What Is a Treasury Bond (T-Bond)?

What Is a Treasury Bond (T-Bond)?

3 Min.

Treasury bonds, or T-bonds, are long-term fixed-rate debt securities issued by the U.S. government. They have a maturity of either 20 or 30 years and pay interest to the bondholder twice a year until maturity. Once the bond reaches maturity, the owner receives its face value. Along with Treasury bills, Treasury notes, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), Treasury bonds are one of four government-issued securities considered virtually risk-free.


The U.S. Federal government issues Treasury bonds (T-bonds) as part of its sovereign debt portfolio. These bonds have maturity periods of 20 or 30 years and accrue periodic interest until maturity. Upon maturity, the bondholder is paid a par amount equivalent to the principal. Treasury bonds are part of the broader category of U.S. sovereign debt, known as Treasuries. They are widely recognized for their virtual risk-free status, supported by the U.S. government's authority to levy taxes on its citizens.

U.S. Treasury Bonds: Overview and Investment Features

U.S. Department of the Treasury issues Treasury bonds as part of its four-tiered debt strategy to fund governmental expenditures. The quartet comprises Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, each distinguished by varying maturity and coupon payment structures.

Functioning as benchmarks within their fixed-income counterparts, these debt instruments, including T-bonds, are widely acknowledged for their virtually risk-free nature, reinforced by the U.S. government's authority to augment revenue through taxation, ensuring full payment. T-bonds, with extended durations spanning 20 and 30 years, represent a cornerstone risk-free rate within their investment categories.

Similar to other government bonds, T-bonds disburse semiannual interest payments, subject only to federal taxation. Monthly online auctions, conducted directly by the U.S. Treasury, establish a bond's price and yield. Subsequently, T-bonds are actively traded in the secondary market, available for acquisition through banks or brokers.

Individual investors commonly integrate T-bonds into their portfolios for risk-free retirement savings, a consistent retirement income, or earmarking funds for significant expenses such as education. A minimum holding period of 45 days precedes the sale of T-bonds in the secondary market, providing stability and flexibility for investors.

Treasury Bond Dynamics

Treasury Bond Maturity Ranges

Treasury bonds boast maturities spanning 20 to 30 years, with a minimum denomination of $100. Semi-annual coupon payments accompany these bonds, which are initially distributed through auctions. Competitive bids, specifying the acceptable rate, may secure up to $5 million or 35% of the offering for non-competitive bids.

Auction Dynamics and Secondary Market Trading

Post-auction, T-bonds enter an active secondary market, ensuring high liquidity. This market's dynamism influences T-bond prices, responding to current auction and yield rates. In the secondary market, changes in auction rates have an inverse correlation with T-bond prices. When auction rates fall, T-bond prices rise, and vice versa.

Treasury Bond Yields

T-bond yields are pivotal in shaping the yield curve, depicting the entire spectrum of U.S. government investments. Typically upward-sloping, the yield curve illustrates lower rates for shorter maturities. However, inversion occurs when long-term rates dip below short-term rates, potentially signaling an impending recession.


U.S. Treasury bonds, integral to the broader spectrum of U.S. Treasuries, offer investors a low-risk avenue with moderate returns. Positioned as a safe haven amidst market volatility, Treasury bonds are endorsed by the unwavering financial stability of the U.S. government. Leveraging the assurance provided by the largest and one of the most steadfast global economies, these bonds are widely acknowledged as risk-free investments.

Treasury Bond
Treasury Bill
Treasury Note
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)