I have a relatively large number of Series EE and Series I savings bonds that were given to me as gifts as a child to help pay for college. Fortunately, I did not need to use them and so now they are beginning to mature, a few each year for the next 17 years. The face value of the bonds maturing in a given year varies from $100 to $1,300 and the total face value is $6,275 (the actual value will of course be greater, but I don't know that yet, so I'm going to talk in face value).

My question is, what can or should I do with these bonds as they mature?

a. Just put the money in my savings account (0.05% interest), which would effectively offset some of my Roth IRA contribution for the year.

b. Do some sort of CD ladder. However, most years I wouldn't meet the minimum deposit requirements from the savings bonds alone and would need to kick in additional money. Additionally, even the best 5 year CD rates are maxing out at a hair over 1% interest right now.

c. Invest it in an index fund or EFT. To establish the account, I'd have to kick in additional money to meet the minimum account balance. I have also always viewed these bonds as a last ditch "break-glass-in-case-of-emergency" fund, so I'm not super keen on putting them in the market where I could lose money, and they were generous gifts from relatives, so I feel weird about risking the money in the market.

d. Invest in new bonds of some sort, probably Series I bonds.

e. Other ideas???

1 Answer 1


Some thoughts:

  1. You can cash Series EE bonds any time.
  2. Use this link (https://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice) to calculate the current values of your bonds.
  3. Online banks pay much higher rates than 0.05%. I like Ally Bank, but there are others.
  4. Online banks (like Ally) typically have a very low (like $1) minimum balance for opening CDs.
  5. Index funds usually have a $3000 starting balance.
  6. There are bond funds (both mutual and ETF).
  7. Series I bonds are perfect for "break-glass-in-case-of-emergency" (as long as you don't need it for a year). I opened mine in units of $1000.
  • Thanks for the answer. I do know that the bonds can be cashed in at any time, but since I don't need the money immediately, I figured letting them fully mature would be a good idea. One of the Series I bonds is getting over 10% interest right now. I am also aware that online banks offer higher interest rates, but I strongly prefer using my local bank for checking and savings accounts, for a variety of reasons. Good to know that they have low CD minimums though, that could be a possibility.
    – Jack
    Jan 1, 2022 at 5:57
  • @Jack it's 2021: transferring money from bank to bank isn't instantaneous in the US, but close enough... Also, Series I bonds are now paying 7.1%, not 10%.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 1, 2022 at 6:14
  • Transferring money is, yes, I just prefer using a local bank, that's all. I also don't use credit or debit cards, or do online banking, it's just personal preference. As far as Series I bonds go, the interest rate on current bonds may be 7.1%, but for the Series I bonds I currently own, the rate as of today varies from 8.16% for bonds purchased in June of 2004 to 10.23% for a bond purchased in June of 2001. My Series EE bonds currently range from 0.49% to 4.00%, again depending on date of purchase.
    – Jack
    Jan 1, 2022 at 6:43

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