What Is the Bankrate Monitor Index?

The Bankrate Monitor Index is an index of money market interest rates paid on depository accounts at one hundred banks and credit unions in the United States. These accounts include checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts. It began publishing in 1982 and still exists today. This helps consumers understand prevailing trends in deposit rates and helps them shop for the best possible deal for their own money.

The Basics of the Bankrate Monitor Index

The Bankrate Monitor Index was created by Robert K. Heady in response to the Federal Government's passage of the Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, which deregulated savings and loan associations and permitted banks to issue adjustable rate mortgages and money market accounts.

In 1996 Bankrate Monitor moved online, and in 2000, the company changed its name to Bankrate Inc to retain business during the dotcom bubble burst. In 2001 its research covered 100 financial products in 155 markets. The company IPO’d in 2011 under the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ticker symbol RATE.

Bankrate today is one of the financial industry’s leading aggregators of research and data on interest rates and personal finance news. It covers more than 300 financial products in around 600 local markets. It generates 172,000 rate tables capturing millions of pieces of information each day. In the U.S., it surveys some 4,800 financial institutions nationwide. Bankrate distributes daily financial research and market conditions to leading media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Real World Example: How Bankrate Data Is Curated

Bankrate online now displays two sets of interest rate averages that are produced from two surveys: one daily and the other weekly. They are samples of different groups and serve different purposes. In both sets of rate averages, Bankrate compiles averages on bank deposits, loans and mortgages.

Daily averages are labeled Bankrate.com Site Averages, which are run after the close of the business day. Included are rates and yields collected on the previous day for specific banking products. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile and are used to monitor day-to-day rate movements. The institutions included in the Bankrate.com Site Average tables differ daily, depending on which institutions’ rates are gathered and presented.

The Bankrate.com National Average, or national survey of large lenders, is conducted weekly. The results of this survey are quoted in the Interest Rate Roundup and Mortgage Analysis. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 largest U.S. markets.

The Bankrate.com national survey includes rates and yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. This survey has been conducted in the same manner for more than 30 years so provides accurate comparisons. The credit card index is based on a weekly survey of the 50 largest card issuers, ranked by total receivables, an industry standard measure.