No. of Recommendations: 2
Here is my experience redeeming an October vintage I bonds and buying a 6.25% 5 year PenFed CD. Note that I did not have a PenFed account set up ahead of time and, therefore, was my PenFed account wasn't directly linked to Treasury Direct. I am incredibly impressed with how smoothly it went!

1/2 -- Placed order to redeem I bond online at Treasury Direct with proceeds ACH deposited to NetBank. Note, this was a bank holiday in US.
1/3 -- Redemption takes place and principal/interest shows up in Netbank account at 8AM.
1/3 -- I call PenFed and open an account, but I don't have my ACH info handy so I have to call back (at about 7 PM) with it.
1/3 -- 5 year CD is issued with a 1/3/2012 maturity date.
1/5 -- ACH withdrawal posted to Netbank with 1/4 as the effective date.

So to answer Loki's question about timing. I think that you could wait until 1/31 to call PenFed (even if you don't already have an account there!) and get your 6.25% CDs. The debit wouldn't post to your account until 2/1 or 2/2. The main limitation is the $10,000 limit that PenFed places on ACH transfers. This is not a limitation on ACH itself -- I noticed that Vanguard can take up to $100,000 by ACH.

Good luck!
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