- Certificates of deposit
- Customer experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
PNC Bank is the sixth-largest bank in the country by assets. Through a series of acquisitions in 2021, PNC has absorbed all former BBVA and Simple customers. PNC offers a combo checking, short-term planning and long-term savings account called Virtual Wallet Checking Pro. The trio of products — named Spend, Reserve and Growth, respectively — comes with a nice set of online financial management tools. The interest rate on short-term savings is much higher than you’ll find at traditional banks but lower than what the best online banks offer, and there’s no monthly fee.
Best for: Those who want a combination checking and short-term savings account and live in regions where the bank offers its highest interest rates.
- No monthly fee on some savings accounts.
- Large branch network.
- Large, free, nationwide ATM network.
- Overdraft grace period.
- Expensive overdraft fee.
- Low rates on some savings accounts.
- Monthly fees on some accounts (though they are avoidable).
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
PNC’s more competitive offering, Virtual Wallet Checking Pro, isn’t available nationwide but is offered in states without PNC branches (and a handful of states that do have branches); where Virtual Wallet Checking Pro is unavailable, Virtual Wallet is available. PNC’s Virtual Wallet Checking Pro offers two savings options in the Virtual Wallet Checking Pro bundle: Growth and Reserve. For greater returns, savings can be shunted into Growth, a long-term savings account. The Growth account offers a competitive rate of 4.65% APY on balances over $1. Customers in regions where Virtual Wallet Checking Pro is not available earn a lower rate on their Growth accounts.
The Reserve account, which didn't factor into our ratings, is meant for setting aside money for upcoming expenses and doesn’t earn interest.
» COMPARE: Check out the best high-yield online savings accounts
5.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Virtual Wallet Checking Pro Spend offers free mobile banking and online bill pay. There’s no monthly fee and no minimum deposit required to open an account.
The bank offers a network of 60,000 ATMs across the country. If you use a non-PNC ATM, the bank will also reimburse some ATM usage fees, though the machine’s owner could still charge a separate fee.
The account offers tools that let you schedule bill reminders, track your balance and set up budgets and alerts.
» Compare another checking and savings combo: See our SoFi review
Certificates of deposit
1.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Customer service representatives are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Support is also available by live chat and on Twitter. PNC Bank earned second place in the 2021 J.D. Power National Banking Satisfaction Study; it performed highest in resolving customer problems, according to the study. In 2022, the bank placed fourth in the study.
The PNC mobile apps also earn good ratings from both Android device users and iOS device users.
» COMPARE: See how PNC stacks up against the other best banks and credit unions for mobile banking
PNC Bank has high overdraft fees but it also offers some easy, free ways to avoid them. If a transaction causes your account to go more than $5 negative, the fee is $36 per item and can be charged a maximum of once per day. PNC offers a Low Cash Mode program, which is available with Virtual Wallet accounts. With the program, customers get a 24-hour grace period to bring negative balances to $0 or higher to avoid overdraft fees.
Plus, customers can decide whether certain transactions should be paid or returned to avoid balances going negative, though the bank has the final say on how to handle transactions. PNC doesn't charge for overdraft transfers if you link an account as a backup.
» MORE: Get more details on PNC Bank’s overdraft fees and policies
How does PNC compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Access Savings
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at SoFi Bank, N.A.
at CIT Bank
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star. How we rate banks, credit unions and other financial service providers.