Watch out for falling interest rates
Unlike certificates of deposit with fixed interest rates, the terms of high-yield checking programs can change at any time.
Sturgeon says the bank's rewards checking program offered interest rates of more than 5 percent for balances below $10,000 in early 2010, but it has adjusted these rates in accordance with market fluctuations.
The interest rates for Founders Bank's high-yield checking program have fallen more than 2 percentage points to 2.76 percent, in less than 18 months.
"The low-rate environment is continuing to undercut the yields being offered," McBride says.
Rewards checking interest rates are not immune from today's market. As with increased debit card requirements, be sure to read any bank notifications to stay updated on your account terms.
If interest rates fall too low, you may want to survey other banks for potentially higher earning potential. Some long-term CDs offer yields higher than 2.3 percent and some high-yield savings accounts offer customers a rate of 1 full percentage point.