What Exactly Is Annual Percent Yield?

What Exactly Is Annual Percent Yield?


An investment’s annual percentage yield, which accounts for the impact of compound interest, is the rate of return received over a 12-month period.

Key Learnings

  • The rate charged for borrowing or earning money over the course of a year is known as the annual percentage yield.
  • It’s a helpful metric to have on hand, especially if you know how to calculate it and how to distinguish it from simple interest.
  • The best way to use the money you have in a bank can be decided once you have a firm understanding of APY.
  • You can figure out APY manually by using the following formula: APY = 100 [(1 + Interest/Principal)(365/Days in term) – 1].

Examples and Definition of Annual Percentage Yield

The interest rate charged for borrowing or making money over the course of a year is known as the annual percentage yield.

If you’ve ever opened a savings account, for instance, you’ve probably heard the term “annual percentage yield” or “APY” or seen it somewhere.”

  • APY is an acronym

The Workings of Annual Percentage Yield

You make money when you put money into a savings account, money market account, or certificate of deposit (CD). You can use APY to estimate the amount of interest you’d receive on the account over the course of a year. Based on the interest rate and the frequency of compounding, it calculates the interest you would receive on both the principal (original deposit) and interest on earnings.

The Uniqueness of Annual Percentage Yield

Because it takes compounding into account, APY gives a more precise idea of how much you will earn on a deposit account than a simple interest rate (which does not).

When you earn interest on your investment’s principal as well as your returns or previously accrued interest, this is known as compounding.

Illustration of a single annual payment

Consider opening a $1,000 savings account with a 5 percent simple annual interest rate. If your bank only calculates and pays interest once a year, at the end of the year, it would deposit $50 into your account. If your bank only paid interest once a year, you would have $1,050 at the end of the year.

Example of Monthly Compounding

Let’s now assume that the bank computes and pays interest every month. Every month, you would get a small addition. If so, you would finish the year with $1,051.16, which is more than the 5 percent interest rate that was mentioned.

The difference might appear insignificant, but over many years (or with larger deposits), it can add up.


The simple interest rate that a bank charges you over the course of a year on products like loans and credit cards is called an annual percentage rate (APR). It is comparable to annual percentage yield but disregards compounding. 3.

The distinction between APR and APY is crucial, as shown by credit card loans. Because card issuers typically charge interest on outstanding balances every month, carrying a balance will frequently result in you paying an APY that is higher than the APR quoted. You will additionally owe interest in the subsequent month. This is comparable to earning interest on top of the interest that you already receive from a savings account. There is a difference, even though it might not be substantial. The bigger that difference gets, the bigger the loan is, and the longer you borrow.

Because you typically don’t add interest charges and raise your loan balance when you have a fixed-rate mortgage, the APR is more accurate. APR also takes closing costs into account, which raises the overall cost of borrowing. However, if you don’t pay interest charges as they accrue, some fixed-rate loans will actually increase in value.

Because it tells you how much a loan will cost as interest charges compound, APY is sometimes more accurate than APR. You typically only see the APR when you borrow money, though. When it comes to some loans, you may actually pay an annual percentage yield (APY), which is typically higher.

Using a Spreadsheet to Calculate APY

You almost never have to do any calculations yourself because banks almost always quote the APY. Even so, it can be challenging to calculate APY on your own. It might be simpler if you use spreadsheet software like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. For APY calculation, use a Google Sheets spreadsheet or create your own using the steps below:.

  • Make a new spreadsheet.
  • Cell A1 should contain the interest rate in decimal format.
  • Cell B1 should be filled in with the compounding frequency (use “12” for monthly or “1” for annually).
  • =POWER((1+(A1/B1)),B1)-1 should be copied and pasted into any other cell.

Enter “, for instance, if the specified annual rate is 5%. 02” in cell A1. Next, enter “12” in cell B1.1 for monthly compounding.

Depending on your bank or lender, you might use 365 or 360 for daily compounding.

The APY in the aforementioned example is 5 point 116 percent. In other words, an APY of 5.116% is produced by a monthly compounding interest rate of 5%. Check out how the APY changes when you alter the frequency of compounding. For instance, you could demonstrate quarterly compounding (four times a year) or the less desirable annual payment schedule, which would produce an APY of 5%.

Formula for Calculating APY

Manually calculate APY as follows if you prefer to do the math the old-fashioned way.

r is the stated annual interest rate expressed as a decimal, and n is the quantity of compounding periods per year. APY is calculated as 100 [(1 + r/n)n] – 1. (The word “carat” (“”) means “raised to power of. “)1.

In keeping with the earlier illustration, determine the APY as follows if you earn $51.16 in interest on a $1,000 account balance throughout the course of the year.

APY = 100 [(1 + .05/12)12] – 1].
APY is equal to 51.16%.

This is known as the “effective annual rate” (EAR) calculation, according to financial experts.

The following formula can be used to determine annual percentage yield:.

APY equals 100 [(1 + Interest/Principal)(365/Days in term) – 1], where Interest is the interest earned and Principal is the initial deposit or account balance. 1.

Calculate the APY using the account balance and interest payment from the aforementioned example.

APY is equal to 100 [(1 + 51.16/1000) x (365/365) – 1)].
APY is equal to 5.16%.

To increase APY

With more frequent compounding periods, the annual percentage yield rises. The frequency of interest compounding should be known if you are saving money in a bank account. If you want to be sure, check the APY for each account. Daily or quarterly compounding is typically preferable to annual compounding.

If you consider all of your assets as a component of a bigger financial picture, you can also increase your own “personal APY.”. To put it another way, don’t think of each investment, such as a CD, as being independent from the others, such as your checking account. Rather, think of each investment as collaborating with the others to help you achieve your goals.

Make sure that your money is compounding as often as possible to maximize your individual APY. Choose the CD with the higher annual percentage yield (APY) if two CDs offering the same interest rate are available. Your interest income can be automatically reinvested; the more frequently, the better. This will allow you to start earning more interest on those interest payments.


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