Converting EE or I paper bonds to electronic bonds
Do you still have paper savings bonds? If they are EE or I bonds, you can convert them to electronic bonds in our free online program, TreasuryDirect.
Must I convert my paper bonds to electronic bonds?
No. Electronic bonds have many advantages – as we show in the next section. If you plan to keep your bonds for a while, you may like having them in TreasuryDirect.
However, if you want to cash your bonds now, just take them to your bank or other financial institution or ask us to cash them for you. You don't need to open a TreasuryDirect account just to cash bonds right away. See Cashing EE or I savings bonds.
Why convert EE or I bonds from paper to electronic?
Electronic bonds are
They can't get lost, stolen, or destroyed. You don't have to worry about fire, flood, or other disaster. You don't have to pay for a safe-deposit box or fire-proof safe.
Paid automatically when they mature!
You don't have to worry about keeping track of when they finish earning interest. You don't have to find them to cash them in. On the day they reach the end of their 30-year life, we automatically pay you for your EE and I savings bonds.
You can manage your bonds (find their current value, check when they mature, cash them in before they mature, and more) whenever you want – 24 / 7 / 365.
You just use your computer. No need to go to a bank to get cash for your savings bonds.
More flexible than a bank!
In TreasuryDirect, you have no limit on how much you can cash in at one time. (Many banks have limits.)
Note: We have 2 minimum requirements for cashing bonds: The bond must be at least 1 year old. If you cash only part of what a bond is worth, you must leave at least $25 in your account.
You can cash your savings bonds in full or in part. (Paper bonds can only be cashed in full.)
We don't charge any fees for you to set up or use a TreasuryDirect account.
(You only have to pay the postage for sending us your paper bonds.)
When you convert a bond, it keeps its basic characteristics. It has the same ownership, the same maturity date, the same interest rate, and the same schedule for interest payments as before.
If the bond is still earning interest, converting it is not a taxable event.
We only convert bonds from paper to electronic format. Once they are electronic, you can't turn them back into paper bonds.
Who can convert EE or I bonds?
Once you have a TreasuryDirect account, you can exchange paper EE or I savings bonds for electronic bonds that you
- own yourself, co-own with someone else, own with a beneficiary
- bought as a gift for someone else (if you haven't delivered them yet)
- got as an inheritance (see Death of a savings bond owner)
- own now through some other change in ownership
- have responsibility for as the account manager for a trust, estate, corporation, or some other entity (See About entity accounts)
How do I convert my EE or I bonds?
Once you have a TreasuryDirect account, here's how you convert your paper EE or I bonds:
- Go to your TreasuryDirect account.
- Select ManageDirect.
- In the Manage My Linked Accounts menu, select Establish a Conversion Linked Account.
- Review the information about conversion linked accounts.
- Select Create Account.
- In the Manage My Conversions menu, select How to Convert My Paper Bonds.
- Follow the instructions there.
- When you prepare your paper bonds to submit for conversion, do NOT sign the back of the bonds.
If you have trouble either setting up or using a Conversion Linked Account, go to the help inside the TreasuryDirect program.
May I convert other, older bonds?
Yes, but… As we said above, it's faster and easier to get your money for them from your bank or by just having us cash them. Cashing EE or I savings bonds. Cashing HH savings bonds. Cashing bonds that no longer earn interest.
You cannot convert H or HH bonds. But you may want to convert already matured E, EE, or I bonds to accumulate money in your TreasuryDirect account and use that money to buy new savings bonds or other Treasury securities.
If you convert bonds that no longer earn interest, we cash them as soon as we have converted them.
The money for them goes into a Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I). A C of I is a no-interest fund in your account that you can draw on to pay for new bonds or other Treasury securities or to send money by direct deposit to your bank account.
What happens to bonds I've bought as gifts?
If you buy a paper I savings bond in someone else's name and then convert it to an electronic bond before you give it to that person, we put it in a special part of your Conversion Linked Account called a Gift Box. After it has been in your Conversion Linked Account Gift Box for 5 days, you can transfer it to the other person's TreasuryDirect account. See Giving savings bonds as a gift.
If a savings bond in your Conversion Linked Account Gift Box has already matured or matures before you give it to the other person, we pay for it and mark it as "matured gift proceeds." You can then have us put the money in the other person's Treasury Direct account.
Of course, to deliver either a gift bond or the money from a gift bond, you must be able to tell us the other person's TreasuryDirect account number.