U.S. savings bonds, like other Treasury securities, are considered safe investments because they are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. If you have invested in savings bonds for the long term or have given them to a child, you may want to check the interest rate before the bonds mature. A number of resources are available for this.
Visit the Savings Bond Calculator at the TreasuryDirect website to view the interest rate each of your bonds is earning. Type in the bond type, denomination, serial number and issue date. This information is available on the face of paper bonds or on your account page for electronic bonds purchased using TreasuryDirect. In the date drop-down box, choose the current month or a different month as the calculation date. Click the "Calculate" button. You will also see the total value, year-to-date interest and total interest figures.
Check the Treasury Department website Resource Center for the interest rates of series E and EE bonds. Click "FAQ," "Markets" and "Savings Bond Value & Redemption." The information is updated each May and November. The interest rates for these bonds vary by issue date.
Look at the redemption tables on TreasuryDirect to find the value and interest earned on series E, EE and I bonds. This online archive extends back to March 1999. The Bureau of the Public Debt also publishes these tables in pamphlet form each May and November.
Tips & Warnings
- To avoid retyping your bond data into the Savings Bond Calculator each time you want to check interest rate or value, you can save your calculation results page, following the instructions on TreasuryDirect.
- Series EE bonds issued May 2005 and later earn a fixed interest rate tied to the yields of the 10-year Treasury Note. Rates are adjusted twice yearly, and interest accrues monthly. However, the value of these EE bonds is guaranteed to double after 20 years. If the interest rate does not allow for such an increase in value, the Treasury will adjust the rate to compensate for the difference. For details on interest rates of Series EE bonds issued before May 2005, consult TreasuryDirect.
- The interest rate of Series I bonds is calculated according to a somewhat complicated equation. It is a composite of the fixed rate and an inflation rate derived from the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
- If you redeem your bonds sooner than five years from the issue date, you will lose three months of interest.
What Happens to Bonds When Interest Rates Rise?
The bonds you hold now will inevitably fall in price if you sell them when interest rates are rising.