Course 110: U.S. Savings Bonds
How Much Money Do Savings Bonds Earn?
In this course
1 Introduction
2 What Are Savings Bonds?
3 Where Can You Buy Savings Bonds?
4 What Types of Savings Bonds Are Available?
5 How Much Money Do Savings Bonds Earn?
6 How Do You Redeem Savings Bonds?
7 What Taxes Apply to Earnings from Savings Bonds?
8 Savings Bonds Have Been American Favorites for Decades

The bottom line for returns on savings bonds sounds like the fable about the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady wins the race. Backed by the U.S. government, savings bonds are extremely safe. But a tradeoff for that safety is a relatively low rate of return.

The current interest rate on Series EE bonds is 1.30%, through April 30,2009. New interest rates are announced twice a year and take effect May 1 and November 1. If held for five years, Series EE bonds pay 90% of the six-month average yield on five-year Treasury securities. Earnings vary for Series EE bonds issued from 1980 to 1997, so consult your financial institution or the Bureau of Public Debt for exact figures. Many Series E bonds have stopped paying interest. You receive the interest earned along with your principal when you cash in the bond.

Series HH bonds pay a fixed rate of interest from the date you purchase the bonds. The present rate is 1.5% and has been in effect since January 1, 2003. You receive interest payments on your HH bonds twice a year. Note: Series HH/H bonds will no longer be for sale or exchange after August, 2004.

Series I bonds bought from November 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009 will earn 5.64% interest for the first six months. The rate is a combination of a fixed rate of 0.7% (fixed for the life of the bond) plus an adjustable rate (adjusted six months) based on inflation. You receive the interest earned along with your principal when you cash in the bond. The federal government developed Series I bonds to assure investors a rate of return above inflation. Historically, some savings bonds have, in reality, lost purchasing power during periods of high inflation.

For current U.S. savings bond rates, go to www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/indiv.htm.

Next: How Do You Redeem Savings Bonds? >>


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