If you have purchased savings bonds online through the TreasuryDirect.gov platform, you also have the ability to redeem them here as well. Unlike paper savings bonds, electronic bonds provide an additional degree of flexibility when it comes to redeeming these investment tools. Certain rules and regulations do apply with online savings bonds redemption, however. Taking the time to fully understand the rules and regulations that apply to individuals trying to cash bonds online will ensure that you can streamline this process in the future and avoid any unpleasant logistical hurdles.
The federal Treasury Direct platform allows individuals to purchase savings bonds online that can then be redeemed through this online platform. That being said, individuals who have originally purchased paper bonds will not be able to convert these issuances into cash through the website.
Online vs Paper Bonds
Unlike bonds purchased online, paper savings bonds may not be redeemed through the Treasury Direct platform. Instead, you must take your paper certificates to a bank or other financial institution that handles redemptions on behalf of the Treasury Department.
That being said, you can use the Treasury Direct SmartExchange resource to convert paper bonds to electronic bonds. Once the bonds are in electronic form, they may be redeemed online. As part of bond ownership, you must wait at least one year after you purchase the bonds before redeeming them. However, you forfeit three months’ interest if you redeem them in less than five years.
Confirming Your Financial Information
Before you start the redemption process, make sure your bank account information is up-to-date. The Treasury Direct system will seek out previously entered bank account information unless you choose to place your US treasury bonds payout into a Certificate of Indebtedness, which is a non-interest-bearing security you may use to keep money on deposit with Treasury Direct until you are ready to invest it.
This may be particularly useful for those who are seeking to commit to some form of investment in the short term and will not need a full bank transfer. A Certificate of Indebtedness can exist in a variety of formats. Some of the more popular options for consumers include Certificates of Deposit, also referred to as CDs, and various bond certificates.
Initiating the Process
Once you have logged into the Treasury Direct platform, choose "ManageDirect" at the top of your account page and then select the bond redemption option. You will need to select the type of savings bond or other security you want to redeem and submit your request. Choose which savings bonds you want to redeem from the list that appears. You may select up to 50 bonds at a time.
If you choose only one bond, the system takes you to the Redemption Request page. You can redeem the entire bond or make a partial redemption of $25 or more. If you are redeeming more than one bond, a Multiple Redemption Request page appears. There is no partial redemption option when you redeem more than one savings bond at a time.
Completing Your Bond Redemption
Choose the bank account where you want the money sent from the drop-down menu. Following this, submit your request to go to the review page. If everything looks correct, confirm the redemption. A printable confirmation page appears, and Treasury Direct will electronically transfer the funds to the selected account within one or two business days.
For those who may wish to learn more about the various redemption options available, as well as see more in-depth explanations of the various bond types in existence today, the Treasury Direct website also includes an extensive archive of valuable information.
Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things business and finance. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured on PocketSense, Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.