Mad Rush to Buy I Bonds Overwhelms Clunky TreasuryDirect Website

The TreasuryDirect website is facing long delays as Americans race to buy US Series I savings bonds before rates reset at the end of the month.

One of this year’s best-performing investments, I bonds currently offer a 9.62% interest rate, as they’re designed to help protect Americans’ savings from inflation. That rate is expected to drop to 6.47% beginning Nov. 1, but those who buy before the Oct. 28 deadline will lock in the higher rate for the next six months.

Investors trying to buy the bonds reported glitches in creating accounts, delays in loading pages and long wait times when calling the helplines. And with only two days left to lock in the higher rate, every hour counts.

A notice on the website reads: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented requests for new accounts and purchases of I Bonds. Due to these volumes, we cannot guarantee customers will be able to complete a purchase by the October 28th deadline for the current rate.”

John Powell, a management consultant in Texas, tried to create a username and password through TreasuryDirect but the page stopped working and wouldn’t load. After trying five more times, he called the helpline and got a voicemail saying that because of the high volume of requests, they were no longer accepting calls.