One of the banks mentioned was Champion Bank. There were a couple of interesting things to note from this excerpt on Champion Bank:
Champion also cut its interest rate from the initial 6 percent in 2006. That rate was a half percent higher than its highest CD rate at the time - 5.5 percent. With the income from debit card transactions and savings on statements, Champion's cost for the accounts was 4.5 percent.
Champion's current rate on rewards checking is 2.5 percent, reflecting the general decline in interest rates in recent months.
So it appears the debit card fees and the cost reduction of e-statements covered about 1.5% of the cost of the reward checking. However, the disturbing thing to note is how much it has cut the rate. It's now only 2.5%. I first posted on Champioin Bank in May 2007.
There's a new resource for reward checking accounts called CheckingFinder that seems to be affiliated with BancVue. The website just became operational today. I've just given it a try. There are some nice features, but it still leaves out many reward checking accounts. Many of the accounts that they do list appear to be available nationwide. Each has a link to an online application page. For more reward checking accounts, you can find them at my website High Yield Checking Deals.