The interest rate on a Series I savings bond changes every 6 months, based on inflation. The rate can go up. The rate can go down.
The overall rate is calculated from a fixed rate and an inflation rate. The fixed rate never changes. The inflation rate is reset every 6 months and, therefore, so is the overall rate.
I bonds at a Glance
|Electronic or paper?
|You can buy electronic I bonds in your TreasuryDirect account. You can buy paper I bonds with your IRS tax refund.
|How does an I bond earn interest?
I savings bonds earn interest monthly. Interest is compounded semiannually, meaning that every 6 months we apply the bond’s interest rate to a new principal value. The new principal is the sum of the prior principal and the interest earned in the previous 6 months.
Thus, your bond's value grows both because it earns interest and because the principal value gets bigger.
We list interest rates for all I bonds ever issued in 2 ways:
|How long does an I bond earn interest?
|30 years (unless you cash it before then)
|When do I get the interest on my I bond?
With a Series I savings bond, you wait to get all the money until you cash in the bond.
Electronic I bonds: We pay automatically when the bond matures (if you haven’t cashed it before then).
Paper I bonds: You must submit the paper bond to cash it.
|Can I cash it in before 30 years?
You can cash in (redeem) your I bond after 12 months.
However, if you cash in the bond in less than 5 years, you lose the last 3 months of interest. For example, if you cash in the bond after 18 months, you get the first 15 months of interest. See Cash in (redeem) an EE or I savings bond.
|How do I find the value of my Series I savings bond?
If you have a Series I electronic bond, you can see what it is worth in your TreasuryDirect account.
To see what your paper Series I bond is worth, use our Savings Bond Calculator.
|Must I pay tax on what the bond earns?
Federal income tax: Yes
State and local income tax: No
Federal estate, gift, and excise taxes; state estate or inheritance taxes: Yes
You choose whether to report each year's earnings or wait to report all the earnings when you get the money for the bond.
If you use the money for qualified higher education expenses, you may not have to pay tax on the earnings.
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|How much does an I bond cost?
|Electronic I bonds: $25 minimum or any amount above that to the penny. For example, you could buy an I bond for $36.73.
Paper I bonds: $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,000
|Is there a maximum amount I can buy?
|In a calendar year, one Social Security Number or one Employer Identification Number may buy:
For individual accounts, the limits apply to the Social Security Number of the first-named in the registration.