To check if a savings bond has been cashed, you can use Treasury Hunt, which is a tool launched by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help bondholders determine the value of their bonds. According to Senate.gov, there are over $29 billion in unredeemed savings bonds. If you have at least one savings bond and aren't sure if it was cashed, resources are available to help you find out.
What Is a Savings Bond?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission explains that savings bonds are debt securities issued and backed by the U.S. government. When you purchase a U.S. savings bond, you are lending money to the government and receiving a guarantee that you will be paid back with interest after the maturity date. There are two main types of savings bonds:
- Series EE savings bonds are sold at face value and earn a fixed interest rate regularly for 30 years. After 20 years, the bond is guaranteed to double in value. Patriot Bonds are EE savings bonds issued between December 2001 and 2011.
- Series I savings bonds are sold at face value and earn a fixed interest rate that can change every six months based on the current interest rate. This is called an inflation rate and is guaranteed to never fall below zero.
For both EE and I savings bonds, interest is compounded semiannually. Twice a year, the dollar amount from the months of interest is added to the bond's value.
TreasuryDirect mentions that Series HH bonds are no longer sold, but may still earn interest. Series E bonds were replaced by Series EE bonds in 1980 and ceased earning interest in 2010.
Savings bonds have long been a popular low-risk investment. Since their introduction in 1935, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has issued more than 6.8 billion savings bonds valued at over $731 billion. Both bonds are available electronically. Series I bonds are still available in paper form, but only when purchased with your annual IRS income tax refund.
How to Know if an Electronic Savings Bond Has Been Cashed
Whether you have an old paper savings bond or an updated electronic savings bond, there are several ways to determine its value. If your savings bond was lost, stolen or destroyed, there are also steps you can follow to request a replacement.
Visit TreasuryDirect and Search by Your Bond's Information
You can check if a bond has been cashed by logging into treasurydirect.gov. If you don't have a TreasuryDirect account, create one by selecting "Open a New Account" in the login window. You'll be asked to enter a lot of personal information, including your Social Security Number (SSN) and complete financial institution and bank account information. Then, you'll receive an email with instructions for your first login.
Once logged in, you can search for the bonds in your secure online account. If you have a mature bond that you are trying to find the value of, visit Treasury Hunt. If you think you may have an electronic bond that isn't stored in your TreasuryDirect account, you can try the other methods below.
Use Treasury Hunt to Find a Bond's Value
To use the U.S. Treasury's Treasury Hunt tool, you need to know the owner's Social Security Number (SSN) and the state the bond was issued in. If you are the owner, you will be able to learn the full details of the bond. If you are looking up a bond under someone else's name, the Privacy Act of 1974 limits how much you can find out. You'll receive instructions for what to do next if a match is found.
Contact the U.S. Treasury by Phone, Email or U.S. Mail
You can also contact the Treasury department in any of the following ways:
- U.S. Mail: Write to the Treasury Retail Securities Site, P.O. Box 9150 Minneapolis, MN 55480-7015. Include the bond's serial number, face value and issue date in your correspondence.
- Email: Use the fillable forms on TreasuryDirect's Contact Us page to send a secure message.
- Phone: Call (844) 284-2676. Expect long wait times.
If your bond hasn't been cashed but was lost, stolen or destroyed, the Treasury Department has a form you can fill out to report the problem and potentially receive a replacement.
How to Know if a Paper Savings Bond Has Been Cashed
If you have a paper savings bond but aren't sure if it was redeemed, visit TreasuryDirect's Savings Bond Calculator. This tool provided by the U.S. Treasury allows you to enter the information on your bond to determine the bond's current value.
- TreasuryDirect.gov: Report on the Redemption of Savings Bonds
- Kennedy.Senate.gov: Kennedy’s Unclaimed Savings Bond Act becomes law to help reunite Americans with $29 billion
- Treasury Direct: Calculate the Value of Your Paper Savings Bond(s)
- Investor.gov: Savings Bonds
- TreasuryDirect: HH Bonds
- TreasuryDirect: Searching for a bond (Treasury Hunt®)
- TreasuryDirect: Contact Us
- TreasuryDirect: Claim for Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed United States Savings Bonds
- You may check if a bond has been cashed no matter whose name it's in, as long as you have an SSN or EIN. Detailed information about the bond may be accessed only by the owner or co-owner. Treasury Hunt provides information only on matured Series E bonds issued in 1974 and afterward. If your bond hasn't been cashed, instead it's been lost, stolen or destroyed, contact the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt. You may be able to get the bond replaced or get its cash value.
This article was written by PocketSense staff. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on our contact us page.