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Buy I Bonds with your tax refund to earn more

Consumer Reports News

Even if you waited till the last minute to file your taxes, if you're entitled to a refund you can still purchase savings bonds that earn more than a savings account at your bank or credit union. Even better, those bonds automatically keep up with inflation.

I Bonds combine a fixed rate and an inflation rate. Don't worry about the fixed rate—that's been set at zero percent since 2009. The inflation rate though, currently yields 1.76 percent, and is adjusted every six months.

Fill out Form 8888 to purchase I Bonds.

If you prefer the old-fashioned paper savings bonds, a tax refund is currently the only way to obtain them, up to $5,000 per social security number, per year. Any other purchases of I Bonds, such as through payroll deduction, require a TreasuryDirect account, and records will be kept electronically.

For other ideas about what to do with your refund, check out 16 smart things to do with your tax refund.

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