Savings bonds are one of the safest investments available because they are backed by the federal government, according to the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission. There are two main types of savings bonds--I and EE. Inflation-Indexed Bonds, commonly known as I bonds, are adjusted for inflation and have a fixed rate of interest. Series EE bonds, which replaced the E bonds common during World War II, have interest rates set by the bond market. It is easy to find out how much a savings bond is worth using the U.S. Treasury Department's savings bond calculator. You will need to provide several pieces of information printed on the face of your savings bond.
Visit the Savings Bonds Calculator on the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The link to the calculator is provided below under Resources.
Enter a date in the "Value as of" box. If you are interested in finding out how much the savings bond is worth today, enter in today's date. If you plan to let the bond mature for a longer amount of time, enter that date.
Select the correct series in the drop-down box. Savings bond series include EE, I and E. One of these series codes will be printed in bold letters in the bottom left-hand corner or the top right-hand corner.
Select the denomination of the savings bond in the drop-down box. The denominations range from $10 to $10,000 and are printed on the top corners of the savings bond.
Enter the bond's serial number in the box provided. The serial number is a code printed on the bottom right hand corner. It usually starts with letter, which is followed by seven to nine numerical digits.
Enter the date the bond was issued in the "Issue Date" box. The month and year of the issue date is printed in the right-hand corner, directly under the denomination. Enter the date in a month and year format. For example, if the savings bond was issued in December 1984, enter 12/1984 in the box provided.
Click "Calculate" after you have entered the information required in Steps 2 through 6. The calculator will process your information and display the savings bond's issue price, maturity date, interest rate, interest accrued and total value as of the date you selected.
You can cash in your savings bonds at most local banks or financial institutions. You will need to show a driver's license or some other official form of identification and sign the back of the bond. If you are not a customer of that particular bank, you may be limited to cashing $1,000 worth of savings bonds at one time.
- Przemyslaw Szczepanski at www.sxc.hu