Present with card labelled I Bonds for I Bond giftbox strategy
The I Bond rates will be announced May 1. Do you want to buy more I Bonds with the 1.3% fixed rate in April? Read about I Bond gifts

Do you think the 1.3% I Bond fixed rate may go down? Did you already purchase the $10,000 limit of I bonds in 2024? If yes and you are looking to lock in the 1.3% fixed rate on more I bonds, keep reading to find out how to use the gift box strategy.

New I Bond Rates May 1

The March inflation numbers are in so we can now calculate the I Bond Inflation rate.

Septemmber 2023 to March 2024 inflation data

Using this data, the six-month change in CPI-U is 1.476%.  This is the semiannual (1/2 year) inflation rate.

The composite rate formula is: [Fixed rate + (2 x semiannual inflation rate) + (fixed rate x semiannual inflation rate)]

We don’t know the I bond fixed rate yet so we can’t calculate the new composite rate for May 1, 2024.  However, we can see the inflation rate will decrease. The semiannual (1/2 year) inflation rate is currently 1.97%. We won’t know the fixed rate until the Treasury announces it May 1.

Do you think the fixed rate will go up, go down, or stay the same? If you think the fixed rate will go down you can sell I bonds with lower fixed rates and buy at 1.3% before the end of April as suggested in this blog post.

Should You Convert Old 0% Fixed Rate I Bonds to New 1.3%

But what if you read that blog post and already did that with your $10,000 of I bonds this year? This is where the gift box strategy comes in.

Gift Box Strategy

The gift box strategy allows you to purchase more than the $10,000 maximum in I Bonds.  But only for personal accounts, not entity accounts. You buy the I bonds for someone else such as a spouse or partner and the I Bonds go into a gift box.  You can’t cash out these I Bonds, only the person to whom you gifted them can redeem them. You lock in the fixed rate at the time of purchase.  The interest and holding period starts in the month of purchase.

I Bonds in a gift box are in limbo.  They don’t count against the purchaser’s annual limit.  The I Bond gift does not count against the gift receiver’s annual limit until you deliver the gift to them.  They can be kept in the gift box until a future year when the gift receiver has not maxed out their annual I bond purchases.

Diamond Nest Egg has a video on YouTube about Gifting I Bonds for Couples.

Conclusion

You may be able to use entity accounts to buy more I bonds as this post explains Do You Want to Buy More I Bonds than the $10,000 Limit?

If you have already maximized your use of entity accounts in 2024, the gift box strategy may be for you.

It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment based on your own personal circumstances. 

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This article was first published by MoneyMavenBlog on April 19, 2024.

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