As of November 2014, the public can purchase savings bonds directly from the U.S. Treasury by using the department's Web-based system called TreasuryDirect. Paper-based savings bonds can no longer be purchased from financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.Continue Reading
An individual must set up a TreasuryDirect account at the TreasuryDirect website to purchase Series EE or Series I savings bonds. The account-creation process requires the purchaser to enter a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number. The purchased bonds remain in the purchaser's account in electronic form, eliminating the need for paper bonds that must be physically presented to be cashed in. Buying and selling bonds within an account happens electronically, and the funds are withdrawn or deposited into the purchaser's bank account.
The TreasuryDirect system also allows people to give savings bonds as gifts. During the purchase process, a bond can be gifted to another person by entering the recipient's full name, an account number and a Social Security number. Parents are allowed to create sub-accounts for children where gift bonds are stored in their names.
As of November 2014, the only exception to using a TreasuryDirect account to purchase savings bonds occurs when bonds are purchased using a federal tax refund. A taxpayer can use IRS Form 8888 to request the purchase of up to $5,000 of paper-based Series I savings bonds. The bonds arrive in the mail.Learn more about Investing