Treasury Bills: FAQs

What are the maturity terms for Treasury bills?

Among bills auctioned on a regular schedule, there are five terms: 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks, and 52 weeks. Another bill, the cash management bill, isn't auctioned on a regular schedule. It is issued in variable terms.

What kind of interest payments will I receive if I own a Treasury bill?

The only interest payment to you occurs when your bill matures. At that time, you are paid the par amount (also called face value) of the bill. (Bills are typically sold at a discount from the par amount, and the difference between the purchase price and the par amount is your interest.) Treasury Direct customers who reinvest a bill may receive a refund (or discount) when the bill is issued. It is possible for a bill auction to result in a price equal to par, which means that Treasury will issue and redeem the securities at par value.

What if an auction results in a price that's not exactly to the penny?

Treasury calculates auction results to the sixth decimal place. In determining the particular dollar amount an investor will pay, Treasury rounds to the nearest penny using conventional mathematical rounding methods.

Can I buy any Treasury bill directly from the Treasury?

The 4-week, 8-week, 13-week, 26-week, and 52-week bills are available in TreasuryDirect. Cash management bills aren't.

How do I know when bills will be auctioned?

We auction 4-week, 8-week, 13-week, and 26-week bills every week. Typically, we auction 13-week and 26-week bills on Monday and 4-week and 8-week bills on Thursday. We auction the 52-week bill every four weeks. Cash management bills aren't auctioned according to a schedule.

For specific dates, see our Tentative Auction Schedule, which shows auction dates months in advance, or "Upcoming Auctions," which shows auctions that we have officially scheduled. (Auctions are officially scheduled only days before they are conducted.)

Also, you can sign up for e-mail notification of auctions.

Do you still issue bills in paper form?

No. All Treasury bills are now issued electronically.

How can I place a competitive bid for a bill?

By using a bank, broker, or dealer.