Basis Point

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated August 5, 2020

What is the Basis Point?

A basis point is one hundredth of one percent.

How Does the Basis Point Work?

There are one hundred basis points in one percent.

Let's say Bank XYZ pays 2.54% interest on its savings accounts. A month later, it raises the rate to 2.75%. We would say that rate increased by 21 basis points.

Why Does the Basis Point Matter?

Basis points are in anything that is expressed as a percentage: interest rates, rates of return, bond coupons, rates of change and much more. Because tiny changes can have big effects, it is no surprise that the markets are concerned about hundredths of a percent.