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You Can Buy Up To $15,000 In I Bonds

Bonds are going paperless, but the Treasury has uped the limit you can buy online.You’ll have the chance to buy up to $15,000 worth of electronic and paper Series I Savings Bonds this year and take advantage of their very competitive interest rate.

Each individual will be allowed to invest as much as $10,000 in electronic bonds at Treasurydirect.gov.

Then you’ll be able to purchase a $5,000 Series I paper bond using your tax refund by filing IRS Form 8888.

Although the yield on Series I Bonds changes every six months based on the inflation rate, new issues are paying 3.06% through April 30, 2012.

That’s far more than you can earn from even the highest-paying CDs.

You’ll also be able to invest up to $10,000 in electronic Series EE Bonds through treasurydirect.gov.

But the current yield on those fixed-rate bonds is a less compelling 0.6%.

That’s not a great deal for a bond you can’t cash out for at least 12 months and that carries an early withdrawal penalty if you need the money between 12 and 60 months.

Until the Treasury Department announced the 2012 limits for savings bonds on Wednesday, we’d been wondering what they would be.

A change was almost certainly on the way after Treasury stopped selling paper bonds at banks and credit unions on Dec. 31.

Since 2008, we had been allowed to buy a maximum of $5,000 in each series in both paper and electronic bonds, plus the tax refund purchase.

Purchase limits have been constantly adjusted since Series E bonds were first issued in 1941.

They’ve ranged from a low of $3,750 in 1941 to $30,000 between 2003 and 2007.

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