PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card Review

If you already have a bank account with PNC, you need this card. A simple way to get cash back where you spend most.

Written by : Updated On: December 9
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The basics

Reward Rate:

Groceries

Gas

4%
Groceries

Dining

3%
Groceries

Groceries

2%
Groceries

All other purchases

1%

2% – 4% cash back for first $8,000 in purchases using your card.

1% cash back always.

Redeem your cash back at any time, if you have at least $25 in the account.

Your cash back never expires if the account is open.

Get it as a statement credit or deposit into a PNC account.

Key Features:

Annual Fee

None

Intro APR

0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles

Regular APR

19.24% -- 30.24%.

Signup Bonus

signup-bonus

$200 bonus if you make $1,000 or more in purchases during the first three billing cycles.

Redemption Ways

signup-bonus

Statement credit or deposit into PNC account when there is at least $25 in the Cash Rewards account.

Our Verdict

The PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card is a great intro card, especially for people that already bank with PNC. 4% back on gas stations is a helpful way to offset high gas prices and 3% back on dining makes date nights a little easier. This card comes with no annual fee, but does have foreign transaction fees and overdue payment fees. We recommend using this card domestically and staying on top of your payments.

Best Suited for:

Group-11597-2

Always-on-the-road

Travel is your middle name. When you aren’t taking advantage of transit for your daily commute in the form of cabs, rideshares and trains, you are looking for a weekend escape. And if there is an opportunity to go somewhere, you take it. You are into earning miles, getting hotel upgrades, eating out and making sure your car is always fueled.

ProsCons
High cash back on gas2% - 4% cash back for purchases up to $8,000 per year can be limiting for higher spenders
No annual feeForeign transaction fees
Easy to open and use with a PNC bank account

Hidden perks

The biggest perk with this card is a tiered approach to cash back that emphasizes gas purchases. A lot of cash back cards have high percent back for dining or groceries but have gas purchases at a lower tier.

Beyond the basics

Balance Transfer Intro APR

0% for the first 12 billing cycles when the balance is transferred within 90 days (about 3 months) of account opening

Cash Advance APR

30.24% – varies based on prime rate

Foreign Transaction fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Loan APR

14.24% – 25.24%

Late Payment fee

Up to $38

Penalty APR

30.24% – varies based on prime rate

Credit Score required

750+ (Excellent)

What we like about this card

The PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card stands out in the crowded credit card market with a range of features and benefits that cater to both everyday spenders and those seeking to maximize their cash back rewards combined with valuable features and benefits. Here are some key aspects that make this card noteworthy:

1. Generous Cash Back Rewards:

One of the standout features of the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card is its lucrative cash back program. Cardholders earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, providing a consistent and reliable way to earn rewards on their spending. While some cards have a higher base cash back rate, it’s still a good choice for individuals who prefer straightforward and hassle-free rewards.

2. Bonus Cash Back Categories:

In addition to the base cash back rate, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Card offers bonus cash back in select categories. This includes higher cash back rates on gas purchases, grocery store spending, and dining out. These bonus categories can significantly boost your overall cash back earnings, especially if these are areas where you frequently spend.

3. Introductory 0% APR Period:

The card comes with an introductory 0% APR period on balance transfers. This feature can be particularly advantageous for those looking to transfer balances from high-interest cards, providing a temporary reprieve from interest charges.

4. No Annual Fee:

The absence of an annual fee makes the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals.

5. PNC Virtual Wallet Integration:

For existing PNC Virtual Wallet customers, the integration with the bank’s online banking platform adds convenience. Users can seamlessly manage their credit card alongside their other financial accounts, streamlining the overall banking experience.

Whether you’re an everyday spender or someone looking to optimize your cash back earnings, this card offers a well-rounded package of rewards and perks.

 

Drawbacks and considerations

While the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card comes with several attractive features, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks and factors that might influence your decision. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

1. Limited Bonus Categories:

While the card offers bonus cash back in select categories like gas, groceries, and dining, these bonus categories may be somewhat limited compared to other cash back cards on the market. If your spending habits don’t align with these categories, you may find other cards with more diverse bonus options.

2. Foreign Transaction Fees:

The PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card carries foreign transaction fees. If you frequently travel abroad, these fees can add up quickly, potentially offsetting the cash back you earn on your purchases. Consider using a different card with no foreign transaction fees for international expenses.

3. Average Sign-Up Bonus:

While some credit cards offer substantial sign-up bonuses, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card provides a more modest bonus. If you’re specifically looking for a card with a substantial initial reward, you may want to explore other options with more attractive sign-up bonuses.

4. Variable APR after the Introductory Period:

The card offers an introductory 0% APR period on balance transfers, but it’s crucial to note that this is a temporary benefit, and it does not apply to purchases.

5. Credit Score Requirements:

To qualify for the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card, an excellent credit score is typically required. If your credit score is on the lower end, you may want to focus on improving your credit before applying for this card to increase your chances of approval and secure better terms.

6. PNC Bank Relationship:

While the integration with PNC Virtual Wallet is a convenience for existing customers, those who do not have an existing relationship with PNC may find the additional account setup less appealing. Consider whether having accounts with PNC aligns with your overall banking preferences.

7. Lack of additional benefits and perks

Unlike other cards on the market, the PNC Cash Rewards Visa doesn’t offer much in the way of travel benefits or other perks. However, other PNC cards may offer perks like extended warranty programs or travel perks. If this is important to you, consider exploring other options.

8. Cash back cap

There is an $8,000 annual cap on purchases eligible for 2%, 3%, and 4% cash back. After spending $8,000 in combined purchases each program year, you’ll earn only 1% cash back on all other purchases (until your next anniversary date). Those who spend more than that each year in these categories may find that limit to be frustrating.

Other Offers

Agents are available 7 days a week to assist you.

Complete purchases through contactless payment.

Easily manage your transactions, rewards, balances, and payments online.

PNC offers built-in security, privacy, and fraud protection.

You are never held responsible for unauthorized purchases on your account. Your money will be replaced promptly after notifying us of the charges.

If you have lost your credit card, lock it easily in real time.

How to decide if this card is right for you

Choosing the right credit card is a personal decision that depends on your individual financial needs and spending habits. Here are key factors to consider when determining if the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card is the right fit for you:

1. Spending Habits:

Evaluate your typical spending patterns to determine if they align with the bonus categories offered by the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card. If you frequently spend on gas, groceries, and dining out, this card’s bonus cash back categories may be a significant advantage for you.

However, if you find yourself spending more than $8,000 in combined purchases, the annual cap on purchases eligible for the higher cash back rate can be a disadvantage.

2. Cash Back Preferences:

Consider your preference for straightforward cash back rewards. The PNC Cash Rewards Visa Card provides a reliable 1% cash back on all purchases, making it a suitable option for those who prefer a simple and consistent rewards structure without the complexity of rotating categories. However, this percentage is low compared to some other cards.

3. International Usage:

If you frequently travel internationally, take note of the foreign transaction fees associated with this card. If avoiding these fees is important to you, you may want to explore credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees for your international expenses.

4. Credit Score:

Check your credit score to ensure it meets the requirements for the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card. This card typically targets individuals with good to excellent credit. If your credit score is on the lower end, you may need to work on improving it before applying for this card.

5. Interest Considerations:

If you plan to carry a balance, carefully review the card’s APR, especially after the introductory 0% APR period expires. If managing interest costs is a priority, you may want to explore cards with lower ongoing interest rates.

6. Banking Preferences:

Consider your existing banking relationship and whether you already use PNC Virtual Wallet. If you are already a PNC customer, the integration with Virtual Wallet may provide added convenience. If not, assess whether opening new accounts aligns with your overall banking preferences.

7. Sign-Up Bonus Importance:

Evaluate how important a sign-up bonus is to you. While the PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card does offer a sign-up bonus, it’s not as substantial as some other cards on the market. If a significant initial reward is a priority, you may want to explore cards with more lucrative sign-up bonuses.

 

Pair this card with:

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

citi-Premier

This card would go great with a points-based card from an airline or hotel company, like the Delta American Express or Marriott Bonvoy from Chase. You can collect and use points for airfare or hotels and get cash back with the PNC Cash Rewards Visa on dining and gas while on your trip.

Apply now: Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Apply now Explore more credit cards

FAQs

PNC credit cards require excellent credit for approval, so unless your score is at least 750, it may be difficult to get approved.

Earn up to 4% cash back on your regular spending (depending on the category such as gas, dining, groceries, or other). After spending $8,000 in combined purchases each year, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

There’s no specific credit limit for the PNC Cash Rewards card included in the card’s terms as it depends on the cardholder’s credit score, income, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors.