Learn More About Security Types

The TreasuryDirect product line consists of the following security types, offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Interest paid on Treasury securities is subject to Federal tax, but exempt from State and Local income tax. For more information, view Treasury Securities and Programs. Securities are issued in electronic form in your TreasuryDirect account. No paper securities are issued.

Savings Bonds

Series EE Savings Bond: An EE Bond is an accrual-type security with interest added to the bond monthly or semiannually (depending upon the original issue date) and paid upon redemption. Interest rates vary depending upon the original issue date. Series EE savings bonds issue dated on or after May 1, 2005 will earn a fixed rate of interest. EE bonds earn interest for up to 30 years. You may purchase up to $10,000 of electronic EE Bonds each calendar year.

Series I Savings Bond: An I Bond is an accrual-type security with interest added to the bond monthly and paid when the bond is redeemed. The I bond interest rate is based upon a combination of a fixed rate of return and a variable semiannual rate. I bonds grow in value with inflation-indexed earnings for up to 30 years. You may purchase up to $10,000 of electronic I Bonds each calendar year.

Marketable Securities

Bills: U.S. Treasury Bills are a type of short-term security of one year or less, usually issued at a discount. The discount is the amount the security is lowered from its face value and is considered the earned interest when the security matures. For example, if you purchase a $10,000 26-Week Bill at $9,750 and hold it until maturity, the interest you earn is $250. Minimum purchase is $100 with multiples sold in the same increment. Rates on Treasury bills sold at auction could be negative. If you were to participate in a Treasury bill auction where this occurred, you’d be charged an amount larger than you’d receive back when the bill matures. For example, if you were purchasing a $1,000 Treasury bill where the interest rate determined at the auction was less than zero percent, you would be required to pay us more than $1,000, even though we would only pay you back $1,000 at maturity. The maximum amount for a noncompetitive purchase is $5 million.

Notes: U.S. Treasury Notes are a type of medium-term security of 2 to 10 years. Notes are fixed-principal securities. After purchase, interest payments are paid to your selected payment destination every six months until maturity, when the principal is paid. The interest rate is determined at the time of auction. Minimum purchase is $100 with multiples sold in the same increment. The maximum amount for a noncompetitive purchase is $5 million.

Bonds: U.S. Treasury Bonds are a type of long-term fixed-principal security of more than 10 years. After purchase, interest payments are paid every six months until maturity, when the principal is paid. The interest rate is determined at the time of auction. Minimum purchase is $100 with multiples sold in the same increment. The maximum amount for a noncompetitive purchase is $5 million.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS): TIPS are a type of medium to long-term security of 5 to 30 years. They are securities with a fixed interest rate whose principal is tied to the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U).  With inflation, the principal increases.  With deflation, it decreases, but you won't lose money on your investment.  When the security matures, the U.S. Treasury pays the original or adjusted principal, whichever is greater. After purchase, TIPS pay interest to your selected payment destination every six months, based on the fixed rate applied to the adjusted principal. Minimum purchase is $100 with multiples sold in the same increment. The maximum amount for a noncompetitive purchase is $5 million.

Floating Rate Notes (FRNs): FRNs are a type of medium-term security of 2 years. They are securities with an interest payment that can change over time. As interest rates rise, the security's interest payments will increase. Similarly, as interest rates fall, the security's interest payments will decrease. This security makes use of an index rate (tied to the most recent 13-week bill rate prior to the lockout period) and spread (determined at auction) to calculate an interest rate. The index rate changes periodically, in this instance every week, causing the interest rate to change or "float". After purchase, FRNs pay interest to your selected payment destination every three months, based upon the accrued interest for the payment period applied to the par. Minimum purchase is $100 with multiples sold in the same increment. The maximum amount for a noncompetitive purchase is $5 million.

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