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PNC Business Checking: 2021 Review

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PNC Bank offers four core business checking accounts: Business Checking, Business Checking Plus, Treasury Enterprise Plan and Analysis Business Checking. It also offers additional checking solutions based on your industry and unique financial goals, such as Non-Profit Checking, Business Interest Checking and the Interest On Lawyers Trust Account.

With different accounts to choose from, and each with an included number of fee-free transactions, as well as other features, PNC business checking is a worthwhile option if you’re looking for traditional banking from a brick-and-mortar institution. Plus, PNC offers incentives for new small-business customers, as well as benefits for those who bundle multiple services with the bank.

Although PNC allows you to start an application online or over the phone, it’s important to note that you’ll need to visit a branch in person to actually open a business checking account. PNC has branch locations in 23 states across the Northeast, Midwest and South, plus Washington, D.C.

PNC business checking is best for small-business owners who:

  • Can pay a monthly fee or qualify to waive it.

  • Don’t exceed 150 transactions per month (Business Checking) or 500 transactions per month (Business Checking Plus).

  • Want to earn a sign-up bonus.

  • Prefer a brick-and-mortar bank to an online-only bank.

Pros and cons

  • Can choose between four core business checking account options, plus additional solutions based on your specific industry and needs.

  • Opportunity to earn a $200 or $500 sign-up bonus.

  • Access to 2,300 branch locations and nearly 18,000 in-network ATMs across the U.S.

  • Monthly fees waived for the first three months after account opening (with the exception of the Analysis Business Checking account).

  • All accounts include free mobile banking, online banking, bill pay and access to the PNC Purchase Payback program to earn cash rewards for spending with your business debit card.

  • No free business checking account options.

  • Limited fee-free transactions; no waived incidental fees.

  • Expensive outgoing wire fees — $90 for domestic wires, $125 for international (same currency) and $110 for international (cross currency).

  • Can only start an application online or over the phone, need to visit a branch to actually open an account.

  • Availability restricted by state.

PNC business checking at a glance

Analysis Business Checking

$10, waived with a minimum average monthly balance of $500.*

$20, waived with a minimum average monthly balance of $5,000.*

$50, waived with a minimum average monthly balance of $30,000 across multiple eligible accounts.*

$20, unless offset by earning credit.

Minimum opening deposit requirement:

Up to 150 fee-free transactions per month, then 50 cents per transaction after that.

Up to 500 fee-free transactions per month, then 50 cents per transaction after that.

Up to 2,500 fee-free transactions per month (across multiple eligible accounts), then 50 cents per transaction after that.

Pay per transaction, fees vary by type of transaction (15 cents to 75 cents per item).

Up to $5,000 per month with no fee, after that 25 cents per $100 deposited.

Up to $10,000 per month with no fee, after that 25 cents per $100 deposited.

Up to $50,000 per month (across multiple eligible accounts) with no fee, after that 25 cents per $100 deposited.

Cash deposits over the counter, 12 cents per $100. Quick deposits, night deposit and merchant vault, 10 cents per $100.

  • Two refunds per month of fees charged by PNC for using out of network ATMs.

  • Cash Flow Insight platform included with no monthly fees.

  • No charge for using out of network ATMs.

  • Monthly fee waived on up to four beneficiary checking accounts.

  • Earning credit applied to average monthly balance in excess of $125,000 to reduce or offset certain transaction fees.

  • No charge for using out of network ATMs.

  • Earning credit applied to the full average monthly balance to reduce or offset monthly fee and certain transaction fees.

  • No charge for using out of network ATMs.

$200 (with qualifying activities)

$200 (with qualifying activities)

$500 (with qualifying activities)

$500 (with qualifying activities)

*PNC waives the monthly fee for the Business Checking account, Business Checking Plus account and Treasury Enterprise Plan for the first three months after your account is opened.

How PNC business checking works

With PNC business checking, you can choose any of the four core account options — Business Checking, Business Checking Plus, Treasury Enterprise Plan, Analysis Business Checking — or if you have a more specialized need, you might opt for one of the additional PNC checking solutions.

In general, the Business Checking and Business Checking Plus accounts are designed for more standard banking needs, whereas the Treasury Enterprise Plan and Analysis Business Checking accounts can accommodate businesses that want to link multiple accounts, access earning credits and manage higher transaction volumes.

PNC’s interest-bearing business checking option, the Business Interest Checking account, mirrors the base Business Checking account across its essential features — except it comes with a higher monthly fee and fee-waiver level ($20, $5,000 balance to waive). Business owners can contact PNC for up-to-date rates to decide whether the interest is worth that trade-off.

To open a PNC business checking account, you’ll need to visit a branch in person. Although you have the option to start your application online or over the phone, you must visit a PNC bank location to complete the process. PNC has branch locations in 23 states across the Northeast, Midwest and South, plus Washington, D.C.

To fill out your application, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself and any additional business owners who own 25% or more of the business. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number, employer identification number (or business tax ID) and basic details about your business.

When you start your application online, you’ll need to include a valid government-issued photo ID. But to finish your application at a PNC location, you will need to bring two valid forms of ID — either two forms of government-issued photo ID or one government-issued photo ID and one secondary form of ID, such as a rental agreement or utility bill — as well as legal business documentation, which will vary based on your entity type.

Moreover, in order to earn the $200 or $500 sign-up bonus, you’ll need to request an offer coupon from the PNC website and bring the coupon with you to the branch.

Once your application has been reviewed and approved by PNC, you’ll be able to fund your account — all four of the core PNC business checking accounts have a $100 minimum opening deposit requirement — and start managing your finances. You’ll be able to enroll in online banking, download the PNC mobile app and activate and begin using your PNC business debit card.

After you’ve opened your PNC business checking account, you’ll need to perform certain qualifying activities to receive your sign-up bonus. To earn the $200 bonus for the Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account, you’ll need to:

  • Maintain a minimum average balance of $5,000 for each of the first three statement cycles.

  • Make at least 20 total debit card transactions within the first three statement cycles, including debit card purchases made at a point of sale using your signature or PIN, as well as purchases made online or electronically using your debit card number.

To earn the $500 bonus for the Treasury Enterprise Plan or Analysis Business Checking account, you’ll need to:

  • Maintain a minimum average balance of $30,000 for each of the first three statement cycles.

PNC will credit your business checking account directly within 90 days after these conditions are met.

Where PNC business checking stands out

Account options: With PNC Bank business checking, you aren’t limited to a single account option. You instead can choose the account that best suits your banking needs — in terms of monthly fee, included fee-free transactions, cash deposits and other features.

In addition, as each of the four core business checking accounts offers an increasing level of included features and account flexibility, you always have the option to start with one account and change or upgrade as needed.

Incentives for new customers: PNC offers a few standout perks for new customers with its business checking accounts. First, with all four of the core business checking accounts, you have the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus — either $200 or $500 — depending on which account you choose.

In addition, for the Business Checking account, Business Checking Plus account and Treasury Enterprise Plan, PNC waives the monthly service fee for the first three months after you’ve opened your account.

Finally, if you open a Business Checking or Business Checking Plus account and decide to invest in a PNC business credit card or PNC merchant services account, you can then qualify for additional ways to waive your monthly service fee.

For the Business Checking account, you can make a minimum of $500 in purchases on your credit card or generate a minimum of $500 in monthly processing deposits on your merchant account.

For the Business Checking Plus account, the minimums for these activities are raised to $5,000 — however, you also have the option to maintain an average monthly balance of $20,000 in linked business checking and money market accounts.

ATMs and branch access: PNC Bank offers access to 2,300 branch locations and nearly 18,000 in-network ATMs across the U.S. Each of the business checking accounts includes fee-free access to any PNC Bank ATM and, with the exception of the Business Checking account, PNC does not charge fees for out-of-network ATM use (although the owner of the ATM may charge separate fees).

The Business Checking account, however, does include two reimbursements per month of fees charged by PNC for using out-of-network ATMs. Although there are a variety of online business checking accounts that don’t charge out-of-network ATM fees, this is an uncommon feature for a brick-and-mortar-based business checking account.

Business debit card rewards: With your PNC business debit card, you’ll have access to the PNC Purchase Payback program, which allows you to earn cash back for everyday spending. Through online banking, you can visit the rewards center, activate the offers you want, and then make purchases at eligible retailers to earn cash back directly to your business checking account.

In addition, you also have the option to enroll in the free Visa SavingsEdge program. With this program, you can earn automatic discounts by using your PNC business debit card to make purchases at participating merchants.

Online add-ons: Although PNC business checking includes free mobile banking, online banking and bill pay with all accounts, it also offers add-ons that can be used to further customize your account. Most notably, PNC offers Cash Flow Insight, a suite of cash flow management tools that connects to your online banking.

With the basic version of Cash Flow Insight, you can create a cash flow forecast and visualize the impact of actual and projected transactions, track spending for all activities across your business checking account, compare your cash position month to month and year over year, among other features. This software requires a fee of $10 per month, but is included free with the Business Checking Plus account.

That said, you also have the option to upgrade your software and add payables, receivables, payments, invoicing, approvables and more.

Where PNC business checking falls short

Monthly fees: All four of the core PNC business checking accounts require a monthly fee, although there are ways to waive these fees. For three of the four accounts, PNC does waive your monthly fees for the first three months after account opening. However, you’ll still want to budget for these fees on an ongoing basis, especially if you don’t intend to meet the monthly minimum to waive — which increases from $500 to $5,000 between the Business Checking and Business Checking Plus accounts.

Although monthly fees are not uncommon, especially among business checking accounts from brick-and-mortar banks, there are options from both online and brick-and-mortar competitors that do not charge any monthly fees.

Additional fees: With each of the PNC business checking accounts, you have limits on the number of fee-free transactions and the amount of fee-free cash deposits. And in the case of the Analysis Business Checking account, you pay per transaction. In addition, none of these accounts waives incidental fees like wire fees, overdrafts, stop payments or similar charges.

Although these types of fees are common among business checking accounts, especially brick-and-mortar-based accounts, you may be able to find account options that charge fewer fees — especially for higher-tier accounts.

As an example, the second-tier Wells Fargo Navigate Business Checking account (although it includes only 250 fee-free transactions per month) doesn’t charge for stop payments, cashier’s checks, money orders, incoming wires and the first two outgoing domestic wire transfers per month.

Account opening: Although PNC allows you to start your application online or over the phone, you can open a business checking account only by visiting a branch location. In comparison, brick-and-mortar competitors like Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all give you the ability to open business checking accounts online.

This is particularly noteworthy as, according to a 2020 study by accounting firm PwC, 27% of small-business owners have shifted toward digital banking since the onset of COVID-19.

Compare business checking accounts

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