Today there's a NY Times article which gives some details about the behind the scenes of checking accounts at big banks and credit unions. Here's a bit:
But even as Bank of America and other institutions are adding fees and other restrictions, a company called PerkStreet, which you may have read about in this column before, is hoping that those Bank of America customers will run to its Web site. PerkStreet gives checking account customers as much as 2 percent back on their purchases when they use its debit cards.But it's not all that simple. The perks to people with checking accounts and debit card holders at small banks and credit unions come from higher fees to merchants. Read the rest of the article here.
Meanwhile, a company called BancVue works with community banks and credit unions to offer checking accounts that can yield more than 3 percent in interest on deposits for people who use their debit cards a lot. Soon, the company asserts, the total number of branches among all of the institutions that offer its rewards checking accounts will equal that of the 10th-largest bank in America.