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PNC vs. Chase Bank


Both PNC and Chase Bank offer a long list of banking products that can be conveniently accessed across the nation and are considered strong banking choices. Whether it’s checking and savings accounts, or branches, ATMs and mobile apps, both banks provide users access to relatively similar products. However, the details of those products are different at each institution the right one for you will depend on what you’re looking for. You can also work with a financial advisor who can make selecting the right financial institution part of your larger financial plan. 

PNC Bank Overview

PNC Bank originated in Pittsburgh. Now recognized as one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., the bank offers more than 2,000 branches and 9,000 ATMs across 19 states in the Midwestern and East Coast regions. PNC Bank additionally offers a wide range of products, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), IRAs, a money market account and a mobile banking app.

Like most banks, PNC also offers a convenient online banking option. One of the bank’s most popular features is its Virtual Wallet online and mobile service. This service provides users easy access to their money through digital means. One of the disadvantages of banking with PNC is that it offers lower interest rates. However, you can earn higher interest rates with higher account balances. You can also link certain accounts within PNC to earn higher rates.

Chase Bank Overview

Chase offers a combination of 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs in 33 states, making its position as the largest bank in the U.S. one that’s well-earned. Along with providing typical checking and savings accounts, CDs and IRAs, Chase also allows you access to your money through online and mobile banking features. Its online banking option and mobile app are easily navigable and give you the perfect out-to-visit branches or ATMs on days when you’d rather stay home.

Another benefit that comes with banking with Chase are sign-up bonuses. Chase offers you money when you open an account with the bank. While the bonus amounts vary per month, the typical sign-up bonus is around $200.

However, when deciding whether or not to bank with Chase, it’s important to keep in mind that the bank requires monthly maintenance fees and offers non-competitive interest rates. Therefore, if you prefer branch accessibility, copious account options and sign-up bonuses, Chase may be great for you. However, if low-earning interest rates and monthly fees aren’t suitable to your financial situation, you should consider other banking options.

PNC vs. Chase: Bank Accounts

pnc vs. chase
PNC and Chase equally offer relatively similar products, but account types, fees and conditions are different for each bank. PNC offers two savings account options, including one for children. This includes the PNC Standard Savings and the PNC “S” is for Savings accounts.

The checking accounts at PNC Bank are Virtual Wallet, which includes a variety like the PNC Performance Spend Checking account and Performance Select Checking account. Outside of the Virtual Wallet, PNC also offers a Foundation Checking account. The Performance Spend Checking account does come with monthly fees, but these are waivable. In addition, the account reimburses you for any out-of-network ATM fees. The other checking accounts’ monthly fees are waivable.

Chase offers two primary savings accounts which require monthly fees. These include the Chase Savings and the Chase Premier Savings accounts. Fortunately, the monthly fees for these accounts are waivable. Chase CD’s, however, won’t cost you monthly fees. But if you want to earn at a higher APY, you’ll need to maintain a higher account balance.

Chase also offers quite a few checking accounts. The most basic checking account you can open with Chase is the Chase Total Checking® account. The other accounts include:

  • Chase Premier Plus Checking
  • Chase Secure Banking
  • Chase First Banking
  • Chase Sapphire
  • Chase Private Client Checking

In addition, Chase offers two student checking accounts (Chase High School Checking and Chase College Checking).

PNC vs. Chase: Fees

Both PNC and Chase charge different fees for different account types and banking actions. PNC requires monthly maintenance fees for its savings and checking accounts, but these are all waivable. PNC’s CDs, however, won’t require you to pay monthly fees.

PNC vs. Chase

Basic Checking Account$7 per month, (waivable through three ways)$12 per month, (waivable through three ways)
Basic Savings Account$5 per month (waivable through three ways)$5 per month, (waivable through four ways)
Non-bank ATM in the U.S.$3 per transaction (waivable through two ways)$3 per transaction (waivable through three ways)

Similarly, Chase charges monthly fees, but these are also waivable. When it comes to out-of-network ATMs, PNC and Chase charges a $3 fee. For overdrafts, PNC charges $36, but also offers overdraft protection. Chase, on the other hand, charges $34 and also offers overdraft protection transfers.

PNC vs. Chase: Rates

While PNC and Chase both offer relatively lower interest rates than their competitors, the rates and APY  you can earn at for each varies depending on account type. However, the APY for both PNC and Chase’s savings accounts is just 0.01%. You may also want to look into any rewards you earn through the bank as that can add to the total value you’re receiving.

PNC vs Chase: Which Is Right for You?

pnc vs. chase

When deciding whether to open an account with PNC or Chase, you should note that both financial institutions basically offer all the banking services you may need. The difference between the two is that PNC offers various banking tools, waivable monthly fees and opportunities for interest boosts, while Chase offers greater branch accessibility, sign-up bonuses and specifically tailored account options.

Both banks, however, offer less competitive interest rates when compared to online-only banks, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when making your final decision. Overall, the right bank for you will depend on what services you want, the current interest rates and possibly even where you live.

The Bottom Line

Both PNC and Chase Bank can be good providers of financial services for most consumers. Both offer a variety of banking products and account types while giving a strong online and digital platform to complete your banking. You can easily keep track of your money and even get a loan all from the same app for both providers. The right one is typically going to be a personal choice that matches your unique situation.

Tips for Finding the Right Bank

  • Banking is part of your overall financial picture, which you may need a plan for. Working with a financial advisor can unlock opportunities and give you the insight you need to grow your wealth. If you don’t have a financial advisor, finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When there’s so many banks to choose from, it can sometimes be difficult to make the right choice for your specific financial needs. Most big banks offer similar services, including checking and savings accounts, CDs and online and mobile features. However, the rates and terms for those products differ. You’ll need to identify your savings plans and whether they align with the services and rates offered by the bank you’re researching.

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