Are you looking to purchase savings bonds for holiday gifts?
The Treasury discontinued over-the-counter sales of paper savings bonds in January 2012. Savings bonds in electronic format remain available for purchase at: www.treasurydirect.gov . In order to purchase a savings bond, you must open an account in TreasuryDirect. On this site there are also options for you to purchase bonds as gifts to other individuals. Those bonds will stay in your TreasuryDirect account until the recipient has his/her own TreasuryDirect account. One of the benefits of electronic bonds is that investors do not have to worry about misplacing, or storing paper savings bonds once their Treasury Direct account is in place.
For those of you who like to have bonds to hold onto, or to give as gifts, you still have an option available to you at this time. The only drawback with this option is that you must know a year in advance who you would like your bonds made payable to. You may only purchase I Bonds with this option, but you do not need to set up a Treasury Direct account to do so. By using IRS form 8888 you may allocate up to $5,000.00 of your tax refund to the purchase of paper I Bonds for yourself and/or for someone else as a gift. It will take about three weeks after placing your order to receive your bonds.
E, EE and I series paper savings bonds may still be redeemed at your bank with proper identification. Please visit a teller at your local American Bank office if you have savings bonds to redeem, or simply wish to find out their redemption value. You can find more information on setting up a Treasury Direct account, interest rate calculations and the gifting of bonds at: www.treasurydirect.gov .