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It's easy. Buy Treasury bills, notes, bonds, or TIPS either at one of the auctions we conduct or in the securities market. If you want to buy a Treasury security at auction, contact us, a Federal Reserve Bank, a financial institution, or a government securities broker or dealer. If you want to buy a Treasury security in the securities market, contact your financial institution, broker, or dealer for more information.  

What is a Treasury auction?  

Each Treasury bill, note, bond or TIPS (except savings bonds, of course) is sold at a public auction. In Treasury's auctions, all successful bidders (we'll discuss bids in a little bit) are awarded securities at the same price, which is the price equal to the highest rate or yield of the competitive bids we accept. You can find a complete explanation of the auction process in our Uniform Offering Circular, which is in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 31 CFR Part 356.  

How can I find out when an auction will be held?  

Usually a couple days before each auction, we issue a press release announcing the security being sold, the amount we're selling, the auction date, and other pertinent information. This information is available from us and from your financial institution, broker, or dealer. Many newspapers also report Treasury auction schedules in their financial sections.  

 

How can I participate in an auction?  

Simply submit a bid for the security you want to buy. You can bid either noncompetitively or a competitively, but not both in the same auction.  

If you bid noncompetitively, you'll receive the full amount of the security you want at the return determined at that auction. Therefore, you don't have to specify the return you'd like to receive. You can't bid for more than $5 million in a bill, note, bond or TIPS auction. Most individual investors bid noncompetitively.  

If you bid competitively, on the other hand, you have to specify the return -- the rate for bills or the yield for notes, bonds and TIPS -- that you would like to receive. If the return you specify is too high, you might not receive any securities, or just a portion of what you bid for. However, you can bid competitively for much larger amounts than you can noncompetitively.  

How do I submit my bid?  

Once we announce the auction of a security, you can submit a bid for an auction directly to us, to a Federal Reserve Bank, or through a financial institution, broker, or dealer. We accept bids by mail or, for current customers, over the Internet and by touch-tone phone. A financial institution, government securities broker, or dealer can also submit bids on your behalf. Although we don't charge fees to process a bid, some financial institutions, brokers, and dealers may charge for that service.  

What is the minimum purchase amount for Treasury securities?  

The minimum amount that you can purchase of any given Treasury bill, note, bond, or TIPS is $1,000. Additional amounts must be in multiples of $1,000.  

Do I have a choice as to where my Treasury securities are kept?  

All Treasury securities are issued in what we call "book-entry" form -an entry in a central electronic ledger. You can hold your Treasury securities in one of three systems: TreasuryDirect, Legacy Treasury Direct, or the commercial book-entry system. TreasuryDirect and Legacy Treasury Direct are direct holding systems where you have a direct relationship with us. The commercial book-entry system is an indirect holding system where you hold your securities with your financial institution, government securities broker, or dealer. The commercial book-entry system is a multi-level arrangement that involves the Treasury, the Federal Reserve System (acting as Treasury's agent), banks, brokers, dealers, and other financial institutions. So, in the commercial book-entry system, there can be one or more entities between you (the ultimate owner of the security) and Treasury.  

What features does TreasuryDirect offer?  

TreasuryDirect provides a completely online environment for buying and holding Treasury bills, notes, bonds, and TIPS, as well as savings bonds.  

You use our web site to open an account, conduct transactions, and access account information. All services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You designate the financial account or accounts into which we make payments and from which we make withdrawals. We don't charge any fees when you open an account or buy securities.  

What features does Legacy Treasury Direct offer?  

Legacy Treasury Direct allows you to conduct transactions online, over the phone, and by paper and mail. In this program, you can buy Treasury bills, notes, bonds, and TIPS, and hold those securities. You designate the financial account into which we make payments and from which we make withdrawals. We send account statements to you by mail. We don't charge any fees when you open an account or buy securities. (We impose an annual maintenance fee, but ONLY IF your account has a total par amount of more than $100,000.) You can reinvest most maturing securities. Although you have a direct relationship with us, your financial institution, government securities broker, or dealer can submit a bid for a security to be delivered to Legacy Treasury Direct for you.  

What features does the commercial book-entry system offer?  

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