By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
Those U.S. savings bonds that have been popular gifts for graduations, birthdays and Christmas will no longer be sold at banks and credit unions after Saturday.
Instead, the bonds will be sold electronically.
The U.S. Treasury, which began selling savings bonds in 1935, said it will save about $120 million over the next five years by eliminating paper bonds.
Starting Monday, savings bonds can be bought only online.
Financial institutions have been telling their customers since the summer about the change – and not everybody is happy about it.
“There are lot of people who don’t like it,” said Patsy Bennett, senior head teller at Renasant Bank in downtown Tupelo. “Many people purchase savings bonds for their grandchildren, for their birthdays, Christmas, graduation … they want something they can hand to them.”
Banks and credit unions will continue to redeem existing paper bonds at any time, however.
And buyers can still purchase up to $5,000 of new Series EE and Series I bonds annually.
Sales of the paper bonds officially ends Saturday, but some banks will halt sales after today.
BancorpSouth’s senior vice president of corporate marketing, Randy Burchfield, said that’s the case for his bank.
He said bank employees will be able to help any customers who have any questions or need help with their savings bonds.
To buy and redeem bonds electronically, customers must up a TreasuryDirect account, using their Social Security number and a savings or checking account where funds can be deposited.
The Treasury’s website at www.treasurydirect.gov has more information.