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Treasury Bills: FAQs

What are the maturity terms for Treasury bills?

Among bills auctioned on a regular schedule, there are four terms: 4 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, usually of only a matter of days.

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 thatís 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, 13-week, 26-week, and 52-week bills are available in TreasuryDirect. Cash management bills aren't available in the system.

How do I know when bills will be auctioned?

We auction 4-week, 13-week, and 26-week bills every week. Typically, we auction 13-week and 26-week bills on Monday and 4-week bills on Tuesday. 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 and held electronically. Paper bills were issued in the past, but all of them have matured.

How can I place a competitive bid for a bill?

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

How do I transfer a Treasury bill from Legacy Treasury Direct to TreasuryDirect?

To transfer a Treasury bill from Legacy Treasury Direct to TreasuryDirect, take these steps:

  1. Open an account in TreasuryDirect. (If you already have an account, you may skip this step.)
  2. Complete the Legacy Treasury Direct form "Security Transfer Request" (PD F 5179). In the form's section 3, check the box for "Transfer to an Established Online TreasuryDirect Account Number." Your signature on this form must be certified. Your bank may provide this service.
  3. Mail the form to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, at the address shown on the form.

*Legacy Treasury Direct is being phased out.