How long to reach face value

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004
Categorized as: Series EE US Savings Bonds

How long does it take a savings bond to reach face value?

Tom’s response

If you buy a paper Series EE Savings Bond today, it is guaranteed to reach face value in 20 years, however, it could get there before that if market rates are high enough.

Electronic EE bonds and both paper and electronic I bonds are sold at face value.

If you’re talking about an EE bond you bought in the past, the time to reach face value depends on when you bought it.

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FDIC Insured Certificates of Deposit can pay 1 or 2% more than savings bonds when held for a similar length of time. See top CD Rates Below:


On January 31st, 2006 Paola said:

You didn’t answer the question on how long for EE bonds to reach face value. My children’s bonds (var. amounts $75, $100 and $500) were purchased in 9/1996. So in other words, when will the $100 bond be worth $100?

Thank you for your help.

On January 31st, 2006 Tom Adams said:

The Series EE original maturity guarantee depends on when the bond was issued. Bonds issued in:

  • February 93 or earlier:
    • are over face value now
  • March 1993 through April 1995:
    • are guaranteed to reach face value within 18 years from their issue date
  • May 1995 through May 2003:
    • are guaranteed to reach face value within 17 years from their issue date
  • June 2003 and later
    • are guaranteed to reach face value within 20 years from their issue date
On February 7th, 2006 jay said:

How about electronic EE bonds which sold at face value. How maturity guarantee works?

On February 7th, 2006 Tom Adams said:

My original answer to the question, written over a year ago, leaves a lot to be desired. Let me start over from the beginning:

How long does it take a savings bond to reach face value?

Newly issued Series EE, but not Series I, Savings Bonds have a feature that guarantees your investment will double in value in 20 years.

Since paper EE bonds are sold at half of their face value, this guarantee also means they will reach their face value in 20 years.

Depending on their issue date, EE bonds issued before June 2003 have either already doubled in value or will double in value in 17 or 18 years.

The guarantee applies to both paper and electronic EE bonds. Athough electronic EE bonds don’t have a face value, your investment is still guaranteed to double in value in the required number of years.

On February 25th, 2009 Chelsea said:


I have two 10,000 dollar Series EE bond (patriot bond)that were purchased in 2002, how long until they reach their face value?


On February 26th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Hi Chelsea – Scroll back up to the second comment on this page. It says EE Savings Bonds issued in 2002 reach face value in 17 years.

Tom Adams

On July 13th, 2009 Andrea said:

Ok, I just found some Series EE paper savings bonds all issued to me in 1991. One for $500 & the other 3 are $50 each. How long will they really come to full value since it’s 2009, and how much interest would be added to them? In dollars, not percentage…my dumb mind can’t calculate that. Lol. Thanks.

On July 14th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Andrea – Series EE Savings Bonds pay interest for 30 years, so yours will come to full value in 2021.

You don’t say what month they were issued, so I’ve done these calculations assuming they were issued in July.

The $500 bond is currently worth $644.60 (the $50s are worth $64.46). If you wait until 2021 and if the Treasury doesn’t change the interest rate on these bonds, the $500 bond will be worth $1,036.80 when it stops earning interest (the $50s will be worth $103.68).

Tom Adams

On August 2nd, 2009 Kathleen said:

What will happen if I cash my 2002 & 2003 EE bonds today, before they are mature? Am I even able to do this? Will they just not be worth as much? Will I be penalized in some additional way, other than lack of interest?


On August 3rd, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Kathleen – These bonds are over five years old so you can cash them whenever you want without a penalty. Obviously once you cash them they stop earning interest. If you don’t cash them, they continue to earn interest for 30 years from the issue date.

Tom Adams

Comments Closed

June 1, 2010

After six years, over 400 posts, 3,680 real comments, and over 90,000 spam comments (thank you, Akismet, for making managing a blog with comments possible), I am closing public comments on I will contine to update the main articles on this site, but not the comments.

Virtually every question about Savings Bonds has been asked and answered on this site multiple times. Use the search feature (see the box in the gray area near the top of this page) or the detailed menu on the lower part of the home page to find the information you're looking for. If you have a copy of Savings Bond Advisor, you can ask me a question here.

Tom Adams

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