Convert Your Paper Savings Bonds Using SmartExchange

Did you know that if you own paper savings bonds, you can trade them in for electronic bonds in TreasuryDirect, using a program called SmartExchange?

SmartExchange allows TreasuryDirect account owners to convert their Series E, Series EE, and Series I Bonds to electronic securities in a special Conversion Linked Account within their online account. With a TreasuryDirect account, you enjoy all the benefits of having online 24-hour access to manage your holdings, without having to keep track of paper securities.

stop sign If you want to cash (redeem) your savings bonds (and you have them in hand), you don't need a TreasuryDirect account. It's quicker and easier to take the savings bonds to your local financial institution and cash them there.
Or here's another option: Fill out FS Form 1522 (download or order), follow the instructions, and mail it to us with your bond. After we process your paperwork, we'll deposit your money right into your bank account
If the bond owner is deceased, please see our web page "Death of a Savings Bond Owner."

Who's Eligible for SmartExchange?

If you're a TreasuryDirect account owner, you can exchange paper savings bonds on which you are the sole owner, a co-owner, or the owner with a beneficiary. As an account owner, you can also convert paper savings bonds purchased as gifts for someone else, or bonds you have obtained through inheritance or other change in ownership.

Account Managers for certain entities, including trusts, estates, and corporations, may open accounts and convert bonds in TreasuryDirect. See Learn more about Entity Accounts. All securities in an entity account carry a registration identical to the entity account name. If the submitted bonds are not registered in the name of the entity, legal evidence may be required to support the transaction.  (We don't return legal evidence.)

Why Should You Use SmartExchange?

Electronic securities give you a greater degree of flexibility and convenience than paper securities and here's why:

  • You can cash your electronic bonds, in full or in part, at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and deposit the funds to a savings or checking account that you specify. You don’t need to go to a financial institution, and there are no restrictions on the number of bonds or the value that can be cashed at any one time once minimum requirements are met.
  • Online holdings and their current values can be viewed at any time. You don’t need to worry about paper securities being accidentally lost or destroyed.
  • You can change the bond registration, or transfer the securities to another account, at any time. (Some ownership restrictions apply; transfers may result in a taxable event.)
  • When electronic bonds reach final maturity and are no longer earning interest, they will be paid automatically, and the proceeds deposited to your Zero-Percent C of I in your Primary Account. You can use all or some of the proceeds to purchase new securities or cash the C of I to your bank account, in full or in part.

How Do You Use SmartExchange?

Making the SmartExchange is easy:

  1. Open a TreasuryDirect account, if you don't already have one. Simply complete our easy, online application to get started.
  2. Once your TreasuryDirect account is set up, login, click "Manage Direct," then select "Establish a Conversion Linked Account" in the Manage My Linked Accounts menu.
  3. After you review the information on the ManageDirect >> Establish a Conversion Account page, click "Create Account" if you wish to create a Conversion Linked Account.
  4. Click "Manage Direct," then select "How to Convert My Paper Bonds" under the "Manage My Conversions" menu for complete instructions.

Interested in more detailed information on SmartExchange? Check our FAQs for answers to your questions about the conversion process.

NOTE: In TreasuryDirect, the number in the “Amount” column represents the amount you paid for a bond. In the case of a Series EE bond you converted from paper, this isn't the bond's face value. For example, if you bought a $100 Series EE savings bond in paper form, you paid $50 for it. If you exchange it for an electronic bond in a TreasuryDirect account, the “Amount” column in TreasuryDirect will show “$50”.... The number in the “Current Value” column shows what the bond is worth: purchase price plus accrued interest.