Inflation and I Bond

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The I Bond Calculator

Use the I Bond Calculator to get monthly values of your I bond investment. Get a graphical comparison of your I bond's growth to inflation. Download monthly values in CSV format.

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September 13, 2022

Comparing I Bonds to Inflation

If you hold I bonds for five years or longer you will get the full interest when you redeem them. As of September 1, 2022, there are 228 I bonds that are older than five years. These are the I bonds purchased from September 1998 through August 2017, the five year mark as of September 2022. Of these 228 I bonds, only 130 will provide a real return if you redeem them in August. In other words, 130 of these I bonds have grown in their values to exceed their inflation-adjusted purchases prices and the remaining 98 are lagging behind inflation.

For I bonds purchased each month starting from September 1998 through August 2017, the chart below shows how much the bond has grown in value compared to the growth in inflation for the same period. The variance shown in the graph is the difference between the bond value and the inflation-adjusted purchase price on 9/1/2022 as a percentage of the inflation-adjusted purchase price. So it is the cumulative real growth from the purchase date through 9/1/2022. As an example, as on 9/1/2022, a $10,000 I bond purchased in September 1998 has grown 113.18% over its inflation-adjusted purchase price. Use the Next and Previous buttons to move around the purchase dates of bonds.

I Bonds 5 Years or Older - Sept 1998 - August 2017

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I Bonds Over Time

The chart below shows the number of I bonds older than five years above and below their inflation-adjusted purchase prices for each month from January 2020 through September 2022. For example, in January 2020, there were 196 I bonds older than 5 years. Out of them, 193 had grown in their values to exceed their respective purchase prices adjusted for inflation, and only three were below those levels. On the other hand, in September 2022, 130 out of a total of 228 I bonds (57%) older than five years were above and 98 were below their inflation-adjusted purchase prices.

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