Keep in mind: Everything we are talking about is simple, easy, plain old Black-Scholes formula ... The PVDiv for a given trading date and expiration is the present value of the dividends that will go ex-dividend between now and expiration. Professionals price index options using the PVDiv model, where they know the PVDivs very precisely and the Black-Scholes yield parameter is zero because all the yield is in the PVDiv. The naive or "easy" model is the yield model where you just take a stab at the true PVDivs by inputting a yield number, which right now is about 1.9% - 2% for SPX. With this model you get "bad" pricing (because yields are lumpy, not constant) and "wrong" deltas (more complex to explain that), but it's not a big deal for retail traders. At your level, your best bet is to get going with the yield model since that will teach you the most while getting your numbers right ... but if you really just want to use Black-Scholes with rate and no yield then just set yield = 0 and "manufacture" your PVDivs according to this formula: PVDiv_fake = SPX * [1 - Exp(-YT)] Where Y = yield and T = DTE.