Can I Cash in a Patriot Bond Before a Year?

by Emily Weller, studioD

A Patriot Bond, issued by the United States Treasury Department, is a type of paper-based EE savings bond. The only difference between a Patriot Bond and an EE bond is that the Patriot Bond is labeled as such. Patriot Bonds have only been available since Dec. 10, 2001. The bonds were created in response to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. If you purchase a bond, you must have it for a certain amount of time or lose money on the bond.

Time Limits

You must hold onto a Patriot Bond or any type of EE savings bond for at least a year before you can cash it in. If you do decide to cash in the bond after 12 months but before five years have passed, you will give up three months' worth of interest on the bond. For example, if you cash in your Patriot Bond after 12 months have passed, you will only receive nine months' worth of interest plus the amount you originally paid for the bond.

Face Value of the Bond

Paper bonds such as the Patriot Bond take longer to mature than electronic bonds because the face value of the bond is twice the amount paid for the bond. For example, you purchase a Patriot Bond with a face value of $100 for $50. The bonds are guaranteed to be face value within 20 years of the purchase date. You can only buy Patriot Bonds in specific denominations, ranging from $50 to $10,000. The maximum you can spend per person on bonds is $5,000.


As of 2005, Patriot Bonds earn a fixed rate of interest for the life of the bond. Bonds purchased before 2005 featured a variable interest rate.The interest rate is adjusted twice a year, in May and November. If you purchase a bond in September, it will receive the interest rate from May. A bond purchased in December will receive the interest rate from November. Interest is added to the original amount of the bond every month. The bond earns interest for 30 years.

Where to Buy

Purchase Patriot Bonds through financial institutions, such as your bank or credit union. You cannot order Patriot Bonds directly from the United States Treasury. You can order plain paper EE bonds from the Treasury, though. Plain EE bonds have the same terms and interest rates as Patriot Bonds.

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images