The serial number on a savings bond is totally different from the serial number found on banknotes. Investing your funds into savings bonds can stir many questions in your mind.
You may be wondering, ‘how much is a savings bond worth?’, ‘where is the serial number on a savings bond?’, ‘can I buy a savings bond as a gift?’
Do not be perturbed. This article will provide answers and clarity to any misunderstandings you may have. But first, it’s important to know exactly what the savings bond is and how it works.
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What Is A Savings Bond?
Savings bonds are low-risk, long-term investments issued by the U.S. Treasury and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. They mature up to 30 years and are a higher-interest alternative to savings accounts and are subject to fewer taxes.
Essentially, with savings bonds, you help pay for the federal government’s spending needs in exchange for the interest on the money you lent to the government when they reach maturity.
You can purchase savings bonds for yourself or as gifts, even to minors. The amount of money a bond will have upon maturity is reflected by the face value of the bond.
However, you can’t cash in your bonds for the first year after purchase and if you redeem before 5 years have passed you lose three months’ worth of interest as a penalty.
How Does Savings Bonds Work?
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the Treasury’s first savings bond program in 1935. Since then several types of bonds have been offered over the years. The bonds sold in this present times earn interest for up to 30 years.
In simple terms, savings bonds are contracts between the owner and the U.S. Treasury where the Treasury is indebted to the owner and pays interest on the money the owner lent to it.
Bond buyers pay a percentage of the bond’s face value in exchange for interest payments on top of their principal.
Where Is The Serial Number On A Savings Bond?
The serial number on a savings bond can be found in the lower right corner of a paper bond. For eletronic savings bonds, the serial number is associated with its TreasuryDirect record.
The serial number is important for record keeping purposes incase your paper bonds or wrecked.
Types Of Savings Bonds
Currently, the U.S Treasury sells two kinds of bonds; Series EE and Series I savings bonds. Series E and Series HH bonds are older varieties and are no longer sold but may be held by savers in the U.S..
These bonds are sold electronically at TreasuryDirect.gov and new ones earn a fixed rate of interest.
Prior to 2012, Series EE were issued on paper and sold at half their face value. You can buy these bonds with as little as $25 and be allowed to purchase up to $10,000 worth during a year.
Although the annual interest rate for a bond bought from May 2022 – October 2022 is 0.10%, the government guarantees that the bonds wil be worth twice what you paid for it in 20 years time.
This type of savings bonds are also sold eetronicaly on TreasuryDirect and can be purchased in paper form with your federa tax refund.
Series I interest rate is divided into two parts
- A fixed interest rate
- An inflation rate ( this is cacuated twice a year)
With the current inflation rates, Series I bonds sod through October had an interest rate of 9.62%.
Key Taeaways For Electronic Series I Savings Bonds;
- They can be bought for a minimum of $25
- They are available in one-penny increments above $25. This means you could make a one-time electronic bond purchase of $25.01
- They have a purchase limit of $10,000 per calendar year
Key Takeaways For Paper Series I savings bonds:
- They can be bought for a minimum of $50
- They are sold in $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1,000 denominations
- They have a purchase limit of $5,000 per calendar year
This savings bond was introduced in 1941 and became renowned as the Word War II war bond. This bond was bought by great number of people to hep fund the war effort.
Until 1980, they were sold as savings bonds but later replaced by Series EE. Series E bonds stopped paying interest in 2010. You can redeem it for cash if you have any.
The Series HH bond is an oder variety of the savings bonds that are no onger sod. They were issued from 1980 to 2004 and had a maturity date of 20 years.
To redeem your Series HH bond, you need to send it to Treasury Retai Securities Services with a speciay signed form to a particular address.
Banks are not licensed to help you cash in these bonds but they can help you with the process.
Some other older series of savings bonds that are no longer sold include the Gulf Coast Recovery Bonds which was issued through 2007 to help fund relief efforts after the Guf Coast Hurricanes and the Patriot Bonds. The Patriot Bonds were issued through 2011 to help finance antiterrorism activities after 9/11.
Savings bonds are great long term investment plans. You can buy them for yourself, as a gift for a oved one or even for your chid to hep support the funding of his post secondary education.
But before you attempt to cash in a savings bond, do well to now its value and confirm if its matured.
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