Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

PNC points Visa Credit Card Review

overall rating
4.1

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The PNC points Visa offers a rewards rate of four points per dollar spent, plus points bonuses of up to 75% for PNC banking customers. It offers plenty of flexibility for points redemption, but points have a relatively low value, expire after four years, and can't be transferred. The card also offers few additional features such as those related to travel.

PNC points® Visa® Credit Card

overall rating
4.1
PNC points® Visa® Credit Card
On PNC Bank's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you make $750 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening of a PNC points Visa Credit Card.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.99% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4 points per $1 on purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 12 Months
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 12 Months
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The PNC Points Visa Credit Card is not one of our top-rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best rewards credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of PNC points Visa Credit Card

Pros
  • High rewards rate on purchases

  • Points bonuses for PNC banking customers

  • Flexible redemption options

Cons
  • Points are worth less than with most cards

  • Points expire and can't be transferred

  • Not ideal for travel outside the U.S.

Pros Explained

  • High Rewards On All Purchases: The PNC points Visa offers strong points rewards. All purchases earn a flat rate of four points per dollar. And where some other cards offer a high points earning rate only on select categories, the PNC points Visa provides it universally, with no need to activate or track bonus categories to earn it.
  • Points Bonuses for PNC Banking Customers: This card becomes more rewarding if you bank with PNC. You can earn between 25% and 75% more bonus points for having an eligible PNC Bank checking account and meeting minimum deposit and balance requirements. 
  • Flexible Redemption Options: Points earned with this card can be used in a number of ways, including redemptions for gift cards, hotel stays, and rental cars. You can also use points to make purchases with PNC Pay.

Cons Explained

  • Points Worth Less Than with Most Cards: While you can earn a lot of points with this card pretty easily, you're not necessarily getting as much value for each of them as you do with other rewards credit cards. The points earned with most cards are typically worth a cent or more, according to Investopedia's valuations. But we estimate that each point you earn with the PNC points Visa is worth less than a quarter of that amount—0.22 cents to be precise. With the PNC points Visa providing 4 points per dollar spent, its overall rewards are worth a little less than 1 cent per dollar spent. That's a low rate for all purchases made with a card. 
  • Points Expire and Cannot Be Transferred: Your rewards earned with this card expire, but you have a full 48 months from the time you earn points before you’re at risk of losing them. Unlike the many other rewards cards that let you transfer points to travel partners, the PNC points Visa offers no such option. To directly use the points you earn for travel, you must book travel directly through the PNC points rewards portal.
  • Not Ideal for Travel Outside the U.S.: While you might be interested in redeeming points for international flights, you may want to pack another card for making purchases while you're away. Like many cards, the PNC points Visa imposes a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made abroad, which can make using it when traveling outside the U.S. pricier than with cards that imposes no such charge.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Annual Fee Averse Persona
    Resists or refuses an annual fee on principle or due to cost
    Annual Fee Averse
  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist

The PNC points Visa credit card is best suited to PNC banking customers, who can earn bonuses of up to 75% on the card’s rewards earnings. Those bonuses help make this card’s fairly standard rewards more appealing and more competitive with those of competitors, as the 75% bonus would net 3 additional points per dollar spent, or a total value of approximately 1.54 cents each (higher than the 1.5% cash back cards that are somewhat standard in the market).  

PNC points Visa Credit Card One-Time Offer

As mentioned, this card does come with a one-time offer for eligible cardmembers. The bonus is 50,000 points, which is worth about $110 by our calculations, and you can earn it by making $750 in purchases within the first three billing cycles after you open an account. Both that bonus and its spending requirement are lower than those with most other cards.   

Rewards Earning Details

The PNC points Visa credit card has a simple and straightforward rewards program. For each dollar you spend on eligible purchases, you'll earn four PNC points. However, those points are of relatively meager value, at less than a quarter-of-a-cent each. Points are typically credited to your account within 10 business days. 

If you have an eligible PNC bank account, then you're automatically eligible to qualify for bonus points.

The 25% bonus kicks in if you simply have one of these PNC accounts: the PNC Virtual Wallet, PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Spend, PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Select, PNC Performance, or PNC Performance Select Checking accounts.

Qualifying for the 50% points bonus requires both a PNC Virtual Wallet Performance Spend or PNC Performance Checking Account and meet one of the following requirements:

  • An average monthly balance of $2,000 or more
  • A qualifying aggregate monthly direct deposit of $2,000 or more
  • A combined average monthly balance of $15,000 or more across all your accounts

You can snag the 75% points bonus if you have either of the same accounts—the PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or PNC Performance Select Checking. You also need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • An average monthly balance of $5,000 or more
  • A qualifying aggregate monthly direct deposit of $5,000 or more
  • A combined average monthly balance of $25,000 or more across all your accounts

Rewards Redemption Details

When you're ready to redeem your PNC points, you have several options, including: 

  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Apple purchases
  • Travel

The travel category includes everything from flights and hotels to car rentals, cruises and vacation packages. The catch is that to use your points for travel, you must book through the PNC Points Redemption Center. You can't transfer points to hotel or airline loyalty programs or combine them in any way with those of another credit-card rewards program. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Making the most of the PNC points Visa credit card obviously involves using the card frequently much matter what you buy with the card, since every purchase earns a flat 4 points per dollar spent. However, PNC banking customers receive points bonuses that increase earnings to between 5 and 7 points per dollar spent. If you're also shopping for a ba, then, consider opening a PNC account in order to benefit from these enhanced rewards. The more you keep in the account, the higher the rewards. The bonuses can really add up. For example, say your average yearly spend with the card is $24,000 or $2,000 per month. At four points per dollar, you'd earn 96,000 points on purchases. But here's what your points earnings could look like if you qualify for a bonus:

  • 25% bonus = 120,000 points
  • 50% bonus = 144,000 points
  • 75% bonus = 168,000 points

Average Case

Say you use your card to charge all your monthly bills and everyday spending, with expenses from the occasional trip also thrown in. You're not currently a PNC banking customer.

If you spend $2,500 a month on average, you could earn 120,000 points annually. During your first year, you could increase that to 210,000 points if you qualify for the full 75% bonus from being a PNC banking customer. That would make rewards worth $264 without an account with a high balance worth $462, or more than $100 more, if you had an account with a balance of $5,000 or more.

Aspirational Case

Now, let’s assume that your monthly spending is $1,500 higher than the previous scenario, and so averages $4,000 a month. With just the four points per dollar you'd earn as a baseline, you’d earn 192,000 points per year. If you're eligible for the 75% points bonus, you could increase your total rewards points to 336,000. With no bonus earnings, the rewards would be worth $422. If you qualified for the 75% bonus, you’d earn points worth in excess of $300 more, at $739. 

Standard Benefits

  • Travel and emergency protection
  • Contactless payment capability
  • Integration with PNC Virtual Wallet
  • Online account management tools
  • Electronic bill payment

Cardholder Experience

PNC Bank didn't receive a rating in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study for national issuers. Among regional issuers, however, it landed in the number two spot after BB&T with a satisfaction rating of 810.

PNC offers numerous ways to manage your account, including mobile and online banking and PNC Virtual Wallet. You can also call, tweet, email or visit your nearest branch if you need help with your account or have questions. 

Security Features

This card comes with several handy security features for managing your account. PNC Easy Lock, for example, allows you to lock your card to prevent new purchases if it's lost or stolen. PNC Security Assistances protects you against credit or identity fraud and a $0 liability guarantee means you won't be held responsible for unauthorized purchases. 

Hidden Fees to Watch Out For

This card's fees are typical of most other rewards credit cards. There are no real surprises, other than the difference in how balance transfer fees can increase depending on how soon after account opening you execute one. 

Fees to Watch Out For

The primary fee to keep in mind is the 3% foreign transaction fee. If you're looking for a credit card that's great for earning rewards but doesn't charge a foreign transaction fee, you may want to look elsewhere. 

Our Verdict

The PNC points Visa offers remarkably meager rewards. With earnings of 4 points per dollar spent, with each point worth less than a quarter of a cent, it still rewards you with less than a cent per dollar spent. Practically every other card on the market has a better earning rate than that. Even for PNC banking customers, who qualify for points bonuses, the rewards with this card are relatively modest. 

This card might be a passable choice for PNC banking customers who want a card that’s convenient to acquire, even if it rewards you little and offers few features. For all others, a different card would surely be a better fit.

Apply Now
For PNC points® Visa® Credit Card
on PNC Bank's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
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CURRENT CARD
PNC points® Visa® Credit Card
overall rating
4.1
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Excellent
Regular APR (%) 11.99% - 23.49% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 4 points per $1 on purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.