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Treasury Bonds

  • Treasury bonds are interest-bearing securities with maturities over 10 years.
  • Treasury bonds pay interest on a semi-annual basis.
  • When a bond matures, the investor receives the face value.

Price vs. Yield to Maturity

The price of a fixed rate security depends on the relationship between its yield to maturity and the interest rate. If the yield to maturity (YTM) is greater than the interest rate, the price will be less than par value; if the YTM is equal to the interest rate, the price will be equal to par; if the YTM is less than the interest rate, the price will be greater than par. See an example of price vs. yield to maturity.

When purchasing a Treasury bond, any interest accrued since the last interest payment is added to the bond purchase price. At the next interest payment date the investor receives the full interest payment.

Use the following formula to figure accrued interest:

A = P x r ( d / t )/2 A = Accrued interest
P = Face value
r = interest rate of Treasury bond
d = # of days since last coupon payment
t = # of days in current coupon period

Example: A 5% 30-year bond ($1,000 principal) is purchased 91 days after the last coupon payment. The current coupon period contains 182 days.

A = 1000 x .05 (91/182)/2 , solving

A = $12.50

Methods of Purchase

  • Treasury bonds can be purchased by individuals and various types of entities including trusts, estates, corporations, partnerships, etc. in TreasuryDirect. See Learn More about Entity Accounts for full information on the registration types.
  • Treasury bonds can be purchased by individuals, organizations, fiduciaries, and corporate investors through a broker or financial institution.
  • Institutions may establish a TAAPS account to bid for Treasury securities directly at auction. Learn more about establishing a TAAPS account.

Maturity Terms by Purchase Method:

Maturity Term TreasuryDirect Broker/Financial Institution TAAPS
30-Year Bond Yes Yes Yes

Auction Frequency

  • The 30-year bonds are auctioned at the Quarterly Refundings in February, May, August, and November.
  • 30-year bonds are also auctioned as reopenings in January, March, April, June, July, September, October, and December. The reopened security has the same maturity date, coupon interest rate, and interest payment dates as the original security, but has a different issue date and usually a different price.

For tentative auction dates, see the Tentative Auction Schedule (PDF), or for actual scheduled auction dates, see Upcoming Treasury Marketable Securities Auctions. You may also sign up for e-mail notification of upcoming auctions.

Bidding

Auction bids for Treasury securities may be submitted as noncompetitive or competitive.

  • With a noncompetitive bid, a bidder agrees to accept the yield determined at auction. A bidder is guaranteed to receive the full amount of the security bid.
  • With a competitive bid, a bidder specifies the yield that is acceptable. This bid may be accepted in the full amount if the rate specified is less than the yield set by the auction, accepted in less than the full amount requested if the bid is equal to the high yield, or not awarded if the rate specified is higher than the yield set at the auction.

To place a noncompetitive bid, individuals and various types of entities including trusts, estates, corporations, partnerships, etc. may use TreasuryDirect. See Learn More about Entity Accounts for full information on the registration types. Individuals, organizations, fiduciaries, and corporate investors may use a broker or financial institution.

To place a competitive bid, a bidder must use a broker, financial institution, or have an established TAAPS account.

at a glance
Original Issue Rate: The yield determined at auction.
See rates in recent auctions
Minimum purchase: $100
Maximum purchase: Non-competitive: $5 million
Competitive: 35% of offering amount
(see types of bidding)
Investment Increment: Multiples of $100
Issue Method: Electronic

Redeem, Reinvest, or Sell

A Treasury bond can be held to maturity or sold before it matures. If a bond is held until it matures, the bond's principal can be used to buy another security or the bond can be redeemed. View more information on how to redeem, reinvest, or sell Treasury bonds.

Tax Considerations

Interest on Treasury bonds is exempt from state and local taxes but is subject to federal tax. See additional information on tax considerations.