Bankrate is a financial rate information company founded in 1976 as an informational website providing objective details regarding many online products and services. The company offer its customers free APR rate data on over 300 financial products and services from more than 4,800 financial institutions in the industry. However, the company does not offer its own credit cards or lending services for consumers.
- Comprehensive credit card comparison
- Financial tools and resources
- Free credit score and report
Comprehensive Credit Card Comparison
Bankrate offers side-by-side comparisons of various credit card offers currently in the marketplace. Customers can view each card's interest and APR rates along with available features and benefits. All provided information is updated on a weekly basis to give consumers real time data to make better informed financial decisions all in one place. Consumers can narrow down their credit card search options by categories that best suit their individual needs. Examples include:
- Zero percent APR cards
- Balance transfer cards
- Travel and airline cards
- Cash back cards
- Rewards cards
- Business cards
- Low interest cards
- No foreign transaction fee cards
- No annual fee cards
- Fair credit cards
- Bad credit cards
Financial Tools and Resources
Bankrate features numerous articles on financial topics as well as calculators, area loan searches, tips and answers to frequently asked questions. Consumers can calculate monthly payments in advance for credit cards, mortgages, loans, and insurance. Consumers are also able to calculate how long it will take to pay off any accrued balances. Website visitors are also able to search for certified financial planners that are located near where they live.
Free Credit Score and Report
Consumers are also able to acquire a free credit score and comprehensive credit report by signing up for free for the myBankrate program. By signing up, members will receive an updated credit score every month along with current available offers and numerous helpful financial tools. The included credit report provides a detailed snapshot of the member's entire financial picture. The credit report also offers suggestions on top four things a member should focus on to improve their overall credit rating based on reasoning provided from VantageScore.
Bankrate also offers two paid subscriptions that provide consumers with more protection and enhanced services. These options are called myBankrate Silver and myBankrate Gold. However, the company does not disclose upfront pricing information for these services.
- Limited customer service information
- Credit card information limitations
- Company service limitations
Limited Customer Service Information
No information is available regarding telephone contact information for consumers to reach a Bankrate customer service representative if they have any questions. The only way consumers can speak with the company directly is through email. Little information is disclosed on the corporate website regarding the company's background history or executive leadership.
Credit Card Information Limitations
Bankrate does not include every available credit card option available in the marketplace and the side-by-side comparisons contain an overwhelming amount of information for customers to sift through. Only ten credit card companies are listed in card search options. This means that consumers will still have to perform more research if the featured offers are not suitable for their individual needs. The website is not able to provide estimated APR rates based on a consumer's individual credit score and provided information is based on excellent credit histories. The website also does not provide information to consumers on each company's requirements for credit card approval.
Company Service Limitations
The financial education company does not offer its own credit cards. Bankrate only compares various available offers but website visitors will be redirected to each credit card company's website in order to apply. Consumers need to be aware that posted information is subject to change and does not guarantee approval.
The Bottom Line
Bankrate is simply an educational website for consumers to access updated information on an extensive range of financial products and services available in the marketplace. Bankrate does not provide its own credit cards and does not offer any other type of lending services. Bankrate does offer a comprehensive library of financial articles, resources, and tools for consumers to help them improve their unique situation. Consumers are also able to acquire a free credit score and report that is updated on a monthly basis at no charge.
Consumers will find the side-by-side comparisons of various credit card offers extremely helpful in narrowing down their choices. However, the number of available credit card companies for which information is provided is extremely limited. Consumers may need to conduct additional research on their own to find the most suitable credit card for their unique financial situations. Consumers need to be aware that the provided data is based on excellent credit histories and the company does not guarantee approval for any available credit card offers.