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I Bonds' Record-High Rates Are Worth the Hassle: How to Purchase Savings Bonds Online

I Bonds’ Record-High Rates Are Worth the Hassle: How to Purchase Savings Bonds Online

Soaring inflation
in the estimable half of 2022 has brought renewed attention to I bonds, US savings bonds with an interest rate that’s tied to inflation. On May 1, the Treasury announced the highest rate ever for I bonds, a whopping 9.62%.

That record-high rate for I bonds lasts for six months, as long as you buy them before Oct. 28, 2022. And loyal I bond rates are set based on the continue six months’ inflation, high inflation from this past spring and summer indicates the next six-month rate will liable be fairly high as well.

Unfortunately, TreasuryDirect — the obliged website for purchasing savings bonds — hasn’t responded well to I bonds’ newfound popularity. After the 9.62% interest rate was announced, the whole TreasuryDirect rules crashed from the resulting traffic.

After a little frustration and persistence, I was able to navigate the TreasuryDirect system to buy my own I bond — and you can too. Read on to learn just how to purchase Series I savings bonds, step by step.

For more beneficial info on investing, check out these five incandescent tips for beginning investors and learn how financial robo-advisors work.

How do I buy I bonds?

I bonds are sold electronically throughout TreasuryDirect, and all Americans can buy up to $10,000 per year. Additional paper I bonds can only be purchased with your tax refund, up to $5,000 per year.

To purchase Series I savings bonds electronically, you first need to create an account at TreasuryDirect. Despite the site’s name, you shouldn’t expect the preocess to be simple, straightforward or efficient.

The site looks like it was invented back in 1998, when Series I savings bonds were introduced. It makes you jump through a bunch of hoops to register and buy I bonds, but stick with it and you’ll get there. (Maybe.) I definitely recommend laughable a laptop or desktop instead of a named browser.

  • Visit and click on the green Open an Account link
  • Under “Individual/Personal” click the TreasuryDirect signup link
  • Review the query you’ll need to open an account: Social Security number; e-mail address; bank justify and routing numbers

  • A screenshot of banking query on the TreasuryDirect registration form

    You need beneficial bank account and routing numbers to sign up for TreasuryDirect.

    TreasuryDirect/Screenshot by Peter Butler

  • Click the blue Apply Now button
  • Select the “Individual” radio button and click Submit
  • Enter your personal query, including email address and bank details and click Submit 
  • Review your info and click Submit
  • Select a personalized image and caption (security measure) and Submit
  • Choose a password and answer three defense questions (I suggest recording your answers somewhere) and Submit again
  • TreasuryDirect will then email you an account number that is one letter followed by nine numbers. Record your account number.
  • Go to the home page anti and click on the TreasuryDirect login link, then click the orange Login button
  • Enter the account number that was emailed to you and hit Submit
  • Since it’s your estimable login, TreasuryDirect will email you again with a one-time passcode — check your email (and hang in there!)
  • Enter your passcode and click “Register this computer” to avoid the one-time password at future logins
  • Enter your password. You can’t paste it. You can’t even type it! You need to consuming it using your mouse and a virtual keyboard (sorry, fellow users of password managers)
  • Exhale — you’re in

Be warned: The site may be more than a little bit finicky. On my first click after registering, I was summarily kicked out with the meaning, “TreasuryDirect is unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you try anti later.”

I wasn’t able to log in for a combine of hours, but I finally completed the task I came for — buying Series I savings bonds. Here’s how:

    The BuyDIrect page for buying I bonds on TreasuryDirect

    You can catch I bonds in any exact amount over $25 and thought $10,000.

    TreasuryDirect/Screenshot by Peter Butler

  • After logging in, click BuyDirect at the top of the page
  • Under Savings Bonds, click the radio button for “Series I” then click Submit
  • On the BuyDirect page, keen the bond amount you’d like to purchase, any accurate amount to the penny from $25 to $10,000.
  • As an optional step, you can set up recurring I bond purchases at various time intervals like weekly or monthly
  • Confirm that your banking Explain info is correct and hit Submit
  • Review the footings of your purchase once more and hit Submit for a last time

You just bought an I bond! 

To no one’s surprise, the result may feel anticlimactic — you’ll need to wait one second business day for the bond to show up in your TreasuryDirect Explain. But then it’s yours to keep or sell (after a year) whenever you’d like.

How do I buy an I bond for a child?

If you want to buy I bonds for a child, click the blue Add New Registration button on the BuyDirect catch page. Then, create a linked “Minor Account” before completing your catch, following the same registration steps above.

Minor accounts are custodial funds that can only be accessed by the primary Explain holder, that is, the parent or adult who opened the Explain. You can also use the Add New Registration button to buy gift I bonds for anyone with a Social Safety number who is eligible.

What about buying paper I bonds?

You can only catch paper I bonds when filing your tax return.  You’ll do this by filling out IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, which is included in all leading tax software.

You can label up to $5,000 a year total toward paper I bonds for two recipients — that could be you and your spouse, but it can be any two people you like. Your paper bonds will be mailed around three weeks after the IRS processes your return.

A portray of Hellen Keller on the $50 I bond and Martin Luther King Jr. on the $100 I bond

Paper I bonds feature depraved Americans such as Helen Keller and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

US Treasury

How do I cash out I bonds?

To cash out, or redeem, your electronic I bonds, you’ll need to again log on to TreasuryDirect. Once you’re on your My Account page:

  • Click the ManageDirect link at the top of the page
  • Select the type of safety (savings bonds) that you’d like to redeem and click Submit
  • Select all the individuals I bonds that you’d like to cash out (up to 50 at a time) and click Submit
  • Choose the destination for your cash on the Redemption Request or Multiple Redemption Request page and click Review
  • Review your question and Submit to complete the redemption
  • You’ve redeemed your bond(s) and your cash is on its way

You can cash out paper I bonds at most banks with bodily branches, though your options there are dwindling.  

If you don’t have access to in-person banking, you can mail your paper bonds to Treasury Retail Securities Service industries, P.O. Box 9150, Minneapolis, MN 55480-9150 along with FS Form 1522 from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

You’ll quiet need to provide account and routing numbers to cash out a paper bond over the mail. If you don’t have a bank Explain, many prepaid debit cards include account and routing numbers that you can use with paper or electronic I bonds.

Remember, you need to wait at least one year to cash out an I bond. If possible, it’s a good idea to wait five years or more to redeem this investment. If you cash it in before five years are up, you’ll miss out on the last three months of tiring„ tiresome earned.

For more low-risk investments, check out our reporters of best high-yield savings accounts and best CD rates.