PNC Virtual Wallet Student Checking review

No monthly fees for up to six years, but be sure to close your account when you graduate.

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

Fee

0.01%

APY

$25

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.01%
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 a staff banking writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. Michael is passionate about all facets of personal finance and has written hundreds of articles about money management during the past decade.

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 0.55% 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.

Eligibility

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 0.01% 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 APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Up to 1.00%
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Chime Spending account
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Spending account
N/A
$0
60,000+ fee-free ATMs
$2.50
Get rid of fees with this financial app offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
Current
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Current
N/A
$0
over 55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Current connects your money to friends, family, brands, and experiences that matter.
Chase Total Checking®
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Chase Total Checking®
N/A
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
$2.50
Chase Total Checking is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches. It offers a $225 signup bonus to new Chase customers
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
Up to 2.15%
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Deposit

  • 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.

Withdraw

  • 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 0.06% 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.

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