PNC Bank Review: Is PNC Bank the best choice for you?

Adam Rozsa
07.24.21
8 minute read

With over 160 years of history - and over 9 million active accounts - PNC has a lot to offer to individual, business and corporate customers¹.

If you’re choosing between banks, this PNC Bank review is for you. We’ll cover all you need to know about PNC Bank’s products and services, including PNC ATM fees, interest rates for savings accounts, monthly fees and how to open an account.

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📝 Table of contents

PNC Checking Account reviews

PNC Bank’s most popular checking accounts are based on their Virtual Wallet. You’ll first open Virtual Wallet Spend - or one of the specialist alternatives like the student-friendly alternative - and then you can add in additional accounts to save and grow your money if you’d like to².

We’ll cover highlights, including perks and fees in our PNC checking account review right here - and you can also get a PNC Virtual Wallet review in full detail, here.

💡 It’s worth noting upfront that the fees, interest rates and features of accounts with PNC may vary by state. Information used in this article is based on a California based account, and correct at time of research.

PNC Virtual Wallet Spend

Virtual Wallet Spend³ is the PNC signature checking account, which comes with smart ways to manage your money including budgeting tools and Low Cash Mode which warns you if you’re about to be hit with overdraft fees.

Key features to know about PNC Virtual Wallet Spend:

  • Low Cash Mode to help you avoid overdraft fees, and analytic tools to manage your money better
  • No minimum opening balance requirements if you open online
  • 5 USD out of network ATM fees reimbursed per statement cycle
  • No interest is earned on this account
Fees⁴Best for
  • No minimum opening balance if you open online
  • 25 USD minimum for branch opening
  • 7 USD/month fee - waived if you have a 500 USD balance or deposits of 500 USD/month
  • 3 - 5 USD out of network ATM fee
    Managing day to day spending and budgeting digitally, while avoiding unnecessary overdraft fees

pnc bank reviews

PNC Savings Account reviews

PNC can also help you save and improve your financial security, with a range of savings options. Add handy savings tools to your checking account, or choose a different way to invest and grow your funds. Check out these PNC bank reviews looking at the range of savings products available.

PNC Virtual Wallet Reserve and Growth

When you open a PNC Virtual Wallet Spend, you’ll also get the option to add in Virtual Wallets called Reserve and Growth. These give you additional ways to save and grow your balance with some flexibility. The Reserve account is a second checking account you can use to hold funds for short term needs. Growth on the other hand offers a better interest rate, especially as your savings grow.

Key features to know about

  • No minimum deposit or monthly fee to pay
  • Earn higher interest rates - known as relationship rates - by hitting eligibility criteria around minimum balance and transaction volume
  • Flexible savings options which still allow you to make withdrawals
  • The balance from these accounts can also be used to fund your Spend account if you’re at risk of going into an overdraft
Fees⁵Best for
  • No fee to open or manage your account
  • Earn 0.01% on your Reserve account, with the opportunity to earn up to 0.03% on Growth if you qualify for relationship rates
Earning some interest on your balance while still having free access to spend as needed

PNC Standard Savings Account

You can also open a PNC Standard Savings Account which you can link to a checking account to make regular deposits if you wish to grow your money. Interest rates increase if you hit certain eligibility milestones, including holding a minimum balance of 2,500 USD⁶.

Key features to know about

  • Earn 0.01% interest, with the opportunity to earn up to 0.03% if you qualify for relationship rates⁷
  • Link to your PNC checking account to make deposits easily
Fees⁸Best for
  • 25 USD minimum opening balance
  • 1 USD minimum balance to earn interest
  • 5 USD/month fee - waived if you have a 300 USD balance or set up auto savings
  • 3 - 5 USD out of network ATM fee
  • 36 USD overdraft charge per item
  • 15 - 30 USD incoming wire fee
  • 15 - 40 USD outgoing wire fee
Easy access savings account, with better rates for customers holding 2,500 USD or more

PNC High Yield Savings Account review

The PNC High Yield savings account is known as the Premiere Money Market Account. You can earn a better interest rate if you have a Performance Select Checking Account, with interest rates rising for higher balance amounts.

Key features to know about

  • Standard interest rates fixed at 0.02%, but rising to 0.06% for Performance Select Checking Account customers with a balance in excess of 1 million USD⁹
  • Get a linked bank card for easy withdrawals
  • Deposits are FDIC insured to the maximum extent of the law
Fees¹⁰Best for
  • 100 USD minimum opening balance
  • 12 USD/month fee - waived if you have a 5,000 USD balance or link your account to your checking account
  • 3 - 5 USD out of network ATM fee
  • 36 USD overdraft charge per item
  • 15 - 30 USD incoming wire fee
  • 15 - 40 USD outgoing wire fee
Boosting your savings if you already have a have a Performance Select Checking Account

PNC CD

A CD - Certificate of deposit - is a savings mechanism which allows customers to lock away funds for a fixed period, and in return get a higher rate of interest. During the term - which could be as little as 7 days or as much as 10 years¹¹ - you will not be able to access your balance without incurring penalties.

Key features to know about

  • Varied terms available from 7 days to 10 years¹¹
  • Interest rates vary according to deposit amount and term - under promotional terms at the time of writing, a 25,000+ USD 9 month deposit may earn 0.05%¹²
  • Penalties apply for early withdrawals
Fees¹¹Best for
  • 1,000 USD minimum balance to open
  • Penalties apply for early withdrawals
Customers willing to lock away funds for a fixed period in return for better rates

PNC Bank customer experience

PNC Bank offers a variety of ways for customers to get help and advice. You can call into your nearest branch, phone the service team on one of their dedicated numbers, or even send a tweet to get help¹³.

pnc bank reviews

PNC Bank overdraft fees

PNC offers smart ways to avoid overdrafts with their Virtual Wallet product. However, if you do end up with an overdraft, you’ll need to know about the fees you’ll be charged. These can vary according to account type, so do check your terms and conditions carefully.

You may find your account has an overdraft balance threshold, which states the balance under which an overdraft will kick in. This gives a small grace period so that ending the day a few dollars in the red will not incur hefty fees.

Overdraft charges tend to be by the item, meaning any transaction which causes your account to go overdrawn ends up with a fee, up to a maximum daily cap. This can mean you have multiple overdraft charges in a day, which can quickly mount up.

PNC Bank comparison

Not sure if PNC is right for you? Check out this comparison, and click through on the links to get a detailed review of similar savings accounts of major US banks.

Fees and minimum balanceAPY
Bank of America¹³

8 USD fee - hold a minimum balance of 500 USD to avoid this fee

100 USD minimum opening deposit

0.01% - Preferred Rewards members may earn more
Chase¹⁵5 USD fee - hold a minimum balance of 300 USD to avoid this fee0.01%¹⁶
Chime¹⁷No fee or minimum balance0.5%¹⁸
Citibank¹⁹

10 USD fee

No minimum opening deposit

0.04% - 0.06%
TD Bank²⁰

5 USD fee - hold a minimum balance of 300 USD to avoid this fee

No minimum opening deposit

0.02%
US Bank²¹

4 USD fee

25 USD minimum opening deposit

0.01%

PNC Bank pros and cons

You have a broad range of choices when it comes to banks - weigh up a few options before you open an account. Here are some pros and cons about PNC Bank to start you off.

Pros

  • Large established bank with good branch network
  • Virtual Wallet offers good solutions for everyday checking and savings - without risking overdraft fees
  • Bank online and using your mobile device, or go into a local branch for help
  • Range of products available for spending, saving and more

Cons

  • Check out the fees for transactions you make regularly - even for accounts which come with low or no monthly fees
  • Interest rates tend to favor people with higher balances
  • PNC charges 15 USD for incoming international payments, and 45 USD for outgoing international transfers⁴.

pnc bank reviews

Bottom line: Is PNC Bank the best choice for you?

The right bank for you will depend on your financial needs and goals, as well as your preferences and how you’ll use your account. Before you choose a provider and account, check out a range of options, so you know you’re getting the right one for you.

It’s worth looking at fixed fees like monthly service charges - but also at the charges for transactions you might make regularly. Costs like out-of-network ATM fees, or fees for sending and receiving wires and international transfers can quickly mount up. Find a bank which has the best balance for your needs, between convenience, cost and service.

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As we mentioned before, PNC charges 15 USD for incoming international payments, and 45 USD for outgoing international transfers⁴. If you’re sending an international transfer, check out Wise. Wise payments use the real mid-market exchange rate every time, with low transparent fees, for a fast secure service that can work out 7x cheaper than your regular provider.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is PNC Bank a good bank?

PNC Bank is a long-established and trusted bank, with full FDIC insurance where required.

Is PNC or Chase better?

PNC reviews on Trustpilot (a consumer review website) give the bank 2.1 out of 5 stars²², with some comments being directed towards the fees and customer service. Chase bank, on the other hand, receives 1.3 out of 5 stars²², with many customers mentioning customer service lines and credit cards.

Stuck choosing between PNC and Chase? Check out this PNC review, and compare this Chase Bank review - before you kick off your own research.

What is the rating for PNC Bank?

There’s a good range of professional expertise and comment - as well as customer reviews and feedback available online to help you understand PNC Bank’s rating. Learn more about how PNC is rated by checking further PNC reviews - apart from Trustpilot - on sites like Wallethub and Consumeraffairs.com.

Choosing between different banks - and different account options - can be tough. But it’s well worth checking every now and again, that you’ve got the best account for you - this can help cut your costs and make managing your finances day to day much easier. Use this PNC review as a starting point for your research to find the perfect product for your needs.


Sources:

1]PNC - Corporate Overview
2]PNC - Personal Checking Accounts
3]PNC - Virtual Wallet Overview
4]PNC - Virtual Wallet Features
5]PNC - Interest Rates Center
6]PNC - Standard Savings Account
7]PNC - Interest Rates Center (2)
8]PNC - Consumer Schedule of Service Charges and Fees - Standard Savings
9]PNC - Premiere Money Market
10]PNC - Consumer Schedule of Service Charges and Fees - Premiere Money Market
11]PNC - Certificate of Deposit
12]PNC - Interest Rates Center (3)
13]PNC - Customer Service
14]Bank of America - Savings Accounts
15]Chase - Savings Account
16]Chase - Consumer Deposit Rates
17]Chime - What are the fees?
18]Chime - What do I need to know about the Chime Savings Account?
19)Citi - Savings Account
20)TD Bank - Simple Savings Account
21]US Bank - Standard Savings Account
22)PNC Bank - Trustpilot
23)Chase - Trustpilot

All sources checked on 16 July 2021


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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