Posted by William Charles on September 29, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 29th, 2018 | by William Charles


PNC Up To $300 Checking Bonus – No State Restriction

Deal has been extended until December 31st, 2018.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: $2,000-$5,000 depending on bonus
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft 
  • Credit card funding: Up to $2,000 with Visa, Discover or Mastercard
  • Monthly fees: $15-$25, waive-able 
  • Early account termination fee: $25 if closed within six months
  • Household Limit: None
  • U.S. Citizenship Required: Yes, for online applications.
  • Expiration date: June 30th, 2018 September 30th, 2018 December 31st, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • PNC is offering checking bonuses of up to $300. Both bonuses require at least 10 debit cards transactions and the following direct deposits within 60 days of account opening:
    • Open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and receive $200 with direct deposits totaling $2,000
    • Open a Virtual Wallet with Performance Select and receive $300 with direct deposits totaling $5,000


The Fine Print

  • You may earn a $200 reward if you open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Performance Checking account. You may earn a $300 reward if you open a new Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or Performance Select Checking account. You will only be considered for one reward amount, which is based on the product type you open.
  • To qualify for the reward, the new checking account must be opened online via the “Apply Online” links on this web page OR at a branch using the appropriate coupon between 4/1/18 to 6/30/18 and the following conditions must be met within the first 60 days: (a) qualifying Direct Deposit(s) must be received and (b) 10 qualifying purchases must be made using the PNC Bank Visa® Debit card associated with the newly opened account.
  • Your checking account must remain open in order for you to receive the reward, which will be credited to the eligible account within 60-90 days after all conditions have been met and will be identified as “Cash Trans Promo Reward” on your monthly statement.
  • A qualifying Direct Deposit is defined as a recurring Direct Deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency into a Performance Checking or Performance Select Checking account, or the Spend account of a Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Virtual Wallet with Performance Select.
  • The total amount of all qualifying Direct Deposits credited to your checking account must be at least $2,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Performance Checking or $5,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or Performance Select Checking. Credit card cash advance transfers, transfers from one account to another or deposits made at a branch or ATM do not qualify as qualifying Direct Deposits.
  • A qualifying debit card purchase is defined as any debit card purchase made at point of sale using your signature or PIN, or a purchase made electronically or online using your debit card number, including recurring payments.
  • New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months.
  • If multiple accounts are opened with the same signers, only one account will be eligible for the premium.
  • For this offer, signing authority will be defined by the customer name(s) and Social Security number(s) registered on the account. Offer may be extended, modified or discontinued at any time and may vary by market.
  • The value of the reward may be reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099, and may be considered taxable income to you.
  • Please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.
  • 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 Spend $15 Monthly Fee ($200 Bonus)

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

  • Average monthly balance of $2,000 or more
  • Qualifying direct deposit of $2,000 or more
  • $15,000 in linked eligible accounts

Virtual Wallet With Performance Select $25 Monthly Fee ($300 Bonus)

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 Fee

There is an early account termination fee of $25. This is charged if you close your account within 180 days. There is some evidence to suggest that they don’t actually charge this fee, but YMMV.

Our Verdict

Normally this bonus is restricted to the following states: AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, VA, WI and WV. This offer has no such restriction in the terms. The URL does say “checking-offer-for-PNC-customers”, but again the terms don’t say anything about needing to be an existing PNC customer so technically everybody should be able to sign up and get this bonus. This is a great bonus, especially with the nice $2,000 in credit card funding you can do. Honestly I don’t see a nationwide bonus like this lasting, so if you’re going to go for it don’t put it off and just do it now. I’ll be adding this to the best checking bonuses.

Big thanks to reader, HatFullOfGasoline who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Does anyone know how to check the dates for when you received a previous pnc bonus and closed your account? My lack of organizational spreadsheets last year is killing me 🙁

Check your spreadsheet 😉 Or check your 1099s if you keep them. I always scan all of my tax documents so I can shred originals. Some of my 1099s don’t say the date the bonus was received, so keep that in mind. You may be able to call the bank too. If you have Mint this should be quick to find.

Gotta keep them spreadsheets.

To get a rough estimate, you can check when you transferred the money to your main checking account.

Was able to dig up the final transfer amount before closing last March, looks like I’m ready to churn this guy! Thanks for advice

You have to use a spreadsheet Nate. Few can keep track of 12 credit and 12 bank details opened and closed over the last 24 months. All you need to start are columns and rows – card, company, opening, award date, closing date, fees, and notes. Add a little color for readability. Let’s put it this way – no records mean you are not earning your money making potential and I know you like money.

Yeah I know, I didn’t track as closely last year but am cleaning it all up now.

How ’bout checking emails? (Provided you save them, of course.) The last mention of some unmistakable search term like “Santander”, should cue you in to when you closed said account; because they would after that date, no longer be sending you emails saying “Hey, it’s time to check your monthly statement”, etc.

Get your Early Warning report, that has close dates and open dates for all(?) my bank accounts.

Also, make a habit of keeping an encrypted folder with your bank statements on it on your computer or a cloud drive.

Was gonna say you have a spreadsheet, I’ve seen it! But just confirmed you’re not the same Nate. Lol. My favorite answer to this is check your DP post you supplied last go around. I know we ALL post/share DPs – right?

look at when you sent money from other bank or direct deposit there, my bonus was sent on 12/31 when i completed the requirements that month, so just go by last day of month to be careful.

Fantastic when they want to require me to go in branch to verify myself -.-

Any luck calling?

Went in after work and they were helpful but tried adding more accounts ontop of the checkings. Just go in there knowing what you want.

I am out of state and tried this in the past (well over a year ago) and was denied. Can anybody confirm a positive datapoint of being out of state and being accepted? Skeptical :/

Colorado – already wrapped up the previous iteration earlier this month

It appears the in-branch verification is YMMV. Any ideas on the percentage of accounts requiring in-branch verification?


Tennessee. Applied today, instantly approved.

Opened an account as a CA resident.

got denied in CA.

Just opened an account in NJ. Was able to fund $2000 with United card.

Hopefully all of the DDs still work

Frito Pendejo

Nice. In a couple days it will be exactly one year since I received the last bonus. Hooray for good recordkeeping.

And yes, they always make me go into a branch to verify. Sloppy. They used to be a decent bank, though, until they stopped reimbursing ATM fees.

As someone who lives 6+ hours away from the nearest branch, it’s probably not a good idea to apply for this bonus, correct?

I last opened a PNC account about 3 years ago and I did not have to go into a branch to verify. It was a no-hassle bonus 3 years ago, but that can change at any moment.

Is the in-branch verification required for all applicants or a small percentage? I am weighing the hassle risk vs. reward on this offer. The closest branch is about 7 hours.

Are all out of state applicants required to go in-branch to verify or a small percentage? I applied about 3 years ago without any in-branch verification required.

Anybody NOT have to go into a branch? My closest branch is a 12+ hour drive.

Apparently you cant fund this with Citi cards anymore 🙁

Can you elaborate? Like it won’t go through or it will go through as a cash advance?

won’t go through at all

According to recent DPs Citi Cards are NOT working for funding PNC including AAdv, TY Premier & DC.

There is a possibility that PNC tries to charge them as cash advance and the transactions don’t go through since most people have their cash advance limit reduced to prevent cash advance fees. However, there is a possibility that if you don’t decrease your cash advance limit then it might go through as cash advance and later revert to a purchase. YMMV

No, not because of CA. I just tried today. It was declined. My CA limit is $2500. I called Citi, was told that all Citi credit card will not go thru for this specific merchant. I asked why. She said she cannot tell me. Haha.

This means that Citi is specifically blocking PNC to prevent people from meeting MSR on their Citi cards to get the bonus.
Typical of Citi.

Exactly. My Citi card was denied – spoke to representative and was told Citi does not “do business with this merchant”

I was denied trying to fund $2k with my Citi Double Cash. Contacted Citi through live chat and was told that it possibly was being processed as a cash advance, which has a $1k daily limit.

Is PNC known to be strict on the 12 month rule for receiving the bonus?

I was wondering the same thing – I closed my checking last year but the previous bonus I received was within the past 12 months.

According to DP (previous PNC thread) there may be more than 12 months before you can churn & sometimes 24 months. YMMV

so this is churnable every 12 months from when you get a bonus frm them?

It says the direct deposit must be monthly. I don’t have anything that would total $2,000 for the $200 bonus. It looks like I will have to pass unless the data points show that Discover or Capital One qualify. Seems the data points are a bit iffy and sometimes using outside sources work and other times not.

It says “the following conditions must be met within the first 60 days: (a) qualifying Direct Deposit(s) must be received…he total amount of all qualifying Direct Deposits credited to your checking account must be at least $2,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend or Performance Checking or $5,000 for Virtual Wallet with Performance Select or Performance Select Checking.”

You don’t need $2,000 in DDs each month, just $2,000 in total over 60 days.

Do we have to park the deposits with PNC? Or can we transfer the same amount between PNC and an external bank until we hit the $2k or $5k

You can downgrade to virtual wallet (minimum balance $500) after you get your bonus online at your account

William Charles this info that Snorlax referenced above seems worth posting an update!

It took me quite a bit of searching through the options to finally find the settings needed, so here’s the extra detail needed so everyone can avoid unnecessary t/c & branch trips:

From the home page:
Click “Virtual Wallet…” link
Click “Preferences” (Top-right, below tabs & “customer profile” info, right next to “Savings engine”)
Drag the spending/DD bar all the way to the left (lowest amount)
“Virtual wallet” edition will now show as an option on the right
Scroll to bottom & click “Change edition”

This will change your wallet to the lower $500.00 requirement immediately & all debit/acct # stay the same.


thanks a lot!

Concur — Let me add the T&C:

I made this switch from Virtual Wallet With Performance Select $25 Monthly Fee ($300 Bonus) to a basic Virtual Wallet after collecting my bonus. After doing so, I learned that I qualify for no monthly fee on two fronts.

*No Monthly Service Charge if you meet any one of the following:*

*● $500 combined average monthly balance in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts*

*● $500 in qualifying monthly direct deposits to your Spend account during the statement period*

*● Account holder is age 62 or over*

*● Provide proof of active enrollment in a qualifying educational institution (expires 6 years after the account is enrolled in the student banking program)*

LAG, that was extremely helpful. Thank you!

Thanks! That was very helpful.

Thank you, very helpful

Kevin Thanks, Kevin for clearing that up for me. $2,000 within 60 Days is better, but still not doable for me.

Just deposit the same $500 four times via a different bank(s).

Can’t you open the normal (non VW) accounts too and get the bonus (per T&C)? Anyone know what the difference is? Looks like you might be able to skip the debit card transactions.

You can open either a virtual wallet or traditional checking account. The requirements are the same. The details are on the offer page under these words: Prefer a traditional checking account

Living far out of their service area, to finally get this available is exciting, but saw a few too many reddit horror stories of PNC locking accounts AFTER funding and demanding to come into branch to unlock the accounts and funds. Don’t want to have to make a cross country trip to get my depisit back 🙁

I am in the same situation. Would like to open account for the bonus but previous posts about having to go in a branch have me worried.

Good call. It took me multiple trips to a branch and calls into PNC to get an account “partially” unlocked. I say partially because the funds were unfrozen but the doofuses failed to remove the block on external transfers.

“Both bonuses require at least 10 debit cards”

Lol that briefly gave me images of receiving 10 debit cards in the mail and having to activate them one by one…

ACH working for the DD?

My question too. Anyone try getting the DD by doing a bank transfer?

That was 2 years ago…

There are other examples here:

Ones I was looking at were not more recent than last October though. It’s worth a shot.

I’d take a chance with 7 month old DPs. I’mm too worried about in branch verification since I’m almost a 12 hour drive from the closest branch. I had a PNC account in 2015 and didn’t have to go in, but others have reported having to do so. And we moved less than a year ago now so they’ll probably want the verification for us.

I applied for a regular PNC Virtual Wallet account 2 weeks ago to meet MSR on a Chase card.

Am I eligible for this bonus? I am unclear about this section in the fine print “New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months.”

Edit: I asked PNC live support and I am not eligible unfortunately.


Did the funding count successfully towards the MSR for your Chase card? Which chase card was it?

Trying to meet my MSR for Chase INK card, and your help would be much appreciated!

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