What Is Annual Percentage Yield: Definition, Calculation & How It Works

what is annual percentage yield
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Oh, so APY is a new concept to you, and you’re not sure what it means? Okay. Here is it. A bank account’s annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that shows the amount of interest you receive over the course of a year. Yes. Having this measure on hand can help you choose the finest bank and the best type of account to maximize your interest payments. However, when it comes to making the most of your bank accounts, understanding the annual percentage yield (APY), as well as the difference with basic interest, and how to calculate it, will assist. Because of this, you may want to finish reading this. This article explains what annual percentage yield on a savings account means as well as APY earned.

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What Is Annual Percentage Yield?

Simply put, annual percentage yield (APY) is a measure of real interest earned on an investment year after taking compounding effects into consideration. Calculated by factoring in the compounding effect of interest, it is a measure of the true return on investment. However, compound interest, as opposed to simple interest, is calculated on a periodic basis and instantly applied to the principal. Basically, every period, the account’s balance grows a little, which means the interest paid on the amount grows with it.

In other words, if you want to know how much money you’ll be earning overtime, you can use an interest rate known as an annual percentage yield (APY). APY values can be used to compare different products with varying compounding schedules in a logical, single-point comparison. Generally, account fees may reduce the net profit, however, this isn’t taken into consideration. Meanwhile, when it comes to interest rates, APY (annual percentage yield) and APR (annual percentage rate) are two of the most commonly used terms in the financial industry. While APY refers to the rate paid to an investor or depositor by a financial institution, the annual percentage rate (APR) refers to the rate paid to a financial institution by a borrower.

The annual percentage yield (APY) is frequently used by banks and other financial institutions to advertise non-debt financial products (as opposed to the APR because the APY represents the customer receiving a higher return at the end of the term). An APY of 4.75 percent would be used to represent a certificate of deposit with a 4.65 percent annual percentage rate (APR) that is compounded monthly.

Understanding APY

Simple interest is earned when the annual percentage yield is the same as the interest rate you pay on an investment. However, in an instance whereby the APY is greater than the interest rate, the interest rate has already been compounded. This, therefore, means you are receiving interest on the interest that has already accrued.

APY and APR are often mistaken for each other. However, the annual percentage rate (APR) is a measure of the yearly interest rate without taking into account compounding interest. Annual percentage yield (APY), on the other hand, takes into account the effects of compounding over time. Although these two terms may have their differences, nevertheless, they can have a significant impact on both debtors and investors.

In other words, banks and some other financial institutions do promote their best annual percentage yield (APY) rather than their APR. This is when they are seeking new customers for interest-bearing products like money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). Besides, it generally appears to be a promising investment for the client because the APY is greater than the APR.

Generally, the higher the annual percentage yield (APY), the more compounding periods there are. Meanwhile, the frequency of compounding is an important consideration for anyone saving money in a bank account. However, before making a decision, it is important to compare the APYs for every available option. This is to ensure that you are getting the best possible rate of return.

APY Calculation and Formula

To calculate APY, you can employ this formula: APY= (1 + r/n )n– 1

“r” = the stated annual interest rate and,

“n” =  the number of compounding periods during the year. 

What Is Annual Percentage Yield on Savings Account

As a subscriber of either a savings account, interest-bearing checking or money market account, or certificate of deposit (CD), you’re likely familiar with the acronym APY, which stands for Annual Percentage Yield. 

Generally, most people will support the notion that a greater APY is better and more favorable than a lower one.  That’s where it ends. Most of these individuals have no idea what the Annual Percentage Yield on a savings account actually is. Hence, what does it connote?

Annual percentage yield is a way banks as well as many other financial institutions describe returns or interest a subscriber can earn on savings, certificates of deposit(CD), and interest-bearing checking. It shows the probable money you can accumulate at the end of a year if you keep it in your account.

Suppose you have $3,000 in a savings account with an APY of 1%, there will be an increase of $30 annually, or 1%.  However,  APY and account balance must remain constant for this to work. It doesn’t always work like that though. Nevertheless, it provides you with a rudimentary knowledge of the concepts of what annual percentage yield entails.

Changes in Annual Percentage Yield for Savings Account

Annual Percentage Yield can alter at any time for savings accounts as well as interest-bearing checkings, unlike CDs. In the case of CDs, it guarantees a fixed interest rate for the duration of the investment.

The prime rate, for example, has a strong influence on the direction these rates take. In general, when the prime rate falls, you may see savings account annual percentage yield may decline as well and vice versa.  However, this is just a general idea. On the other hand, banks have the greatest works to do. To determine its own interest rates and choose how frequently it’ll be changing it.

Choosing the best APY for your Savings Account

Generally, The annual percentage yield (APY) varies greatly. This depends on the account and the bank. Brick-and-mortar banks basically have to spend a lot of money operating their locations. Therefore, they can only provide a lower Annual Percentage Yield compared to internet savings accounts. However, online savings account subscribers have less to worry about when it comes to the annual percentage yield. This is because they are automatically qualified for a higher and better APY as well as lower fees.

On the other hand, there are lots more to consider when selecting a new savings account other than the annual percentage yield. However, it should undoubtedly be one of the most important considerations. Nevertheless,  increasing the rate at which your savings accumulate can make a significant difference in your experience.

Places to Save Your Money to Earn High APY

Return on investment is crucial, but so is liquidity and how long it will be before you think of withdrawing the money from your saving account. Both are critical considerations. However, when deciding where and how to keep your money, you should consider safety, as well as investment charges,

Nevertheless, here are a few possibilities to examine in light of that:

Type of AccountBest For
High-yield savings account Best for easy access and earning higher than average interest
Certificate of deposit (CD)  Best for earning a fixed rate
Money market accountBest for those who want check-writing privileges
Checking accountBest for storing disposable income
Treasury billsBest for savings balances above $250,000
Short-term bondsBest for those okay with more risk in exchange for higher returns
Riskier options (stocks, real estate, and gold)Best for those looking for long-term investments

What Is Annual Percentage Yield Earned

Annual Percentage Yield is the amount of money or interest, earned on a bank account over a period of the year. However, this is taking into account the effects of compounding interest. On the other hand, consider the compounding impact while calculating annual percentage yields. Remember that compounding is a process in which an asset or debt generates interest on both the principal and the capital gains. Capital gains yield (CGY) as a percentage expresses the price appreciation of an investment or security. And since the market price of a security is factored into the computation of Capital Gain Yield, it can be used to track price fluctuations. 

In other words, the Annual Percentage Yield represents the real interest rate earned by a lender or investor. Any investment, whether a CD, stock, or government bond, is ultimately measured on its rate of return. APY allows investors to evaluate returns across investments, allowing them to make better decisions.


With loans and credit cards alike, an annual percentage rate (APR) is the simple interest rate that banks charge you over the course of a whole year. It might be identical to the annual percentage yield because they are both interest or returns. Nevertheless, APR has no consideration for compounding.

In another insistence, when we consider credit card loans, we can clearly see the difference between APR and APY. Let’s say you’re with a balance on your card, normally you will pay an annual percentage yield (APR) that is higher than the reported annual percentage rate (APR). This is because credit card companies charge interest on your outstanding balance each month. As a result, you’ll have to pay interest on top of that interest in the following month. Essentially, this is like double your savings account’s interest rate. 

While the difference might not be huge, there is still a difference between this two. Basically, APR is more accurate in the case of a fixed-rate mortgage. This is because interest costs and the resulting rise in the loan balance are rarely added. In addition, the APR takes into account closing charges, which increase the total cost of borrowing. However, If you don’t pay interest payments as they accrue, some fixed-rate loans can rise.

In most cases, APY is more realistic than APR because it shows you how much a loan will cost over time as interest accrues. However, when you take out a loan, you’re more likely to notice the APR. Nevertheless, with several types of loans, the annual percentage rate (APY) is virtually always greater.

What Is the Relationship between Annual Percentage Yield and Interest Rate?

Superior Definitions. One of the primary distinctions between APY and APR’s calculation methods is that one accounts for compound interest while the other does not. An annual percentage return would be earned on any funds deposited into an interest-bearing account.

Is Apy a Monthly Interest Rate?

It is determined annually and represented as a percentage. Annual Percentage Yield, or APY, is the rate that can be earned on an account over the course of a year and includes compound interest.

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Consumers can use APY to compare the interest rates of deposit accounts. You can earn more money and your bank account balance will grow faster if you have a higher APY. The APY normalizes numerous elements linked to interest computations on bank accounts so that consumers can make simple comparisons among the different deposit accounts.


Is APY more accurate than APR ?

APY is more realistic than APR because it shows you how much a loan will cost over time as interest accrues

How Can APY Assist an Investor?

APY allows investors to evaluate returns across investments, allowing them to make better decisions.

Are APR vs APY calculated differently?

In addition to interest rates, you can calculate APY and APR using a variety of other parameters. If you have an interest in an account’s earning potential, APYs are your best bet while APRs are your best bet for figuring out how much you’ll owe.

Is APY Variable?

In this case, it depends on the product. A savings account’s annual percentage yield (APY) fluctuates with the market. Typically, the interest rate you’ll earn on a CD is the same rate you’ll receive throughout your term. However, you may be charged a different cost if you decide to purchase another CD in the future.

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