HomeBlogFinanceTreasury Department sold a record nearly $1 billion of Series I bonds on Friday, the deadline to lock in higher rate

Treasury Department sold a record nearly $1 billion of Series I bonds on Friday, the deadline to lock in higher rate

The U.S. Treasury Department in Washington.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

I bonds broke daily, weekly and monthly sales records

The Treasury sold $979 million of I bonds before the deadline on Friday — nearly as much in one day as during the three years from 2018 to 2020, when investors bought slightly more than $1 billion, according to Treasury Department figures shared Tuesday. Investors opened 95,482 new accounts on Friday, also a record.

Investors purchased more than $3 billion of I bonds last week and almost $7 billion in October — which represent weekly and monthly records, too, according to initial estimates the Treasury Department provided Monday.

Investors opened 359,822 new accounts last week and 731,336 new accounts during October.

I bonds vs. TIPS: Getting the most bang for the buck

TreasuryDirect.gov — the website where investors purchase I bonds — crashed Friday as the volume swelled. TreasuryDirect became “one of the most visited websites in the federal government” in the final days of the 9.62% rate window, the Treasury Department said Friday. It typically hosts just a few thousand concurrent visitors.

I bond rates shift twice a year based on inflation.

There are two parts to the rate: a fixed rate, which stays the same after purchase, and a variable rate, which shifts twice per year based on inflation. The Treasury Department announces new rates every May and November.

Investors may lock in the new 6.89% rate for six months by purchasing I bonds any time before the end of April 2023.

You can purchase the assets online through TreasuryDirect, limited to $10,000 per calendar year for individuals. You can also use your federal tax refund to buy an extra $5,000 in paper I bonds.

The Treasury Department provided updated sales numbers after this story was originally published.

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