PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the cost of living rising at a 40-year high, one financial opportunity is looking more attractive to those who are searching for ways to accrue some extra cash.

Series I savings bonds — also known as “I bonds” — are virtually risk-free, backed by the Treasury Department and are now paying investors more than 9% in interest annually.

“They are really attractive if someone is sitting on cash,” said Derek Amey of StrategicPoint Investment Advisors. “It’s not an investment. This is a place to park your savings.”

Amey said the current interest rate for I bonds is unheard of, which is why they are peaking people’s interest now more than ever.

“These were not a vehicle [for savings] that anybody had ever asked about until the past six to nine months,” he explained. “It’s because we haven’t seen inflation in this country, at least to this rate, since the late ’70s, early ’80s.”

The interest rates for I bonds reset every six months based on the Consumer Price Index. Right now, I bonds purchased through October 2022 come with a 9.6% interest rate.

Investors can purchase a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $10,000 annually in electronic bonds.

I bonds can only be purchased through Treasury Direct, an official government website. The bonds can earn interest for up to 30 years and can be cashed anytime after one year.

Since I bonds are typically long-term investments, those who cash them in less than five years will lose out on the last three months of interest.