If you need a safe place to hold the savings you have accumulated, or if you are looking for the perfect investment gift for a loved one, U.S. Savings Bonds may be the answer for you.
There are two types of Savings Bonds. Series I Savings Bonds earn a variable rate of interest that is meant to protect against rising inflation. Series EE Savings Bonds purchased after April 2005 earn a fixed rate of interest for up to thirty years.
To buy a Series EE Savings Bond, consider the following:
- Where to Buy. You may buy Series EE Savings Bonds at most financial institutions, including your bank or brokerage firm. Some employers also offer payroll deduction purchase plans. You may also buy savings bonds online through the TreasuryDirect. If you buy one online through TreasuryDirect, you may have the paper certificate mailed to you. You may also choose to hold the bond electronically in your TreasuryDirect account, which will allow you to easily manage and sell the savings bond at your convenience.
- How Much to Buy. Paper Series EE Savings Bonds are sold in face value denominations of $50, $75, $100, $200, $500, $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000. The actual purchase price for a Series EE Bond is one-half of the face value of the bond. Therefore, a Series EE Bond with a face value of fifty dollars will actually cost you twenty-five dollars. Electronic Series EE Bonds purchased through TreasuryDirect are sold in any amount, to the penny, of twenty-five dollars or more. Electronic Series EE Bonds are purchased at face value, which means that a twenty-five dollar bond will cost you twenty-five dollars.
- Purchase Limits. There are limits to the amount of Series EE Savings Bonds that you may buy in any one calendar year. You may buy up to $30,000 of electronic Series EE Bonds in any one calendar year. You may also buy up to $30,000 ($60,000 face value) of paper Series EE Bonds in the same calendar year. When purchased as gifts, they do not count toward the annual purchase limit.
- Gifts. To purchase a Series EE Savings Bond as a gift, you will need the full name and Social Security number of the recipient. If you intend to buy a paper Series EE Savings Bond, you should be aware that it will take approximately three weeks for the bond to be mailed to you or to the recipient. Your financial institution may provide you with a gift certificate so that you can let the recipient know that the paper bond has been purchased. You may also have a savings bond gift delivered electronically through TreasuryDirect.