How To Convert Your Paper Savings Bonds to Electronic Format

I’ve got some U.S. Savings Bonds from back when you could buy them with no fees with a credit card and earn cash-back rewards. Unfortunately that ended in 2003. But I still have these paper bonds worth over $5,000, just asking to be misplaced or stolen. And the Treasury has been teasing me with this page about their SmartExchange program to convert these bonds to online electronic format. It’s invitation only, and I’ve been waiting for one for almost a year now. Finally I found out how to get an invitation – just ask! (Seems like a recurring theme now)

Benefits of Electronic Bonds include:

» Cash them in online, instead of having to go to a bank
» Track their current value online
» You don’t have to worry about losing them
» You can make transfers online

Here’s how to convert your bonds:

1) Open a Treasury Direct account. It’s like an online account that ‘holds’ your Savings Bonds.

2) Log into your account, and click on the ‘Contact Us’ link on the top right corner. Ask them for an invitation to convert your paper bonds to electronic bonds.

3) Wait for them to reply, they should send you confirmation that they have opened up a separate account number (same login) to hold your converted bonds, and directions on conversion.

4) Follow their directions carefully. They are long, but surprisingly accurate if you read slowly and don’t try to skip steps like I did. In the end you’ll mail them a form with a list of your Savings Bonds, and the actual physical paper bonds. They don’t mention this, but first I’d make a copy of your bonds for your records.

5) I’m at this step, I’m mailing them out tomorrow. The site says that within 3 weeks they should show up online. The whole process is free except for the postage to send them in. I’ll update again when they show up.

Comments

  1. I have a $50 EE Series US savings bond issued in 12-1994. How do I know how much I would get if I were to cash it today?

  2. Check out the Savings Bond Calculator at

    http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/sav/savcalc.htm

    Your bond would be worth $39.58 currently.

  3. Thanks Jonathan. I almost completely forgot that I still had that savings bond until I read your post.

    I got that $50 bond when I got a credit card from Chemical Bank. At that time, I thought 18 years to reach face value is a long way to go. But now, in a flash, it’s been 11 years!

  4. I too got the invitiation. I have over 200 seperate paper I/EE bonds from $25 to $1000 which I need to keep in a safe deposit box. I decided not the convert them since I would have to spend money mailing it to them using registered mail. They should have an option of entering your bond # online, and that should show up in your electronic account and void the paper bond, that would be cool and free.

  5. I sent my paper bonds for conversion along with a manifest. Now all but one bond is showing up under my converted account.

    I tried emailing treasury direct about this descrepancy, and they have not sent any replies to me yet. I have sent 2 emails so far, with no response.

    I also tried calling the various numbers listed for bonds from the contact us link, and all the time I get forwarded from one department to another, and then finally someone says, the only way to resolve the website issues is to send e-mail to them.

    What do I do?

  6. Update

  7. I wanna know what bonds I have and how much are they worth. says:

    I just wanted to know what bonds do I have and how much are they worth my family has told that I have a couple that were invested when I was young!

  8. A Justday says:

    You are kidding…Try to redeem your US Savings Bond at Citibank???

Trackbacks

  1. [...] do I redeem them? You can either convert these paper bonds to electronic format at TreasuryDirect and redeem online, or cash them in at the same place you bought them (or any other financial [...]

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