Skip Navigation

Buying a Treasury Marketable Security

To buy Treasury marketable securities, you must bid when we auction the type of security you want. (See How auctions work and Recent auction results.)

You can buy (bid for) Treasury marketable securities through:

  • your TreasuryDirect account — non-competitive bids only
  • a bank, broker, or dealer — competitive and non-competitive bids

You can no longer buy through Legacy Treasury Direct.

Each auction is for a specific type of security which is identified with a unique CUSIP number.

Some auctions are the original issue (first time), when a specific CUSIP is sold. Some are additional issue (reopenings), when we sell more of a specific CUSIP that was sold before. See more about reopenings below.

Sometimes, when you buy a security, several days may pass between the auction date and the issue date and the security may earn interest. In that case, the security earns interest for the time before we issue it. That "accrued interest" becomes part of the purchase price. You get it back later with the first regular interest payment. See more about paying accrued interest below.

Buying in TreasuryDirect

TreasuryDirect is the official United States government application in which you can buy and hold savings bonds and Treasury marketable securities (Notes, Bonds, Bills, TIPS, and FRNs).

To buy, you must have a TreasuryDirect account.

In TreasuryDirect, you may open an account and buy Treasury marketable securities for yourself (an individual registration). With an individual registration, you may also link your account to an account for a child under the age of 18.

Entities, including corporations, estates, partnerships, or trusts, among others, may open a TreasuryDirect account. See About entity accounts.

When you buy through TreasuryDirect, you must hold new Treasury marketable securities for at least 45 calendar days before transferring or selling them. This holding period does not apply when your new security is bought with proceeds from a reinvestment of a maturing security.

Open a TreasuryDirect account

Bidding non-competitively in TreasuryDirect

When bidding in TreasuryDirect:

  • you are guaranteed to get the security you want in the amount you want.
  • you agree to accept the discount rate, yield, or discount margin determined at auction.

Submitting a bid in TreasuryDirect

To bid in TreasuryDirect:

  1. Go to your TreasuryDirect account.
  2. Choose the Buy Direct tab.
  3. Follow the prompts to choose the security you want, specify the amount you want to buy, and fill in the information required.

All Treasury marketable securities require a minimum bid of $100. You may bid in increments of $100 up to a maximum of $10 million for a non-competitive bid.

Buying in TreasuryDirect by reinvesting

For Notes, Bonds, Bills, and FRNs, you may use reinvestments to continue to hold Treasury marketable securities. In a reinvestment, you are buying the same type of security with the funds from a maturing one. For example, you can use the money from a maturing 52-week bill to buy another 52-week bill.

See our page on reinvesting.

Getting ready to pay in Treasury Direct

On auction day, you can see the results after 5 PM Eastern time.

In TreasuryDirect:

  1. Go to your TreasuryDirect account.
  2. Choose Current Holdings
  3. Choose Pending Purchases and Reinvestments
  4. See the auction results and the price you must pay for your bid. (You will see the price per $100 that resulted at the auction plus the amount of accrued interest you may have to pay. See more about accrued interest further down this page.)
  5. Make sure enough money is in your bank account to pay for the security before the issue date for that security.

Paying for Treasury marketable securities in TreasuryDirect

When you buy a Treasury marketable security in TreasuryDirect, we take the money from the source of funds you specify — a bank account or Certificate of Indebtedness (C of I).

Buying through a bank, broker, or dealer

Individuals, organizations, fiduciaries, and corporate investors may buy Treasury securities through a bank, broker, or dealer.

With a bank, broker, or dealer, you may bid for Treasury marketable securities non-competitively or competitively, but not both, for the same auction.

Bidding non-competitively

Bidding non-competitively is the same whether through TreasuryDirect or a bank, broker, or dealer. (See the section higher on this page about Bidding non-competitively in TreasuryDirect.)

Bidding competitively

To bid competitively, you must work through a bank, broker, or dealer.

When you bid competitively, you specify the discount rate, yield, or discount margin you will accept.

Depending on the final results of the auction, you may or may not get the security you want. If you get it, it may be less than the amount you want.

If your competitive bid is you get
less than
the yield, discount rate, or discount margin you will accept
all you bid for
equal to
the yield, discount rate, or discount margin you will accept
some of what you bid for
more than
the yield, discount rate, or discount margin you will accept

For all aspects of buying through a bank, broker, or dealer, such as how to pay for your securities, contact the bank, broker, or dealer.

More about reopenings

In a security reopening, the U.S. Treasury issues additional amounts of a previously issued security.

When we auction a security in a reopening, the security has the same CUSIP, maturity date, and interest payment dates as the original offering. However, it has a different issue date and usually a different price.

Treasury reopens unmatured Treasury Notes, Floating Rate Notes, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, and Treasury Bond securities on a regular, recurring schedule. See the Schedule for reopenings.

More about paying accrued interest in the purchase price

This does not apply to Bills because they only pay interest at maturity.

For a Note, Bond, TIPS, or FRN, several days may pass between the auction date and the issue date. The security earns interest during those days. That "accrued interest" becomes part of the purchase price of the security. You get the accrued interest back with the first regular interest payment for the security.