Posted by William Charles on May 17, 2015
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 17th, 2015 | by William Charles


PNC $400 Checking Bonus – In Branch Only [AL, DC, DE, FL, GA IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, WI, WV only]

This bonus is back, fellow DoC writer Miles Whip reports seeing it in branch again, unsure of the exact expiration date.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $400
  • Availability: PNC branches only, click here for branch locator. They have branches in the following states: AL, DC, DE, FL, GA IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VA, WI, WV only. This is not available at all branches, it might be worth calling first.
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $5,000+
  • Additional requirements: One online bill pay within the first three months
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Up to $2,000, can be funded with Visa or MasterCard (because you’re applying in branch, you won’t be able to take advantage of this)
  • Monthly fees:
  • Early account termination fee: $25 if closed within six months
  • Expiration date: March 15th or 31st, 2015 (different branches are giving different expiration dates).

The Offer

  • Receive a cash bonus of $400 when you open a Performance Select Virtual Wallet checking account with PNC bank and complete the following requirements:
    • Establish a qualifying direct deposit of $5,000 or more
    • Complete one online bill pay

The Fine Print

  • Both requirements (direct deposit and Bill Pay) must be completed within 60 days of account opening
  • You’ll receive your bonus within 60 days of fulfilling the requirements, it post on your account as “Cash Trans Promo Reward”
  • Only available to new PNC customers (considered a new customer if you don’t currently hold an account with PNC and haven’t held one in the last 90 days, you also must not have received a bonus within the last twelve months)
  • This offer is only valid if you go into a PNC branch, you can find your closest branch here.
  • Valid until March 15th, 2015
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Virtual Wallet With Performance Select $25 Monthly Fee

You can get this fee waived if you meet any of the following:

  • Average monthly balance of $5,000 or more
  • Qualifying direct deposits of $5,000 or more
  • $25,000 in linked eligible accounts

Early account termination

  • You must pay a $25 early account termination fee if you cancel your account within 6 months of opening (source)

Our Verdict

PNC also offers bonuses of up to $300 on their other checking accounts, this can all be opened online which might be more convenient for some. I don’t live within the service area, but Chuck does and he went into a local branch and they didn’t have this offer so it’s obviously not available at all branches.

The main problem with this account are the requirements to keep it fee free, you should be able to get your bonus within three months (complete all the requirements within the first month and then it will post within 90 days), you’d be losing out on about $25 in interest if you kept the $5,000 in the for six months (to get the bonus and avoid the early account termination fee) – which isn’t too bad if you have a spare $5,000 laying around.

If I lived within the service area I would complete the bonus, here is how I’d do it:

  • Open a Performance Select Virtual Wallet
  • Add $5,000 in funds via ACH transfer (this would keep the account fee free and trigger the direct deposit requirement)
  • Pay an bill using online bill pay (this would trigger the bonus after 60 days)
  • Remove all the funds apart from $5,000 to keep it fee free
  • Get my bonus (+$400)
  • Wait six months from account opening date to avoid the early account termination fee
  • Transfer all funds back into my regular savings accounts
  • Close account

I’d make $400 and I’d lose about $25 in interest (although this would actually be $125 in interest if I had it in a rewards checking account).

Thanks to Hawtzi from for letting us know about this deal. If you go into your local branch, let us know if they did/don’t have this offer and what branch you went into.


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What are the churning rules for PNC checking accounts?


Thank you for posting! We have a few branches around us, I will stop by and see if they have this offer.

Any idea if CITI cards will run as cash advance? I know they are iffy on some of these bank deposits with CC.




Worth noting that PNC branches are also in Ohio. This is a nice sign up bonus if you have a branch nearby.


Went to a PNC in VA this afternoon.
They do not have this offer yet.
Only the $300 one.

George Smiley
George Smiley

I can confirm DC has the offer too. And they said it would be around till March 31. It did require that my workplace ‘sign up’, had to provide EIN and simple authorization. There was a pre-filled visa card offer they wanted me to sign up for, and ‘financial Planning’ services offered.

It felt a little like a time-share sale, but overall only took 30 minutes and they were super nice.


Does anything bad happen when closing a checking account? If I wait out past the 6mo EATF and then can I just transfer all the money back to my checking account that I have with my primary major bank? And then close the PNC and I’m all good? No bad reflections on my credit/history/etc.??


I stopped by a PNC branch here in NC yesterday. I failed to get the offer. As they say, the devil is in the details. First, the branch was aware of the offer and the initial bank rep. seemed anxious to sign up a new customer, but she was uncertain about the offer requirements so she brought in the branch manager. From there, it went downhill. Just as George Smiley describes above, this is an offer that is only available through a presentation to an “enrolled” workplace. Not just anybody off the street. Although I can see how Mr. Smiley worked thru that obstacle (and I suppose I could too if I pushed it) we came to another prickly requirement. I was getting a little perturbed by how they seemed to be bringing forth requirements that I had not heard about, so I asked them if they had a written copy of the requirements so we could make sure of just what was required. After a little delay, the branch manager brought out a printed copy. Therein he pointed out that the direct deposit requirement stipulates that this must be a recurring direct deposit from sources such as a retirement payment, company salary, etc.. He said, specifically, and the information I saw indicate, that you can not satisfy the $ 5,000 the direct deposit requirement with just one EFT. There was no clarification in what I read as to how the requirement for a $ 5,000 direct deposit and the recurring direct deposit requirement relate. Perhaps George Smiley knows this and if so, I would appreciate learning how. At this point, I was feeling more and more like the branch manager just did not want me to get this offer. Perhaps he was just looking out for my best interest. Who knows. Anyway, I don’t like to try to force things, especially when I am finding things may be significantly different than what I was expecting. I decided the best thing I could do was to just call it quits for the day, take the copy of the written requirements back home so I could thoroughly look things over. Now, the last straw. When I expressed appreciation for their time and that I wanted to give things more time for thought, the branch manager would not let me take the written copy of the offer requirements (and it was simply… Read more »


Could you avoid the monthly service charge by transferring $5000 from Serve? Do you have to tie up $5000 for six months or could you immediately withdraw the funds following the monthly Serve transfer?


I’m confused. So I can fund the first 2k with my credit card. But then can I simply do a transfer of 3k from paypal to this account to meet the 5k requirement?

Besides having employer change direct deposit account, how else can I easily meet the remaining 3k?

Bill Hayden
Bill Hayden

I called a couple of MO branches. One branch told me I had to go get an offer via e-mail or by using a non-PNC bank debit card in a PNC bank ATM. The next one told me, consistent with James’ and Mr. Smiley’s experiences, that the $400 is through the workplace referral program. So if PNC has a preexisting relationship with your employer, you will eligible; if not, the $300 is the best offer. I admit that I did not push the clerk really at all, so my experience does not really clarify if there are ways around the workplace requirement.


I was able to sign up for the $400 offer as my company is part of the “workplace offer”. I linked my serve account with my pnc checking account after verifying it with the deposits. I’m now trying to send $5k from my Amex serve account to my PNC account, my first attempt I did $5,005 and it was declined. I just initiated an even $5k transfer to my bank account. Will this be declined as well? I looked at the limits and it doesn’t really say any withdrawal limits to checking account, just wondering why it was declined?


Any idea with offers like this if the $5,000 direct deposit needs to be a single deposit of at least $5k or if several smaller ones adding up to $5k would work too?


I second Elliot’s question.
I was told today in-branch that the DD needed to be $5000 “in the month”, but I have a feeling rep misinterpreted my question as being about one of the qualifiers to avoid fees (which is $5k DD), rather than whether the bonus is triggered by (the online bill pay and) $5k DD as a cumulative sum over the first 60 days window, or whether a single $5k DD transaction was required.

Reading the fine print I’m almost certain that the accumulated total in 60 days is what matters, but I was a little set back by the answer I got (which seemed to be a misinterpretation in a longish conversation so I didn’t look for clarification at the time).


I got a response on FW and someone said that PNC allows 2,000 per day, and up to 5,000 per week. I just completed 5,000 ACH deposit from paypal broken up in increments ranging from 50, 1000, and 1500. I’m now working on my wife’s account with Serve but its giving me more trouble, I was able to transfer 50 and 1,000 but having trouble again getting the deposits through of 1,500 and even 1,000 now. I’m going to keep trying different amounts, otherwise I’m going to move the money to paypal and do the transfer from there.


How do people usually fund $2,000 by credit card? Are there any official references to the $2,000 limit?

I opened an account (with $400 workplace offer) yesterday at a cashless branch without teller. The branch cannot do cash/check deposit, let alone credit card one.

I tried to use credit card for initial deposit at another two branches, but was told they would do it as cash advance and the maximum amount would be $500/$1,000. I tried to do it over the phone and was told no way.

Are there still any ways for me to fund the account with credit card? It still has $0 balance, which is technically not allowed…

johnny d.
johnny d.

might want to try to do this one tomorrow. will a ACH from my chase checking work for the $5k requirement?

my paycheck DDs never are $5k so i need to know if the ACH will succesfully work for chase, otherwise i dont want to try this.

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