How Do Savings Bonds Work;10 Facts You Must Know

How Do Savings Bonds Work.Bonds are debt securities (for the person who issues them) and credit securities (for the person who buys them) which represent a part of the debt taken on by a company or public body to finance itself They guarantee the buyer the repayment of the capital (at the end of the pre-established period) plus interest (the remuneration due to those who buy bonds in exchange for the amount invested).

How Do Savings Bonds Work.

  • Savings bonds are a type of investment issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They are a low-risk, low-yield investment option that is designed to help individuals save money over time.
  • When you purchase a savings bond, you are essentially lending money to the government. In return, the government agrees to pay you a certain amount of interest on your investment over a set period of time. Savings bonds come in various denominations, ranging from as low as $25 up to $10,000.
  • There are two types of savings bonds: Series EE bonds and Series I bonds. Series EE bonds are purchased at half of their face value and then accrue interest over a period of 30 years. Series I bonds, on the other hand, accrue interest based on a combination of a fixed rate and an inflation rate. The interest on both types of bonds is generally exempt from state and local taxes, and federal taxes can be deferred until the bond is cashed in.
  • Savings bonds can be purchased online through the TreasuryDirect website, or through a financial institution. They can be redeemed after a certain period of time, and the longer you hold onto the bond, the more it will be worth. However, if you redeem the bond before it reaches maturity, you may be subject to penalties or loss of interest.
  • Overall, savings bonds are a safe and reliable way to save money over time, particularly for those who are risk-averse and looking for a low-yield investment option.

The bondsthey are issued for the purpose of obtaining capital to invest directly from savers and at more advantageous conditions than those of bank loans. The advantage for the issuing company derives from interest rates that are usually lower than those it would be forced to pay by applying for a bank loan with the same maturity (compared to unsecured loans, i.e. loans that do not include real guarantees, or , i.e. the current account overdraft) while the investor benefits from a higher rate than that of an investment in liquidity and has the possibility of divestment of his investment on the secondary market.

The holder of debt securities of a company, while assuming the business risk unlike the shareholder, does not participate in the management activity of the issuer, not having the right to vote in the shareholders’ meetings. In return, however, the remuneration of the equity risk capital is subject to the prior payment of interest and principal repayments to the bondholders.
However, there are bonds, called convertible bonds , which provide the holder with the right to convert the loan into a share (compendium shares) or not. Following the conversion, one ceases to be a bond and becomes a shareholder and therefore acquires all the relative rights.

The definition of coupon

The coupon is the coupon attached to the certificate representing the bond which, detached from the certificate, allows the holder to collect interest. The coupon is paid during the life of the security and can have different periodicities, the most frequent being on a quarterly, half-yearly and annual basis. The interest can be fixed (established in advance) or variable (usually indexed to Libor  or Euriborincreased by a spread or other official rates and normally adjusted every six months). Often, to encourage subscription, the issue takes place below par, i.e. the nominal value (i.e. the value that will be repaid on maturity) is higher than the subscription price (which is what you pay to buy the security): in this way increases the efficiency.
For further information on coupons, consult the article The detachment of coupons: meaning, functioning, dividend calendar.

The meaning of zero coupons

The so-called ” zero coupon ” securities , on the other hand, do not pay interest in the form of coupons during their life and the yield is given solely by the difference between the nominal value and the subscription price. Much more rarely, bonds are priced at par (equal issue value and nominal value) or above par (nominal value less than the issue price).

Bond negotiation: methods

Bonds can be traded on a “ secco course ” or “ tel quel ” basis . In the first case, the prices are not representative of the interest component accrued up to that moment on the bond. This means that, at the time of settlement of the contract, the accrued interest (amount of interest accrued but not yet collected) calculated automatically by the system is added to the market price. Fixed-rate bonds and variable-rate bonds whose indexation parameter is recorded before the start of entitlement to the coupon in progress are traded “ dry rate ”. In the second case ( tel quel), on the other hand, the trading price of the instrument is also representative of the interest accrued up to that moment. The zero coupon bonds , bonds and ABSs (Asset Backed Security) with coupons, even multi-year ones, whose size can only be quantified on coupon expiry, are treated “tel quel”, as well as bonds whose repayment capital can only be determined on expiration.

The tax regime of bonds

The taxation of bonds in Italy is equal to 26% both as regards the coupons and as regards any capital gains (price difference between purchase and sale).
Italian government bonds, on the other hand, are subject to a more favorable tax rate (12.5%) as are the bonds of territorial public bonds such as those issued by municipalities, provinces and regions, those issued by international bodies and foreign government bonds and territories issued by those states included in a special list (white list) since they guarantee an adequate exchange of information.

Types of Savings Bonds

There are two main types of savings bonds – Series EE and Series I bonds. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types.

1. Series EE Bonds

Series EE bonds are the most common type of savings bonds. They are often referred to as “E bonds” and are available in both paper and electronic form. These bonds can be purchased at face value, which means you pay half the face value upfront and the other half is earned as interest over time. Series EE bonds have a fixed interest rate that is determined at the time of purchase. The interest is typically compounded semi-annually and will continue to accrue for up to 30 years.

2. Series I Bonds

Series I bonds, also known as “I bonds,” are another type of savings bond offered by the government. Unlike Series EE bonds, the interest rate on Series I bonds is a combination of a fixed rate and an inflation rate. This ensures that the bond’s return keeps up with inflation. The interest on Series I bonds is also compounded semi-annually and continues to accrue for up to 30 years. Similar to Series EE bonds, Series I bonds can be purchased in both paper and electronic form.

How to Buy Savings Bonds

Now that you have a basic understanding of savings bonds, let’s explore the process of purchasing them.

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: Before buying savings bonds, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria set by the government. In most cases, individuals who are at least 18 years old and have a valid social security number are eligible to purchase savings bonds.
  2. Decide on the Type and Amount: Consider which type of savings bond aligns with your investment goals and financial situation. Additionally, decide on the amount you want to invest in savings bonds.
  3. Choose between Paper and Electronic Bonds: Decide whether you prefer paper bonds or electronic bonds. Electronic bonds can be purchased online through the TreasuryDirect website, while paper bonds can be bought through your local financial institution.
  4. Make Your Purchase: Once you have completed the necessary steps, you can officially purchase your savings bond. For electronic bonds, the process is as simple as making an online transaction. For paper bonds, visit your local financial institution and complete the necessary paperwork.

Benefits of Investing in Savings Bonds

Investing in savings bonds can offer numerous benefits. Here are some advantages of adding savings bonds to your investment portfolio:

  1. Safety: Savings bonds are considered one of the safest investment options since they are backed by the government. The guarantee of principal repayment makes them ideal for risk-averse investors.
  2. Fixed Returns: Savings bonds have fixed interest rates, providing investors with a predictable return on their investment. This stability can be attractive to individuals who prefer a steady income stream.
  3. Tax Advantages: The interest earned on savings bonds is generally exempt from state and local taxes. However, federal taxes may still apply.
  4. Affordable Investment Option: Savings bonds have a low minimum investment requirement, making them accessible to a wide range of investors. You can start investing in savings bonds with as little as $25.


Savings bonds are a popular investment option due to their safety and reliable returns. Understanding how savings bonds work helps investors make informed decisions when allocating their resources. Whether you choose Series EE or Series I bonds, the government guarantees the safety of your investment and provides attractive interest rates. So, if you’re looking for a low-risk investment opportunity, consider adding savings bonds to your financial strategy. Start investing today and secure your financial future with savings bonds.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment