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TREASURY SECURITIES & PROGRAMS

Treasury Bills

Treasury bills, or T-bills, are sold in terms ranging from a few days to 52 weeks. Bills are typically sold at a discount from the par amount (also called face value). For instance, you might pay $990 for a $1,000 bill. When the bill matures, you would be paid $1,000. The difference between the purchase price and face value is interest. It is possible for a bill auction to result in a price equal to par, which means that Treasury will issue and redeem the securities at par value.

You can buy bills from us in TreasuryDirect. You can also buy them through a bank or broker. (We no longer sell bills in Legacy Treasury Direct, which we are phasing out.)

You can hold a bill until it matures or sell it before it matures.

Use Treasury bills to:

  • Diversify your investment portfolio
  • Participate in a secure, short-term investment
at a glance
Original Issue Rate: The discount rate determined at auction.

See rates in recent auctions
Minimum Purchase: $100
Maximum Purchase
(in a single auction):
Noncompetitive - $5 million
Competitive - 35% of offering amount
(See types of bidding in “Auctions in Depth”)
Investment Increment: Multiples of $100
Issue Method:Electronic

Rates & Terms

  • Treasury bills are issued for terms of 4, 13, 26, and 52 weeks. Another type of Treasury bill, the cash management bill, is issued in variable terms, usually of only a matter of days.
  • 4-week, 13-week, 26-week, and 52-week bills are auctioned on a regular schedule.
  • Cash management bills aren't auctioned on a regular schedule.
  • Bills are sold at a discount. The discount rate is determined at auction.

Redemption Information

  • Minimum Term of Ownership: In TreasuryDirect, 45 days
  • Interest-Earning Period: To maturity

Tax Considerations

  • Interest income is exempt from state and local income taxes.
  • Interest income is subject to federal income tax.

Treasury Bill-Related FAQs

  • What are the maturity terms for Treasury bills?
  • How do I know when bills will be auctioned?
  • Do you still issue bills in paper form?

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