PNC Bank Review – Forbes Advisor
The history of PNC Bank began almost 170 years ago. Meanwhile, the bank has become the seventh largest U.S. commercial banking organization in terms of assets, according to data from the Federal Reserve. The Pittsburgh-based regional bank operates primarily in the Midwest, Northeast and South of the United States
In June 2021, PNC finalized the acquisition of BBVA USA, giving the bank greater coverage in the western part of the country and a more national footprint. Full-service banking offers an assortment of personal, business and commercial banking products and services.
PNC product details, pricing and fee information may vary by location. For the purpose of this review, we primarily used the bank’s head office in Pittsburgh. This exam focuses on PNC’s personal banking services. Account details and Annual Percentage Returns (APY) are correct as of October 6, 2021.
Banking with PNC, as featured on its corporate website, is somewhat confusing, especially if you’re looking for stand-alone accounts. The bank combines three accounts in what it calls its virtual wallet. You will also be asked to enter your zip code on different pages to make sure you are viewing the correct interest rates and offers.
There are different iterations of the virtual wallet available depending on the needs of the clients. Here is an overview of the different accounts available through PNC.
Two out of three accounts in PNC’s virtual portfolio are current accounts. “Spend” is the main checking account and it is a fairly standard checking account that does not earn interest. There is no minimum deposit requirement to open a Spend account online. The account also comes with a free debit card and access to PNC’s toll-free ATM network.
Unlike some banks, PNC charges a fee for using off-grid ATMs, although it waives the first two fees per statement cycle. You will also receive a refund of $ 5 per statement cycle for ATM fees charged by other financial institutions.
Another cool feature included with Virtual Wallet is dual overdraft protection. If you ever run the risk of an overdraft on your expense account, PNC will automatically transfer funds from your reserve or growth account.
“Reserve” is an interest-bearing current account. It is designed to help customers save for upcoming or unforeseen expenses. Although this is an interest bearing account, it only earns 0.01% APY on all balances over $ 1.
Optional versions of the PNC Virtual Wallet are also available for student and military banking. The Student Virtual Wallet offers additional benefits for up to six years, including no monthly service fees. The military version has reduced eligibility requirements for waived monthly fees.
In some markets the package is called Virtual Wallet Checking Pro and can be configured only with the Spend account or with the Spend, Reserve and Growth accounts.
The third account that makes up PNC’s virtual portfolio is “Growth”. The savings account earns between 0.01% and 0.03% APY depending on your balance and whether you meet the monthly conditions for relationship rates.
Eligible markets also have access to PNC High Yield Savings. This online-only savings account offers a more competitive rate currently at 0.40% APY. The account has no minimum opening deposit or running balance and no monthly service fees. A deposit of $ 100 is required to open a money market account.
PNC also offers a standard savings account. Like most of the bank’s other deposit accounts, it has relatively low interest rates. A minimum deposit of $ 25 is required to open a standard savings account.
“S” is for savings is PNC Children’s Savings Account. A minimum deposit of $ 25 is required to open an account. The savings account earns 0.01% on all balances. Aimed at the youngest, account holders have access to an interactive banking learning center, including advice from Sesame Street characters.
PNC also offers a Premiere Money Market account, available in select markets. Rates range from 0.02% to 0.06% APY, depending on your balance and whether you qualify for relationship rates. The money market account includes unlimited deposits and a PNC debit card.
PNC also houses two types of certificates of deposit (CDs). Fixed rate CDs are available in a variety of terms ranging from seven days to 10 years. A minimum deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open a fixed rate CD. You can open CDs with durations between three months and 36 months online, while opening CDs of other length requires visiting one of PNC’s local branches.
Rates shown are for fixed rate CDs with opening deposits between $ 1,000 and $ 24,999.99.
Ready Access CDs are also offered at a fixed price but offer more flexibility. You can withdraw funds from a Ready Access CD at any time after the first seven days of opening the account. Ready Access CDs are only available for two periods: three months and 12 months. A minimum deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open a Ready Access CD as well as travel to a local PNC branch, as these CDs are not available online.
None of PNC’s CDs are among the best available CD prices.
Other accounts and services
In addition to its personal deposit accounts, PNC Bank also offers the following financial products and services:
- Credit card
- Mortgage refinancing
- Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC)
- Auto loans
- Personal loans and lines of credit
- Student loans
- Student loan refinancing
- Retirement and investment accounts and services
- Private banking
- Business banking, credit cards and loans
- Commercial, corporate and institutional banking and financial services
Part of PNC’s virtual wallet is a service called Low Cash Mode. There are no insufficient fund fees and a maximum of $ 36 overdraft fee per day with Low Cash mode. PNC customers with Virtual Wallet will receive personalized alerts whenever their account is low.
You will also have at least an additional 24 hours of time to bring your account balance down to at least $ 0 before you have to pay an overdraft fee. There is a clock in the PNC mobile app that shows you exactly how much time you have left before you are charged a fee.
Access on the move
For on-the-go banking, there’s PNC’s mobile app, available on iOS (rated 4.8 out of 5 stars) and Android (rated 4.5 out of 5 stars). Thanks to the mobile application, PNC customers can:
- Manage accounts
- Check deposit
- Pay the bills
- Send and receive money via Zelle
- Lock a PNC debit or credit card in case of loss or theft
- Set travel notifications
- Contact PNC customer service
There is even a feature in the app to access certain PNC ATMs without a card via a one-time access code.
Of course, you can also access your accounts and perform many of the same functions online through the PNC website.
If you prefer in-person banking, PNC has you covered. PNC operates approximately 2,300 local branches and approximately 18,000 ATMs across the United States
PNC customer support is available in person at local branches. You can also reach customer service via live chat or by phone at 1-888-762-2265 Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can also tweet customer support at @PNCBank_Help.
- Competitive APY on its online savings account
- A large number of local branches and ATMs
- Complete suite of digital banking tools
- The high yield savings account is not available everywhere
- Most CDs can only be opened in person at a branch
- Expensive overdraft fees
How does PNC bank compare
Navigating PNC’s banking products online is confusing, especially with several versions of its virtual wallet available. It doesn’t help that some products are only available online or in certain markets. Stand-alone bank accounts are available but require a lot of research to find information on how to open one.
If you live in the service areas of the bank and are looking for full banking services, PNC is a good choice. You won’t find competitive rates except with their online-only savings account, but it’s ideal for someone who prefers in-person banking or wants to keep all of their bank accounts under one roof.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is PNC Bank FDIC insured?
Yes, the PNC Bank, National Association is insured by the FDIC (FDIC # 6384). All PNC bank accounts are FDIC insured up to $ 250,000 per depositor, for each category of account ownership, in the event of bank failure.
Yes, PNC uses strong security measures, such as the latest encryption technology, firewalls, security questions, and two-step verifications, to protect customers’ personal and account information.
Yes, PNC is a solid choice for people looking for full banking services who live in the service areas of the bank.
What does it take to open a PNC account?
To open a bank account through PNC, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license, state issued ID, or military ID for identification purposes. You will also need a way to fund your account. Some accounts can be opened online, while others require visiting a local PNC branch.
How to get a person live at the PNC?
You can reach live customer support through PNC’s customer service line at 1-888-762-2265 (1-888-PNC-BANK) Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.