What are Treasury securities?

Treasuries are issued through the U.S. Department of the Treasury and are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Because of their high credit rating, Treasuries are often the benchmark against which other debt securities are measured.

What does Schwab offer?

  • Broad selection and access to Treasuries
  • Guidance from Fixed Income Specialists
  • No transaction fees on new issues or secondary trades

Why would Schwab recommend Treasuries?

Treasuries are considered one of the safest investments for protecting capital while also creating a predictable income stream. Additionally, Treasuries offer a wide range of maturity dates to choose from and are relatively easy to buy and sell, and interest payments are generally exempt from state and local income taxes.

Learn more about maturity dates

What does Schwab charge to trade Treasury securities?

New-issue Treasuries

There are no transaction fees for online purchases. New issues purchased with the assistance of a Schwab broker are subject to a $25 broker-assisted fee.

Secondary market Treasuries

Online price
$0 transaction fee

Broker-assisted trade
Online price + $25 per trade

Talk to a Fixed Income Specialist to learn more about Treasury pricing.

Types of Treasury securities.

  • Treasury bills (t-bills)

    Treasury bills have maturities of one year or less. Treasury bills don’t have coupon rates, as they are generally issued at a discount but pay the full par value at maturity.

  • Treasury notes

    Treasury notes are intermediate-term to long-term bonds, typically issued with original maturities of 2, 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. As time passes, however, Treasury notes can be bought and sold in the secondary market with various maturities of less than 10 years.

  • Treasury bonds

    Treasury bonds are originally issued with 30-year maturities. As time passes, Treasury bonds can be bought in the secondary market with maturities of under 30 years.

  • Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)

    TIPS are Treasuries that are indexed to inflation. Like traditional Treasuries, TIPS are issued with par values of $1,000, but movements in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjust that par value. Interest is then paid semiannually on the adjusted value. At maturity, TIPS are redeemable at either face value or the inflation-adjusted principal, whichever is greater. TIPS are issued with initial maturities of 5, 10, or 30 years, although the time to maturity can vary for purchases on the secondary market.

Take a closer look at the benefits.

  • Guaranteed payment

    With Treasuries, payment of principal and interest is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. If held to maturity, Treasuries are guaranteed to repay your original investment.

  • Predictable income

    Most Treasuries pay a fixed interest rate on a regular schedule (usually semiannual), so investors know exactly what interest payment they will receive and when they will receive it.

  • Tax breaks

    Although federally taxable, the interest on Treasuries is exempt from both state and local taxes.

  • Range of maturities

    Treasury securities are issued with a broad range of maturity dates, making it easy to find Treasuries that can help you meet your goals.

  • Liquidity

    Treasuries are generally the most liquid types of fixed income investment. A large, active secondary market offers ample opportunities to sell your Treasuries before maturity.

Review the risks.

Treasury securities are subject to the following types of risk: interest rate, reinvestment, inflation (or purchasing power), market, and event, as well as other risks commonly associated with fixed income securities.

  • Interest rate

    The value of a fixed income security could fall as a result of a change in interest rates.

  • Reinvestment

    If interest rates are low when a bond reaches its maturity date or the issuer calls the bond, the investor could be left with lower yielding reinvestment options and a possible reduction in cash flow.

  • Inflation (purchasing power)

    If prices rise at a higher rate than investment returns, your money buys less in the future. The risk is greatest if the bond has a long time until maturity.

  • Market and event

    Outside situations that influence the market could have a negative impact on the price or value of your investment.

Find and buy Treasury securities.

New issues

New-issue Treasuries are sold through an auction process by the U.S. Treasury on a regular basis. See the schedule below for date information.

Treasury auction schedule

The Federal Reserve regularly modifies auction dates. Below is a typical Treasury auction schedule.

Maturity Auction Dates
4-week t-bill Every Thursday
8-week t-bill Every Thursday
13- to 26-week t-bill Every Monday
52-week t-bill Usually late each month
2-year notes Usually late each month
3-year notes Usually first half of each month
5-year notes Usually late each month
7-year notes Usually late each month
10-year notes Usually first half of each month
30-year notes Usually first half of each month

Search for new issues.

Secondary market

Access over 20,000 Treasury quotes in the secondary market using Schwab BondSource®.1

Learn more about investing in Fixed Income

Take advantage of resources to help you make decisions.

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