Treasury Bonds In Depth

Treasury bonds are issued in terms of 20 years or 30 years and pay interest every six months until they mature. When a Treasury bond matures, you are paid its face value.

The price and yield of a Treasury bond are determined at auction. The price may be greater than, less than, or equal to the face value of the bond. For more on the price of a Treasury bond, see Treasury Bonds: Rates and Terms.

Treasury bonds are sold in TreasuryDirect and by banks and brokers.

Two types of bids are accepted:

  • With a noncompetitive bid, you agree to accept the interest rate determined at auction. With this bid, you are guaranteed to receive the bond you want, and in the full amount you want.
  • With a competitive bid, you specify the yield you are willing to accept. Your bid may be: 1) accepted in the full amount you want if your bid is equal to or less than the yield determined at auction, 2) accepted in less than the full amount you want if your bid is equal to the high yield, or 3) rejected if the yield you specify is higher than the yield set at auction.

To place a noncompetitive bid, you may use TreasuryDirect, a bank, or a broker.

To place a competitive bid, you must use a bank or broker.

Today we issue Treasury bonds in electronic form. We used to issue Treasury bonds in paper form. The last paper bonds matured in 2016.

For information on paper Treasury bonds:

  • Send us an e-mail
  • Call us at 844-284-2676 (toll free)
  • Write to:
    Treasury Retail Securities Services
    P.O. Box 9150
    Minneapolis, MN 55480-9150

Key Facts

  • The yield on a bond is determined at auction.
  • Bonds are sold in increments of $100. The minimum purchase is $100.
  • You can hold a Treasury bond until it matures or sell it before it matures.
  • In a single auction, a bidder can buy up to $10 million in bonds by non-competitive bidding or up to 35 percent of the initial offering amount by competitive bidding.