While keeping the balance of your high-yield checking account high can help you earn more interest, suspicious spending behavior may trigger a reprimand from your bank.
"When we talk about (suspicious) behavior, we are talking about the account holder that makes 10 separate 1 cent or $1 purchases all at once and does not use the card any other time," says Jim Sturgeon, president and CEO of Founders Bank of Texas.
Sturgeon says the bank evaluates these customers on a case-by-case basis and will consider removing them from the rewards checking program.
"We like to make sure our customers are using the account in the spirit that it's meant to be used," he says.
Costlow says, "This is a transaction account. We want to give our customers the rewards in return for them using their account for their everyday spending."
That amount of required everyday spending may rise. As banks prepare for a potential loss of revenue from the Durbin Amendment's limit on debit card interchange fees, some are considering changes to their high-yield checking programs.
"We may need to require a larger number of debit transactions (for customers to qualify for the higher yield)," Sturgeon says.
Be sure to watch for your bank's notification of any increase in debit card activity required to keep your account eligible for your rewarding interest rate.