The history of PNC Bank began almost 170 years ago. During that time, the bank has grown to become the seventh largest U.S. commercial banking firm by assets, according to the Federal Reserve. The Pittsburgh-based regional bank operates primarily in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southern United States
In June 2021, PNC completed the acquisition of BBVA USA, giving the bank more reach in the west of the country and a stronger national presence. The full-service bank offers a range of products and services for private, business and corporate customers.
PNC product details, pricing and fee information may vary by location. We primarily used the bank’s headquarters in Pittsburgh for this review. This review focuses on PNC’s personal banking services. Account details and Annual Percentage Returns (APYs) will be correct as of October 6, 2021.
Banking with PNC – as depicted on the company website – is a bit confusing, especially if you’re looking for standalone accounts. The bank packs three accounts together in its so-called virtual wallet. Also, various pages will ask you to enter your zip code to make sure you are seeing the correct interest rates and offers.
Different iterations of the virtual wallet are available depending on customer requirements. Here’s a look at the different accounts available through PNC.
Two out of three accounts in PNC’s Virtual Wallet are current accounts. “Spend” is the primary checking account and a pretty standard checking account that does not earn interest. There is no minimum deposit requirement to open a donation account online. The account also comes with a free debit card and access to PNC’s toll-free ATM network.
Unlike some banks, PNC does charge a fee for using ATMs outside of the network, although it waives the first two fees per billing cycle. You will also receive a $ 5 charge per billing cycle for ATM fees charged by other financial institutions.
Another interesting feature of Virtual Wallet is the double overdraft protection. If your Spend account is ever at risk of overdraft, 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 on upcoming or unforeseen expenses. Despite being an interest bearing account, it only earns 0.01% APY on any balances over $ 1.
Versions of PNC’s Virtual Wallet are also available as student and military banking options. The Student Virtual Wallet offers additional benefits for up to six years, including no monthly service fees. The military version offers reduced qualification requirements for waived monthly fees.
In certain markets the package is called Virtual Wallet Checking Pro and can only be configured with the Spend account or with the Spend, Reserve and Growth accounts.
The third account that makes up PNC’s virtual wallet is “Growth”. The savings account earns between 0.01% and 0.03% APY, depending on your balance and whether you meet the monthly relationship rate requirements.
Eligible markets also have access to PNC’s High Yield Savings. This online-only savings account offers a more competitive interest rate currently at 0.40% APY. The account does not offer a minimum deposit or ongoing balance and no monthly service fees. A deposit of USD 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 USD 25 is required to open a standard savings account.
‘S’ stands for Savings is PNC’s savings account for children. A minimum deposit of USD 25 is required to open an account. The savings account earns 0.01% on all balances. For younger children, Account Holders have access to an interactive banking learning center that features tips from characters from Sesame Street.
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 plans. The money market account offers unlimited deposits and a PNC debit card.
PNC also hosts two types of certificates of deposit (CDs). Fixed-price CDs are available in a variety of terms from seven days to 10 years. A minimum deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open a fixed price CD. You can open CDs with terms between three months and 36 months online, while opening CDs of other lengths requires a visit to one of PNC’s local branches.
Prices shown are for fixed price CDs with opening deposits between $ 1,000 and $ 24,999.99.
Ready Access CDs are also available at a fixed price, but offer more flexibility. You can retrieve funds from a Ready Access CD at any time within the first seven days of opening your account. Ready Access CDs are only available for two terms – three months and 12 months. A minimum deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open a Ready Access CD and travel to a local PNC office as these CDs are not available online.
None of PNC’s CDs are among the best-priced CDs available.
Other accounts and services
In addition to its personal deposit accounts, PNC Bank also offers the following financial products and services:
- Credit cards
- Mortgage loan
- Mortgage refinancing
- Home Equity Lines (HELOCs)
- Car loans
- Personal loans and lines of credit
- Student Loans
- Refinancing the student loan
- Pension and investment accounts and services
- Private banking
- Commercial banks, credit cards and loans
- Commercial, corporate and institutional banking and financial services
Part of the PNC Virtual Wallet is a service called Low Cash Mode. There are no insufficient funds charges and a maximum overdraft fee of $ 36 per day in low cash mode. PNC customers with Virtual Wallet will receive individual notifications every time their account is weak.
You will also be given at least 24 hours of extra time to bring your balance to at least $ 0 before an overdraft fee is charged. There’s a clock in PNC’s mobile app that tells you exactly how much time is left before you are charged a fee.
Access on the go
For banking on the go, there is the PNC mobile app, which is available for iOS (rated 4.8 out of 5 stars) and Android (rated 4.5 out of 5 stars). Via the mobile app, PNC customers can:
- Manage accounts
- Deposit checks
- pay bills
- Send and receive money via cell
- Block a PNC debit or credit card if it is lost or stolen
- Set up travel notifications
- Contact PNC customer support
There is even a function in the app to access selected PNC ATMs without a card using a one-time access code.
Of course, you can also access your accounts online through PNC’s website and perform many of these functions.
If you prefer personal banking, PNC is there for you. PNC operates around 2,300 local branches and around 18,000 ATMs in the United States
PNC customer support is available personally in the local branches. You can also contact customer support by online chat or by calling 1-888-762-2265 Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. You can also tweet customer support at @PNCBank_Help.
- Competitive APY on his online savings account
- A large number of local branches and ATMs
- Complete suite of digital banking tools
- High-interest savings account is not available everywhere
- Most CDs can only be opened in person in a branch
- Expensive overdraft fees
This is how the PNC Bank stacks up
Navigating PNC’s banking products online is confusing, especially when multiple versions of the virtual wallet are available. It doesn’t help that some products are only available online or in selected markets. Standalone bank accounts are available but require a lot of research to find information on how to open an account.
If you live in the bank’s catchment area and are looking for full service banking, PNC is a great choice. You won’t find competitive rates except for the online savings account, but it’s great for someone who prefers in-person banking or wants to manage all of their bank accounts under one roof.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Is the PNC Bank FDIC insured?
Yes, the PNC Bank, National Association is FDIC insured (FDIC # 6384). All PNC bank accounts are FDIC insured up to USD 250,000 per depositor for each account holding category in the event of a bank failure.
Yes, PNC uses strong security measures – such as the latest encryption technology, firewalls, security questions, and two-step verification – to protect customers’ personal and account information.
Yes, PNC is a solid choice for people looking for full service banking and living within the bank’s service areas.
What is required 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, government issued ID or military ID card for identification purposes. You also need a way to fund your account. Some accounts can be opened online while others require visiting a local PNC branch.
How do I get a live person at PNC?
You can reach live customer support through the PNC customer service hotline 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 .