When my wife and I were first combining our finances, my wife had to track down some savings bonds she’d received from her grandfather when she was a child.
Her bonds were still accruing interest, those Series EE bonds earn interest for 30 years, and finding them was a simple matter. Unclaimed savings bonds are one of the most common types of missing money. (Finding your bonds is easy too, just go to Treasury Hunt)
Gifting US Treasury Savings Bonds has fallen a little bit out of favor in recent years but it’s still a decent way to teach saving. While there’s something symbolic about holding the paper certificate (paper certificates were phased out in 2012), the important message is that of saving.
How to buy savings bond gifts
The process is easy and the Treasury has this tutorial to help you understand the process. You’ll need the sound on to watch it.
If you’re more of a reader than a watcher, the process has two parts – buying the bond and delivering it.
Here’s how to buy the bond:
- Register an account at TreasuryDirect
- Collect the gift recipient’s Full Legal Name, Taxpayer ID or Social Security Number
- (When you give the bonds and want to deliver them electronically, the Recipient’s TreasuryDirect Account Number, but you don’t need it now)
- Log into TreasuryDirect and click BuyDirect in the Menu
- Select Series EE
- Enter the Recipient’s information as the new Registration Information and check the “This is a gift” box.
- Select the Recipient’s information as the registration, enter the amount, funding source, and set Purchase Frequency.
- Review the Purchase Review page to ensure all the information is correct. Smile at your confirmation page.
After you purchase the bond, it’ll appear in your account in about a day. You can’t deliver it to your recipient for five days, this is to confirm the funds (ACH takes up to 5 days).
If your recipient is a minor, they need to have a Minor linked account that is associated with a parent/guardian.
Here’s how to gift the bond:
- After 5 days of purchase, log into your Treasury Direct account.
- Click on the Gift Box link in the top menu.
- Select the bond you want to gift and click Submit.
- Click Deliver — remember, you’ll need their TreasuryDirect account number.
- You can deliver all or part of it – double check the review page. Click Submit and the bond will be delivered.
Now you’re done!
If you’re thinking about what bonds to buy, might I recommend Series I savings bonds – the rates on these are great right now!
Print a paper gift certificate
You can’t get a fancy looking savings bond certificate from the Treasury but you can do the next best thing — you can print out a gift certificate from the Treasury.
See their 27 gift certificates templates for occasions like graduation, holidays, weddings, and simple thank yous. It’s a nice touch… better than a print out of the confirmation page. 🙂
Finally, here’s how you (and they) can calculate the value of that savings bond down the road.