How to Buy Treasury Bonds


How to Buy Treasury Bonds. Treasury bonds are debt securities issued by the U.S. Treasury Department for loans individuals make to the government. These bonds are issued over a term of 30 years, and pay interest dividends every 6 months until they mature. Buying treasury bonds is very simple, and it can be done on the secondary market from brokerage houses, from any banking institution and even directly from the Treasury Department.

Decide which type of Treasury bonds you would like to purchase. EE series savings bonds have a fixed rate of interest and are purchased at face value (a $50 bond is purchased for $50, and interest accrues from there). An I series bond combines a fixed-interest rate with another rate adjusted every 6 months for inflation and is purchased at half the face value (it matures once it has reached that face value).

Determine whether you want to make a competitive bid on Treasury bonds by buying them through the secondary market, such as a brokerage house, or if you want to make a non-competitive bid based upon set auction prices pre-determined by the Treasury Department. If you make a competitive bid, you cannot deal directly with the Treasury Department.

Choose where you would like to buy your Treasury bonds. You can buy savings bonds from a bond broker or dealer, from a financial institution such as a bank or a credit union. Or, you can buy bonds directly from the Treasury Department from the online website,, or from a nearby branch of the Federal Reserve Bank (see Resources below).

Use the TreasuryDirect website to monitor the price of the bonds you have purchased, to find out when specific bonds mature and when your savings bonds are no longer paying interest.

Reinvest your bonds once they have matured, or have stopped paying interest. This can all be done easily through any secondary market source, or through an account at

Tips & Warnings

  • The Treasury Department no longer issues bonds on paper. Bonds are issued electronically, either through an Internet account or a financial statement. If you wish to convert old paper bonds into electronic ones, simply call the Treasury Department at (304) 480-7711 during business hours.

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