PNC Bank: 2023 Banking Review

Despite a notable high-yield savings account, PNC has relatively low savings rates and isn't available in all states.

PNC Bank has been around for 170 years and is one of the 10 largest banks in the country. It offers credit, banking, borrowing and investment services both online and in-person. PNC has more than 2,600 branches and 60,000 ATMs and partner locations, particularly throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and southern US.

PNC Bank logo
PNC Bank

You might consider PNC Bank if you're looking for strong digital banking features combined with in-person service. And if its high-yield savings account is available in your area, it offers a high 4.00% APY. But with limited locations and otherwise lackluster savings accounts, PNC is not a bank that will work for everyone. 

What we like

  • Strong online and mobile banking. PNC offers robust digital banking products and services.
  • Branch locations in 29 states. There are thousands of branches in select states throughout the country.
  • Competitive high-yield savings account. The high 4.00% APY for its high-yield online savings account is one of the best we've seen (in select areas only).
  • Expansive suite of banking services. This bank has all-encompassing products, including credit, checking, mortgages and auto financing.

What we don't like

  • Not available in all states. Though it spans 29 states, it does not offer nationwide banking services.
  • Account availability varies by location. Not all products are available in every location. Its high-yield checking account, for example, is only available in select areas.
  • Low APY on most savings accounts. PNC Bank's standard savings accounts won't earn you much interest.

Who is PNC suited for?

PNC is best for consumers who want to find one bank for all of their financial accounts and who live or work near a local branch. It's also a good option if you live in a state that has access to its high-yield savings account.

Checking account review

When you open a Virtual Wallet account, you can choose between three different account levels, each with the option to only open a checking account or open a checking and savings account.

  • Virtual Wallet: Introductory account made for most people. Avoid the $7 monthly service charge by making at least $500 in direct deposits or if you're 62 years of age or older. You can earn up to $50 when you open an account and meet the qualifying direct deposit requirements.
  • Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend: This account offers Virtual Wallet access, but comes with a $15 monthly service charge that's waived if you receive $2,000 or more in monthly direct deposits or you keep a balance of at least $10,000 between all your PNC consumer accounts. You can earn up to a $200 bonus when you open your account and meet the qualifying direct deposit requirements.
  • Virtual Wallet with Performance Select: Make at least $5,000 in monthly direct deposit or keep $25,000 in all of your PNC accounts (including investment accounts). Otherwise you're on the hook for the $25 monthly service fee. You can earn up to a $400 bonus when you open up this account and meet the qualifying direct deposit requirements. 

Checking account features

Checking account APY Minimum opening deposit Monthly service fee* Overdraft fee
Virtual Wallet 0.01% $0 $7 $36
With Performance Spend 0.01% $0 $15 $36
With Performance Select 0.01% $0 $25 $36

What we like

  • You can combine checking and savings into one account.
  • There are Virtual Wallet options for different income earners and students.
  • PNC's low cash feature gives you extra time to avoid overdraft fees.

What we don't like

  • High overdraft fee at $36.
  • Not all products are available in all locations.

Savings account review

You have a few different savings options with PNC, including using its Virtual Wallet, which pairs checking and savings together. The standard savings account is good for most people and the 'S' is for Savings account is a savings account for kids. There's also a high-yield savings account option that can earn you up to 4.00% APY, but it's only available in select locations.

Savings account features

Savings account APY Minimum opening deposit Monthly service fee*
Virtual Wallet 0.01% $0 $7
Standard Savings 0.02% $0 $5
'S' is for Savings 0.01% $0 $5
High Yield Savings 4.00% $0 $0

What we like

  • If you have multiple accounts at PNC, you could qualify for higher relationship interest rates.
  • No minimum balance to open an account.
  • Kid-friendly options to encourage savings at a young age.
  • Competitive 4% APY on high-yield savings account (if available in your area).

What we don't like

  • Minimal interest earnings on most savings accounts. 
  • Its high-yield savings account is offered in limited locations.
  • Not all savings account options are available in all locations.

CD account review

PNC offers two different types of CD accounts: a fixed-rate CD and fixed-rate IRA CD. The additional IRA component offers some tax and retirement savings advantages.

CD account features

CD accounts Minimum to open Terms APY
Fixed Rate CD $1,000 7 days to 10 years 0.01% to 0.03%; some months run promo offers
Fixed Rate IRA CD $250 6 months to 10 years 0.01% to 0.03%; some months run promo offers

What we like

  • Promotional offers allow you to earn up to 3.60 APY (currently offered for 13-month terms). 
  • Flexible terms as high as 10 years.

What we don't like

  • Not available to all customers.
  • Must visit a physical branch to open.
  • Unless you receive a promotional rate, its CD APYs are low.

Money market account features

Money market accounts are available at PNC at select locations. While an ATM card comes with the account, you can't use it to make debit card purchases -- you can only use it for ATM transactions. If you have multiple PNC accounts, you might qualify for relationship rates, which could earn you a higher interest rate.

  • APY: 0.02% to 1.80%, depending on your account and balance
  • Minimum to open: $0
  • Monthly service charge: $12 (waived if certain conditions are met)
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item, up to 4 a day

What we like

  • Unlimited deposits.
  • Banking card for easy ATM access.

What we don't like

  • Higher interest rates reserved for very high account balances, and are lower than other money market account rates.
  • Not available in all states or locations.
  • High minimum balance requirement -- $5,000 -- to maintain an account (or link another PNC account to avoid monthly service fee).
  • Cannot make debit purchases with your card.

PNC banking experience

You can open an account online or at one of the more than 2,600 branches across 29 states in the US. Not every bank offers every product, and when exploring accounts online you're prompted to input your zip code. This gives PNC the chance to prepopulate the site that's tailored to what's available near you.

How to contact PNC's customer service

Virtual Wallet and personal banking assistance are available Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET and Saturday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. Call PNC at 1-888-PNC-BANK (762-2265).

PNC doesn't offer live chat or secure email correspondence -- the best way to get in touch is to call.