What Is a Series E Savings Bond?

By Rebecca Lake · June 11, 2024 · 7 minute read

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What Is a Series E Savings Bond?

Series EE bonds, or Patriot Bonds, were initiated in 1980 as a low-risk way for Americans to save. The money invested is guaranteed to double in 20 years.

They build upon the tradition of Series E bonds, or war bonds, which were introduced by the federal government in 1941. Learn more about this savings vehicle here.

What Is a Series EE Bond?

A series EE bond is a U.S. Treasury bond. It’s considered to be a very safe investment, as it’s backed by the U.S. government. It is guaranteed to double in value in 20 years, even if the government has to add funds to it to meet that mark.

To provide some context, here’s a quick look at what bonds are and how bonds work. A bond is a debt instrument. Bonds are issued by corporations or governments in order to raise capital. The bond market is huge — much larger than the equity markets. (In 2023, the market cap of the global bond market was about $133 trillion, versus $111 trillion for the stock market.) Investors provide capital to companies and governments when they buy the bonds, effectively loaning their money to that institution.

Meanwhile, the bond issuer agrees to pay investors the capital back, along with interest, after a certain period.

There are different kinds of bonds investors can purchase, including municipal, corporate, high-yield bonds, and U.S. Treasuries. A savings bond is a type of U.S. Treasury bond, issued with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, meaning there’s virtually no chance of losing money. Savings bonds allow the government to borrow money for various purposes while giving investors a reliable and predictable stream of interest income.

Series E bonds, which were created in 1941 to help fund the WWII effort, were replaced in 1980 with Series EE bonds, or Patriot Bonds.

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How Do Series EE Bonds Work?

If you’re interested in buying bonds, here are details on how a Series EE bond works:

•   Series EE bonds are electronic and can only be purchased and managed online with a TreasuryDirect account. They are available in any denomination starting at $25, up to $10,000 per person named on the bond, per calendar year.

•   These bonds are guaranteed to double in value in 20 years, even if the government needs to kick in extra cash. You can hold the bond for up to 10 additional years to continue to earn interest.

•   When you purchase a Series EE bond, the interest rate will be stated. Through October 31, 2024, the interest rate is 2.70%.

•   Interest is earned monthly, compounding semi-annually, for up to 30 years, unless you cash it sooner.

•   Series EE bonds can be cashed in (or redeemed) after 12 months, but early withdrawal can trigger a penalty of partial interest loss.

•   Electronic Series EE bonds can be cashed in via the TreasuryDirect site.

•   Interest earned on Series EE bonds is taxable at the federal level. Federal estate, gift, and excise taxes, as well as state estate or inheritance taxes, may also apply. If the money is used for qualified education expenses, however, you may not be subject to taxes.

•   The TreasuryDirect site also makes 1099-INT statements of interest earnings available annually.

Recommended: Understanding the Yield to Maturity (YTM) Formula

Understanding Series E Bonds

The popularity of Series E bonds may have hinged largely on the patriotic call to purchase them as part of the war effort. Buying bonds served two purposes: It helped the government to raise money for the war and it also helped to keep inflation at bay as shortages threatened to push consumer prices up. Apart from that, there were other qualities that might have made a Series E saving bond attractive.

These bonds were issued at 75% of their face value and returned 2.9% interest, compounded semiannually if held to 10-year maturity. So investors were able to earn a decent rate of return on their investment.

Series E bonds were also affordable, with initial denominations ranging from $25 to $1,000. Larger denominations of $5,000 and $10,000 were added later, along with two smaller memorial denominations of $75 and $200 to commemorate the deaths of President Kennedy and President Roosevelt, respectively.

Series E bonds were redeemable at any time after two months following the date of issue. Bond purchasers could redeem them for the full face value, along with any interest earned.

Interest from Series E bonds was taxable at the federal level but exempt from state and local taxes, adding to their appeal. And because they were issued by the federal government, they were considered a safe investment.

Recommended: Understanding the Yield to Maturity (YTM) Formula

Series EE Bond Maturity Rate

The maturity rate for EE bonds depends on when they were first issued.

Here’s a table showing the maturity dates for Series EE bonds over time:

Issuing Date Maturity Period
January – October 1980 11 years
November 1980 – April 1981 9 years
May 1981 – October 1982 8 years
November 1982 – October 1986 10 years
November 1986 – February 1993 12 years
March 1993 – April 1995 18 years
May 1995 – May 2003 17 years
After June 2003 20 years

Recommended: 13 Tips for Aggressively Saving Money

Are Series EE Bonds Right for Me?

Series EE bonds can be a convenient, low-risk way to help your money grow over time. Plus, many people like the idea of investing in America and having their investment backed by the U.S. government. However, the rate of return may not be optimal, and the bonds are typically held for quite a long time versus a short-term investment.

Here are two popular alternatives you might consider to grow your money:

Savings Accounts

A savings account is a deposit account that’s designed to hold the money you don’t plan to spend right away. You can find various types of savings accounts at traditional banks, credit unions, and online banks. Savings accounts can pay interest, though not all at the same rate.

High-yield savings accounts at online banks, for example, tend to pay much higher rates than basic savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks. Currently, they may offer around 4.60% APY (annual percentage yield) versus 0.58% for savings accounts.


If you’re unclear about how stocks work, they effectively represent an ownership share in a company. When you buy shares of stock, you’re buying an ownership stake in a publicly traded company. The way you make money with stock investing is by buying low and selling high. In other words, you want to purchase stocks at one price then sell them for a higher price.

Stock trading can be a more powerful way to build wealth over time versus keeping money in a savings account or buying bonds. But there’s a tradeoff since stocks tend to be much riskier than bonds or savings accounts. Buying shares of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which hold a collection of different stocks as well as bonds, is one strategy for managing that risk.

Recommended: Bonds vs. CDs: What’s Smart for Your Money?

Banking With SoFi

Series EE savings bonds can be a safe way to earn a steady rate of return. However, they aren’t the only way to grow your money.

Interested in opening an online bank account? When you sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings account with direct deposit, you’ll get a competitive annual percentage yield (APY), pay zero account fees, and enjoy an array of rewards, such as access to the Allpoint Network of 55,000+ fee-free ATMs globally. Qualifying accounts can even access their paycheck up to two days early.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.


When should I cash in EE savings bonds?

Series EE savings bonds are optimally held for 20 years, at which point the money invested will have doubled. If you’d like to keep earning interest, you may hold the bonds for up to an additional 10 years.

How long does it take for a Series EE savings bond to mature?

Series EE savings bonds mature in 20 years. At the end of that period, the initial investment’s value will have doubled. You may hold them an additional 10 years and continue to earn interest, if you like.

Do Series EE savings bonds double after 20 years? 30 years?

Series EE savings bonds double after 20 years. If you don’t redeem them, you may continue to earn interest on them for another 10 years, for a total of 30 years.

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SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

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SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

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