PNC Bank Review 2019

PNC Bank Logo

4.0/5

PNC is a regional bank that operates in parts of the Northeast, South and Midwest. Its virtual wallet suite of products is intended to help people balance daily spending with short-term and long-term savings goals.

ATM Fee Refunds
Top Saving Rates

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About PNC Bank

Founded as Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Co., PNC Bank is one of the largest banks operating in the U.S. It offers a full suite of retail, commercial and small-business products. In 2008, it acquired the troubled Cleveland-based National City Corp. That transaction roughly doubled the bank’s size. As of 2018, PNC operated nearly 2,400 branches. The bank also provides access to more than 9,000 ATMs.

PNC stands out for its digital banking tools and offers competitive interest rates in some states. But if you don’t live in those select states, you may want to bank elsewhere for a better rate.

 Pros

  • It boasts a top-tier APY (only available in certain states).
  • Offers access to more than 9,000 ATMs.
  • Provides above average digital banking features.

 Cons

  • At $36, its overdraft fee is higher than average.
  • Navigating and comparing various bank products online can be difficult.
  • CDs can be opened only in a physical branch.

PNC Bank Services

Savings Rating

5/5

In October 2018, PNC launched its High Yield Savings account in the 31 states outside of PNC’s traditional market. The account features a top-tier APY (a little more than 23 times the national average) and has no minimum balance. The account isn’t tiered, so the minimum balance to start earning this APY is $1. Unfortunately, the states in PNC’s traditional market earn only the national average on its Standard Savings account. In order to earn that yield, you need to have at least $2,500 in the account and also meet either transaction or direct deposit requirements.

 Pros

  • PNC High Yield Savings offers a top-tier APY in certain states.
  • PNC High Yield Savings earns a little more than 23 times the national average.
  • PNC High Yield Savings account has an ATM card available.
  • No monthly service charges.
  • Standard Savings also has a PNC banking card available.

 Cons

  • $25 fee if you close your account within 180 days of opening.
  • Standard Savings account earns barely above the national average APY in some markets.
  • You need $2,500 or more and a PNC checking account to get the best APY in some markets.
  • Even with the PNC High Yield Savings account, there are higher APYs available.

Savings accounts available from other banks

MMAs Rating

2.8/5

Those in PNC's traditional market have access to the Premiere Money Market Account with tiered interest rates. With this account, you can earn a little more than eight times the national average APY on balances through relationship rates with Performance Select Checking or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select accounts. The highest interest rates are offered to those with balances of at least $100,000 who also meet other requirements. Receiving $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits in the previous calendar month or having at least five debit card transactions made with a card debiting your Performance Select Checking account are examples of ways to get this higher APY.

 Pros

  • Competitive yield for a brick-and-mortar bank.
  • Free PNC banking card available with this account.

 Cons

  • At least $100,000 needed in Premiere Money Market Account to get the best APY offerings.
  • This account doesn’t have check writing privileges.
  • Interest is compounded monthly.

MMAs available from other banks

2.15% APY
$5,000 MIN DEPOSIT
2.00% APY
$1,000 MIN DEPOSIT
2.00% APY
$10,000 MIN DEPOSIT
CDs Rating

3.5/5

PNC Bank customers have access to multiple types of CDs, including a Stepped Rate CD with an interest rate that increases at set intervals. Fixed-rate CDs with various terms and an 18-month variable-rate CD are also available. The bank’s Ready Access CD has no penalty for early withdrawal. The variable-rate CD, Ready Access CD and fixed-rate CDs with terms of three months or longer require a $1,000 minimum deposit. Customers interested in other CDs will pay more.

 Pros

  • Customers interested in CDs have many different options.
  • No-penalty and step-up CDs with automatic rate increases are available.
  • The relatively low minimum deposit for some CDs makes them accessible.

 Cons

  • Interest is compounded monthly rather than daily for fixed-rate CDs.
  • Interest is compounded annually and credited annually for most other CDs with terms of at least one year.
  • All yields are low compared with what online banks offer.
  • CDs can be opened only in a bank branch.

CDs available from other banks

2.45% APY
$2,500 MIN DEPOSIT
2.40% APY
$500 MIN DEPOSIT
2.55% APY
$0 MIN DEPOSIT
Checking Rating

3/5

Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend is an interest-bearing account from PNC Bank. Open the account online with no minimum deposit or with $25 at a branch. You can avoid the $15 monthly service fee in three ways: $2,000 or more in spend and/or reserve accounts, $10,000 combined average monthly balance only across PNC Bank consumer deposit accounts or $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits. Other options include Virtual Wallet, which does not earn interest but comes with a $7 monthly service charge that can be waived, and Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. which offers interest and includes additional perks and a $25 monthly service charge that can also be waived.

 Pros

  • Customers can earn interest on all balances above $1.
  • No minimum deposit to open an account online.
  • Other financial institutions’ ATM surcharge fees are reimbursed up to $10 per statement period.
  • Favorable relationship rates offered on savings products.

 Cons

  • The checking interest rate is lower than what’s offered by other financial institutions.
  • Customers are charged $36 for each overdraft, up to $144 per day.

Checking accounts available from other banks

Bank Experience Rating

4.6/5

At PNC Bank, you will get access to nearly 2,400 branches and 18,000 ATMs — 9,000 from PNC directly and another 9,000 from other partnerships. You won’t have to sacrifice the digital banking experience either. There are all kinds of features designed to help you manage your money. Through PNC Total Insight, for instance, customers can aggregate all of their accounts to get insights on their money. You can also pay people with Zelle on the bank app. If you use PNC’s Virtual Wallet, you will get a number of atypical financial health features, including receiving warnings about “danger days,” or times when you may run out of money. At PNC, you can also reach customer care consultants seven days a week. While they aren’t available 24/7, the hours are flexible. On weekdays, you can reach specialists from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern. On weekends, you can reach them from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

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