Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Update on PNC's Checking Account Bonus, Virtual Wallet and Deposit Strategy


Update 10/13/2010: The bonus period has been extended to 11/30/2010.

PNC Bank has another $100 bonus for opening a checking account. It's not as good as the $125 July bonus, but this $100 bonus appears to be the best PNC bonus currently available. Here's the direct link to the promotion. It requires direct deposit of at least $400 per month along with 10 check card purchases. According to the small print, the checking account must be opened via the online application by 9/30/2010. Here's some of the small print as listed in the promo page with my highlights of the important things to note:

Offer available only to new PNC customers. New personal checking account must be opened via online application between 8/01/2010 and 9/30/2010. To qualify for the $100 reward a Qualifying Direct Deposit must be received and at least 10 check card purchases made with your PNC Visa Check Card must be posted to the eligible account within 60 days of account opening. Your checking account must remain open in order for you to receive the $100 reward, which will be credited to the eligible account within 60 days after all conditions have been met and will be identified as "Promo Reward Cash Trans" on your monthly statement. A "Qualifying Direct Deposit" is defined as a recurring direct deposit of a paycheck, pension, social security or other regular monthly payment electronically deposited into a Free, Performance, Performance Select Checking account, or the Spend account for Virtual Wallet (each an "Eligible Account") on a recurring month-to-month basis. The amount of each recurring Direct Deposit must be at least $400. The recurring Direct Deposits must be made by an employer or an outside agency. Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as Qualifying Direct Deposits. Offer only available to new PNC Bank checking account customers who open the Eligible Account using the on-line application. Offer only available to residents of DC, DE, FL, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NJ, OH, PA, VA and WI. Offer may be extended, modified or discontinued at any time and may vary by market. This is an online offer that is not available through the branch.

PNC Bank's Virtual Wallet

One of the checking accounts that can qualify for the bonus is the Spend Account which is part of PNC's Virtual Wallet. Another part of Virtual Wallet is the Grow Account which is a savings account that pays 1.10% APY on balances up to $25K as of 8/8/2010. Please see my PNC Virtual Wallet review for more details.

PNC Q2 Results and Its Deposit Strategy

PNC released its second quarter results in late July. It reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit. One thing I found interesting in PNC's press release was the description of its plans to grow checking account deposits while shrinking CD deposits. Here's an excerpt:

Average deposits of $182 billion declined $.8 billion compared with the first quarter of 2010 and $10.4 billion, or 5 percent, compared with the second quarter of 2009. In both comparisons, average deposits decreased due to the continued reduction of high-cost and primarily nonrelationship certificates of deposit and other time deposits, partially offset by growth in average transaction deposits. This was consistent with PNC’s overall deposit strategy focused on growing demand and other transaction deposits as a lower-cost funding source and the cornerstone product of customer relationships.

You can see PNC executing this strategy with these checking account bonuses and its very-low CD rates (one example: 1.50% 5-year CD in Florida).

The conversion of National City branches was also mentioned in the press release:

PNC successfully completed the National City conversion of 16 million accounts, 6 million customers and 1,300 branches in nine states.

I know many readers will miss those National City CD specials that were so popular a couple of years ago.

PNC Bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6384).

Other Bank Bonuses

To find other bonus deals at other banks, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus blog posts. Some additional bonuses are also listed in the checking account deals section of the discussion forum.

  Tags: PNC Bank, checking account, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin

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Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
PNC is local to my area.  However, this bonus is essentially the only real money from a checking account that you can expect to get for the life of the account.  Their regular rates are between 0.05 to 0.1% which is near the bottom.  You have to keep the account open for a certain period of time or get hit with an early closing fee.  For that time that you have to keep the account and get the bonus money, you could hav opened a much higher rate checking account and ended up with more money after that same time period without the requirements of this promo.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
For those receiving deposits biweekly: the $400 is the required per-deposit amount. Before you pull the trigger on-line, you may want to check at your local PNC branch--a better offer may be available to open an account in person, or at least it was the last time ($150 rather than the $100/$125). And I do fail to understand the 8/8 poster how temporarily or even permanently routing a stream of $400 through PNC interferes with one's ability to direct that stream to higher yielding destinations. PNC has a functional ACH, so moving money is not a big deal.

Comment #3 by Max (anonymous) posted on
I was one of those unfortunate customers that was converted from Natl City to PNC.  I have 3 CD's that PNC has not handled well. I've repeatedly asked PNC to correct their online display of my CD's to match the printed monthly Statements, but they just pretend that they don't know anything is wrong.  As these CD's mature, I have been moving them elsewhere and eventually I'll eliminate my checking account.  Obviously, PNC doesn't need my business.  Hello Credit Union.

Comment #5 by NYC Doug (anonymous) posted on
NYC Doug
Through the end of 2010, PNC’s new Penn Plaza branch across from Penn Station in New York City [New York is apparently a new market for them; I'm told ony one other PNC branch exists in the entire state, at Madison/43rd -- near Grand Central Station] is offering a $200 bonus within 30 days of receipt of your first $400 direct deposit. Minimum account opening balance is $25, and no other constraints [e.g., check card purchases] are mentioned on their handbill. 212-273-1320