PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking review

No monthly fees for up to six years, but be sure to close your account when you graduate.’s rating: 3.8 / 5.0


PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking includes three separate accounts: a checking account called Spend, a short-term planning account called Reserve and a long-term savings account called Growth. All three accounts are free for students aged 14, but only for up to six years.

When you open an account, you’ll get budgeting tools, ATM reimbursements and access to PNC’s financial literacy hub. But once you’ve finished school, it converts into PNC’s standard Virtual Wallet account, which can get expensive.

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$0 per month


Up to 0.03%



Minimum deposit to open


APY0.03% on balances of $2,500+
0.02% on balances of $1 to $2,499.99
0.01% on balances of $1+
Fee$0 per month
Minimum deposit to open$25
ATMsapproximately 2,300 locations and nearly 18,000 PNC and Partner ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
ATM fee rebates$5.00 reimbursement per statement period
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Overdraft fee$36

Review by

Michael Benninger is lead writer at Forbes Advisor and a former writer at Finder, specializing in banking. His work and analysis has been featured in Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, and the Los Angeles Times, among other top media. He holds a B.A. in business administration and marketing from Rowan University in New Jersey.

Expert review

PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account is a decent fit for kids age 14 and up as it comes with both checking and savings capabilities. But they can only keep their account for up to six years before it converts into PNC’s standard Virtual Wallet account. Once that happens, they’ll pay $7 a month unless they are able to meet certain balance or eligibility requirements.

If you’re looking for an account where your child can boost their savings and spending, consider Alliant Credit Union Free Teen Checking account, which earns 0.25% and you won’t have to worry about a monthly fee or opening deposit. Plus, you can also open an Alliant Kids Savings Account, which will give your child a chance to earn 2.95% APY.

How do I open a PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account?

You can open a Virtual Wallet Student account at a PNC branch or online by following these steps.

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the provider page and select Checking.
  3. Under the Virtual Wallet Student heading, choose Apply now.
  4. Tell PNC whether you’re older or younger than 18 years of age. If you’re younger than 18, you’ll need a co-applicant.
  5. Fill out the student’s information and hit Next.
  6. Enter the co-applicant’s information and select Next.
  7. Both the student and co-applicant must review and agree to the terms and conditions.
  8. Create a PIN and hit Open account.


To open this account, you must meet the following criteria.

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident alien
  • Your child must be at least 14 years old and a high school or college student

Required information

Provide the following information when opening your account.

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Details from a government-issued ID

What are the benefits of PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account?

Here are the primary benefits associated with the Virtual Wallet Student Checking account from PNC.

  • No monthly fee. There’s no fee for up to six years as long as you’re minimum 14 years old and remain enrolled in high school or college.
  • Fee reimbursements. PNC waives your first overdraft fee and will reimburse two out-of-network ATM fees per month.
  • Low Cash Mode. This feature helps you avoid overdraft charges by giving you 24 hours to bring your balance back to $0.

What should I look out for?

There are also a few drawbacks associated with PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking that you should consider before opening an account.

  • Limited locations. PNC has nearly 2,300 branches, but they’re only in 23 states.
  • Converts to an adult account. After six years, the account will automatically convert into PNC’s standard Virtual Wallet account, which has a $7 monthly fee that you can only avoid if you keep at least $500 in your Spend and Reserve account or deposit at least $500 a month.
  • Low APY. Although PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking comes with two interest-bearing savings accounts, you’ll only earn 0.03% APY in each of them.
  • Some fees. PNC charges a $25 fee if you close the account within 180 days of opening it and it charges $7.50 to replace your debit card if your kid loses it.
  • Checks aren’t free. This account includes check-writing abilities, but checks aren’t free. A pack of 80 will cost you around $20.

PNC’s ATM network and fees

PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account comes with a debit card you can use for free at any of the 3,600 ATMs in PNC’s network or any of the 55,000 ATMs in the nationwide Allpoint network. You can also complete ATM transactions at most PNC ATMs by using the PNC smartphone app instead of your debit card.

If you use your debit card at an ATM in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands that’s not operated by PNC or Allpoint, PNC imposes a $3 fee. PNC’s fee is $5 for using ATMs in other countries. However, PNC will reimburse the first two domestic or international ATM fees it charges in each statement period. It will also reimburse up to $5 in ATM surcharges imposed by other financial institutions each billing cycle.

Compare PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking with other checking accounts

Compare other student accounts by monthly fee, minimum opening deposit and ATMs.

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
US Bank Smartly Checking
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New offer: Earn up to $600 when you open a new U.S. Bank Smartly™ checking account and complete qualifying activities. Subject to certain terms and limitations. Offer valid through April 11, 2023. Member FDIC
Take control of your spending with integrated tools such as automated budgeting, upcoming due date alerts, low balance alerts and more, available in the US Bank Smartly Checking mobile app. Easily send and receive funds via Zelle. Waive overdraft fees by depositing money before the forgiveness deadline. Member FDIC.
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Chime Checking account
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Save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Pay $0 monthly fees, and no minimum balance is required. Access 24/7 support and get daily balance and transaction alerts. FDIC insured.
Chase Total Checking
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase Total Checking
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New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit.
Chase Total Checking is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. It offers a $200 signup bonus to new Chase customers. Member FDIC.
Upgrade Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade Rewards Checking
$0 per month
Earn up to 2% cashback rewards on everyday purchases. Pay $0 fees for overdraft, domestic wire transfer and monthly maintenance. Pair with Upgrade’s savings account to earn 3.75% APY. Get up to 20% discounts on Upgrade loans and credit lines. Member FDIC.
Albert Cash
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Albert Cash
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30-day free trial for Albert Genius
Albert Saving helps you set money aside for the future, whether your purchasing goals are big or small. Paid Genius subscription members enjoy perks like automated savings and annual cash bonuses. FDIC-insured through their partner banks.

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

There are several ways to move money into and out of your PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account.


  • Branch deposits. Deposit cash or checks at PNC branches.
  • ATM deposits. Deposit cash or checks at PNC ATMs.
  • Incoming ACH transfers. Link an external bank account and deposit funds at any time.
  • Incoming wire transfers. Your first incoming wire each month is free, but additional domestic and international wires cost $15 each.
  • Mobile deposit. Use PNC’s mobile app and your smartphone’s camera to deposit checks.


  • Branch withdrawals. Withdraw cash at any PNC branch.
  • ATM withdrawals. Withdraw cash from any PNC or Allpoint ATM.
  • Outgoing ACH transfers. Send funds to an external bank account from PNC’s app or website.
  • Outgoing wire transfers. Outgoing domestic transfers are $30 each, and outgoing international transfers are $45.
  • Check-writing. Write checks from this account, but you have to purchase them from PNC.

What other checking options does PNC offer?

Aside from the PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking account, PNC offers a standard Virtual Wallet account, which also comes with checking and savings capabilities but it offers up to a low 1.5% APY and you’ll pay $7 a month to maintain the account unless you meet certain balance or eligibility requirements.

How to contact PNC customer service

There are three ways to contact PNC about your account.

  1. Visit a branch.
  2. Call 877-225-5762 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
  3. Live chat via PNC’s website weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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