Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds are simply called ‘Bonds’ or ‘Treasuries’. These are marketable securities issued by the US Treasury. When you buy a bill, note or a bond, you are basically lending Uncle Sam money.
Treasuries are considered extremely safe since they are backed by the full faith of the US Government and the US has yet to default on a loan. (Well, technically it won’t since it can simply print more money. And that is why it is a big problem, if dollar loses the ‘default world currency’ status and that’s why Gold, which used to be the default currency is frowned upon by Unlce Sam and you are taxed at a higher rate for Gold than other securities.)
Treasuries are only issued electronically through auction and can be purchased directly from the Treasury or through your bank, broker or dealer. If purchased directly, you cannot bid at the auction and have to purchase it for a fixed price (like ‘Buy it now’ in eBay).
Treasuries are issued in increments of $100 with a minimum purchase price of $100, making them more accessible to the general public. The income from Treasuries are free from local and state taxes and taxed as regular income federally.
Treasury Bills are short term securities and have terms of 4, 13, 26 and 52 weeks. T-Bills don’t pay interest since they are sold at a discount.
Treasury Notes have maturities of 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years and pay interest every 6 months until they mature
Treasury Bonds have 30 year terms and they too, like Notes pay interest semi-annually.