Buying savings bonds
We currently sell 2 types of savings bond: Series EE and Series I. You can buy them for yourself, your child, or as a gift for someone else.
This page focuses on buying for yourself or a child whose account is linked to yours. If you are planning to give a savings bond as a gift, also see our page on Giving savings bonds as gifts. You can print a certificate announcing your gift. See our selection of announcement cards.
Buying electronic EE or I savings bonds
TreasuryDirect is the official United States government application in which you can buy and keep savings bonds.
To buy a savings bond in TreasuryDirect:
- Go to your TreasuryDirect account.
- Choose BuyDirect.
- Choose whether you want EE bonds or I bonds, and then click Submit.
- Fill out the rest of the information.
- For information on registration, see Registering your bonds (Who owns them).
- If you plan to give the bond to someone else, see Giving savings bonds as gifts.
You can buy an electronic savings bond for any amount from $25 to $10,000 to the penny. For example, you could buy an electronic savings bond for $75.38.
In any one calendar year, you may buy up to $10,000 in Series EE electronic savings bonds AND up to $10,000 in Series I electronic savings bonds for yourself as owner of the bonds. That is in addition to the amount you can spend on buying savings bonds for a child or as gifts.
See more about how much can I spend and how much can I own.
Buying through our Payroll Savings Plan
Another way to buy savings bonds is to have your employer send money from each paycheck directly to your TreasuryDirect account.
You decide how much to set aside for savings bonds, then it all happens automatically (like getting the rest of your paycheck to your bank by direct deposit.)
To set up a Payroll Savings Plan
- If you don't yet have a TreasuryDirect account, open an account.
- Go to your TreasuryDirect account and follow the instructions to set up a Payroll Savings Plan.
- Choose the type of savings bonds you want (EE or I) and the amount you want for each bond.
- Ask your employer to send money from each paycheck to your TreasuryDirect account.
To have your employer send the money
You will fill out a direct deposit form that needs this information:
- The "receiving bank name": TREASURYDIRECT (all capitals, no space)
- The routing number for TreasuryDirect: 051736158
- Your 10-digit TreasuryDirect account number, no hyphens, with a P at the end
- How much money you want to have your employer send from each paycheck
- Where the form asks if this is a savings account (22) or a checking account (23), you can choose either. That doesn't matter to our system.
Tell your employer that they can send the money to us in any of these 3 ACH file formats:
- PPD (Prearranged Payment and Deposit)
- CCD (Corporate Credit or Debit)
- CTX (Corporate Trade Exchange) – CTX users must submit a TD/CTX Participant Agreement and use the TreasuryDirect CTX File Format.
What happens in TreasuryDirect
The money your employer sends each time goes into a special Payroll Savings Plan Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I) in your TreasuryDirect account. Every time the balance in that specific C of I is large enough to buy the bond you chose at the amount you chose, we issue you that type of savings bond for that amount.
For example: If you want to buy $50 Series I savings bonds and you ask your employer to send $25 from each paycheck to your TreasuryDirect account, we issue a $50 bond for you after every other payday. You don't have to think about it again or do anything else. You keep getting more savings bonds automatically until you change or end your Payroll Savings Plan.
Each savings bond earns interest for you in your TreasuryDirect account until you tell us to cash the bond or until it reaches the end of its 30-year interest-earning life.
Buying paper Series I savings bonds
The only way to get a paper savings bond now is to use your IRS tax refund.
You can buy any amount up to $5,000 in $50 increments.
We may issue multiple bonds to fill your order. The bonds may be of different denominations. We use $50, $100, $200, $500, and $1,000 bonds. Again, the amount of your purchase can be any multiple of $50, from $50 to $5,000. You need to tell us only the amount. We determine denominations.
To buy paper savings bonds, you use IRS Form 8888 to specify how much of your refund should go to savings bonds and how much to you directly (by check or by direct deposit to your bank account).
On Form 8888, you also specify who will own the bonds. That means, you can give paper savings bonds to yourself or to anyone else (as a gift). If you have enough money in your refund, you can buy multiple bonds and, if you wish, you can give them multiple registrations.
You may buy up to $5,000 in paper savings bonds with each year's tax refund.
See more about how much can I spend and how much can I own.
Registering savings bonds (Who owns them?)
Whether you buy an electronic bond or a paper bond, you must specify who owns the bond.
You may name yourself, a child, yourself and someone else (either as another owner or as the beneficiary), or indeed anyone you want to give the savings bond to as a gift.
But the person (or people) you name must meet these conditions:
- The person must have a Social Security Number.
- The person must also meet any one of these three conditions:
- United States citizen, whether the person lives in the U.S. or abroad, or
- United States resident, or
- Civilian employee of the United States, no matter where that person lives
You may also register the bond in the name of a trust or estate. An electronic bond in TreasuryDirect also can be in the name of a corporation, partnership, or other entity.
Managing savings bonds for a child under 18
See the note above about using savings bonds for higher education. Whether the bonds are paper or electronic, to use them for college expenses, the bonds must be in an adult's name, not the child's!
But with that exception, you can name the child as the owner of either paper or electronic savings bonds.
Paper savings bonds
If you buy paper savings bonds for your child, you have the responsibility for keeping the bonds.
Electronic savings bonds
If you buy electronic savings bonds for a child, here's how that works:
The child needs a TreasuryDirect account that is linked to the account of a parent or other adult custodian. You (the parent or other adult custodian) may open a TreasuryDirect account for the child. You can then buy savings bonds or other securities, as well as conduct other transactions, for the child. Other people can buy savings bonds for the child as gifts to go into the child's linked account.