How to Buy US Government Savings Bonds

The Bureau of the Public Debt sells two kinds of United States savings bonds: series EE bonds and series I bonds. Series EE bonds feature a fixed interest rate that is set when you purchase the bond. A series I bond has a composite interest rate. This means one part of the interest rate is fixed and the other is a variable rate that changes every six months based on the current inflation rate. You can buy savings bonds for yourself or as a gift. Entities such as businesses and trusts may also invest in savings bonds. As of January 2012, the government stopped selling paper savings bonds. All savings bonds are now sold online in electronic form through TreasuryDirect.gov.

Step 1

Open an account at TreasuryDirect.gov. You can make this an individual account or open one for a business, trust or other entity. You may also create a minor-linked account on behalf of your child. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, or an employer identification number for an entity account. You also need to give a bank account number and bank routing number because all transactions are via electronic funds transfer.

Step 2

Log on to your TreasuryDirect account to buy savings bonds. Select either series EE or series I bonds and follow the prompts to make your purchase. Electronic savings bonds are sold at face value starting at $25. You can buy a bond with any face value. For example, you could make the amount $65.35 or $122.50. You are allowed to buy up to $10,000 worth of series EE bonds and of series I bonds each year. If you buy both, you can invest up to $20,000 per year in savings bonds. The TreasuryDirect system will ask you to register the bonds to make you the official owner.

Step 3

Purchase savings bonds as gifts using the “Gift Box” option on your TreasuryDirect account page. The recipient of a gift savings bond must have a TreasuryDirect account. Children must have a minor-linked account set up by a parent or guardian. When you buy a bond as a gift, you register it in the recipient’s name. You have to hold it in your Gift Box for at least five business days before transferring it to the recipient’s account.

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