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TREASURY SECURITIES & PROGRAMS

Series I Savings Bonds

As of January 1, 2012, paper savings bonds are no longer sold at financial institutions.  This action supports Treasury’s goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses. See the press release.

Series I savings bonds are a low-risk savings product. While you own them they earn interest and protect you from inflation. You may purchase:

With an account in TreasuryDirect, you can purchase, manage, and redeem I bonds directly from your web browser.

Use Series I bonds to:

at a glance
Current rate: 2.52% for bonds issued May-October 2018
Minimum purchase: Electronic bond: $25
Paper bond: $50
Maximum purchase
(per calendar year):
Electronic bonds: $10,000
Paper bonds: $5,000
Denominations: Paper bonds: $50, $100, $200, $500, $1,000
Electronic bonds: $25 and above, in penny increments
Issue method: Electronic bonds: Online in TreasuryDirect
Paper bonds: By mail after you buy with your tax refund

Rates & Terms

  • I bonds have an annual interest rate derived from a fixed rate and a semiannual inflation rate.
  • Interest, if any, is added to the bond monthly and is paid when you cash the bond.
  • I bonds are sold at face value; i.e., you pay $50 for a $50 bond.

Redemption Information

  • Minimum term of ownership: 1 year
  • Interest-earning period: 30 years
  • Early redemption penalties:
    • Before 5 years, forfeit interest from the previous 3 months
    • After 5 years, no penalty

Tax Considerations

  • Savings bonds are exempt from taxation by any State or political subdivision of a State, except for estate or inheritance taxes.
  • Interest earnings are subject to Federal income tax.
  • Interest earnings may be excluded from Federal income tax when used to finance education (see education tax exclusions).

I Bond-Related FAQs

  • How is the earnings rate of an I bond determined?
  • What is the difference between EE and I bonds?
  • Are there tax benefits to using I bonds to finance education?
  • Can I give an I bond as a gift?
  • Can I ever lose money in I bonds?

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