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RESEARCH CENTER

Treasury Bills: Rates & Terms

Treasury bills are offered in multiples of $100 and in terms ranging from a few days to 52 weeks.

Price and Interest

Bills are typically sold at a discount from the par amount (par amount is also called face value). The price of a bill is determined at auction. Using a single $100 investment as an example, a $100 bill may be auctioned for $98. You would pay $98 for the bill at purchase and you would get $100 when the bill matures. The difference of $2 is your interest. Unlike Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), bills don't pay interest every six months.

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.

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.

Options at Maturity - and Before

You can hold a bill until it matures or sell it before it matures.

If you don't sell, here are your options at maturity:

  • TreasuryDirect. Redeem the bill or use its proceeds to reinvest into another bill of the same term.
  • Legacy Treasury Direct. Redeem the bill. Bills cannot be reinvested in Legacy Treasury Direct, which is being phased out.
  • Bank or Broker. For your options, consult your bank or broker.

Auction Pattern

Cash Management Bill - Variable

4-Week Bill - Weekly

13-Week Bill - Weekly

26-Week Bill - Weekly

52-Week Bill Every four weeks