The process of cashing savings bonds largely differs from the process of collecting the maturity amount. There are only two things that you need - one, a proper identification document and two, a bond. In some cases, the cashing in of the bonds is known as liquidation or redemption.
First, let us try to understand how savings bonds work and what are the common terminologies used. It is basically a security that is issued to raise capital. These securities have a certain maturity period after which the invested amount, plus the amount of interest accrued on it are returned to the owner of the bond. This is known as maturity of the bond and the interest rate received is exempt from most of the state and federal taxes.
However, on the other hand, whenever the bonds are en-cashed or withdrawn before the maturity date, due to any reason, the interest rate is partially or fully forfeited. For example, if the EE Bonds are withdrawn before 5 years, then 3 months worth of accrued interest is lost.
Procedure to Encash
Today, due to technological advancements, the Savings Bond Calculator, Savings Bond Wizard, Savings Bonds Value Files and Redemption Tables can be accessed through the website of the United States Treasury. Most of the bonds that have been issued recently, have been transacted through the TreasuryDirect website. You can access your account through this website and the bonds can be encashed through the website itself. Your bank account will be automatically credited with the requisite amount after a specific number of working days. This is the best and safest way to cash in savings bonds.
The second option is to refer to a bank or a financial institution to cash in the bond for you. All you will need is an identification proof. Ideally, you should directly approach your own bank and if you have been an account holder for a minimum of six months, you will get a credit of the sum into your account.
In other cases where you do not have an account, you can provide an identity proof such as a social security card or driver's license, and get a check or cash instead. The same procedure can be followed at all Federal Reserve branches and also the Treasury Retail Securities website. In case, if you are not the owner, as prescribed on the bond, then you will need a proof or document showing that you have a lien or right to ownership of the bond.
If you are unsure about when to cash in, then you can consult a broker or trader, as he will be able to get a good resale price for your bond in the secondary market.