Redeem your stinkers

Monday, March 28th, 2005
Categorized as: Stinker bonds

According to an article in a recent issue of the Christian Science Monitor, the Treasury has a five-person team trying to track down the owners of Savings Bonds that have stopped earning interest.

Reportedly, seven out of ten of the people contacted don’t want to cash their bonds because they’ll have to pay income tax on the interest.

Instead, they opt to give the government an interest-free loan until they need the money, or until their heirs pay the tax, or until the bonds are forgotten and the government gets the entire value, not just the tax.

From a financial standpoint, keeping these stinkers is an appalling decision. If you have Saving Bonds that have stopped paying interest, cash them in, pay your tax with some of the money, and use the rest to buy new bonds that pay interest. You’ll end up with far more money than you will by holding on to these dead and rotting stinkers.

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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 November 13th, 2006 Wendee said:

I have a savings bond my mom told me she bought for me when I was born. She said I can probably look it up online to find out where to cash it in now but I don’t have a clue where I would go for this… I found a site last year but I didn’t ever go back to it and I lost it… Can you please direct me to a site that I can at least look it up and find out how much it has matured so I know whether to take it out or not and where to go to do so. Thanks

On November 13th, 2006 Tom Adams said:

Wendee – there’s no place online where you can get information on a Savings Bond that is still paying interest. You can write and ask for information, details about that are here.

If you were born more than 30 years ago, on the other hand, your bond has stopped paying interest. In that case you may be able to track it down using Treasury Hunt.

On November 14th, 2006 Joseph said:

This site will calculate savings bond values:

On November 14th, 2006 Tom Adams said:

Joseph – For rates and values, there’s also a calculator right here on this site (upper right).

Maybe I misunderstood Wendee’s message – I thought she wanted to “find” a bond that she had lost.

On February 11th, 2009 Robert rex Yarborough said:

I’m 77 yrs.old US citizen presently residing in the Philippines. I have bonds with a face value of approximately $900,000.00 to $1.5million ,which I bought 50 yrs ago. I lost all my bonds certificates, can i still find them although i’m here in the Philippines? Can the Dept. of the Treasury,Bureau of Public Debt accepts the certified Public Debt Form 1048 certified by my local bank where i withraw my US sss pension monthly?

On February 11th, 2009 Tom Adams said:

Robert – Your bonds stopped paying interest at least 10 years ago. Ten years of lost interest on a million dollar investment is a lot of money.

You can get a list of your savings bonds without a certified signature. See this post for information on getting your signature certified outside the U.S.

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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