The main trend cited by this Bankrate study
is that free non-interest checking is becoming harder to find. The new regulations this year are likely the prime reason.
I'm surprised the study had no significant mention of reward checking. One reason might be due to the fact that the study focused mostly on the big banks, and reward checking is primarily only offered by community banks and credit unions.
For those looking for a free checking account with the potential of high interest rates and free ATMs, reward checking accounts should be considered.