PNC Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.7

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

Digital Leader

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.

  • Savings
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    4.4
  • MMAs
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    2.4
  • CDs
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    2.8
  • Checking
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    4.1
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    9mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    9mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.7

    Bankrate Score

    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.

    The acquisition of BBVA USA will help PNC have a presence in California, Colorado and New Mexico.

    What we like

    • It boasts a competitive APY on its online-only savings account (only available in certain states).

    • PNC supports about 2,200 branches.

    • Provides above-average digital banking features.

    What we don't

    • At $36, its overdraft fee is higher than average.

    • Navigating and comparing various bank products online can be difficult.

    • CDs can only be opened in a physical branch.

    • The High Yield Savings is only available in certain states.

    Savings accounts

    4.4

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    PNC’s High Yield Savings account offers a competitive yield and it doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit.
    In October 2018, PNC launched its High Yield Savings account in the 31 states outside of PNC’s traditional market. The account features a competitive APY 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 a lower yield on its Standard Savings account.

    What we like

    • PNC High Yield Savings offers a top-tier APY in certain states.

    • PNC High Yield Savings account has an ATM card available.

    • The High Yield Savings account doesn’t have monthly service charges.

    What we don't

    • The standard savings earns below the national average APY in some markets.

    • Even with the PNC High Yield Savings account, there may be some higher APYs available.

    Money market accounts

    2.4

    Bankrate Score

    Those in PNC's traditional market have access to the Premiere Money Market Account with tiered interest rates.

    Only $100 is required to open this account. But you’ll need to keep at least $5,000 in this account to avoid the monthly service fee.

    The Premiere Money Market account comes with a PNC Banking card. But the card can’t be used for purchases.

    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 making at least five debit card transactions with your Performance Select Checking account are examples of how to get the higher APY.

    What we like

    • Only $100 deposit is required to open an account.

    • A free PNC banking card is available with this account.

    What we don't

    • This account doesn’t have check-writing privileges.

    • You can find higher yields elsewhere.

    • Some banks don’t have a minimum deposit amount required to open an account.

    CD rates

    2.8

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    9mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    PNC Bank customers have access to multiple types of CDs, including a Stepped Rate CD with an interest rate that increases at set intervals. PNC offers 19 terms of CDs. 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. Some banks have lower minimum balance requirements.

    Customers interested in other CDs will pay more.

    The three-month CD and the three-year CDs are the only two terms that can be opened online, according to PNC’s website.

    PNC offers a Ready Access CD in terms of three months and a year. These are the bank’s no-penalty CDs. They also require a minimum of $1,000 to open one.

    What we like

    • Customers interested in CDs have many different options.

    • No-penalty CDs are available.

    • The relatively low minimum deposit for some CDs makes them accessible.

    What we don't

    • All CD yields are low compared with what online banks offer.

    • CDs be opened in a bank branch.

    Checking accounts

    4.1

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Axos Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.25 % APY

    $ 50

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    The PNC Bank Standard Checking only requires $25 to open the account. You’ll need to keep at least $500 in the account to avoid the $7 monthly service fee.

    Another option is the Virtual Wallet Checking Pro with Spend, Reserve and Growth, which is an interest-bearing account. The account doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit and it doesn’t have a maintenance fee.

    What we like

    • The Standard Checking account only requires a $500 balance to avoid the monthly service fee.

    • Customers can earn interest with the Virtual Wallet Checking Pro with Spend, Reserve and Growth.

    • Only $25 is needed to open the Standard Checking account.

    What we don't

    • The checking interest yield for the Virtual Wallet Checking Pro with Spend, Reserve and Growth is lower than what’s offered by some other financial institutions.

    • Customers are charged $36 for each overdraft, up to $144 per day.

    Bank experience

    At PNC Bank, you will get access to nearly 2,400 branches and 18,000 ATMs — 9,000 from PNC directly and around another 9,100 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. For example, you can pay people with Zelle using the bank app. You can also find nearby ATMs using the app. If you use PNC’s Virtual Wallet, you will get a number of 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.

    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 2020, PNC operates about 2,400 branches.

    PNC agreed to acquire BBVA USA for $11.6 billion in November 2020. BBVA USA has 637 branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    About the author Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He uses his banking and financial services experience to help readers with personal finance. Expertise Banking and insurance Experience Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. He’s been in financial services for more than a decade. His career includes being a banker in New York City. His reporting career includes working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned his first newspaper bylines in 1998. He has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has been featured online on MSN, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kansas City Star, the Arizona Daily Star, and appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. Matthew’s radio experience includes being a weekly panelist on the SportsWriter’s show on WGEM AM ESPN 1440 in Quincy, Illinois. He was also an occasional co-host and call-in guest on WGEM SportsCenter. He’s also been a guest on other stations throughout the country. Matthew is currently a member of the Board of Governors at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. He is on the organization’s training and finance committees. He has previously served on conference planning committees and has been a Best in Business contest judge for the organization. Education Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University. Media mentions CNBC CNBC Acorns + CNBC WGN Radio 720 in Chicago 1080 KRLD Dallas-Fort Worth