Internet banking aficionados are probably aware of the PNC Bank online banking experience. However, this is an institution that’s more than just an online bank.

Pittsburgh National Corporation Bank (PNC Bank), which is part of PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (PNC), traces its roots back to the 1850s and is a highly diversified retail and commercial financial institution.

Image Source: PNC Bank

This PNC Bank review takes a closer look at the various services delivered by the bank to its customers.



THE BIG PICTURE (PNC BANK REVIEW)

The PNC Group offers a number of services to its clients, primarily through PNC Bank, that include individuals, small businesses, corporations, and public entities.

Core amongst these services are:

  • RETAIL BANKING: Which includes cash deposits, money lending, investment, and cash management services in 19 states through 2,600 branches, via a network of 9,000 ATM machines as well as through PNC Bank online banking.
  • ASSET MANAGEMENT: These services comprise investment management, wealth planning, trust and estate planning, and private banking to high-net-worth individuals and families.
  • CORPORATE & INSTITUTIONAL BANKING: These include capital management, treasury management, international banking, and Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) advisory services to middle-market clients.
  • RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE BANKING: Online PNC mortgage reviews will show that these services aid in offering a range of borrowing options to first-time home buyers, buyers of additional or larger homes or homeowners looking to refinance their current mortgages.
  • INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: As one-quarter owners of one of the world’s largest publically-traded investment management firms – BlackRock – PNC offers a range of fixed income, equity, and alternative investment products to retail and institutional investors.


PRODUCT SERVICE REVIEW (PROS & CONS)

As part of this PNC Bank review, we will be focusing on the retail consumer-facing products and services, including online banking services, PNC Bank CD rates, and PNC Bank checking account options.

Also, as part of our PNC mortgage reviews, we’ll look at options for first-time buyers and mortgage refinancing offered by the bank.

PNC Bank Products:

  • PNC Bank savings accounts
  • PNC Bank checking accounts
  • PNC Bank CDs
  • PNC mortgage & rates

PNC Bank Savings Accounts

PNC online bank offers three flavors of its accounts for its PNC Bank checking account clients. These are covered in its Virtual Wallet series of accounts and include the following features:

PNC Checking Account Comparison

PRODUCT FEATURE

VIRTUAL WALLET® WITH PERFORMANCE SELECT

VIRTUAL WALLET® WITH PERFORMANCE SPEND

VIRTUAL WALLET®

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONTHLY SERVICE CHARGES

 

$25

 

None if:
a) You have an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more in Spend + Reserve + up to 6 linked checking accounts


OR

b) You have $5,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to Spend

OR

 

c) You have a $25,000 combined average monthly balance

 

$15

 

None if:
a) You have an average monthly balance of $2,000 or more in Spend + Reserve


OR

b) You have $2,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to Spend

 

OR

 

c) You have a $15,000 combined average monthly balance

 

$7

 

None if:
a) You have an average monthly balance of $500 or more in Spend + Reserve


OR

b) You have $500 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits

 

OR

 

c) You only use ATMs or mobile banking to make deposits and withdrawals


OR

 

d) You have the Virtual Wallet Student

FREE USE OF PNC BANK ATMS

Yes

Yes

Yes

REIMBURSEMENT OF PNC FEES FOR USE OF NON-PNC ATMS

No fees

Reimbursement depends on where you live

Reimbursement depends on where you live

FREE ONLINE BANKING AND BILL PAY

Yes

Yes

Yes

ONLINE TOOLS AVAILABLE?

Yes

Yes

Yes

EARN CASH WITH PNC PURCHASE PAYBACK®

Yes

Yes

Yes

BONUS REWARDS ON PNC CREDIT CARDS

Yes – On CashBuilder® Visa® and points® Visa

Yes – On CashBuilder® Visa® and points® Visa

Yes – On points® Visa®

HIGHER YIELD RELATIONSHIP RATES ON SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Yes – On Virtual Wallet Growth

Yes – On Virtual Wallet Growth

Yes – On Virtual Wallet Growth

Pros:

  • There are multiple ways in which one may avoid paying monthly fees.
  • PNC online bank service users get free online and paper statements with a Performance account.
  • The accounts offer you access to free transactions through a network of 8,800+ PNC ATMs.

Cons:

  • “No monthly fee” may not necessarily mean “FREE” as the fine print does stipulate certain conditions where you may be ineligible for no-fee banking.
  • Only Performance Select accounts come with “no charge,” staff-assisted transfers. All others have a $3 charge for each transaction.
  • The applicable fees may vary depending on your zip code – check here first before opening an account.
  • On both of the Performance accounts, your balances will yield you hardly any interest, with balances between $2,000 and $100,000+ qualifying you for only a 0.01% interest rate.


PNC Bank Savings Accounts

Our PNC bank review shows that the bank offers its clients a choice of four savings accounts that can be opened with varying initial minimum deposits and which entitle you to earn interest based on different minimum balances.

PNC Bank Savings Account Rates

PNC Bank Review - Savings Rates

Image Source: PNC Bank

Pros:

  • Accounts may be opened with minimum opening deposits of between $25 and $100.

Cons:

  • Interest rates for Standard and S accounts are a paltry 0.01%.
  • Our PNC Bank review reveals that there is no differentiation made between the interest rate earned on a $2,500+ balance held in the Standard Savings Relationship account and a $1,000,000+ balance in a Savings Max account – both qualify you for a 0.10% interest rate.
  • Some accounts (Savings Max) have a very high minimum balance ($10,000) to earn interest (0.04%).
  • Unless you meet certain qualifying parameters, you could pay a monthly service charge of between $5 and $15


PNC Bank CDs

Customers can take advantage of a wide range of PNC Bank CD rates based on three varieties of accounts offered. Each of these products offers a graduated rate of interest based on a minimum balance held. In the table below, we show PNC Bank CD rates for 1- to 5-year durations. For simplicity, we’ve only included a subset of the applicable rate slabs.

PNC Bank CDs and CD Rates

Image Source: PNC Bank

Pros:

  • The bank has CDs from a 1-month term to terms of 120 months, thus offering a wide variety of choices to its clients.
  • Minimum opening balances for 1- to 5-year terms is only $1,000.
  • You only need a minimum balance of $1 to qualify for interest.
  • Short-term savers have access to CDs with extremely short durations – between 1 and 6 months.

Cons:

  • Most PNC Bank reviews confirm what we have found: Interest rates for almost all of the CDs listed above fall far short of comparable products offered by PNC Bank competitors.

PNC Bank - Pros and Cons

Image Source: PNC Bank

  • The bank also offers Ready Access CDs of 3- to 12-month durations, which carry interest rates equivalent to their Fixed-Term counterparts, making the Fixed-Term products a bit redundant.


PNC Mortgage Rates

While conducting our PNC Bank reviews for various mortgage products offered by the bank, we also looked at similar products offered by competing lenders.

PNC Vs. US Bank

Image Source: PNC Bank

Pros:

  • The bank offers an impressive variety of mortgage, refinance, and home equity financing products to its clients.
  • PNC mortgage reviews indicate that the bank’s rates are highly competitive with other institutions of similar stature and repute.
  • The company’s website contains a wealth of information online to educate home buyers about the mortgage process.
  • Similar to its PNC bank online services, the organization allows borrowers to track and manage their mortgage applications online using advanced tracking tools.

Cons:

  • While it may be premature to judge the bank on this issue, the ongoing lawsuit by former mortgage officers at the bank could (potentially) have negative effects on customer service and staff morale.

THE VERDICT PNC – BANK REVIEW

Customers banking with this institution, whether by using PNC Bank online banking or ATMs, get a strong partner with over a century of financial industry experience. This means that their money is definitely in safe hands. If having a trustworthy and reliable banking partner is on the top of your list, then this is definitely your bank.

The bank’s online tools and apps are some of the best in the industry, and it is very competitive on the mortgage lending side of its business. So that definitely earns it some points, in our opinion.

On the not so good side of the ledger, PNC Bank CD rates need some work. The bank should certainly consider offering better rates to its clients. Interest rates for many of its products are far lower than some of its equally known and established competitors.

When it comes to PNC mortgage reviews, Consumer Affairs has awarded it a 1-star overall rating. However, based on AdvisoryHQ’s methodology, we would give PNC Bank a 3-star rating.



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