E Bonds (paper) were sold in increments of $25, $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000.
  • Purchased for 75% of face value. Example: a $100 E Bond cost $75 at the time of purchase.

How Much Are E Bonds Worth?

E Bond cash in values vary depending on when the bond was issued, based on the interest rates, rules and maturity dates that were in effect at the time of issuance.

Need to know the cash-in value of a Series E bond, then use one of our two services. Use the free Savings Bond Calculator to determine your E savings bond’s value, interest rate, maturity date and to see if now is the best time to cash in to avoid losing interest. Enter an unlimited number of savings bonds. Then save them in an online portfolio to receive a monthly statement about your E Bonds values.

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KNOW WHAT YOUR E BONDS ARE WORTH BEFORE CASHING IN

Use our Savings Bond Calculator which includes a color-coded, personalized, Bond Inventory Report to find out exactly what your E Bonds are worth and how much interest they earned, which will need to be reported on a Federal Income Tax Return when bond is redeemed (unless interest was previously reported).

E Bond Interest Rates

  • Series E Savings Bonds are accrual bonds that were issued at 75 percent of the face amount.
  • The difference between the purchase price and redemption value is considered report-able interest.
  • Interest is paid at redemption as part of the current redemption value.
  • Active, unredeemed Series E bonds accrued interest at a market-based yield or the applicable guaranteed minimum investment yield, whichever was greater.
  • A guaranteed minimum investment yield was in effect at the start of an original or extended maturity period is guaranteed to the end of that original or extended maturity period.
  • E Bond guaranteed minimum investment yield was 4 percent, compounded semiannually, beginning with extended maturity periods starting on or after March 1, 1993, unless the guaranteed minimum is changed prior to the beginning of an extended maturity period.

How Do I Cash in E Bonds?

  • E Bonds can usually be redeemed at participating financial institutions, such as a bank or credit unions.
  • Check with the bank first to make certain they handle savings bonds and daily redemption limits.
  • You can also mail the bonds  into the Treasury Department to receive cash.
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Use a complimentary Savings Bond Calculator to find out exactly what your bonds are worth and how much interest you earned.

Exchanging E Bonds For H/HH Bonds

  • Series E bonds COULD HAVE BEEN exchanged for Series H Bonds or Series HH bonds. This offer is no longer in effect.
  • August 31st, 2004 was the last issue date for HH/H Bonds.
  • After August 31, 2004, the government discontinued the exchange of bonds for HH/H bonds.

When Did E Bonds Reach Maturity?

  • E Bonds issued May 1941 – November 1965 earned interest for 40 years and was granted three 10-year extended maturity periods.
  • E Bonds issued December 1965 – June 1980 earn interest for 30 years and were granted two 10-year extended maturity periods.
  • Originally issued for a fixed term of 10 years, E bonds were granted interest extensions that brought their interest-bearing lives to 30 or 40 years, dependent upon the issue date of the bond.
  • The last E bond stopped earning interest in 2010.

E Bond Tax Information

  • E Bond interest is reportable for Federal Income Tax purposes in the year in which the bond is redeemed, or when it reached its final maturity, whichever occurred first.*
  • E Bonds are not subject to state or local taxes.  
  • A bond owner was able to elect to report bond interest annually as it accrued. Series E bond holders who elected to defer reporting interest accruals for Federal income tax purposes can continue the deferral as long as accrued Series E bond interest is included in the purchase price (face or par amount) of Series HH bonds received in exchange.

*Talk to a financial or tax advisor regarding amended tax returns.

Converting Paper To Electronic Bonds

Note: If you want cash for your E Savings Bonds, it is much easier to cash in the bond at a local bank, financial institution or mail in the bond to the U.S. Treasury Department.  

It is not necessary to convert PAPER E Savings Bonds into electronic bonds using your TreasuryDirect account.

  • All Series E Savings Bonds have reached final maturity and are no longer earning interest.
  • If planning to hold onto E bonds (despite earning zero interest) you should NOT convert them into electronic bonds.
  • In a Treasury Direct Account, when electronic bonds reach their final maturity and stop earning interest, they will AUTOMATICALLY be paid/cashed in.
  • A 1099-INT will AUTOMATICALLY be generated in a TreasuryDirect account for any matured bonds. No paper 1099-INT will be sent.
  • It is the responsibility of the electronic bond owner to print out the 1090-INT.
  • All of the interest earned on the E Bond will be reported to the federal government.
  • It is incumbent on the bond owner to print out their 1099-INT and include the interest income on their Federal Income Tax Return in the year a bond is redeemed.
  • The proceeds from the E Bond sale are deposited to a TreasuryDirect Zero-Percent C of I in the Primary persons Treasury Direct account.
  • You can also use all or some of the E Bond proceeds to purchase new securities or redeem the C of I into your bank account, in total, or in part.
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Created on: January 19, 2013

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Jackie Brahney

Marketing & Editorial Director at SavingsBonds.com
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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