Bankrate Monitor Index

What Is the Bankrate Monitor Index?

The Bankrate Monitor Index is an index of money market interest rates paid on depository accounts at banks and credit unions in the United States. These accounts include checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts.

In 1996, the Bankrate Monitor Index moved online and has since developed into a popular personal finance website, Bankrate.com.

Key Takeaways

  • The Bankrate Monitor Index is an index tracking interest rates on popular financial instruments.
  • It has since developed into Bankrate.com, a website focused on personal finance resources.
  • The website today provides interest rate data, calculators, and other resources for products such as credit cards, mortgages, lines of credit, and car insurance.

How the Bankrate Monitor Index Works

The Bank Rate 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. The purpose of the Index was to help consumers understand prevailing trends in deposit rates so that they can shop for the best possible deal for their own money.

After moving online in 1996, the company changed its name to Bankrate Inc. in 2000. In 2011, it underwent an initial public offering (IPO) and became publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol RATE. In November 2017, the company returned to private ownership following its acquisition by the online marketing company, Red Ventures.

Today, Bankrate is one of the financial industry’s leading aggregators of research and data on interest rates and personal finance news. It distributes daily financial research and market conditions to leading media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Through its personal finance website, Bankrate.com, it provides a range of consumer-oriented content such as mortgage calculators, financial planning tools, and other resources.

Real World Example of the Bankrate Monitor Index

The modern successors to the Bankrate Monitor Index are the various surveys of interest rates and other features that Bankrate publishes for consumers through its website. These include ratings for credit cards, mortgages, savings accounts, and other popular financial products.

For example, Bankrate regularly compiles information about different credit cards and ranks them according to features such as their annual fees, credit requirements, interest rates, and membership benefits. Readers can specify which features are most important to them and filter out different credit card providers based on their scores. For mortgages, readers can access similar information while also filtering offers depending on their zip code and their budget for down payments. 

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Federal Reserve History. "Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982." Accessed Dec. 23, 2020.

  2. Red Ventures. "Red Ventures Announces Closing of Acquisition of Bankrate, Inc." Accessed Dec. 23, 2020.