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PNC Bank Review

If you're on the East Coast or in the Midwest, odds are you've heard of PNC Bank. The 160-year-old lending institution has been a mainstay in the 19 states it operates in. But now, thanks to its extensive online services, you don't actually need to be near PNC to experience the robust services it offers. Many users find these services, known to PNC customers as the Virtual Wallet, more comprehensive compared to other banks.

Despite the unique services of the Virtual Wallet, many customers have complained of bad experiences, including high or confusing fees. One PNC online banking review on Credit Karma said that the firm should be called "Fees R Us." Positive reviews tend to come from those fully immersed in PNC services (i.e. they live near a branch, like the Virtual Wallet and use more than one service).

You're best suited for PNC if:

  • You live near a branch
  • You're interested in the Virtual Wallet and other online tools
  • You're good with technology
  • You want a credit card and a checking account (reviews note that PNC has the best value when you use both bank and credit card products)

You're probably not suited for PNC if:

  • You need a new mortgage (some of the worst reviews of PNC come from people who had mortgages with the institution)
  • You're not good with technology
  • You need a lot of customer service

The choice is ultimately yours, and this in-depth review will help you decide by highlighting the following:

  • The many products and services offered by PNC Bank
  • What consumers say about these products and services
  • How PNC's Virtual Wallet could change the way you bank
  • How to start working with PNC Bank
  • How to cancel your accounts at PNC

A Brief History of PNC Bank

The 160-year-old lending institution was founded and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company back in 1845. After more than a century of banking and a series of name changes and acquisitions, it became the Provident National Bank in 1964.

In fact, acquisitions are a big part of PNCs history. PNC grew rapidly from the 1980s to the late 2000s, mainly through these acquisitions, which enabled the bank to remain a leading force in the banking industry.

PNC operates a regional banking franchise in 19 states and Washington, D.C. It's the sixth largest bank in the country by deposits, and third largest by number of off-premises ATMs, with more than 2,600 bank branches (Credio reports 2,777), 9,00 ATMs, and online and mobile service.

PNC early investment infoPNC offers the service of a traditional bank, and more ways to save

PNC bank offers all of the standard services of a traditional bank. Its best service may be the Virtual Wallet (we'll get to that in a second). Let's start first with all you can get from PNC (hint: it's a lot).

  • Piggy bank and mobile app icon

    Personal banking services

    • Banking – checking, savings, credit cards, debit cards, insurance, online and mobile banking, student banking, military banking, university banking, workplace banking
    • Borrowing – mortgages, refinancing, home equity loans and lines of credit, auto loans, education lending, personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards
    • Investments and Retirement – brokerage accounts, managed accounts, education accounts, stocks, bonds, funds, insurance, individual retirement accounts, retirement 401(k) and 403(b), small business retirement accounts
    • Wealth Management – wealth strategy, investment management, trust and estate services, private banking, wealth insight
  • PNC businesses icon

    Businesses

    • Banking – business checking, online services, credit cards, savings and liquidity management
    • Payments & Processing – treasury management, merchant services, payroll processing, payment cards, remote deposits, PINACLE Express
    • Borrowing – credit cards, lines of credit, term loans, SBA loans
    • Industry Solutions – healthcare professionals, retail businesses, manufacturers, wholesalers, agriculture, professional services, accountants, attorneys
  • PNC corporate icon

    Corporate

    • Financing – corporate and institutional lending, debt capital markets, capital markets, mezzanine and equity finance, dealer finance
    • Treasury Management – payables, receivables, deposit & account services, liquidity and investments, online and mobile banking, fraud prevention tools
    • Capital Markets – asset backed securities, fixed income securities, foreign exchange, loan syndication, mergers and acquisitions, public finance, public market securities, private placements, risk management
    • International Services – manage international cash flow, banking services in Canada, doing business in China, foreign exchange, import and export services, trade finance
    • Institutional Asset Management – institutional advisory solutions, liability driven investment, planned giving solutions
    • Credit cards - Core, Points, Cashbuilder, and Premier Traveler

A checking account with a technology edge

PNC apps and website give a technology edge

PNC offers two checking account services: performance spend and performance select. In both accounts, you can earn interest on balances of $2,000 or more, as well as bonus points for linked PNC credit cards. The best feature of PNCs checking accounts though, is the Virtual Wallet, an online tool that helps you navigate and control your finances.

Andrew Malamet, finance blogger for Corporate Insight, says "PNC has created a comprehensive tool that provides one of the best money management platforms currently available."

First, you'll need to decide which checking account works for you, then familiarize yourself with the Virtual Wallet.

Performance select checking

Who it's for: customers that want online tools and premium banking services. You'll have a dedicated private banker, free PNC and non-PNC ATM transactions, including reimbursement of some non-PNC ATM surcharges, the ability to earn interest on balances of $2,000 or more, interest rate discounts on PNC bank loans and credit lines, bonus rates on select CDs and IRAs, free PNC cashier's checks, identity theft reimbursement insurance up to $10,000 and a $100 discount on a safe deposit box.

There are no monthly service charges if you meet any one of the following criteria (otherwise a $25 fee applies).

  • $5,000 or more average monthly balance in Spend + Reserve + up to 6 linked checking accounts
  • $5,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to the Spend account
  • $25,000 combined average monthly balance

Performance spend checking

Who it's for: people who want online tools and rewards for a broader banking relationship

You'll need a $25 minimum to open a performance spend account. There's no monthly service charge if you meet any of the following criteria (there's a $15 fee if you don't).

$2,000 or more average monthly balance in Spend + Reserve

$2,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to the Spend

$15,000 combined average monthly balance

PNC's Virtual Wallet

PNC Virtual Wallet illustration with laptop

PNC offers a Virtual Wallet as part of it's checking account packages, and its split into three sections to help you manage your finances: Spend, Reserve, and Growth.

Here's how the accounts breakdown:

Virtual Wallet Spend

This account is where you'll want to spend most of your time. It's the flexible account to use for everyday living expenses. With your Spend account you receive a Virtual Wallet Visa Check Card that you can use to make purchases (these purchases are deducted from your Spend account) or withdraw money at ATMs. You'll also use the Spend account to pay bills through check or Online Bill Pay. PNC has Spend and Performance Spend accounts.

Virtual Wallet Reserve

Here's where you want to put short-term savings and protect against overdraft fees. If you're at risk of overdrawing from your Spend account, what PNC calls "Danger Day" – money will automatically transfer from your Reserve to your Spend (free of charge). Your reserve account also has a "wish list," where you can set savings goals for big tech or furniture purchases or trips.

Virtual Wallet Growth

This is your long-term savings account, and it's also your second line of defense when it comes to overdraft fees. Put money here for long-term savings goals. Plus, if you make at least five qualifying purchases in a month with your Virtual Wallet Debit Card or set up a qualifying monthly direct deposit of at least $500 for Virtual Wallet, or $2,000 ($1,000 for Workplace) for Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or $5,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Select, you'll earn the high yield rate on your Growth account for the following month.

What you get with PNC's Virtual Wallet

  • Online bill pay
  • Overdraft protection
  • Reminders
  • Auto alerts
  • Free Use of PNC ATMs
  • Two ATM fees reimbursed per month on non-PNC bank ATMs
  • A high yield savings account
  • Quick fund transfers between accounts
  • Quick View summary of all your expenses
  • Free check writing – three hand-written checks permitted monthly.
  • No limit on checks sent via the online banking interface or checks sent for scheduled bills.
  • Overdraft protection included with no setup of transfer fees.
  • If you overspend on one account, money will be transferred from one of your other accounts automatically.
  • Bonus points on PNC points VISA card
  • First set of checks is free when you open the account
  • No monthly service charge.

PNC Healthcare loans feature

Special Virtual Wallet features

  • PNC calendar virtual wallet icon

    See your expenses clearly on PNC's calendar

    The Virtual Wallet calendar is an easy way to track your spending and income daily. It's easy to understand and allows you to view all of your banking information in one place. Through the calendar, you can check your balances, track your bills, get reminders for upcoming bills, mark paydays and stay ahead of "danger days." You can change the calendar view to show monthly, weekly, or daily data.

  • PNC app pay bills on time icon

    Use PNC to pay all your bills on time

    PNC has a great bill pay tool that can help immensely with staying on top of all your upcoming payments. If you set up online bill pay, PNC will pay bills automatically, including sending a check for you with no fees involved. You can set bill payment at any interval you want. Just head to the account detail section, click on the "add" button, then select "schedule bill."

  • PNC app calendar to determine danger days icon

    Determine your danger days

    What sets PNCs virtual wallet apart from competitors is that it is always thinking ahead. The PNC Virtual Wallet will add icons next to your "danger days" to warn you of a potential overdraft and stay there until you have sufficient funds.

  • PNC money bar icon

    Set your Money Bar higher

    The Money Bar, which you can see on the quick view and account detail screens, represents the balances of your Spend and Reserve accounts. It also shows the what you've "Scheduled Out," or already committed to scheduled bills and payments over the upcoming two weeks.

  • PNC Wish List icon

    Create a wish list

    Set money aside in your Reserve and Growth accounts to allocate for specific spending goals. Track how close you are to that dream vacation on home purchase with PNC's progress meter, which will tell you how close you are to reaching your goal.

  • PNC spending zone icon

    Get in the Spending Zone

    The Spending Zone shows your spending among categories like gas, restaurants, utilities, bank transactions, so you can compare your spending over time (the past 10 months for instance). It also has a budget management feature, which can be used to set a monthly budget for your categories.Another cool feature is email alerts, which will let you know when you're nearing or exceeding a particular budget. While these are all neat features, as Modern Saver notes, the budget portion could be integrated better into the calendar and the Money Bar.

  • PNC Punch the Pig icon

    Punch the pig

    In addition to setting aside a certain amount when paying a bill or creating automatic savings, the PNC Virtual Wallet gives you the option to "punch" rather than click the piggy bank icon at the top of the interface. When you do this, an amount designated by you will be sent from your spend to your growth account.

  • PNC checking benefits icon

    PNC checking benefits and rewards

    You'll often find that you're eligible for a bonus amount of $200-$300 when you open a PNC checking account. PNC checking accounts also give you interest on balances above $2,000 as well as reimbursement of some ATM fees. You can also link your PNC credit cards to your checking accounts to earn rewards points on your purchases.

PNC bank checking fees, costs, and limits

PNC fees and calculator header

A minimum of $25 is needed to open a checking account with PNC bank. You must keep a balance of $500 in your account or you will be subject to a $7 maintenance fee. PNC checking accounts come with overdraft coverage. The bank will cover your ATM and debt card transactions if you overdraw your account. You must opt-in to use this feature.

It's important to note that PNC says they pay overdrafts at their discretion, which means they don't guarantee they are going to authorize any type of transaction.

Also important to remember: if you're going to overdraft, be ready for fees.

PNC charges $36 each time they pay an overdraft, with a limit of 4 charges per day.

Also, a $7 fee may be assessed each day your account remains overdrawn for a period of five or more consecutive calendar days, up to a maximum of $98.

This charge is in addition to any overdraft item fees or returned item fees assessed. Your checking will automatically come with a Virtual Wallet option.

Setting up a PNC checking account

To set up a PNC checking account, head to PNC.com, where you'll fill out a brief survey that asks questions to help you determine what kind of Virtual Wallet account you want.

After you complete, you'll be able to set up your account instantly online.

You'll need to have your your social security number and government issued photo ID (a driver's license, state-issued ID, or a military ID) handy to complete your registration.

What are people saying about this service?

Overall, PNC's Virtual Wallet is the bright spot in PNC's services, as shown in finance blog and user reviews.

Justin, a finance blogger with So Over This, says, "PNC's Virtual Wallet is one of the biggest contributors to my financial turnaround."

Forbes Contributor Rob Berger says it "has several features ideal for college students," online tools to help you track spending, and parents can receive account alerts.

Users also had favorable reviews, highlighting how easy it was to budget with the Virtual Wallet.

PNC positive customer reviews about Virtual Wallet

I love being able to budget all my money into the reserve and see exactly how much I have for each bill every month.

I enjoy it because it allows me to budget simply without other apps.

"PNC's online banking service through their virtual wallet account is extremely user-friendly and intuitive."

PNC Savings Accounts

PNC offers a variety of savings accounts ranging from the more traditional standard savings account to the Virtual Wallet, and even offers an option for those under 18 with a financial education component.

PNC also offers CDs and IRA accounts for long term savings growth. Because PNC's online platform places an emphasis on budgeting and saving, you're more likely to hit your financial goals.

PNC makes sense for anyone who needs an extensive set of budgeting and savings features. If you don't opt for the Virtual Wallet package and open just a savings account, your interest rate decreases from the bonus 0.10% to the standard 0.01%.

Stats about the PNC Arena

PNC offers three different ways to save:

Virtual Wallet-growth account

The Virtual Wallet Growth Account is a comprehensive money management solution that allows you to view and manage your accounts in one place

  • Standard rate of .01%
  • Higher yield relationship interest rates

Premier money market

  • Open account with just $100 or up to $10,000
  • Higher balances earn higher interest rates
  • Unlimited deposits and transfers into the account
  • FDIC insured to the max permitted by law

Standard savings account

  • $25 to open
  • Unlimited deposits and transfers into account
  • Auto savings tool that allows you to establish a recurring savings routine
  • Interactive online banking experience that presents basic money concepts with Sesame Street tips on learning financial basics
  • No service charge for account holders under 18
  • Interest on balances starting at $1.00

PNC saving accounts benefits and rewards

PNCs best rewards come when you hold all of the Virtual Wallet services, which offer you a relationship interest rate. Furthermore, if you're a college student, PNC won't charge you monthly account fees on Virtual Wallet as long as you're in school. If your school partners with PNC, look for classes in financial education and money management provided jointly by the bank and your school, which is another perk PNC offers to college students.

PNC saving account fees, limits, and costs

As long as you maintain the minimum waiver balance or set up automatic transfers of at least $25 from your checking, you won't be charged a maintenance fee.

PNC Virtual Wallet growth account

  • Monthly Fees: $7
  • Fee Waiver: $500 average daily balance

PNC standard checking account

  • Monthly Fees: $5
  • Fee Waiver: $300 average daily balance

PNC money market

  • Monthly Fees: $12
  • Fee Waiver: $5,000 average daily balance

PNC 'S' is for savings

  • Monthly Fees: $5
  • Fee Waiver: $300 average daily balance

What people are saying about PNC saving accounts

Overall, users who save with PNC tend to be very happy with the services, citing things like great interest rates, easy budgeting, and the ability to link all account easily as the main reasons they stick with PNC. Here are a few of those reviews:

PNC positive customer reviews about savings accounts

My experience with my PNC savings account has been superior and excellent.

It has always served its purpose, save my money and it does it well! I love the easy access to it and how it is linked to my checking account.

The standards for the Growth account are very lenient, as nearly any sum of money placed in there will begin to gain a minuscule interest.

I would highly recommend this service or account to anyone who was willing to to take control of their finances, as it has helped me tremendously.

PNC certificates of deposit (CDs)

CDs offer a fixed rate of return and the ability to earn higher rates with longer terms. PNC offers a variety of terms ranging from 7 days to 10 years with automatic renewals. CDs are FDIC insured to the maximum permitted by law. You can supplement retirement savings with a tax-deferred IRA CD.

How to open a PNC certificate of deposit

PNC website screenshotOpen this account online through the bank website at: http://www.pnc.com or contact PNC by telephone at 1-800-762-5684.

PNC Credit Cards

PNC 4 credit cards offeredPNC bank offers four different types of personal credit cards: PNC Core, PNC Points, PNC Cashbuilder, and PNC Premier Traveler.

Carrying a balance? The PNC Core card is for you

If you just want a low-rate, easy to use card, stick with the PNC Core Visa. This card doesn't have the bells and whistles of premium benefits or perks—just a low interest rate, and, as Kelly Dilworth from CreditCards.com writes, a "lengthy promotional balance transfer period to wipe out—or at least seriously dent—a substantial amount of debt." The PNC Core Visa card gives you up to 15 months to pay down your credit card balance, which Dilworth notes is less than what some balance transfer cards offer, but better than most. The low interest rate is the best part of this card, with APR offers to cardholders with excellent credit as low as 10.49%, one of the lowest APRs on the market.

Looking for rewards? Get the PNC Points card (well, maybe...)

PNC Points Visa card

The PNC Points card lets you earn points for the day-to-day purchases you're already making. The reviews are overwhelmingly negative. While there are no point limits and you can redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise or cash back, points expire after 48 months and there's no transfer to other loyalty programs. There are better rewards cards out there.

Already a PNC customer? Maximize rewards with a PNC Cashbuilder card

On its own, the PNC Cashbuilder card has an unimpressive 1.25% cash back rate. But spend over $2,000 per month or have enough money deposited in a PNC checking account, and the card's rewards can climb to over 1.5%. This credit card doesn't come with a welcome bonus, so don't count on a big initial bump.

What users are saying about PNC's credit cards

Curtis Arnold, a finance writer with Huffington Post listed PNC credit cards as among the best cards to consider if you're looking for a0% balance transfer.

But if it's points you're after, stay away. The reviews are overwhelmingly negative and the value simply isn't there.

Finance bloggers Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon were able to find out that 50,000 PNC points are worth $100 toward the cost of a coach flight on any US airline.

At that level, the value you'll receive is 1/5 of 1 cent per point.

Have Wanderlust? Use your Premier Traveler card

With the Premier Traveler you get 2% back on all purchases in the form of travel credits. It also comes with a 30,000 point signup bonus which can be redeemed for $300 in travel credits.

The downside? PNC only offers their credit cards to people with addresses in the following states: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

Interested in a PNC credit card?

You can apply for a PNC credit card online. Be sure to have your social security number and income information handy. Also, PNC sometimes sends pre-selected offers in the mail, which allow you to enter your pre-selected code online, speeding up the approval process.

Company stats about PNC

Other banking services at PNC

Borrow large or small with PNC loans

PNC also offers loans. PNC has three personal loan options – secured and unsecured installment loans, and a line of credit. Erin Millard, personal finance freelance blogger and founder of JourneyToSaving.com, recently reviewed PNCs installment loans. She noted that most online lenders only offer unsecured loans, which do not require your creditor to use your assets as collateral if you default.

PNC, unlike many financial institutions, offers both secured and unsecured loans. If you're looking for an unsecured loan, PNC will let you borrow $1,000- $25,000 on a six month to five year term option.

With a secure loan, you'll be able to borrow more ($2,000-$25,000), but you'll need to put down something non-real estate for collateral -- like a car or jewelry. Your car must be less than eight years old and have less than 80,000 miles on it if you want to use it as collateral.

The unsecured and secured loans have fixed interest rates and payments come in a lump sum. Erin Millard tried unsuccessfully to check the APR and sample payments for secured loans online, and when she called PNC, customer service told her that it varies based on your credit. They also were unable to give her an APR range.

Personal line of credit

If you're looking to borrow money when you need it instead of taking a lump sum loan, a personal line of credit may be for you. Credit lines at PNC vary from $1,000 to $25,000 and you decide when and how much to borrow based on your credit limit. You might not have to say what you want the money for, but you also may have to. It will depend on the lender and the amount being borrowed, says Nessa Feddis, senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for the American Bankers Association.

PNC Mortgages

Back in 2008, National City was bought over by PNC Financial and National City Mortgage was then renamed PNC Mortgage. This turned PNC into one of the the top ten mortgage providers in the United States. If you're looking for a mortgage on a new home or looking to refinance your current mortgage, you can do both with PNC.

PNC Mortgage is headquartered in Pittsburgh, where it originates and services a broad selection of conventional and government-backed loans for purchase, refinance and home equity.

PNC Mortgage offers adjustable- and fixed-rate loans. You must have a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify, and in many cases, similar to personal loans, your debt-to-income ratio can't exceed 45%.

Here are some great tips from insiders about how to work with PNC about a mortgage:

Staci Titsworth, a regional manager, says that while it's not required, you might want to get pre-approved for your mortgage before putting in a home offer.

Michael Burge notes in a review of PNC mortgage that income, credit history and score, debt-to-income ratio and your assets will be reviewed as part of the pre-approval process.

You'll start this process online, in person, or on the phone. If you start the process online, a PNC loan offer should get back to you within two business days of submission.

PNC HomeIQ screenshot

The PNC Mortgage website provides a comparison of its products (fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, Jumbo loans, FHA loans, as well as combination and VA loans).

A great feature of PNC's mortgage division is the ability to speed pay your home loan. So if you're cutting it close to the due date, you don't have to worry. You can log into your account online or call PNC Mortgage and make an immediate payment. That way, you'll never be late.

Warren in Finance has included the steps to do this. You can just dial the HAL number at (800) 7369090, choose Option 1 for automated account information, enter your 10 digit account number, and select Option 2 for Speed Pay.

Follow these steps when prompted:

Step 1: Enter the last four digits of the primary borrower's social security number

Step 2: Enter your bank's ABA routing number

Step 3: Enter your checking account number

Step 4: Enter your check number for payment

Step 5: Enter your home loan payment amount

Invest in your future with PNC

PNC has a range of investment and retirement products. They include:

  • Brokerage Accounts
  • Managed Accounts
  • Education Accounts
  • Stocks, Bonds & Funds
  • Insurance
  • Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Retirement 401(K) & 403(B)

Brokerage Accounts

A brokerage account with PNC Investments lets you purchase mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, and bonds. You can trade online or work with a PNC Investments professional. To open an account, you can stop into a PNC Branch to speak with an Investments professional, or call the bank at 855-PNC-INVEST (855-762-4683). There is no minimum to open this account.

Classic Investment Account

In this type of account, you'll have a PNC Investments professional to review your situation and advise you on the best products for you. This account does not offer online trading.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Margin Accounts

PNC offers IRAs, which accumulate tax-deferred and let you take advantage of compound interest—meaning your IRA has the opportunity to generate growth on both the original amount you invest and on any accumulated earnings.

Margin accounts offer the features of the PNC Brokerage Account, but allow use of your account assets to borrow funds for additional stock purchases or cash. Interest rates apply to the loaned funds. Margin accounts require an additional application process and approval.

401 (K) and 401 (B) Accounts

401(k) and 403(b) plans are retirement savings vehicles funded by employee contributions and (in some cases) matching employer contributions. What's great about 401(k) and 403(b) accounts is that contributions are generally made before taxes and earnings accumulate tax-free until they're withdrawn.

A 403b allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars out of your paycheck to save for retirement–up to $16,500 per year, and for some people, the limit may be higher. It's typically administered by a financial management company chosen by your employer (or one of several they'll allow you to choose from) and you select funds and annuities to invest your money in.

Student Loans

Graduation cap and books PNC student loans

PNC offers both fixed rate and variable rate college loans. PNC doesn't offer consolidation loans, which Eli McCormick notes, let you combine all of your federal and private student loans into a single payment.

PNC does not charge an origination or application fee on student loans. However McCormick also notes that unlike many other private student loan companies, PNC doesn't offer any rate-reduction incentives when you apply for student loans.

PNC Grow up Great program children and info

PNC Business Accounts

PNC also offers a wide range of services for small business customers to help them grow and manage cash flow. Among them:

Business checking: there are three types of checking accounts to choose from:

  • Business Checking
  • Business Checking Plus
  • and Business Checking Preferred

Business credit cards: PNC has five different business card options

  • PNC Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Business
  • PNC points® Visa® Business
  • Travel Rewards Visa® Business
  • Visa® Business
  • Visa Signature® BusinessOptions℠

Merchant services: PNC offers point of sale payment capabilities

Business loans:

Business lines of credit:

What users are saying about PNC's other banking services?

Overall, there aren't as many reviews for PNC's other banking services as there are for PNC's standard checking, savings and credit card options. One PNC reviewer said there are definitely cheaper and more streamlined options, and another noted that PNC made the wrong choice for him regarding his investments.

PNC negative review about investment banking

They failed to invest my money instead throwing it into an IRA savings account. I missed out on the NYSE jump from 10,000 pts to 20,000 pts.

PNC digital banking

PNC has a comprehensive digital banking platform. Virtual Wallet, the PNC app, and mobile banking all make for a platform where you can do the majority of your banking from your phone and computer.

The PNC App

PNC has a mobile banking app where you can access your Virtual Wallet account. Take photos with your mobile phone and deposit via the app. After you sign up for PNC Online banking and log in, click on the Customer Service tab, then click on Mobile Banking Center under Customer Service. From there, follow the instructions for downloading and installing the Mobile Banking app on your phone. Most major carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile) and phone brands (Apple iPhone, Samsung, Motorola, LG) support the app.

Transferring money

PNC Popmoney website screenshot

Popmoney® lets you send money to your family and friends from your PNC account with Online Banking. It's a simple, no hassle way to send or receive money.

Paying bills

Manage, pay, and receive bills from one secure site. You can schedule your bill payments in just minutes online. You can also receive an electronic version of your bill online with eBills and sign up for email reminders for when a payment is due or has been sent.

Making deposits

You can deposit checks quickly and conveniently withmobile deposit.

Reporting

Sign up for Online Statements for free and get access to up to seven years worth of statements including check images for your deposit accounts, and up to 48 months of statements for your credit card account. You can view, print, or save a PDF version of your statement or checks, which is the same as your printed statement.

PNC security and fraud alert

A variety of automatic security alerts will advise you of important activity within your online banking services. Security alerts can be sent to your primary email address and your phone via text message.

PNC cards also come equipped with chip technology.

Ease of use, sophistication

While many users and reviewers note that the platform, particularly the Virtual Wallet, is easy to use, others have complained that it is too complex for them. If you've handled basic online banking and mobile check deposits, you shouldn't have an issue using PNC's digital platform. If you prefer traditional banking methods, you may want to go with a different financial institution with a more traditional online service.

Benefits/Rewards

The biggest benefit of the PNC digital platform is that for the most part, it's free. No fees for checking deposits on mobile, no fees for bill pay, the app is free, and the Virtual Wallet comes free with accounts.

What are users saying about this service?

PNC positive customer reviews about their mobile app

The PNC mobile app has received great reviews in the iTunes Store. Some highlights:

I love the PNC banking app! It makes all my accounts accessible and easy to maintain. I'm able to make transfers between PNC accounts, deposit checks, and even find the nearest branch or ATM - all in one click!

PNC is hitting their stride with the mobile app.

We love to be able to deposit checks, transfer, and see any linked accounts all by the secured login.

Discounts, Benefits and Rewards

PNC Purchase Payback provides customers great offers at your favorite retailers, or suggests similar businesses that the bank thinks you'll like based on your spending habits.

Earn up to $300 when you open a Virtual Wallet account.

A free, tech heavy platform focuses on letting you use free tech services to power your banking.

How user friendly are PNC's services to use?

PNC's services, particularly the Virtual Wallet, are very user friendly.

How is the customer service?

We've tested the customer service line, and on the three instances we've called, we were met with friendly, intelligent customer service representatives. That being said, the reviews we've seen are mostly mixed. Customers complained about slow wait times and unsympathetic and incompetent customer service representatives. We know that individual experiences may vary, but if you're the kind of person craving human attention and interaction, whether in person or on the phone, you may want to test the customer service representatives for yourself before trying out any of the company's major products.

How can I close or cancel my account with PNC?

You can close a PNC account in person, over the phone, or even via online chat, as some users did after their sign up bonuses posted.

When you decide to close a bank account, financial writer Miriam Caldwell recommends that you stop using your account and allow everything to clear the account completely before you close it.

PNC's Strengths

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Online Tools and a User-Friendly Platform

PNC's biggest strength may lie in its virtual wallet, whichmany users say is very user friendly. One user even went so far as to say the service is "fantastic for the tech savvy." The site is easy to navigate and clearly explains its products and services. For anyone looking to do most of their banking online, and don't care about face-to-face time, PNC will likely be a great banking partner.But if you do want to do your banking in person, and live near a PNC branch, you may find customer service suits your needs. Many of PNCs positive reviews are from people who actually interact with customer service in a branch, with some calling out specific representatives.

In addition to the online platform, the company also has a robust mobile platform, with many tools to use on your mobile device. It is important to note that reviews are mixed, so you may want to check out for yourself if the mobile capabilities are what you need them to be.

Another major point of strength is PNC's offerings for students. Because PNC partners with universities on things like student banking and achievement sessions, if you're a student or parent of a student, there's definitely opportunity to start a financial future with the bank in a way that is supported by your chosen university.

The last major strength to highlight is that monthly checking fees, compared to other banks, are not as high.

PNC's Weaknesses

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Customer Service and Limited Geography

If you're a global, or even U.S. traveler, PNC bank may not be for you. Because the bank is not available country wide (only 19 districts), you may have some difficulty getting all your banking done, or avoiding out of network fees, like those pesky$3 ATM fee.

Overall, reviews highlight that if you're on the East Coast, this is a great banking option for you. If face-to-face local branch service is something you need, and you aren't in a PNC area, you might want to go with a different option.

Most Common Complaints

The banks other major weak point is certainly customer service, where reviews, while mixed, are mostly negative. Some highlights:

PNC negative reviews about customer service

They have the absolute WORST customer service. Even worse than the cable company and I did not know that was possible.

They are refusing to speak with me to help me in any way.

I contacted PNC Online but they brushed me off.

Many other customer complaints center aroundfees.

PNC negative reviews about fees

They are obsessed with charging the $36 overdraft fee!

PNC charges late fees on its debit cards without any warning. I got charged $12 on a $75 card and discovered this when I went to use the card.

PNC is the worst ever!!! What you read online is different than what they see. They love overdraft fees.

Here are a few of the fees that AdvisoryHQ found on the PNC website:

  • $7.50 debit card replacement fee
  • $25 expedited card delivery fee
  • $3 non-PNC ATM fee
  • $36 overdraft/returned item fee
  • $2 ATM statement fee
  • $25 early account closure fee

There are also a great many complaints about PNC mortgage fees and services. Some PNC Bank mortgage reviews on Consumer Affairs complained that fees could be very extreme.

Other PNC mortgage reviews stated that the bank had individuals' addresses wrong, which lead to tons of penalties. Others complained of poor customer service and misplaced payments, which led to—you guessed it—even more fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PNC's BBB rating?

PNC has a C- rating with the BBB. It has failed to respond to 7 complaints filed against the business.

Which credit bureaus does PNC report to?

PNC reports to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

Is there an account maintenance fee or a transaction fee that is applied on my account?

For Performance Select checking accounts, there's no monthly service charge if you meet one of the following (otherwise $25):

  • $5,000 or more average monthly balance in Spend + Reserve + up to six linked checking accounts
  • OR, $5,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to the Spend
  • OR, $25,000 combined average monthly balance

For Performance Spend account, there's no monthly service charge if you meet any of the following (otherwise, the fee is $15):

  • $2,000 or more average monthly balance in Spend + Reserve
  • OR, $2,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to the Spend
  • OR, $15,000 combined average monthly balance

For a Virtual Wallet account, there's no monthly service charge if you meet any of the following (otherwise, the fee is $7):

  • $500 or more average monthly balance in Spend + Reserve
  • OR, $500 or more qualifying monthly direct deposits
  • OR, only use ATMs or mobile banking to make withdrawals and deposits
  • OR, with Virtual Wallet Student

How can I find my PNC bank routing number?

PNC has detailed information on where you find your routing number. On paper checks your bank (ABA) routing number can be found at the bottom of your checks.

Can you get foreign currency at a PNC bank? Can you transfer money from PNC to another bank?

Yes, you can do both, but the customer service representative that we spoke to said you can only do this online.

How is my credit limit determined?

PNC, like most lenders, will look at your credit bureau reports to check for major red flags, delinquent bills or bankruptcies. They'll also look at your debt-to-income ratio and your credit score to help determine your limit.

PNC's general manager, Paramita Bandyopadhyay, also has some great information on credit limits here. Her recommendations? Keep spending low, know that different lenders have different limits, track your debts, check for changes often, and make sure you time your credit-limit increase request right.

How can I request a credit upgrade?

You can request a credit upgrade by calling PNC customer service at 1 (888) 762-2265.

Does PNC bank offer personal loans?

Yes, PNC offers personal loans. We've outlined them above, but for more information you can gohere

How much does PNC bank charge to cash a check if you don't have a bank account with them?

$10, according to Katherine Muniz of My Bank Tracker.

How much can you overdraft with PNC bank?How much is a safety deposit box at PNC bank?

A PNC safety deposit box costs $100 yearly.

Can I withdraw money if I am abroad?

You can withdraw money abroad, but it will not be from a PNC ATM (as they are only located in the U.S.). There is also a 3% processing fee whenever you use your debit or credit cards abroad.

Is my account insured against fraud or theft?

PNC provides Identity Theft Reimbursement Insurance. This insurance reimburses certain expenses associated with repairing your credit, such as legal fees, lost wages, long distance phone calls, postage, and notary fees. PNC's Identity Theft Reimbursement Insurance coverage is underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of AIG Inc. For Virtual Wallet with Performance Select and Performance Select Checking, you're covered up to $10,000.

What is the charge on online transfers from my account to other accounts?

There is no charge on online transfers from your account to other accounts. There are limits to the amount you can send, but there are no fees associated.

How can I sign up for overdraft protection and what does it cost?

PNC overdraft protection comes standard with PNC accounts, and it's free. Fees do apply when you overdraft. In addition to the initial $36 overdraft fee (4 maximum per day), PNC Bank charges $7 per day after four days, and up to a maximum $98.

Does PNC Banking use credit scores?

PNC uses credit scores to determine credit card and loan approval.

Do products/services offered by PNC Banking differ from state to state?

Because PNC has such a huge online presence, you'll find that products rarely (if at all) vary from state to state. But if you're looking for a bank with a branch you can visit, you'll want to make sure there's a location near you, as PNC doesn't operate branches in all 50 states.

Thinking of going with PNC Banking? Our Verdict

What's great about PNC is that you don't have to go to a branch to open an account.

You can also open an account by calling customer service orgoing online.

You'll need to provide your social security number, driver's license, state-issued ID, or a military ID, and make your first deposit ($25 minimum).

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If you live near a branch, are good with technology, or are interested in more than one of PNCs products, PNC may be for you. If you're near a branch, you can benefit from traditional services. If you're into technology and don't care about face-to-face customer service, you'll like the bank's online capabilities, which surpass their competitors.

If you're not so tech savvy, and strong customer service is a priority for you, you might want to stick with a more traditional banking option.

Do you use or have any thoughts about PNC Bank? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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