PNC Bank Review 2020

Published April 2020 by Mary Wisniewski

AT A GLANCE
3.0

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

ATM fee refunds

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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    4.9
  • MMAs
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    1.4
  • CDs
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    2.6
  • Checking
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    3.2
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Vio Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.83 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.85 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.0

    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.

    What we like

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

    • Supports about 2,400 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 be opened only in a physical branch.

    Savings accounts

    4.9

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Vio Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.83 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    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.

    • No monthly service charges.

    What we don't

    • Standard Savings account earns barely above the national average APY in some markets.

    • Even with the PNC High Yield Savings account, there are higher APYs available.

    Money market accounts

    1.4

    Bankrate Score

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

    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 required to open an account.

    • Free PNC banking card available with this account.

    What we don't

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

    • Interest is compounded monthly.

    • You can find higher yields elsewhere.

    CD rates

    2.6

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.85 % APY

    1 yr

    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. 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.

    What we like

    • 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.

    What we don't

    • Interest is compounded monthly rather than daily for fixed-rate CDs.

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

    • CDs can be opened only in a bank branch.

    Checking accounts

    3.2

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Simple

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    0.80 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    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 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.

    What we like

    • Customers can earn interest on all balances above $1.

    • No minimum deposit to open an account online.

    What we don't

    • 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.

    Bank experience

    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. 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. EST. 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.

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski is a banking editor for Bankrate and occasionally writes on a variety of fintech and banking subjects. Previously, she covered fintech for American Banker and edited op-eds for the publication's BankThink section. She was also a blogger and editor at Bank Innovation and served as a fashion editor for National Jeweler, where she reported on fashion shows and jewelry news. Mary grew up in the Michigan suburbs and now lives in Los Angeles with a maltipoo, a record player and an espresso machine.