PNC Bank Review 2024

PNC Bank logo

PNC Bank

9.0

BankBonus.com rating

Expert Take

PNC is a traditional bank with an exceptional digital banking experience and a convenient hybrid checking and savings account.

Pros

  • Big bank with lots of locations in the Midwest
  • Traditional and online accounts
  • High-yield savings option in some states
  • Highly-rated mobile app

Cons

  • Low interest rates
  • Too many fees

PNC Bank logo

Active Bonuses

at PNC Bank

With approximately 2,400 branches in 28 states (including DC), PNC Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the United States.

PNC’s history dates back to 1845 when it was first established as the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company.

Today, PNC serves more than 8 million customers, offering deposit accounts, credit cards, and other financial services. It’s also one of the biggest Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders in the country.

PNC is a big bank, but it’s also regional, so keep in mind the accounts the bank offers may vary depending on where you live.

Let’s take a look at its current account offerings.

PNC Bank Checking

Here are PNC Bank’s current checking account options:

Virtual Wallet

PNC’s Virtual Wallet is an all-in-one banking package that combines checking and savings.

Each Virtual Wallet gives you access to a Spend primary checking account, Reserve short-term savings account, and a Growth long-term savings account.

Spend has three different tiers:

  1. Virtual Wallet: Virtual Wallet is the basic tier, which comes with a $7 monthly fee. To avoid the monthly fee, you need monthly direct deposits of at least $500 or a $500 minimum deposit in your checking account. It provides low relationship rates on your Growth account.
  2. Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend: Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend offers some ATM fee reimbursements and higher interest on the Growth account. The $15 monthly fee is avoidable with $2,000 in Spend direct deposits or a $10,000 balance in your Spend, Reserve, and Growth accounts.
  3. Virtual Wallet with Performance Select: Virtual Wallet with Performance Select offers the highest relationship rates on Growth account balances and waives all out-of-network ATM fees and domestic wire fees. To avoid the $25 monthly fee, you need to maintain a balance or receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more or have at least $25,000 in related PNC accounts.

Virtual Wallet Student

Virtual Wallet Student offers some perks that appeal to a younger banking crowd.

For starters, there are no monthly maintenance fees for the first six years of account ownership, which is great for a student checking account.

After the introductory period is up, the account automatically converts to a standard Virtual Wallet.

Virtual Wallet Student comes with all the same features as the standard account.

Account holders can also get one automatic refund on an overdraft, one free incoming domestic or international wire transfer per statement period, and the option for free paper statements.

Foundation Checking

PNC Bank also offers the Foundation Checking Account in some states.

This traditional checking account comes with checks, a debit card, contactless pay, and mobile banking features like the ability to send money with Zelle and schedule upcoming payments.

While there is a $5 monthly service charge for accountholders younger than 62, PNC waives it for the first 12 months.

The account doesn’t charge overdraft or returned item fees, nor does it charge for cashier’s checks.

Account availability varies by state. You can open an account at a local branch if it is offered in your area.

PNC Bank Savings

Here are PNC Bank’s current saving account options:

Standard Savings

Standard Savings is, as it sounds, a standard savings account. There is no minimum deposit requirement and a $5 monthly service charge.

To avoid the fee, you need to maintain an average monthly balance of $300 or more or make automatic transfers from your checking account of at least $25 per month.

The Standard Savings account doesn’t earn much interest with an APY (annual percentage yield) of 0.01%. You may qualify for a relationship rate of up to 0.03% if you link your checking account and hit a monthly deposit minimum (which varies depending on the account).

High-Yield Savings

PNC’s high-yield savings option is an online account that currently earns a competitive 4.65% APY.

The account has no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees and comes with access to digital banking tools and mobile check deposits.

Unfortunately, this account isn’t available in several of the states PNC serves. You can enter your zip code on PNC’s website or contact a representative to determine whether or not your location is eligible for the account.

Virtual Wallet: Savings

To go along with your Spend checking account, PNC includes two specialized savings features:

  • Reserve is a short-term account that helps you put aside money for upcoming events bills, or emergency fund.
  • Growth is a long-term savings account that earns interest and serves as a place to build up toward bigger goals (e.g., a down payment on a home or a new car).

PNC Premiere Money Market Account

PNC’s Premiere Money Market is a savings account alternative that comes with FDIC protection. The interest rates are better than in the bank’s savings accounts, with an APY that pays an introductory rate of up to 4.50% on deposits.

There’s no minimum deposit, and you need an average monthly balance of at least $5,000 to get around the $12 monthly fee.

If your balance dips under the fee-waiver threshold, the $12 monthly fee can easily wipe away any interest earnings that you are hoping to achieve.

This account is not ideal for people who cannot consistently maintain at least a $5,000 balance.

‘S’ Is For Savings

‘S’ is for Savings is a kid’s bank account that helps young children learn financial basics like saving and budgeting through an interactive, online experience.

The account doesn’t have an initial deposit requirement, and there’s no monthly fee for account holders who are younger than 18 or individuals with an average monthly balance of at least $300.

You can also waive the $5 fee with a monthly automated transfer of at least $25 from your PNC checking account.

It even comes with some tips from Sesame Street.

PNC Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Fixed-Rate CD

Fixed-Rate CDs come with term lengths that range from 7 days to 10 years. The APY currently maxes out at 0.03% with qualifying deposits totaling at least $25,000.

Ready Access CD

A Ready Access CD also comes with a fixed rate but allows for a little more flexibility if you need access to your deposits.

You can pull funds from the account with no fee for seven calendar days following the deposit.

Ready Access only has two-term lengths: 3 months or 12 months.

PNC Credit Cards

Next, let’s take a look at PNC Bank’s top credit card products.

PNC Cash Rewards Visa

Cash Rewards is a no annual fee cash back credit card that pays 4% back on gas, 3% on dining, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases on your first $8,000 spent in these categories.

Cash Rewards also comes with an intro APR of 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, making this a solid option to earn rewards while paying down the debt from another card.

PNC Core Visa

Core Visa is a no-annual-fee card that also comes with no interest on balance transfers or purchases for the first 15 billing cycles.

There are no rewards to earn here, but it’s a good option if you’re looking to build your credit or pay down existing debt.

PNC Points Visa

With Points, you can earn four reward points for every dollar spent on purchases.

There’s also an opportunity for bonus points if you hold deposit accounts with PNC. And you’ll get a 50,000-point bonus if you make $750 of purchases in the first three months.

There’s no annual fee, and you can cash out your points for thousands of rewards, including cash, gift cards, electronics, and travel.

PNC Premier Traveler Visa Signature

Premier Traveler is a travel rewards card that earns two miles for every dollar in purchases.

There are no spending categories, so every transaction will earn at the same rate. There are also 30,000 bonus miles up for grabs if you spend $3,000 or more within the first three months of account opening.

Premier Traveler has no annual fee for the first year, but it’s $85 for every year after that.

PNC Bank Features

  • Accessibility: PNC has a brick-and-mortar presence in 28 states, with more than 2,600 locations throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. Outside of Texas, there aren’t any locations west of the Mississippi River, and PNC has only a few locations in New England.
  • 60,000+ Fee-Free ATMs: There are more than 60,000 PNC and Partner ATMs coast to coast. All of these ATMs are available to PNC customers for fee-free access.
  • Online Banking: PNC’s secure online platform allows you to schedule and pay bills, transfer money, keep track of your eStatements, and set account alerts.
  • PNC Mobile App: Within the PNC mobile app, you can keep an eye on your balance, take care of bills, send money to others, or access customer service. The app is well-liked by current customers, with a 4.8-star (out of 5) rating in the App Store and 4.4 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

PNC Bank Fees

Monthly Service Fees

Like most bigger banks, PNC has its share of monthly charges with almost every account.

The good news is that they’re all avoidable. Here’s a look at the fees for each account:

PNC Account Service Fee Avoidable?
Virtual Wallet $7 Yes
Virtual Wallet With Performance Spend $15 Yes
Virtual Wallet With Performance Select $25 Yes
Virtual Wallet Student $0 N/A
Standard Savings $5 Yes
Premiere Money Market $12 Yes
High-Yield Savings $0 N/A
‘S’ Is For Savings $5 Yes

Non-PNC ATM Fees

PNC has plenty of branded and partner ATMs in the United States. But if you’re traveling or need to use a non-PNC ATM, you may pay a small fee, plus whatever the ATM charges you.

Some accounts will reimburse some of these fees.

For example, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend includes reimbursements of the first 2 PNC fees at domestic or international non-PNC ATMs and, up to $5 for other bank’s ATM surcharge fees each statement cycle.

Virtual Wallet with Performance Select includes no charge for using other banks’ domestic or international ATMs and up to $10 fee reimbursement per statement cycle for other banks’ ATM surcharge fees.

Wire Transfer Fees

PNC charges $15 for incoming domestic wires, $30 for agent-assisted outgoing wires, and $25 for self-service wires.

Some accounts come with a free wire transfer per statement period, so be sure to take advantage of it if wires are a service that you frequently plan to use.

Debit Card Replacement Fees

If you lose your debit card, there’s a $7.50 fee to replace it, which is waived if you have a Virtual Wallet Performance Select account. If you need a new one in a hurry, it’ll cost you $25 to have it expedited.

On the whole, it is not common for banks to charge debit card replacement fees.

Getting Started

Signing up for an account can be done online, over the phone, or at your local branch.

Online, the process should take less than 10 minutes, and you could get an immediate response about your application status.

All you need is your social security number and a government-issued photo ID.

Once your account is ready, you can make your initial deposit and gain access to online and mobile banking services.

PNC Bank Promotions

Here are some of the best PNC Bank promotions going on right now:

1. Virtual Wallet® - up to $400 bonus

Expires: February 29, 2024

Available in 23 states plus the District of Columbia, PNC is back with a competitive welcome bonus for opening a personal checking account online and meeting direct deposit requirements within the first 2 months.

This is a tiered offer with the entry level Virtual Wallet® offering $100, $200 for opening a Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend or $400 for opening a Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select - all with qualifying direct deposit requirements.

Assuming you don't have an account with PNC (and haven't within the last 90 days), we definitely recommend grabbing this easy bonus.

How to earn the bonus

The Virtual Wallet® sign up offer requires you to set up direct deposits in order to earn the $400 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a Virtual Wallet® account online to qualify, See link below.
  2. Within 60 days, complete the direct deposit requirements for the account package that you opened: Virtual Wallet® - $500+ to earn $100 bonus, Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend - $2,000+ to earn $200 bonus, or Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select - $5,000+ to earn $400 bonus.
  3. Bonus will be credited to your account within 60-90 days after meeting requirements.

read the full terms

2. Virtual Wallet Pro - $200 bonus

Expires: February 29, 2024

Don't live in a state where PNC has a branch? No worries, PNC is offering a $200 bonus when you open a Virtual Wallet Checking Pro account, which is only available to customers outside their in-branch footprint. Just complete the direct deposit requirements within 60 days. If you're in any one of the following states, this bonus is for you: AK, AR, CT, HI, ID, IA, KS, LA, ME, MA, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, WY.

How to earn the bonus

The Virtual Wallet Pro sign up offer requires you to set up direct deposits in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Reside in a state that doesn't have a PNC branch.
  2. Open an account using the link below.
  3. Within 60 days, complete direct deposits totaling $2,000.
  4. Bonus will be deposited within 60-90 days after all conditions are met.

read the full terms

3. Business Checking Account - $200 bonus

Expires: March 31, 2024

PNC is running a couple of welcome bonus offers targeting small business owners. For this one, you'll need to open either a Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account and then meet balance and debit card requirements.

This is a straightforward, nationally-available bonus for business owners.

If your company has higher balances or transaction volume, PNC is running a larger bonus for their enterprise checking accounts, so check those out, too!

How to earn the bonus

The Business Checking Account sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance and make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account.
  2. For 3 statement cycles, maintain an average balance of $5,000.
  3. During those same statement cycles, make 20 debit card purchases.
  4. Bonus will be deposited within 90 days of meeting the requirements.

read the full terms

PNC Bank Security

Like all banks, security is a top priority at PNC. You can get the whole picture by checking out its online security and privacy center, but here are just a few of the ways that PNC works to keep you and your money safe:

  • Extended Validation Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption
  • FDIC Insurance
  • Security tools and tips to help prevent fraud
  • Customer service on standby if you suspect fraud
  • Customizable account alerts
  • Free online fraud protection software
  • Multi-layered security questions at login

Customer Service

When you need some support, PNC has several different avenues for you to get in touch with customer service. You can call, visit a local branch, email, or hit them up on Twitter.

The customer service phone line is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 9 pm Eastern Time. On weekends, phone support is available from 8 am to 5 pm.

The website is also full of helpful FAQs and videos for when you’d rather try to figure out a problem on your own.

Overall, customers’ impressions of PNC’s customer service seem to be mixed. The bank currently holds a 1.3-star (out of 5) on Trustpilot but it also has an A+ rating from the BBB.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Big bank with lots of locations in the Midwest
  • Traditional and online accounts
  • High-yield savings option
  • Highly-rated mobile app

Cons:

  • Low-interest rates
  • Some accounts available in limited markets
  • Too many fees
  • Mixed feelings about customer service

Alternatives to PNC Bank

If PNC sounds good to you, but you don’t live in one of its main service areas, there are a few options that you could check out.

TD Bank and Capital One both serve more of New England and the East Coast, and have a similar feel being large banks, but not too large, with a mix of online and in-person offerings.

If you’re interested in a bank with more of a national presence, take a look at Bank of America, Chase, or Wells Fargo.

FAQs

Is PNC a good bank?

PNC is a large, well-established bank with several account options and a top-notch mobile banking experience. However, it does come with several account fees and isn’t available in every state.

Is Bank of America or PNC better?

It depends on what you’re looking for and where you are located. PNC doesn’t have a presence in New England, where BoA is everywhere.

In general, BoA has a much wider national presence, so you’ll probably have better luck finding a location when you’re traveling.

That said, some PNC accounts offer higher interest rates. Across the board, BoA’s interest rates tend to be lower and in line with the national average.

PNC also takes the edge when it comes to earning potential on sign-up bonuses.

Finally, BoA doesn’t have any product that comes close to PNC’s high-yield savings account.

Is PNC going out of business?

No. PNC is not going out of business. However, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, PNC downsized its number of physical branches. In 2023, PNC announced the closure of at least 203 more branches, with a shift to a stronger focus on digital banking.

What is PNC Bank known for?

PNC is one of the biggest banks in America and has been well-known in the banking space since the 19th century. The bank is known for its personal and business banking products, loans, and financial services, along with being the home to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Is PNC Bank Right For You?

To answer this question, the first step is to head to its website, enter your zip code, and see if you qualify for an account.

You might be excited about one of the accounts that we covered here, but since PNC is a regional bank, you may not be able to sign up.

That being said, there is a lot to like about PNC. Between interest-bearing checking accounts, a solid high-yield savings account, and widespread presence, PNC is a model for a traditional bank that’s progressing into the digital age.

Whether you’re looking to open your first account, or seeking out a new banking partner, keep searching until you find the bank that meets your financial goals.

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Comments are closed here.