PNC Bank Review 2021: Brick-and-Mortar with Sweet Online Offerings

Banking
Updated: 11th Mar 2021
Written by Kim Pinnelli
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Banking
March 11, 2021
Written by Kim Pinnelli

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PNC Bank is a brick-and-mortar bank with the option to bank online too. PNC makes it easy for anyone to earn interest on their accounts and have access to powerful budgeting tools, automatic savings transfers, and high-interest rates.

Learn more about its offering in this PNC Bank Review.

PNC Bank Overview

Feature(s):Details:
Minimum Deposit:$0
Savings APY:N/A
Checking APY:0.01% - 0.05%
CD Term Lengths:7 Days to 10-Years
Products Offered:CDs, Savings Accounts, & Checking Accounts
Year Founded:1804

See: Best Bank Accounts

What is PNC Bank?

PNC Bank is one of the oldest banks in the United States. It’s headquartered in Pittsburgh but has 2,296 branches throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

PNC offers full-service banking in-person and online along with a variety of budgeting tools that go beyond what other online and mobile banks provide.

What Does PNC Offer?

PNC customers have a variety of banking products to choose from, including:

  • Savings accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • CDs
  • Credit cards
  • Prepaid debit cards
  • Mortgage loans
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans
  • Retirement investments

PNC Featured Products:

PNC offers a variety of banking products, as mentioned above, but here are the featured products.

#1. PNC Virtual Wallet

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Month Service Charge: $7 or have a $500 monthly balance to waive the monthly service charge (combined in Spend and Reserve) or $500 monthly direct deposit
  • APY: 0.01% on Reserve balances and 0.02% – 0.03% on Growth balances

PNC Virtual Wallet includes 3 bank accounts – Spend, Reserve, and Growth. The Spend account is your checking account. It includes digital budgeting tools to help you reach your financial goals.

It includes two additional accounts at no charge – an additional interest-bearing checking account to set aside money for emergencies or financial goals (Reserve) and one long-term savings account that pays interest (Growth).

Learn More: Best Checking Accounts

#2. PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Month Service Charge: $15 or $2,000 to waive the monthly service charge (combined in Spend and Reserve) or $2,000 monthly direct deposit
  • APY: 0.01% on Spend and Reserve balances, and 0.03% on Growth balances

PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend offers interest on its Spend account, unlike the standard Virtual Wallet.

It includes all other features of the Virtual wallet, including budgeting tools and built-in overdraft protection.

PNC will reimburse the first 4 non-ATM transaction fees plus up to $10 per cycle for other banks’ fees to use their ATM.

#3. PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select

  • Minimum Balance: $0
  • Month Service Charge: $25 or $5,000 to waive the monthly service charge (combined in Spend and Reserve) or $5,000 monthly direct deposit
  • APY: 0.01% on Spend and Reserve balances, and 0.05% on Reserve balances

This is the top tier of all Virtual Wallet programs. You not only earn interest on your Spend account balance, but you earn the highest rates on your Growth balances.

You’ll pay no ATM fees for non-network ATM usage, and PNC will reimburse up to $20 if non-network ATMs charge you for using their machine.

#3. PNC Premiere Money Market Account

  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Monthly Service Charge: $12 if you don’t meet the $5,000 average monthly balance requirement
  • APY: 0.02% – 0.05% (rates vary based on the checking account you have linked)

If you have at least $5,000 to put aside, the Premiere Money Market Account pays higher interest rates while offering access with a PNC Banking Card.

To earn the highest interest rates (relationship rates), you’ll need a qualifying PNC checking account linked.

Learn More: What Is a Money Market Account?

#4. PNC Standard Savings Account

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: $25
  • Monthly Service Charge: $5 if you don’t have an average $300 monthly balance or automatic savings transfer of $25 monthly

This is a basic savings account that pays 0.01% APY or 0.02% if you meet the relationship rate requirements.

You’re limited to 6 withdrawals per cycle, and it includes a PNC Bank Card. You can set up Auto Transfers to transfer money from your checking to savings account each month to avoid the service charge and save money.

#5. PNC CD Accounts

  • Minimum Opening Balance: $1,000

Lock up your money for a fixed term and earn a fixed rate of return that’s higher than any savings accounts offer.

PNC offers CDs with terms from 7 days to 10 years and a Multiple Maturity Date CD that automatically renews your CD at the current rates unless you state otherwise.

Learn More: Best CD Rates

Additional Financial Products Offered by PNC Bank

  • Credit Cards: PNC has four credit card offers, including options with low-interest rates and no annual fee. They also offer rewards credit cards with higher APRs, but that pay steady rewards, including miles, points, or cash.
  • Prepaid & Debit Cards: PNC offers debit cards with each of its accounts and has 18,000 PNC and partner ATMs for use. Prepaid cards work like a bank account without a bank account. You can set up a direct deposit and use the card like a debit/credit card but without the risk of overdraft.
  • Online & Mobile Banking: Bank from your home computer or while on-the-go on your phone. Conduct most banking transactions 24/7 and even send money to friends and family using Zelle through the PNC mobile app.
  • Student Banking: PNC offers students a free Virtual Wallet account. It doesn’t require a minimum balance or have a monthly service charge for the first six years after opening. After six years, students can transfer to another account. The Virtual Wallet Student account automatically transfers to a standard Virtual Wallet account with fees and monthly balance requirements.
  • Military Banking: PNC supports military members by requiring lower monthly direct deposit requirements to avoid the monthly service charge. They also offer VA mortgage benefits and special rewards on certain PNC credit cards.
  • Mortgages: PNC offers fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and jumbo mortgage loans with flexible terms and qualifying requirements.
  • Mortgage Refinance: PNC offers a wide range of mortgage products to refinance your mortgage. Their professionals will walk you through the process, helping you choose the loan that suits your needs.
  • Auto Loans: PNC offers various auto loans whether you’re buying from a dealer, private party, buying out a lease, or refinancing your current auto loan.
  • Home Equity Loans: Get access to your home’s equity for home improvements, debt consolidation, or even to use as an emergency fund. PNC offers competitive rates and flexible requirements to make qualifying simple.
  • Student Loans: Get loans for undergrad or graduate school at competitive rates. Whether you need to make up the difference between financial aid and your school’s cost or you don’t want to use up your savings, PNC has many options.
  • Student Loan Refinancing: PNC offers student loan consolidation options to help you save money on student loan interest and get out of debt faster.

PNC Bank Review: Fees, Customer Support, & Experience

Banking Experience

You can bank online, in person, or on the mobile app. You can bank 24/7, even though not all transactions post right away.

Customer Support

You can reach customer support 7 days a week, and they even have longer hours on weekends than typical banking hours. You can also access support via live chat or Twitter.

Overdraft Fees

PNC charges slightly higher overdraft fees than other banks at $36 per overdraft, with up to four overdraft fees charged per day.

PNC Bank Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Customers can waive the monthly balance fee just by carrying the minimum Balance or meeting the direct deposit requirements
  • The virtual wallet provides all the accounts you need to pay your expenses, save money, and reach your financial goals
  • Most accounts don’t have a minimum opening balance requirement
  • You can earn interest (small amounts) on checking accounts if you choose the higher Virtual Wallet accounts
  • PNC has 18,000+ network ATMs
  • PNC offers great programs for students

Cons:

  • If you don’t live on the East Coast or Midwest, it’s hard to find network ATMs
  • If you don’t meet the minimum balance requirements, the monthly service fee can be steep
  • To get the highest interest rates which they call their relationship rates, you must have several PNC accounts

PNC Bank FAQs

Is PNC a Good Bank?

PNC is a good bank for people who like to bank online and who like visual tools for budgeting, saving, and reaching financial goals.

Is PNC FDIC Insured?

Yes, each depositor is insured up to $250,000 per account. If PNC closed, you would be covered for up to $250,000.

Does PNC Have Local Branches?

If you live on the East Coast or Midwest, PNC has local branches. They also partner with several other ATM networks to help you avoid ATM fees.

Does PNC Have Monthly Fees?

Yes, but you can get them waived if you meet the monthly balance or monthly direct deposit requirements.

Bottom Line: PNC Bank Review

PNC is a great bank for people looking to save more and want automated tools and budgeting help. The Virtual Wallet program is a great way to set money aside for financial goals while keeping the money handy should you overdraft.

Watch the fees by meeting the minimum balance requirements. You can make the most of your money and possibly even earn interest on your checking account, depending on the balance you can keep.

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Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli
Kim is a personal finance expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been freelance writing for 13 years for a number of large publications. Kim thoroughly enjoys helping people take charge of their personal finances.