How To Open a PNC Bank Account

Ken Wolter /

If your bed is feeling the strain from all that cash stuffed discreetly between its box spring and mattress, or your wallet is bursting at the seams, maybe it’s time to open a bank account. It’s easier than you think. The same is true if you are starting a small business. PNC Bank has a wide range of services for small business owners.

Cash may be great for buying a pizza or getting groceries, but when you need to pay bills or make a big purchase, you need a checking account, a savings account or both. Having a bank account is a safe and secure way to track spending and manage your finances.

Regardless of the type of account that best meets your financial goals, you’ll need to know the steps to get started if you’re interested in opening an account with PNC Bank. This guide to opening a PNC Bank account will cover the following topics:

Steps To Open a PNC Bank Account

There are many reasons why people choose to open a bank account. Here are some of the most important reasons:

  • Security: Carrying large amounts of cash around is risky, and having all your money in one location where you can access it anytime is much safer.
  • A bank account is convenient for keeping track of spending and budgeting your finances.
  • You can store money for a rainy day and watch your savings grow for retirement.
A Better Way to Bank

PNC Bank offers a range of options to choose from, including traditional checking and savings accounts. You can also choose to manage your money online with a Virtual Wallet account.

Here’s what you need to do to open a PNC Bank account.

1. Gather Your Personal Information

All financial institutions are required by federal law to obtain, verify and record information that identifies you. When you open a bank account with PNC Bank, you will be asked for your personal information, including:

  • Your name
  • Legal physical address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Any other information that will allow PNC Bank to verify that you are who you say you are

You may also be asked for some identifying documents such as your driver’s license or other picture ID. 

2. Decide What Kind of Bank Account You Want To Open

If you’re opening a bank account for the first time, you might consider opening a checking account, a savings account or both. Checking accounts are generally used for day-to-day purchases, whereas savings accounts earn interest and help you put money aside for when you need it. PNC Bank has a number of Virtual Wallet account options, which combine both checking and savings features.

A Better Way to Bank

Here’s an overview of the checking and savings account options that PNC offers.

Traditional Checking and Savings Accounts

  • Performance Select Checking: This account gives customers access to PNC Bank’s highest level of benefits and rewards, along with free ATM transactions. 
    • Performance Checking: Customers can earn interest on balances of $2,000 or more. Plus, there are no charges at PNC Bank ATMs, and customers can take advantage of unlimited check writing. 
      • Standard Checking: Customers who only want a basic checking account may find this PNC account to be their best option. It comes with free PNC ATM transactions and cash rewards.
      • PNC High Yield Savings: With an online savings account, you can earn a high 2.00% annual percentage yield. And you can open your account with any amount.
          • Standard Savings: This account lets customers earn interest with a minimum balance of just $1.

          Virtual Wallet Accounts

          PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet helps you manage your money online. You can pay your bills, track your spending, set savings goals and more with its online tools. Virtual Wallet is both checking and savings, made up of three accounts: 

          • Spend: Your primary, noninterest-bearing checking account
          • Reserve: Interest-bearing checking account for short-term savings
          • Growth: Savings account that earns interest for long-term savings

          Virtual Wallet offers the following benefits:

          • Send money with Zelle
          • Mobile check deposit
          • Free transactions at roughly 9,000 PNC Bank ATMs; certain PNC fees for out-of-network ATM transactions are reimbursed
          A Better Way to Bank

          Customers can earn a 2.15% APY, and those who are eligible can earn an even higher relationship rate. Eligible customers can also earn cash with PNC Purchase Payback, a customized rewards program based on your spending habits. It provides offers at your favorite retailers or suggests similar businesses that you may like.

          Several versions of Virtual Wallet are available to choose from. Here’s a look at some of the features of each version:

          Virtual Wallet With Performance Select

          • Unlimited check writing
          • Overdraft protection
          • Earn cash with PNC Purchase Payback
          • Discount on check orders
          • No charge for cashier’s checks and stop payments
          • Free identity theft insurance
          • $100 discount on annual rental fee for safe deposit box 
          • Free domestic wire transfers

          Virtual Wallet With Performance Spend

          • Unlimited check writing
          • Overdraft protection
          • Earn cash with PNC Purchase Payback
          • Free identity theft insurance
          • $10 discount on annual rental fee for safe deposit box

          Virtual Wallet

          • Unlimited check writing
          • Overdraft protection
          • Earn cash with PNC Purchase Payback 

          Virtual Wallet Student

          • PNC Bank Visa Debit Card
          • Unlimited check writing on your Spend account
          • Overdraft protection and coverage options
          • One free domestic or international incoming wire transfer per statement period

          3. Fill Out the Online Application or Apply in Person

          You could visit a PNC Bank branch in person to open your first checking or savings account, but filling out the application online is easy and will save you time

          The first thing you’ll need to do is answer whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. You’ll also supply your personal details, including:

          • Your name
          • Address
          • Contact information, including phone number and email address
          • Employment information

          You will be asked to make your first deposit, and if your account is approved, you’re ready to bank.

          If you choose instead to visit one of about 2,400 locations across 21 states and Washington, D.C., bank personnel will be happy to help you open your account. If you have questions, you can call 1-888-PNC-BANK (1-888-762-2265) for assistance.

          PNC Bank Checking Account Fees and Features

          The chart below includes the most common fees associated with PNC Bank’s traditional checking accounts. Other fees may apply.

          PNC Bank Checking Accounts at a Glance

          Fees and Features Performance Select Checking Performance Checking Standard Checking
          Monthly service charge $25; eligible customers can waive fee $15 $7
          Minimum deposit to open account $25 $25 $25
          ATM fees $0 at all PNC locations and non-PNC Bank ATMs $0 at all PNC ATMs; $3 to $5 at all other ATMs $0 at all PNC ATMs; $3 to $5 at all other ATMs
          Overdraft fee $36 $36 $36
          Early closure fee $25 $25 $25

          PNC Bank Savings Account Fees and Features

          In addition to the standard fees that PNC’s savings accounts have, other fees such as ATM and overdraft charges may apply. Here are some of the fees and features of PNC Bank’s savings accounts:

          PNC Bank Savings Accounts at a Glance

          Fees and Features PNC High Yield Savings Standard Savings
          Minimum deposit to open account $0 $25
          Monthly service charge $0 $5; eligible customers can waive fee
          ATM fees $0 at all PNC ATMs; $3 to $5 at all other ATMs $0 at all PNC ATMs; $3 to $5 at all other ATMs
          Overdraft fee $36 $36
          Standard APY 2.00% 0.01%

          Virtual Wallet Fees

          Among other fees, monthly service charges are associated with certain Virtual Wallet accounts. However, for each Virtual Wallet option that comes with a monthly service charge, customers can meet one of the requirements listed below to avoid the monthly fee: 

          Monthly Service Fees for Virtual Wallet Accounts
          Account Monthly Service Charge Ways To Avoid the Monthly Fee
          Virtual Wallet with Performance Select $25
          • $5,000 combined average monthly balance in your Spend account, Reserve account and/or up to six linked PNC consumer checking accounts
          • $5,000 or more in total qualifying monthly direct deposits to your Spend account
          • $25,000 combined average monthly balance in PNC consumer deposit and/or investment accounts

          Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend

          • $2,000 average monthly balance in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
          • $2,000 or greater in total qualifying direct deposits to your Spend account per statement period
          • $10,000 combined average monthly balance in PNC consumer deposit accounts

          Virtual Wallet

          • $500 average monthly balance in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
          • $500 or more in qualifying monthly direct deposits
          • No monthly service charge if account holder is at least 62 years old

          Virtual Wallet Student

          No monthly service charge for the first six years
          • You may have to prove you are enrolled in a qualifying educational institution

          How To Avoid Unwanted Fees

          When it comes to fees, some are transparent on a bank’s website or in printed materials, while others are hidden in the small print. PNC Bank’s fees are prominent on its website. Here are a couple of types of fees to look out for.

          ATM Fees

          Some PNC checking accounts charge a fee if you use an ATM that is not associated with PNC Bank. The charge can range from $3 to $5 depending on the country in which the ATM is located. The best way to avoid this fee is to use a PNC Bank ATM for all your needs. 

          Overdraft Fees

          PNC charges a $36 per item overdraft fee. The best way to avoid being changed is to monitor your account and keep track of your balance, outstanding checks and scheduled bill payments. By automatically scheduling recurring monthly payments using PNC’s online bill pay, you can avoid having bills hit on the same day of the month. 

          Benefits of Having a PNC Bank Account

          PNC Bank offers a range of convenient online banking services. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect:

          • Get notified of activity on your PNC Bank accounts via email or text message alerts
          • Set up security alerts to notify you of any possible fraudulent transactions
          • Easily transfer funds between your accounts from your mobile device or computer
          • Ability to schedule payments up to one year in advance
          • Receive email reminders about payment deadlines

          Monitoring and Protecting Your PNC Bank Account

          There are several things you can do to protect your bank accounts against fraud and identity theft: 

          • If you receive a call about your accounts but you’re not certain it’s really from your bank, do not give out personal information such as your Social Security number or PIN number over the phone. 
          • Sign up for identity theft protection.
          • If you normally get paper statements in the mail, notify the bank immediately if you don’t receive a statement on time.
          • Review all of your bank statements for each of your accounts.
          • Check your credit reports at least annually.
          • Exercise caution when using Wi-Fi in a public place.
          • Keep your passwords, PIN numbers and other personal information secure.

          If you’re ever concerned that you may have disclosed confidential information or received a fraudulent email, or if you just have questions about online security, you can contact PNC Bank customer service at 1-888-PNC-BANK (1-888-762-2265). Customer service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Saturday and Sunday.

          Is PNC Bank Right for You?

          PNC Bank offers customers a wide range of products, including Virtual Wallet, which comes with online account management tools that are more extensive than comparable services at other banks.  

          You won’t see the highest interest rates on deposit accounts at PNC Bank, but you will see low monthly fees that can be waived by meeting certain requirements. PNC also charges lower monthly checking account fees and requires lower minimum balances to waive the fees. And students won’t be charged monthly service fees on their Virtual Wallet accounts if they are enrolled at a qualifying institution. 

              Rates are subject to change; other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 17, 2019.

              About the Author

              Kathryn Pomroy is a professional writer with expertise in personal and business finance. Kathryn holds a BA in Journalism and has written for major publications, small and medium size business clients and several business journals. Kathryn has more than 15 years of experience, is adept with SEO best practices, AP and other style guides, and has hands-on experience with various content management systems. 

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