The Best PNC Rewards Credit Card 2019 | The Point Calculator

The Best PNC Rewards Credit Card

February 4, 2019 - Robert Flowers III

PNC offers several credit cards that range between earning cash back and earning points and miles. I will cover each PNC rewards credit card in-depth and let you know the earning structure, how much the rewards are worth, the fees, and if it's worth grabbing up.

PNC Rewards Cards

PNC Points Visa Card
No Annual Fee

The PNC Points Visa Card earns PNC Points. Every dollar spent on the PNC Points Visa will earn you four PNC points. PNC points are worth a very low 0.15 cents each meaning you're looking at a return of 0.6% per dollar. This means that you're not even earning a full 1% back making this one of the worst earnings on the market.

Perks and Benefits

Those who bank with PNC will have the ability to earn additional rewards for having other services through PNC like a Performance Checking account for example. PNC Customers can earn up to a 75% point boost with this bonus. Even at a 75% point boost, you're looking at a return of 1.05% per dollar spent which is pretty bad.

Sign up Bonuses and Fees

The PNC Points Visa does not have a sign up bonus, but it does feature 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. That gives this card some value for those that may need to move credit card balances around.

The PNC Points Visa has no annual fee and no authorized user fee, but it does have a foreign transaction fee of 3%, so using this card overseas will not be a good idea.

Overall

The PNC Points Visa does not provide any real benefit. Between the other two reward cards PNC offers, this card falls short and does not even come close. Unless you're looking for a balance transfer card, I would steer clear of this card and its rewards.

PNC Premier Traveler Card
No Annual Fee

Earning Rate

The PNC Premier Traveler Card earns PNC miles. These are not to be confused with frequent flyer miles that you earn flying airlines or earn with co-branded airline cards. These are basically another form of points that are specific to PNC. Unlike PNC points, PNC Miles actually have value and are worth 1 cents each. You will earn 2 PNC Miles per $1 spent on the PNC Premier Traveler Card. PNC Miles are worth 1 cent each give you a return of 2% which is great until the annual fee kicks in the second year and drags the value of the card down.

Perks and Benefits

The PNC Premier Traveler Card does not have any perks or benefits outside of the standard Visa Signature perks that are offered on hundreds of other cards.

Sign Up Bonus and Fees

The PNC Premier Traveler Card offers a standard sign up bonus of 30,000 PNC miles after making $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months. This gives you $300 in value which is a decent bonus.

The annual fee on this card is waived the first year, but once the second year starts, you will have to dish out $85 per year. This will deeply diminish the value of the card making it not worth it in the long run. This card has no authorized user fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Overall

The PNC Premier Traveler Card starts is a great 2% return card in the first year, but unfortunately the annual fee takes away from the value. If you make this your only card and run a lot of spend through it you can make up for annual fee, but there is no reason to take that $85 loss when other cards like the Citi Double Cash will earn you the same return without the annual fee.

PNC Cash Rewards Card
No Annual Fee

Earning Rate

The PNC Cash Rewards Card earns cash back on three categories. You will earn 4% cash back at gas stations, 3% back at restaurants, and 2% back at grocery stores. All other purchases outside of those categories will earn 1% cash back. These three categories have a capped combined limit of $8,000 meaning after you spend $8,000 across these three categories during the year, you will only earn 1% cash back on all purchases for the remainder of the year. This roughly leaves you with $665 per month to work with. The 4% earnings on gas station makes this one of the best cards for gas. The earnings on restaurants is not too bad either, but cards like the Barclay Uber Visa outshines it by earning 4% cash back on restaurants with no annual fee. The earnings on grocery can be beat by many reward cards like the Blue Cash Everyday (3% cash back) and AMEX Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back).

Perks and Benefits

The PNC Cash Rewards Card does not have any perks or benefits.

Sign Up Bonus and Fees

The PNC Cash Rewards Card has a sign up bonus of $100 after spending $1,000 within the first three months which is a low, but nice bonus.

The PNC Cash Rewards Card does not have an annual fee or authorized user fee, but it does have a 3% foreign transaction fee meaning that you should not use this card outside of the United States.

Overall

The PNC Cash Rewards Card has a pretty solid structure on cash back. While it does have a cap of $8,000 between its bonus categories, there is still room to earn between $160 and $320 running spend through them. And since it has no annual fee, you can look forward to a nice return on your spend every year.

So What's The Best PNC Credit Card?

Out of these three cards, the PNC Cash Rewards Card is going to be the best choice for just about everyone. If you spend in the three categories of gas, restaurant, and grocery, you will come out ahead of the other two with no problem. As far as spend outside of these categories (non-category spending), the break even point between the PNC Cash Rewards Card and the PNC Premier Traveler Card is $8,500 per year or roughly $708 per month. Once you spend more than that on non-category purchases, the PNC Premier Traveler Card comes out ahead.

Compare and Find Cards

You can use the reward calculators to calculate the cash value of each PNC credit card based on how much you spend in each category, the benefits and perks of the card, the sign up bonus, and the annual fee. You can then compare any of the PNC credit cards side-by-side against each other or against other top reward cards.

The Best Credit Card Search Tool

Looking for a good rewards card to go with your spending habits? The Best Credit Card Search Tool can search for cards based on bonus categories, how much you spend in certain categories, credit card name, and more. It will take your spend, calculate your spend per category, and output how much you can earn with each credit card in our database.

Credit Card Comparison Tool

The Credit Card Comparison Tool allows you to compare two groups of credit cards side-by-side to see which gives you the best return per $1 spent. Want to know how the PNC Premier Traveler Card and Uber Visa Card will do against the PNC Cash Rewards and Citi Double Cash? You can do that. Compare an unlimited amount of cards side by side and find the best combination for your spend.

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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate how many points, miles, or other form of currency you can accumulate based on spend, bonuses, fees, and a number of other factors. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.


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