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What is the Difference Between US Treasuries, Notes and Bonds?

Understanding the difference between U.S. Treasuries, Notes and Bonds is really a matter of understanding the terms of each type of US government security.

Keep in mind that all debt securities issued by the U.S. government are technically bonds, even though only one type of government bond is actually named that.

US Treasuries

Often called T-Bills, U.S. Treasuries are the shortest term government bonds. They are issued in terms of 4, 13, 26 and 52 weeks. Unlike other US government bonds, T-Bills do not pay interest payments. Rather, T-Bills are sold at a discount to their face value. The difference between the price the Treasury Bill sold for and its face value is the interest payment.

For example, if a T-Bill with a face value of $1,000 sold for $9,900, then the $100 difference is the interest payment

US Treasury Notes

Treasury Notes are the middle length government bond. Notes are sold with terms of 2, 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. Notes have a fixed interest rate for the life of the bond and pay interest every six months until they mature.

Notes cannot be redeemed, but can be sold.

US Treasury Bonds

The longest maturity of all government bonds is 30 years. Treasury bonds have a term of 30 years and cannot be redeemed early. However, bonds may be sold to other investors.

Treasury bonds pay interest every six months.

US Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are different than the other types of government bonds. Series EE savings bonds and Series I savings bonds are the only US savings bonds currently sold by the government.

You can get more information about US savings bonds here.