PNC’s tiered checking and savings accounts are packed together into its convenient Virtual Wallet. But monthly service fees can get steep if you’re not careful about meeting balance or deposit requirements. And interest rates are only competitive on specific accounts available in select states.
Best for: Those looking for a short-term savings and checking combo to manage their finances.
- Free overdraft protection
- Digital tools to track spending
- Most accounts offer ATM reimbursements
- Most accounts have monthly fees
- Products and rates vary by location
- Most accounts have high balance requirements
Is PNC Bank right for you?
PNC Bank has a lot of red tape when it comes to fee waivers on most of its Virtual Wallet products. And with such low interest rates and rigid account requirements for fee waivers, there are few advantages to having an account. But three products stand out if you qualify.
The Virtual Wallet Student account lets you enjoy all the benefits, such as two non-PNC ATM withdrawals and an automatic courtesy overdraft fee refund, for six years with no monthly service charge. Keep in mind that you may be asked to provide proof that you’re enrolled in a qualifying educational institution. And if you ever convert your account to another product, you can’t transfer it back to a student account.
There’s also one attractive nonstudent checking and savings combo reserved for customers that live in a state that offers it: The Virtual Wallet Checking Pro account. You can choose to open just the checking account, but you’d be missing out on its high interest rate of 4% APY. Plus, this is one of the few checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fee and it still qualifies for $20 in ATM fee reimbursements — the highest we’ve seen on any of PNC’s Virtual Wallet accounts.
But if you’re just after a savings account with an impressive interest rate, see if you’re eligible for the PNC High Yield Savings account. This minimalist savings account earns 4.5% APY and has no strict account requirements, like monthly fees or minimum balance hoops to jump through.
How PNC Bank stacks up
PNC Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the US, with over 2,000 brick-and-mortar locations and about $557 billion in assets. Customers have access to over 9,000 free ATMs nationwide.
Where it shines
PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet offers a unique product that lets you see and manage your checking and savings accounts in one place. If you’re a one-and-done kind of person, PNC’s full-service offerings allow you to keep it all under one roof. Plus, its different account tiers let you grow with your bank account as your income or financial goals change.
Another helpful feature is its financial management tools that let you conveniently track and strategically organize your money from the mobile app. And transferring cash between your Spending, Reserve or Growth categories only takes a few seconds and is instantly processed.
Where it falls short
Nearly all PNC Bank’s products have monthly service fees with strict fee-waiver requirements. You must have a specific amount of money flowing in via direct deposit each month or sustain a relatively high balance ranging from $500 to $25,000, depending on the account.
And its products availability and interest rates vary widely from 0.01% to 4% APY based on location. So depending on where you live, PNC’s product may have a competitive interest rate or be peanuts compared to a high-yield savings account.
PNC Bank personal banking products
PNC Bank offers both checking and savings accounts as well as a combo product that allows you to spend and save within the same account. There’s no minimum deposit if you open an account online. But if you apply at a branch, you must deposit at least $25 to get started or $100 for the Premiere Money Market account.
PNC checking accounts
When you apply for any PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select — excluding the student account — you can lump your checking and savings into one account or open a solo checking account.
The hybrid Virtual Wallet designates your money into three sections:
- Spend. A primary checking account. In some tiers, it can earn 0.01% APY.
- Reserve. Keep your short-term savings here. Expect an APY of about 0.01% on balances $1 and up.
- Growth. Meant for long-term savings and generally earns a higher interest rate than your Reserve account. The standard APY is about 0.01%, but we’ve seen interest rates up to 4% APY depending on your location, balance, account type and whether you qualify for the Relationship Rate.
- Digital tools to track your spending
- Alert to fund your Spend account to avoid overdraft fees
- Most accounts come with ATM reimbursements
- Most accounts have a monthly fee
- Product availability and rates vary by location
PNC Bank offers five types of Virtual Wallet accounts, and their availability depends on your ZIP code
|Account name||Best for||Monthly fee||Features|
|Virtual Wallet||Those who want a straightforward checking account and keep a balance of at least $500||$7 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Standard Virtual Wallet features include:|
|Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend||Those who occasionally use out-of-network ATMs||$15 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Standard Virtual Wallet features, plus:|
|Virtual Wallet with Performance Select||Those who frequently use out-of-network ATMs||$25 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Standard Virtual Wallet features, plus:|
|Virtual Wallet Checking Pro||Those who don’t want a monthly fee, but it’s only available in particular locations||$0||Standard Virtual Wallet features, plus:|
|Virtual Wallet Student||Students||$0 for the first six years, then $7 when it converts to a regular Virtual Wallet account||Standard Virtual Wallet features, plus:|
PNC savings accounts
PNC Bank also offers a handful of savings accounts independent of their checking and combo products. All of its savings products support automatic transfers from your PNC checking account to your PNC savings account and come with an ATM card.
Choose from four PNC savings accounts that all earn interest on balances $1 or more:
- Standard Savings. A bare-bones savings account that earns 0.01% APY as the standard rate. If you have a qualifying PNC checking account, you could earn the Relationship Rate of up to 0.03% APY depending on your balance.
- High Yield Savings. Earn an impressive 4.5% APY with no monthly fee or account balance requirements: An interest rate that’s about 11 times the national average.
- Premiere Money Market. A savings account that offers higher interest rates of up to 3.6% APY than the Standard Savings account, especially if you qualify for the Relationship Rate.
- 'S' Is For Savings. Designed for kids and teens under 18, you’ll earn 0.01% APY on your cash.
When it comes to savings accounts, interest rates play a critical role in growing your money. At PNC Bank, we’ve seen rates that range from 0.01% APY to 4% APY depending on your account type, whether you qualify for PNC’s Relationship Rate, your balance and where you live. The highest APY we’ve seen is for the PNC High Yield Savings account, but availability is limited to specific locations.
- Supports automatic transfers to and from your PNC checking account
- Free ATM card
- Two accounts are eligible for Relationship Rates
- Most accounts come with a monthly fee
- Limited product availability and rates based on location
|Account name||Best for||Monthly fee||Features|
|Standard Savings||Those who have a qualifying PNC checking account to unlock Relationship rates and qualify for a monthly fee waiver||$5 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Eligible for Relationship interest rate|
|High Yield Savings||Those who don’t want a monthly fee||$0||Standard savings account features, including:|
|Premiere Money Market||Those who have a qualifying PNC checking account to unlock Relationship rates and qualify for a monthly fee waiver||$12 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Eligible for Relationship interest rate|
|'S' Is For Savings||Kids under 18||$5 or $0 if you meet one of the following requirements:||Standard savings account features, including:|
Other PNC Bank products
- Credit cards. PNC Bank offers an assortment of credit cards with different perks, including cash back, low interest rates and travel.
- CDs. PNC’s certificates of deposits have terms ranging from seven days to 10 years with a minimum $1,000 opening deposit.
- Prepaid Visa. For a $5 monthly fee, the PNC Prepaid Visa card lets you load funds, pay bills and withdraw cash.
- Mortgages. Take out a home loan or refinance your current mortgage.
- Home equity lines of credit. Choose from a variable or fixed-rate home equity line of credit.
- Auto loans. Finance your next vehicle or refinance your existing auto loan.
- Personal loans and lines of credit. Borrow money and pay it back through fixed installments with a personal loan or access funds whenever you need to with a PNC personal line of credit.
- Student loans. Cover your undergraduate college expenses if you don’t qualify for government loans and financial aid.
- Investments. PNC offers a plethora of investment solutions, including individual retirement accounts, brokerage accounts and education accounts.
Compare PNC with leading bank accounts
Compare checking and savings accounts by monthly fee, opening deposit and APY. Select Compare to see up to four accounts side-by-side.
Customer service experience
PNC Bank isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but holds an A+ rating for addressing customer complaints. But customer reviews on BBB and Trustpilot are extremely poor, averaging 1.1 and 1.3 out of 5 stars, respectively.
While some customers praise their local customer service agents, many report poor experiences, which is expected on review forums. Several negative reviews cite holds on their accounts, website and mobile app issues and difficulties withdrawing their money.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has given most of its branch locations an Outstanding or Satisfactory rating, and its online accounts are FDIC-backed. PNC made the Hispanic Network Magazine’s Top Financial and Banking Company list for seven consecutive years starting in 2017.
More guides on Finder
PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking review
PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking is free for six years but can then get pricey.
PNC 'S' Is For Savings: Kids’ savings account review
A kids’ savings account with Sesame Street education, but the APY is low.
PNC Virtual Wallet review
This flexible account rolls together the best of checking and savings. But it’s coy about interest rates.
PNC High Yield Savings account review
Enjoy no monthly fees, no minimum deposit and a strong APY — but only if you live in an eligible state.