As interest rates rise in an attempt to cool inflation, many wonder if there is a way to benefit financially during this time of economic uncertainty. Fortunately, there are several ways in which consumers can make the most of high interest rates. Keep reading to learn more about interest and four ways to make the most of high interest rates.
Before making any investment or financial commitment, consumers should understand interest basics and the difference between APR vs. APY. Interest is the price of borrowing money, and all interest is expressed in terms of Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or Annual Percentage Yield (APY). APR represents the amount of interest paid according to a yearly rate, while APY considers compounding—the process by which accrued interest adds to the principal, generating even more interest. So, in short, APR is interest that is added to a debt a consumer holds, such as a credit card or loan, while APY is interest a consumer gains that adds to their earnings.
The Federal Reserve raises interest rates to moderate the amount of cash moving through the economy to drive down aggregate demand and reduce inflation. Inflation is the increase in prices for goods and services over a period of time. There can be several causes of inflation, but it is generally triggered when demand is high, and supply is low—a situation experienced worldwide as the Covid-19 pandemic closed borders and ports and slowed manufacturer production.
Due to this, the Federal Reserve is enacting interest rate hikes in a bid to reduce inflationary pressure and keep the U.S. economy stable.
Consumers can make the most of high interest rates in a few ways to increase their savings and possibly build wealth over time. By understanding the difference between APR and APY, as well as taking advantage of options such as CDs, bonds, high-yield savings accounts, and credit card rewards, consumers can make more informed financial decisions that could yield greater returns in the future.