Buying I Bonds

What is an I Bond?

An I Savings Bond is a security that earns interest for up to 30 years based on both a fixed rate and a rate that is adjusted twice a year for inflation.

Who may own an I Bond?


Yes, if you have a Social Security Number and meet any one of these three conditions:

  • United States citizen, whether you live in the U.S. or abroad
  • United States resident
  • Civilian employee of the United States, no matter where you live

To buy and own an electronic I bond, you must first successfully establish a TreasuryDirect account.

Trust, estate, corporation, partnership and some other entities


Entity accounts may also establish TreasuryDirect accounts.

Special note about minors (children; under age 18)

A minor may not open an online account, buy bonds, or conduct other transactions. An adult custodian, such as a parent, may open an online account for the minor that is linked to the adult's online account. The adult can buy securities and conduct other transactions for the minor, and hold the securities in the minor linked accounts.

What do I Bonds cost?

You pay the face value of the bond. For example, you pay $50 for a $50 bond. (The bond increases in value as it earns interest.)

Electronic I Bonds come in any amount to the penny for $25 or more. For example, you could buy a $50.23 bond.

How much can I buy?

Note: In any one year, for any one Social Security Number, you can buy $10,000 per year in electronic I Bonds.

(For paper I bonds bought with your IRS tax refund, you can buy up to $5,000 per year, per Social Security Number).

Where can I buy I Bonds?

Electronic I Bonds
  • Easiest, fastest way.
  • Bonds are in your online account.
  • Account is available, 24 hours, 7 days.
  • You don't have paper to worry about losing.
  • You can set up an automatic buying schedule.
  • You can save directly from your payroll with a Payroll Savings Plan. We no longer support buying paper bonds through employer-sponsored payroll savings plans. If you bought bonds through your employer in the past, switch to a TreasuryDirect account and continue to buy bonds. Answers to questions about the elimination of paper payroll savings bonds
IRS Tax Refund
  • Paper Series I savings bonds are available with your IRS tax refund. See www.irs.gov.
  • You can also deposit all or part of your tax refund into your TreasuryDirect account, and then buy electronic I Bonds.

Who owns the bond and who can cash it?

When you buy the bond, you must register it. How you register it determines who owns the bond and who can cash it. Registering an I Bond.