PNC has been in the banking business for 160 years. They are one of the leading credit providers to middle market companies across the country, serving individuals and small businesses, corporations and government entities. As of March 31, 2016, the company had approximately $135 billion in assets under management and $260 billion of assets under administration. PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau based upon the company’s years in business and its response to and resolution of consumer complaints. Today, PNC provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to more than 6 million consumer and small business customers across 19 states and the District of Columbia.

 

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
8.24 - 18.0%
8.3
#2
11.24 - 23.24%
8.0
#3
11.24 - 23.24%
7.9
#19
pnc_bank
10.24 - 22.24%
6.9

The Good

APR Range

PNC offers its customers Introductory APRs for all of their cards. When we compared to other cards offered by other credit card companies, we found that most companies only offer intro offers for particular cards while others offered no intro offers at all. All of PNC’s intro APRs are 0%. What varies from card to card is the length of time it takes for the intro APR to roll over to the ongoing APR. This intro APR time frame ranges from the first 12 to 15 billing cycles after opening an account. The ongoing APR for PNC’s cards range from 10.24% to 22.24%.

Here is how the APR looks individually for PNC’s credit cards:

  • PNC CoreSM Visa® Credit Card: Introductory 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles and in cases when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. Ongoing APR is 10.24% to 20.24%
  • PNC points® Visa Credit Card: Introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles and on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. Ongoing APR ranges from 12.24% to 22.24%, based on creditworthiness.
  • PNC CashBuilder® Visa Credit Card: Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. Ongoing APRs range from 13.24% to 22.24%.
  • PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card: Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles with an ongoing APR of 16.24%
  • PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature Credit Card: Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following the account opening.

We also found that PNC’s APRs were on par with other major credit card companies. For example, Citi has an ongoing APR rate of 12.24% to 24.24%, which is almost the same percentage rates as PNC. The same goes for Discover cards, which range from 10.99 – 22.99%. This concludes that using PNC is neither an advantage or disadvantage as far as the ongoing APR is concerned. Regarding introductory offers, PNC’s 15-cycle 0% APR deal is slightly more advantageous than competitors, who typically cap out these intro rates at one year.

Annual fee range

When it comes to paying annual fees, PNC shines. Three out of four cards have $0 annual fees with the fourth card, the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card and the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature Credit Card offering customers a $0 annual fee for the first year and $85 for every year afterwards. We would prefer a $0 annual fee on all of PNC’s cards, but when we compared PNC’s annual fees to other credit card companies, we realized PNC was ahead of the pack in this area. Some companies have annual fees for all of their cards while others have select cards that carry no annual fee as a benefit. But PNC was the only one that had 75 percent of their cards with zero annual fees.

Customer support

Customer support at PNC is available 24/7 by phone or email. There is also an international phone number for cardholders traveling abroad. All their phone numbers are toll free. Upon reviewing several companies, we found PNC’s customer service hours are on par with the major credit card companies and better than certain credit companies offering customer support for limited hours.

Foreign Transaction Fees

Cardholders traveling abroad who will be using their PNC card can expect to pay a foreign transaction fee of 3%. This fee is the standard across the credit card industry, so traveling with a PNC card is no better or worse than traveling with the majority of other credit card companies’ cards—with one exception: the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature Credit Card charges zero foreign transaction fees, which is very commendable for a travel card. We were surprised to find many travel cards with the same foreign transaction fees as non-travel cards.

Cards Offered

PNC Bank offers four credit cards for individuals. These credit cards are available to applicants in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The credit cards PNC Bank offers to individuals have a range of APRs, depending on whether you want a cash back or points rewards program or prefer a lower APR credit card with no rewards program.

Here are their credit cards:

  • PNC CoreSM Visa® Credit Card
  • PNC points® Visa Credit Card
  • PNC CashBuilder® Visa Credit Card
  • PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card

As a U.S.-based bank, PNC is not available everywhere. To apply for a personal credit card from PNC Bank, you must reside in one of the following locations: Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, or West Virginia. If you reside in a major state like New York or California, you will be excluded from PNC’s card offers.

Options for Rewards

Rewards with PNC cards are in plenty supply. Here are some of their best rewards options and their respective credit cards:

  • PNC Premier Traveler® Card lets you redeem your miles for travel rewards. You may also redeem miles for travel-related gift cards or for cash. 30,000 Bonus Miles when you make $3,000 or more in qualifying purchases during the first 3 billing cycles after opening you account. (A $300 value when you redeem miles for travel rewards) You can earn miles virtually everywhere you shop and get 2 miles for every $1 on all qualifying purchases, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • PNC CashBuilder ® Visa® lets you get 1.25% to 1.75% cash back if you maintain a Performance Checking account or Virtual Wallet minimum balance or direct deposit requirements in the prior billing cycle. Your cash back rewards for travel, gas, groceries, etc can be credited to your CashBuilder credit card account or deposited into your PNC checking or savings account (if you have one).
Security

In cases of fraud, PNC offers PNC Security Assurance, which functions as protection from credit or identity fraud. We were pleased to find that they offer $0 Fraud Liability, meaning you won’t be financially responsible for fraudulent charges on your account. They also offer enhanced fraud protection with chip technology, along with Warranty Manager Services. When compared to other companies in its niche, PNC holds the advantage with their identity fraud and Zero liability protection. Many companies offer fraud protection, but they don’t specifically offer Identity Theft Solutions. One feature that we found with another major credit card company which we’d like to see PNC add to their security features is Citi’s Fraud Early Warning, where you get emails or texts when there is any activity on your account. It would be a perfect compliment to their already stellar security services—which are free at no additional cost to the customer.

Unique Features

PNC’s most unique features come from their latest card offer, PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature Credit Card as the following:

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement – coverage for your checked luggage or carry- on baggage and its contents are lost due to theft or misdirection by a common carrier
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – Receive coverage for damage due to collision or theft to your auto rental vehicle
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance Services – Call 24/7 to receive referral assistance for emergency medical, legal or transportation
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch® – 24-hour, toll-free referral dispatch for services like towing, fuel delivery

The Bad

Late Payment

Late fees for PNC credit cards go up to as much as $35. Similar to many credit card companies, PNC ignores the 2010 Credit Card Law which caps late fees at $25. Depending on your situation, you can end up paying late fees that are more than your minimum monthly payments. There are a few companies who do cap their late fees at $25 or less, which is a better offer than PNC in this area.

Building Credit/Student Cards

Customers looking to build credit will have to look elsewhere. PNC does not offer secured credit cards or “starter” cards for customers like college students. We found that there are other credit card companies that do, such as Citi and smaller banks like Applied bank, which offer secured credit cards for those with weak credit.

The Bottom Line

We recommend considering all of PNC’s credit cards because several have no annual fees. Both the PNC points® Visa® Credit Card and the PNC CashBuilder® Visa® Credit Card are good cashback rewards cards that offer bonus points to customers who have a PNC checking account or PNC’s Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend.

The PNC points® Visa® Credit Card offers four points for every $1 in qualifying purchases and rewards points do not expire for four years. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn with the PNC points® Visa® Credit Card. The PNC CashBuilder® Visa® Credit Card offers 1.25% cash back on qualifying purchases and there is no limit to the cash back you can earn.

PNC offers customers great security features to prevent liability for identity theft and/or fraudulent charges. The APRs on PNC Bank’s credit cards range from below the national average APR to well above it, so we suggest customers learn what APR they’re eligible for before deciding whether to accept a credit card offer from PNC Bank. If you’re a student or a person needing to rebuild your credit with a secured credit card, PNC does not offer these. You’ll have to look elsewhere.

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