Banking » Reviews » PNC Bank Review 2022: What You Should Know?
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PNC Bank Review 2023: What You Should Know?

PNC is a full service bank offering a variety of personal, commercial and business banking services and products. Here's what you should know
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

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PNC Bank

PNC bank logo
PNC bank logo

PNC Bank

Fees

$7 per month can be waived if you maintin $500+ direct deposit per month, $500+ monthly balance in savings or age 62+

Minimum Deposit

$0

Current Promotion

Up to $400 Open a base Virtual Wallet account and receive $500/$2,000/$5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $50/$200/$400 bonus. Expired on 10/31/2022

APY Savings

0.01% – 0.40%

PNC Bank has an extensive history dating back to 1852. Over the last 170 years, this bank has grown to service over 9 million personal and small business customers and become the seventh largest U.S commercial bank. Today, the bank has over $334 billion in assets, with over 2,000 branches across the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic and a network of approximately 18,000 ATMs. In 2021, PNC acquired BBVA USA, which provided a more national footprint and greater coverage on the western side of the country.

PNC is a full-service bank offering various personal, commercial, and business banking services and products. While PNC does have a decent reputation, many accounts have a maintenance fee, which can be tricky to avoid. This has led to some complaints from previous and current customers. Unfortunately, PNC does have a poor reputation on consumer review sites, with many complaints about customer service and admin issues.

PNC bank can be a good choice if:

  • You’re looking for one stop shop for your finance
  • You may need a mortgage/personal loan/home equity loan 
  • You're looking for long term CDs
  • Large Variety of Products and Services
  • ATM and Local Branch Network
  • ATM Fee Reimbursement
  • Strong Online Platform
  • Promotions
  • No High Yield Savings
  • Difficult to Open a Stand Alone Account
  • Tricky Waiver Criteria
  • Accounts Not Automatically Linked

Can I open a PNC checking account online? 

The answer is that you can open a PNC Wallet checking account without going to a bank. You can start the application process by filling out an online form. The PNC team will analyze your application when you submit it and get in touch with you with their approval decision.

Does PNC offer a free checking account? 

PNC checking accounts have a monthly maintenance cost, but if you maintain a minimum balance in your linked savings account or receive a minimum amount in direct deposits each month, you may be eligible to have the price waived. These minimums are $500 each for the fundamental Spend checking account, but they are higher for the Performance checking accounts.

Can you close PNC bank account over the phone/online? 50

PNC does make it straightforward and simple to close your account if you decide that it is no longer the best fit for your finances.

The easiest way to close an account is online. You can request an account close through the website chat system. Alternatively, you can call the customer service line and the PNC team member will guide you through the closure process. Finally, you can call into your local branch and the branch staff can affect the closure for you.

Can you buy/invest in gold products via PNC ?

PNC does have an investment platform that allows you to buy stocks, shares and bonds. This means that it is possible to purchase gold stocks to boost your investment portfolio.

The bank has several brokerage account options and you can open one in your local branch or over the phone. The PNC team will go through the applicable charges and fees associated with investing in gold stocks.

PNC Bank Review

Banking Services
Credit Options
Savings Accounts
Mortgage
Checking Accounts
Government Mortgage
CDs
Credit Cards
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Investing Capabilities
Personal Loans

The Benefits

Of course, no financial institution is perfect and PNC is no exception. There are both pros and cons that will need to be considered before you make a decision about opening an account.

In addition to basic deposit accounts, PNC Bank has a wide selection of products and services from student accounts and student loans to insurance, wealth management and investment options. 

This means that you can switch to PNC without worrying about any gaps for your day to day banking.

Unlike many banks with a solid physical presence, PNC Bank has developed a strong online platform. You can not only manage your accounts online, but some accounts are incentivized if you open them online. 

PNC Bank has close to 2,600 branches and approximately 18,000 ATMs within its network. 

This means that even if you do most of your banking online, you have the reassurance of it being relatively easy to find a physical location if you need it.

Depending on the account you open, you can get ATM fee reimbursement or fees may be waived completely. The reimbursement tends to be set for a specific amount per statement cycle.

if you'd like to make the most of your new bank account, PNC does offer some sign-up bonuses for its deposit accounts. This will depend on the type of account and current offers.

Drawbacks 

Here are the most important cons you should consider before applying:

As we mentioned earlier, PNC checking accounts are tied into the Virtual Wallet packages. This can make it difficult to open a basic stand-alone checking account.

You will need to take a little time to read through all the Virtual Wallet details to decide if this is a good choice for you or spend some time on the phone trying to open a basic account.

While the fee amounts do vary depending on the type of account you hold, many are above average. This makes it crucial that you read the fine print to ensure that you are familiar with the possible charges before opening your account.

While most accounts have criteria to have your monthly maintenance fees waived, depending on the account, they can be tricky to meet.

PNC Bank does offer relationship rates, but your accounts won’t link automatically. You’ll need to go into your dashboard and request a link.

The PNC High Yield savings account is not available everywhere to all customers.

PNC Customer Service

You can access a PNC Bank customer support team member at local branches or by phone or online chat. The lines are open to speaking to a representative from 7 am to 10 pm ET Monday through Friday, and 8 am to 5 pm ET on the weekend. You can also tweet the customer service team.

However, for most customer support issues, the app will be sufficient. The PNC Bank app is available on iOS and Android, with high ratings for both platforms. The apps allow you to manage your accounts, pay bills, deposit checks and contact the support team. Using a one-time access code, you can even use the app to access select ATMs without your card.

PNC Bank
App Rating (iOS)
4.8
App Rating (Android)
4.1
BBB Rating (A-F)
A+
Contact Options
phone/mail
Availability
7 am to 10 pm ET

PNC Bank Savings Account

APY Savings

0.01% – 0.40%

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Fees

$5 per month can be waived if you have $300 average monthly balance, linked to a select checking account, $25+ auto savings transfer each month or be aged under 18

PNC Bank Savings Account

APY Savings

0.01% – 0.40%

Minimum Deposit

$25

Promotion

None

Fees

$5 per month can be waived if you have $300 average monthly balance, linked to a select checking account, $25+ auto savings transfer each month or be aged under 18

PNC has a number of savings account offerings. These include:

  • Standard Savings: As with many large U.S Banks, this account has a relatively low rate, but there is no minimum deposit when you open the account online. (If you open in branch, you need a $25 minimum initial deposit). The account has a monthly service fee, but this can be waived if you’re under 18, link the account to a select PNC checking account, set up an automatic transfer of $25+ per month or maintain an average monthly balance of $300 or more.
  • High Yield Savings: This account is only open to eligible customers, so it is not promoted on the main PNC website. It is an online only savings account with a competitive rate and no minimum opening deposit requirements. The account has no monthly service charges.
  • Premiere Money Market: PNC has a Premiere Money Market account that has a tiered rate structure depending on your balance and if you qualify for relationship rates. The account allows unlimited deposits and account holders are supplied with a debit card.
  • Children’s Savings: PNC also has a savings account geared towards younger children. They can earn interest and access an interactive learning center to teach them about money and banking, with cute Sesame Street characters.

Due to the low rates, PNC is not included in our top savings account list for 2023.

PNC Bank CDs

PNC Bank CDs

APY Range

0.01% – 2.60%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

1 month – 10 years

Fees

$0

PNC Bank CDs

APY Range

0.01% – 2.60%

Minimum Deposit

$1,000

Terms

1 month – 10 years

Fees

$0

PNC Bank offers two types of CDs that provide higher rates compared to leaving your money in a standard savings account

You will need to commit to a set term and this will determine your rate.

  • Fixed Rate CDs

The PNC Bank Fixed Rate CDs have a term of one month to 10 years, with a minimum deposit of $1,000. However, PNC frequently has promotional fixed rate CDs with a set rate that offers a higher interest rate.

It is possible to withdraw your funds early from a fixed rate CD, but there are some early withdrawal penalties.

The early withdrawal penalty varies from the full amount of interest you would have earned over the full CD term to six months interest depending on how long you have had the CD and the remaining term.

  • Ready Access CDs

If you are not sure about tying up your cash, the PNC Bank Ready Access CD could be a good option. There is only a choice of two standard terms; three months and one year.

However, you only need to commit for seven days. After the seven days, if you experience a financial need, you can access your funds.

PNC Bank Checking Account

Fees

$7 per month can be waived if you maintin $500+ direct deposit per month, $500+ monthly balance in savings or age 62+

Minimum Deposit

$0

Promotion

Up to $400 Open a base Virtual Wallet account and receive $500/$2,000/$5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $50/$200/$400 bonus. Expired on 10/31/2022

APY Checking

0%

PNC Bank Checking Account

Fees

$7 per month can be waived if you maintin $500+ direct deposit per month, $500+ monthly balance in savings or age 62+

Minimum Deposit

$0

Promotion

Up to $400 Open a base Virtual Wallet account and receive $500/$2,000/$5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $50/$200/$400 bonus. Expired on 10/31/2022

APY Checking

0%

The main PNC Bank Checking account offering is its Virtual Wallet.

Similar to products such as Aspiration Spend & Save or SoFi hybrid checking, this is actually a package of accounts that are designed to work together to make your banking simple.

  • Spend: This is the PNC Bank regular checking account, which could be interest earning depending on your Virtual Wallet package. The minimum to open this account is $25, but this minimum is waived if you open the account online.
  • Reserve: This is an interest-bearing checking account that requires at least $1 in the account to earn interest. It is designed to help you with short-term savings goals, but you can still access the funds as you need them.
  • Growth: This is for your longer-term savings, but there are no minimums to open this account.

The Virtual Wallet has a monthly maintenance fee of $7, but this can be waived in a number of ways including:

  • Maintaining a $500 combined monthly average balance across your Spend and Reserve accounts.
  • Making $500 or more direct deposits to the Spend account per month
  • If you’re aged 62 or older.

This account package provides up to $5 in reimbursements for ATM surcharges per statement period if you use non PNC bank machines.

You can also upgrade the basic Virtual Wallet package to tailor your accounts to your requirements and financial circumstances.

1. Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend

This package has the same opening requirements as the basic Virtual Wallet, but a $15 monthly maintenance fee applies unless you have an average monthly balance of $2,000, have $2,000+ direct deposited to your spend account or have $10,000+ average monthly balance combined across all your PNC consumer accounts.

The Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend not only provides access to higher rates on your funds, but you can get up to $10 in reimbursements for ATM surcharges per statement period.

2. Virtual Wallet with Performance Select

This package has a higher service fee at $25 and the requirements to waive this charge are also higher.

However, you can enjoy an interest bump on your Reserve account balance and receive up to $20 in out of network fees if you use a non PNC ATM machine each month.

3. Virtual Wallet Student

PNC Bank also offers a Virtual Wallet Student package that offers some nice perks including one free wire transfer per statement period and no monthly maintenance fee.

However, you will need to provide proof that you are enrolled in a qualified educational program.

PNC Lending Products: Full Package

PNC has a full complement of banking products including lending products. These include:

  • Mortgages

PNC offers home loans for purchasing a property or refinancing your home. These include fixed rate, variable rate, FHA and VA loans along with jumbo loans. PNC also offers specialized loans for scenarios such as 80-10-10.

However, what makes PNC quite unique is that you can apply online and lock in your rate. You can also use electronic verification to save time during the application process.

  • Loans

PNC has a variety of loan options including personal loans, auto loans and lines of credit. The loans are fixed rate and have no prepayment penalties, with a maximum of $20,000 for personal loans.

The lines of credit have a variable rate, but offer the potential to borrow up to $25,000.

  • Credit Cards

PNC has a great selection of credit card options. One of the most popular is its Cash Rewards Visa which has tiered rewards for up to 4% cash back on your purchases. There is also the PNC Core credit card that is better suited for balance transfers as it has a 0% APR intro rate for 15 billing cycles.

However, even if you have less than ideal credit, there is still a PNC credit card option for you. The PNC Secured card provides a credit limit according to your deposit of up to $2,500. Your payment activities are reported to all the credit bureaus to help you to rebuild your score.

How to Open PNC Bank Account?

As we touched on above, you can open most accounts with PNC Bank via its website. When you visit the official site, you’ll see information for most of its products and services. You can then click on the “Learn More and Apply” button.

pnc bank application process 2

You’ll need to confirm your zip code and then you’ll be redirected to a product page. Once you’ve read through the details and are happy to proceed, click the “Apply” button.

pnc bank application process 1

From this point, the process is fairly standard. You’ll need to complete an application form with your personal details including your full name, address, contact details and Social Security Number. If you have already applied for a bank account online with another bank, this process should feel quite familiar.

At the end of the application form, when you click submit, PNC will evaluate your application and provide you with an approval decision. This is usually almost immediately, but in some cases, you may need to wait a day or two.

Conclusion: Does PNC Bank Worth It?

The PNC Bank product selection can be confusing, particularly when looking at checking accounts and the Virtual Wallet. Additionally, the confusion can be heightened since some products are only available in select markets. It is possible to open a stand-alone account, but you need to delve deeper into the website or speak to a branch representative or phone representative.

PNC Bank’s rates are competitive, but if you’re looking to open a savings account, there are many online-only banks that offer better rates. However, you will need to forgo the reassurance of accessing a local branch.

FAQ

PNC offers Up to $400 for new account, based on deposits they receive in the first 60 days. Open a base Virtual Wallet account and receive $500/$2,000/$5,000 or more in monthly direct deposits within 60 days to earn a $50/$200/$400 bonus. The offer is expired on 10/31/2022

When it comes to credit cards, the bank offers $100 or $50,000 bonus points on selected credit cards. However, to qualify for the bonus, you need to apply through the link on the PNC product page and meet the eligibility criteria.

PNC has been operating for over 150 years, so it has a long track record of navigating tough economic times. During the 2007/2008 financial crisis, PNC did receive $7.6 billion in federal bailout funds. However, by 2010, the bank had repaid these funds.

Additionally, the bank is FDIC insured, so even if a recession hits and the bank starts to struggle, customer deposits of up to $250,000 are insured.

PNC has partnered with Coinbase Global, which is a cryptocurrency exchange platform to make it easier for its customers to buy, sell and store crypto coins.

You’ll need to phone the PNC helpline or visit your local branch to find out the fees and charges, and whether you need to upgrade your investment account to be able to invest in crypto.

 

PNC offers a good balance of products with convenient access that is ideal for millennials. Unlike many millennial friendly banks, PNC has a branch network. So, while you have the convenience of online access and app account management, you can also call into your local branch if you have a query you’re struggling to resolve.

The Virtual Wallet platform is a great option for millennials, as you can link your savings and checking accounts for maximum functionality.

Alternatives

Quontic bank logo
discover logo
Chase_logo
APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
3.20%
3.30%
0.01% – 0.05%
Checking Account Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
$12 Can be waived if you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance, making direct deposits or Associated SnapDeposits of $500 or more per statement cycle, or holding $2,500 in combined deposit accounts with the same statement cycle date or having a Health Savings Account or investment account
Checking Minimum Deposit
$100
$0
$0
Mobile App Rating
4.5/5 on iOS, 3.4/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS, 4.7/5 on Android
4.8/5 on iOS, 4.3/5 on Android
BBB Rating
A+
A+
B-

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Chase has some great features including a massive selection of credit card options. Both banks also offer some great mortgage packages. PNC also has some innovative credit card options, and you can also access personal loans.

Read Full Comparison: Chase vs PNC Bank: Which Bank Account Is Better?

The Wells Fargo service is even more extensive. Checking accounts, various savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment options such as IRAs, 401ks, and wealth management solutions are all available.

PNC offers checking and savings accounts, home loans, mortgages, investments, student loan refinancing, and a variety of credit cards.

Read full comparison: Wells Fargo vs PNC: Which Bank Account Wins?

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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