PNC business account review: The only guide you need

Wise
05.29.19
9 minute read

PNC is a major bank that operates in the East and Midwest of the United States, covering 20 states plus the District of Columbia. As the sixth-largest bank in the nation, with around 2,400 locations and 9,000 ATMs, it’s a popular choice for businesses based in these areas.¹ ² PNC offers a range of business products, with a focus on small business customers. There are also corporate and institutional products such as treasury management and international services.

Each product PNC offers has a different range of features, as well as a different fee structure. This may change according to which state you’re in, so it’s always a good idea to check the terms and conditions with your bank, either online or in a local branch. Since PNC business account requirements may also differ, it’s important to check whether you’re eligible for the account you’re interested in.

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about PNC business checking accounts, including their features and fees. We’ll also give you information to help you see whether an alternative option is worth looking at for your needs: the Wise borderless business account.

PNC business checking accounts

Business owners and entrepreneurs will generally need a business checking account. This will let them keep track of their everyday accounts and cash flow easily and quickly. The value of a separate business account is that it lets you keep your personal finances separate from those of your business. This means it’s easier to know exactly how much money your business has, plus it means an easier time when it comes to things like tax forms.

PNC offers four main business checking accounts, to go with the different needs of different-sized businesses:³

  • Business Checking
  • Business Checking Plus
  • Analysis Business Checking
  • Treasury Enterprise Plan

Other specialty business accounts that PNC offers

There are several other accounts you can get from PNC if you have specialized business needs. These include:³ ⁴

  • Business Sweep Checking — offers access to investment balances, and links your account to a FDIC-insured PNC Bank money market deposit account.The ”Sweep” function will put funds into your money market account or checking account according to rules specified by the account owner.
  • Non-Profit Checking — available only to non-profit organizations, this account offers a free PNC business debit card, plus free online banking.
  • Business Interest Checking — an account which pays interest at a variable rate on credit balances.
  • Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) — for lawyers and attorneys who need to manage escrow funds for a number of clients.

In a minute, we’ll talk about what PNC’s checking accounts offer, who can use them, and how much they’ll charge you in fees. Each PNC business checking account has different criteria, and these can sometimes change, so make sure you check carefully before committing to one.

On top of that, terms and conditions for business accounts may differ between states. PNC maintains branches in the following states:⁵

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

If PNC doesn’t serve your state, you can check out the Wise borderless business account — we’ll be talking about that in more detail later on. You may also want to take a look, to see what this new type of account offers.


How to choose the best account for your business

How to choose the best account for your business

With several options available, you’ll want to find the one that suits you best. Before you do anything else, though, check that you’re eligible to use PNC for your business banking needs. You can only get a PNC business checking account in certain states, so you’ll need to make sure your location is covered.

Once you’ve done that, the next step is to take a look at the features and fees that apply to the accounts you’re interested in. For example, compare monthly maintenance fees, as well as any charges that apply to international transactions. These can really mount up, so think about how often you’re likely to need them.

Some accounts may waive certain fees in particular circumstances. For example, you may find that you don’t have to pay a maintenance fee for a few months after opening your account. You may also get that fee waived if you keep a specified credit balance in your account for the month. Also, remember to check out the number of free transactions each account offers you. If you go over that figure, you’ll likely have to pay a fee for every further transaction.

With a choice of different accounts, it’s important to think about the needs of your business before picking a product. If you need statements on paper as well as online, some accounts may include that in the overall package, but some might not. Alternatively, you may need the ability to deposit large sums of cash each month – allowances for this will differ depending on the account you choose. It’s also a good idea to check whether there are fees for using ATMs outside the PNC network.

If you need to do business outside the US, maybe because you have customers or suppliers based overseas, it’s also worth thinking about the cost of international transaction fees. When you purchase from abroad, or make transactions that need a change of currency, most conventional banks will charge more than the simple mid-market rate. As well as adding a markup to the exchange rate, banks may also add a fee of their own. Especially if you do a lot of international business, these markups and fees can cost you a lot of money in the long run.

There are newer options, though, such as the Wise Business borderless account. This offers you an alternative way of doing business internationally and managing multiple different currencies. There’s no charge to open an account, and no minimum balance. The account will provide local bank details for the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the euro zone.

With Wise, it’s fast and cheap to send money abroad. There’s just one upfront fee to pay, and you’ll get the mid-market rate with your currency conversion. Here’s a comparison of Wise borderless account and business checking accounts from PNC:

PNC⁶ Wise
Monthly maintenance fee Between $10 and $50, depending on account type – some accounts waive the monthly fee for the first three months after opening. Free
Minimum deposit to open $100 None
Transaction charges Some accounts offer a limited number of transactions included in the maintenance fee. If you go above this, you’ll pay a fee for each extra transaction. Free to receive funds in US, Australian, or New Zealand Dollars, UK pounds, or euros Single upfront fee for sending money to currencies in different accounts, or to withdraw funds to an account without local bank details

There’s another important thing, you should always consider when thinking about fees. When it comes to calculating the charges of your international transfers, you’ll also want to take into account the rate at which your money is converted at. The rate can make a big difference in how much foreign currency you get for your dollars, so comparing rates is essential. Wise offers its customers the mid-market rate, also called the interbank rate. This is the rate banks use to trade among themselves.

What do I need to open a business account with PNC?

If you decide to open an account at PNC, you can start the process online. You’ll need to provide your business’s Tax Identification Number, as well as a valid email address. Later, you’ll need to visit a local branch in person. You’ll have to take evidence of your business registration, plus documents verifying your identity. At least one of these must be government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license or passport.

The exact requirements vary depending on the kind of business you run. More documentation will be needed for a corporation than for a sole proprietorship, for example. You can call PNC’s service team on 1-855-762-2355 if you have questions. They’ll also be able to let you know if you’re eligible for the account you’re interested in.

PNC business account fees

When you open a PNC small business checking account, you’ll pay a monthly maintenance fee. This will cover you for a set number of transactions each month, as well as a limited number of currency deposits. You may not have to pay the maintenance fee if you keep up a set average credit balance over the course of that month. If you go over any of the limits, you’ll likely have to pay a fee for every extra transaction.

Here’s a summary of the most common fees and limits. We’ll go into more detail about specific accounts in a moment.

Fee or limit type PNC business account costs⁶
Included monthly transactions 0 to 2,500 depending on account type
Included monthly cash deposits $0 to $50,000 depending on account type
Monthly maintenance fee $10 to $50 - no monthly fee for the first 3 months on the Business Checking, Business Checking Plus and Treasury Enterprise Plan. Analysis Business Checking monthly fee can be offset by earning credit.
Minimum average monthly balance for waiving maintenance fee $500 to $30,000

Breakdown of PNC business accounts

Now, we’ll go into a little more detail about the checking accounts that PNC offers. This should help you to pinpoint which PNC small business account could be right for you.

Business Checking⁸

This account is aimed at smaller businesses with simpler needs. You get up to 150 transactions included each month. There’s a free business debit card as well as free withdrawals from ATMs in the PNC network — these features apply to all the accounts we’ll cover here. There are also a few other benefits, including a Quick Switch Kit to help you move over from your previous provider.

Fee or limit type PNC Business Checking
Included monthly transactions 150
Included monthly currency deposits $5,000
Monthly maintenance fee $10 – waived for first three months after opening
Minimum average monthly balance for waiving maintenance fee $500

Business Checking Plus⁹

PNC’s Business Checking Plus account is designed for larger businesses, which generally need a higher number of monthly transactions or currency deposits. You will pay more for these extras than for the basic Business Checking account, and you’ll need a higher average monthly balance to get the maintenance fee waived, so think about your needs carefully before deciding.

Fee or limit type PNC Business Checking Plus
Included monthly transactions 500
Included monthly cash deposits $10,000
Monthly maintenance fee $20 – waived for first three months after opening
Minimum average monthly balance for waiving maintenance fee $5,000

Analysis Business Checking¹⁰

This option is intended for businesses that need more than one checking account. It lets you link multiple accounts together, as well as giving you earnings credit for all balances. The downside is that there aren’t any included transactions or deposits. Instead, you’ll pay according to how much you actually use.

Fee or limit type PNC Analysis Business Checking
Included monthly transactions Pay per item usage
Included monthly cash deposits Pay per item usage
Monthly maintenance fee $20, which you can offset or reduce with the Earnings Credit of the balance
Minimum average monthly balance for waiving maintenance fee Not applicable.

Treasury Enterprise Plan

This account targets larger businesses with greater needs. It costs quite a bit more than the previous checking accounts we’ve covered, but you get higher limits on transactions and deposits. Other features include the ability to open up to four additional checking accounts, plus investment options for surplus cash.

Fee or limit type PNC Treasury Enterprise Plan
Included monthly transactions 2,500
Included monthly cash deposits $50,000
Monthly maintenance fee $50
Minimum average monthly balance for waiving maintenance fee $30,000 across combined accounts

Wise Business

An alternative to PNC business checking accounts — Wise Business

As you look into the range of accounts that you can choose from, remember to keep your options as wide as possible. It could really pay if you take a little time to check out some alternative providers and compare their fees and features.

With the Wise borderless account for business, you get a number of features that can really aid business owners. For a start, you’ll be able to hold money in more than 40 currencies from around the globe. You’ll also be able to send and receive funds using the mid-market exchange rate, with no added markup. You can make batch payments to simplify your paperwork, and integrate your Wise account with Xero to make things even easier. Better yet, you’ll be able to call on the Wise API for automating workflow and payments. This could save you a lot in both time and money. That frees you up to concentrate on making your business grow.

You can also create and send your invoices by using our downloadable free invoice templates, and use our balance sheet template, profit and loss statement template, cash flow statement template or an independent contractor agreement template.

Choosing the right business bank account isn’t a decision to take lightly. The more information you have at your fingertips, the better your chances of finding the perfect account for you and your business. You’ll benefit from looking at as many options as possible, including traditional options like those from PNC, as well as newer alternatives like products designed from the ground up for international businesses, like the Wise borderless account. By comparing the options on the market, you’ll be able to choose the account that gives your company the best balance of cost, services, and ease of use.


Sources:

  1. https://www.federalreserve.gov/Releases/Lbr/current/default.htm 20 May 2019
  2. https://apps.pnc.com/locator/#/search 20 May 2019
  3. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview.html 20 May 2019
  4. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/additional-checking-solutions.html 20 May 2019
  5. https://apps.pnc.com/locator/#/browse 23 May 2019
  6. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/checking-comparison.html?cols=0123 22 May 2019
  7. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/checking-app-requirements.html 21 May 2019
  8. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/business-checking.html 23 May 2019
  9. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/business-checking-plus.html 23 May 2019
  10. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/analysis-business-checking.html 23 May 2019
  11. https://www.pnc.com/en/small-business/banking/business-checking-overview/treasury-enterprise-plan.html 23 May 2019

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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