Current I Bonds Rates (History)

Many investors are using I Bonds to hedge against inflation. Here’s what to know about current I Bond rates.

Written by Jess Ullrich / November 6, 2022

Quick Bites

  • U.S. Treasury series I Bonds, commonly known as I Bonds, are a low-risk, inflation-linked investment that may be worth considering.
  • The bond rate is tied to inflation, which is at the highest in about 40 years.
  • The Treasury will set new I Bond rates on Nov. 1.

Bonds have historically been regarded as conservative fixed-income investments, less flashy than stocks. But recently Series I Savings Bonds have become a much more exciting and attractive option—and a valuable tool to help hedge against inflation.

Have I Bonds piqued your interest? Read on to learn more about current rates, how they’re set and what the future may hold for I Bonds.

Inside this article

  1. What is the I Bond rate now?
  2. How are I Bond rates set?
  3. Historical I Bond rates
  4. What will the next rate be?
  5. Are I Bonds a good investment?
  6. How do you check returns?

What is the I Bond interest rate now?

If you’re wondering what the buzz around I Bonds is about, the answer lies in their interest rate. The current bond composite rate is a whopping 9.62%. That rate applies for the first six months for bonds issued from May 1 to October 31, 2022. For example, if you purchase I Bonds on Sept. 1, 2022, the 9.62% rate would be in effect until March 1, 2023.[1]

How are I Bond rates set?

The U.S. Treasury sets I Bond rates every May and November, and two things factor into how rates are set:

  • Fixed rate

  • Inflation rate

As you can infer from its name, the fixed rate of a bond doesn’t change. The fixed rate for I Bonds is currently 0%. Whether this rate will change in November depends on if the Treasury decides to adjust it or leave it as-is.

It’s a Great Time to Buy I Bonds

It’s a Great Time to Buy I Bonds

If you purchase an I bond anytime from May to Oct. 31, you’ll get an annualized 9.62% return for the first six months—that’s pretty impressive.

Find out more

The second factor is the inflation rate, which will adjust every six months for as long as you hold your I Bonds. The Treasury establishes inflation rates by evaluating the Consumer Price Index (a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for consumer goods and services) and how the cost of goods has changed over time. The semiannual inflation rate for I Bonds is currently 4.81%, which will likely change on Nov. 1, 2022. During a period of deflation, the inflation rate can be negative. For instance, on May 1, 2015, the inflation rate was -0.70%.[2]

Both the fixed rate and the inflation rate help determine the composite rate, or actual rate of return, you’ll get on your I Bonds. Here’s how the current 9.62% composite rate is calculated:

[0.00 + (2 x 0.0481) + (0.00 x 0.0481)]

Historical I Bond rate rates

On the U.S. Treasury website, you can view bond rates from 1998 to 2022. During that time period, the highest fixed rate on record—3.60%—was established on May 1, 2000, and the highest inflation rate of 4.81% was set on May 1, 2022.

Here’s a look at how bond rates have changed over the years:[4]

DateFixed rateInflation rate
May 1, 20022.00%0.28%
May 1, 20071.30%1.21%
May 1, 20120.00%1.10%
May 1, 20170.00%0.98%
May 1, 20220.00%4.81%

What will the new I Bond rate be in November?

The Treasury sets new bond rates every six months, in May and November. There’s no way of knowing whether they’ll go up or down.

How Do I Bonds Work?

How Do I Bonds Work?

I bonds are inflation-linked investments issued by the U.S. government. Here’s what to know about making them a part of your investments.

Find out more

Are I Bonds a good investment?

I Bonds can be a good investment, and they’re certainly an attractive one right now because of the historically high rates.

“I Bonds are virtually risk-free investments,” says Sankar Sharma, founder of trading education website RiskRewardReturn.com. “Their value doesn’t go down and they offer tax benefits. Not only bonds can be used to beat inflation, but they can also be gifted or used to pay for education or simply supplement your retirement income.”

There’s one caveat to be aware of, though. If you buy I Bonds, your money will be tied up for at least a year. So if you’re going to need access to your money sooner than that, it may be best to put your cash elsewhere. Also, you’ll forfeit the last three months of interest if you cash out before you’ve held your bonds for five years. Also, you’re limited to buying up to $10,000 in online I Bonds and an additional $5,000 in paper I Bonds, which must be purchased with your federal tax refund.

How do you check returns?

You can check returns on your bonds by logging into your TreasuryDirect account. The U.S. Treasury website also offers a handy growth calculator that you can use to estimate the rate of returns on your bonds over time. You simply input different variables, including your initial investment amount and expected interest rate, to calculate potential returns over time. When you’re ready to cash out your bonds, you can do so through TreasuryDirect.gov.

Article Sources
  1. “Series I Savings Bonds Rates & Terms: Calculating Interest Rates.” U.S. Treasury. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iratesandterms.htm
  2. “Series I Savings Bonds.” U.S. Treasury.https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds.htm.
  3. “Consumer Price Index.” BLS. https://www.bls.gov/cpi/
  4. “Series I Savings Bonds Rates & Terms: Calculating Interest Rates.” TreasuryDirect. https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ibonds/res_ibonds_iratesandterms.htm

About the Author

Jess Ullrich

Jess Ullrich

Jess Ullrich is a personal finance writer who's been creating online content since 2009.

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