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PNC Bank Flex Visa Card – Requirements for Rewards Acceptable?

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The PNC Bank Flex Visa card is offered by popular PNC regional bank. The bank provides a variety of credit cards and services for personal use, small businesses, and corporations. When it comes to the PNC Bank Flex Visa card, you need to know what sets this card apart from others – if anything – good or bad. We’ll cover the basics regarding the features and benefits, as well as the interest rates and fees applied to this card so that you can make a knowledgeable decision whether to apply for it or not.

PNC Bank Flex Visa Card Features

First off, the PNC Bank Flex Visa card offers an introductory annual percentage rate of 1.99% on balance transfers during the first 24 month billing cycles following the account opening. However, balances must be transferred within 90 days of your account opening.  After the introductory annual percentage rate on balance transfers is over, you can expect to pay interest rates between 10.99% and 19.99%, based on your credit history and creditworthiness determined by PNC bank.

In addition to the introductory offer, the PNC Flex Visa card does not come with any annual fees. In addition to that welcome perk, cardholders are able to earn four points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases, and there are no limitations to the number of points that can be earned. When you apply for and are accepted for the PNC Bank Flex Visa card, you’re automatically enrolled in the PNC Points Program.

PNC Bank Flex Visa Points Program Basics

When you’re enrolled in the PNC Bank Flex Visa card Points Program, you have the opportunity to earn 100 bonus points for every dollar of interest (non-promotional) if your qualified checking account balance has a minimum of $1,500 or more dollars in it. In addition, you can earn 100 bonus points for every two dollars of interest (non-promotional) if your qualified checking account balance ranges anywhere between $500 and $1,499.  We’ll talk more about this one later. For now, we’ll continue with further information regarding the Flex rewards program.

Cardholders may be pleased to know that they can redeem their points for merchandise, cash rewards, travel, gift cards, and more. Be aware before signing on the dotted line that the Flex rewards program comes with its own set of terms and conditions, separate from the terms and conditions associated with the PNC Bank Flex Visa card. Be sure to read both. The document containing a specific terms of the PNC Points Program is approximately eight pages long, and again, that doesn’t include the terms and conditions associated with the Visa card.

A number of changes in the PNC Points Program are slated for late March 2014. The basics involved in the summary of the terms and conditions for the rewards program include definition of “qualifying purchases”. Qualifying purchases are classified as those that require you to swipe your card, or when you use your card for Internet purchases, phone or mail orders, as well as bill payments. A number of transactions are not considered qualifying purchases and will therefore not earn points. Such transactions include but are not limited to payment for an existing credit card balance, balance transfers, ATM transactions or cash advances, convenience checks, and certain fees including interest, and annual fees.

You must have a qualifying deposit account with the PNC Bank Flex Visa card in order to earn bonus points with your PNC Bank Flex Visa card. We mentioned previously that in order to earn 100 bonus points for every two dollars in interest (non-promotional), you have to maintain an average monthly balance in the qualifying deposit account of between $500 and $1,499.99. You’ll earn 100 points for every dollar in non-promotional interest if your qualifying deposit account maintains an average balance of $1,500 or more.

In addition, the qualifying deposit account is considered to be those that include free checking, standard checking, Foundation Checking, Virtual Wallet, Virtual Wallet with Performance Standard, and a few others. Make sure that you understand the specific type of qualifying account that must be maintained and the minimum monthly balance you must maintain before you apply.

This may be difficult for some consumers to maintain, and without it, you’re not eligible for the benefits of the Flex program. Take this into consideration when reviewing the perks and benefits associated with the rewards program linked to the PNC Bank Flex Visa card. Every reward, according to the terms and conditions of the reward program, are also subject to specific conditions and terms, which are always listed with the reward offers.

Let’s Talk about Interest Rates and Fees

The PNC Bank Flex Visa card comes with a variety of rates and fees. Card members can expect an annual percentage rate of between 10.99% and 19.99% APR, depending on your credit history and perceived creditworthiness as determined by PNC Bank. The introductory 1.99% APR for balance transfers is applicable for your first 24 monthly billing cycles, but all balance transfers must be made within the first three months of your account opening. Following the introductory period, your interest rate will also range between 10.99% and 19.99%.

When it comes to cash advances, you can expect to pay a flat 21.99% APR. If you make a late payment, a penalty APR may be applied. This APR shoots up to 28.99% and will remain on your account until you make six minimum and consecutive monthly payments by the due date. Visit the website for additional information.

Some transaction fees do apply. When it comes to balance transfers after the introductory rate, you can expect to pay 4% or a $5 minimum for every balance transfer, whichever is larger. You’ll pay $10 or 4% of the cash advance amount, again whichever is larger.  When it comes to foreign transaction fees, you can expect to pay 3%, in US dollars. If you make a late payment or a payment has been returned you can pay up to $35 in penalty fees.

Bottom Line

At first glance, the PNC Bank Flex Visa card seems reasonable. However, the part where you have to have a qualifying balance maintained in a qualifying account in order to benefit from the rewards program pretty much nixes this one for most people.

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