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CD calculator: How much interest will you earn?

Know what’s in store for the money you've set aside with a CD rate calculator.

A CD calculator can help you figure out how much you can make from a certificate of deposit (CD), which locks up your money at a fixed rate for a specific term, usually between three months and 10 years. If you have a particular savings goal you’re trying to reach, it can also help you determine how much you need to deposit and how long it will take to reach your goal.

To use this calculator, enter the amount of your initial deposit, the term of the CD and the interest rate it will earn.

CD calculator

How do I use the CD calculator?

Fill in the relevant fields with the correct information to get the details you need to help you decide which certificate of deposit to choose.

  • Deposit amount. This is the amount of money you plan to save in the CD.
  • Interest rate. Input the listed interest rate for the certificate of deposit you’re investigating. Pay attention to the details, as in most cases that amount will be different depending on a number of factors, including the length of the term, how much you deposit and how often you’re receiving interest payments.
  • Length of time. This is the number of years you’ll be saving for. You can enter a fraction of a year if your CD term is something like 6 months or 18 months.

Myra is trying to save money in order to put a down payment on a new home in three years. She’s saved $10,000 in a high-interest savings account, but now believes that she will get a better return on her investment with a certificate of deposit. Since she is now earning a steady income that covers her expenses, she is confident that she will have no reason to need that savings before the three-year term ends. The first CD that Myra looks into is offering interest at a fixed rate of 3% per year for a three-year CD. Using a CD calculator, Myra is able to determine that she will earn $927.27 in interest when that CD matures.

Will the amount shown on the calculator be exactly the same as the amount of interest I earn?

CDs earn interest at a predictable rate, so it should be accurate. However, there may be other factors not taken into consideration that could affect the amount of interest paid to you, such as fees associated with the CD you pick, including early withdrawal and broker fees.

Use current CD rates to calculate interest

Name Product 6-month APY 1-year APY 5-year APY Minimum deposit to open
Bread Savings CDs
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Bread Savings CDs
With a $1,500 minimum deposit, you'll receive competitive interest rates and no hidden fees with this CD. FDIC insured.
Barclays Online CDs
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Barclays Online CDs
Get competitive rates on CD term lengths from 3 to 60 months. A reliable and secure way to see your money grow.
CIT Bank Term CDs
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Bank Term CDs
Choose from a range of terms with no maintenance fees and $1,000 minimum to open.
Crescent Bank CD
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Crescent Bank CD
Earn competitive rates up to 4.65% APY (annual percentage yield) on terms ranging from 1 to 5 years. Pay $0 maintenance fees. Member FDIC.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much interest will I earn on a CD?

This table shows much you could earn with a CD with an initial deposit of $1,000 and varying term lengths and interest rates.

CD termInterestInterest earned

How is interest calculated on a certificate of deposit?

Interest is calculated at a fixed rate and multiplied to the CD amount. If your CD offers compound interest, any interest you earn is added back to your account balance. So the next time your CD earns interest, you’ll make money on the principal and previous interest.

You’ll continue to rack up interest until your CD matures or reaches its term.

How to calculate your CD’s interest

If you’d rather calculate your CD’s interest by hand, follow the steps below to find the information for this equation:

A = P(1+r/n)nt

  • P is the principal balance, so enter your deposit amount.
  • r is your CD’s interest rate written as a decimal, so take your interest rate and move the decimal to the left two times. For example, if your interest rate is 2%, r is 0.02.
  • n is the number of times your CD will compound each year. Enter 365 if your CD compounds daily, 12 if it compounds monthly, 4 if it compounds quarterly or 1 if it compounds yearly.
  • t is the length of your CD term in years. If your CD term is less than a year, divide 365 by the length of your term, in days, to get your CD term in years. For example, if your CD has a 90-day term, t is 0.25 years (90/365).
  • A is how much your CD will be worth at maturity, including your deposit. This is the number we’ll be solving for.

Let’s say you make a $5,000 deposit in a one-year CD earning a 2% interest rate, compounded daily. Here’s how you would calculate it using the order of operations:

  • A = $5,000 (1+0.02/365) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1+0.00005479452) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1.00005479452) ^ (365*1)
  • A = $5,000 (1.02020078103)
  • A = $5101.00

Your CD would be worth $5,101 at maturity, which means you earned $101 in interest.

Why should I use a CD calculator?

CD calculators are helpful tools to compare investment products by showing how much you can make with a particular CD. This is especially useful when financial institutions have varying deposit amounts, terms, APYs and the frequency that your interest compounds. Knowing how much each CD can make can help you compare options to find the right investment for your needs.

What factors influence CD interest rates?

There are several things banks consider when calculating CD interest rates, including the following:

  • The federal funds rate. Set by the Federal Reserve, the federal funds rate influences a range of other interest rates in the economy, including mortgages and CDs. It refers to the interest rate banks charge each other on overnight loans, and is a benchmark rate they use when setting interest rates on CDs and savings accounts.
  • The amount you invest. The larger the amount you want to invest, the higher the interest rates available. For example, a bank may offer one set of interest rates for amounts less than $10,000 and a set of higher rates for deposits above $10,000. For large investment sums, such as $250,000 or more, you may be able to negotiate a special rate.
  • The investment term. The longer the term you select, the higher the interest rate you’ll receive your bank wants to encourage you to invest your money for longer as this provides it with a guaranteed source of funding for an extended period.
  • The deposit market. Your bank may want to gain a larger slice of the CD market share by enticing new customers with attractive interest rates that beat many of its competitors.
  • Your bank’s financial position. For example, if a bank wants to decrease its reliance on funding from overseas sources, it can raise its interest rates on multi-year CDs to provide a secure, long-term source of funding from within the US.

Bottom line

A certificate of deposit can help you grow your savings in a low-risk and predictable way. The longer your term length, the more money you’ll earn — especially if you get a CD with a top-of-the-market interest rate.

Frequently asked questions

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