I'm currently having a problem with a 'rewards checking account' that relates to the record date of transactions -- i.e., whether these posted during the 'qualification' cycle. Although it seems to me the evidence based on transaction dates shows that I'm clearly 'in the right' so far I am not making any headway with the Bank.
even though the 'debit' usage immediately debits the account for the funds in question, it appears that some banks do not always use that date as the posting date. It seems to me that should not be the case, and that in general 'posting dates' should not be left to the arbitrary discretion of banks.
If you're near the end of the cycle, a good tip is to make PIN-based purchases instead of signature-based purchases. This assumes that your bank accepts PIN-based purchases for meeting the requirements. Some banks only allow signature-based purchases since banks make more money on these transactions.
As the reader described, even a PIN-based purchase may not post immediately even if it's made during a business day. The funds may be debited from the checking account, but the posting date could be delayed. So you may find that you will be late in meeting your reward checking requirements.
I've found some information that explains how debit card purchases are processed at this website of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council's (FFIEC). Here's an excerpt that summarizes how debit card purchases are processed and when the settlement occurs. Perhaps the settlement time explains the delay.
Both credit and signature-based debit card transactions are processed in batch mode at the POS [Point of Sale], and settlement is delayed until the batches are processed at the end of the day. PIN-based debit card transactions, although processed in real time at the POS, typically settle at the end of the day using the ACH.
If you have more information about the time it takes for the different debit card purchases to post in your account, please leave a comment.
The reader reported that the bank finally relented and gave him the reward interest rate. So this also shows that if you think your bank was wrong for not paying your reward interest rate, make sure you contact your bank and don't give up too early.
For more information about reward checking accounts, please refer to this overview of reward checking.