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PNC Points Visa Credit Card – Better than Others?

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The PNC Points Visa credit card offered by PNC Bank claims to be different by offering points that you can redeem for rewards. Of course, other credit card vendors offer the same, so what makes this card any different? We’ll talk about the PNC Points Visa credit card rewards program, its benefits and features, and the rates and fees that apply to this card. Only then can you make a knowledgeable decision regarding this card.

PNC Points Visa Credit Card Features

The PNC Points Visa credit card comes with a 0% APR introductory offer on balance transfers for the first 12 months following the opening of the account. Balances must be transferred within 90 days of opening your account. After the introductory 0% APR expires, you can expect to pay between 11.99% and 21.99%, depending on your credit history and credit worthiness.

The PNC Points Visa credit card offer stipulates that real-time savings are directly impacted by your expenditures, purchases, and payment activities. Of course, be aware that all balance transfer amounts may be limited and restricted based on the terms and conditions of the PNC bank.

The PNC Points Visa credit card offers cardholders the ability to earn four points for every dollar spent in qualifying purchases.  Upon approval of and receipt of the credit card, you’re automatically enrolled in the PNC Points Rewards program.

In addition, qualifying checking accounts that meet minimum balances or requirements for direct deposits can earn a 75% bonus on the base points earned when you have a PNC Performance Select or PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance Select checking account. You can also earn a 50% bonus if you have the PNC Virtual Wallet with Performance or a PNC Performance checking account.  Earn a 25% bonus if you have a PNC Virtual Wallet account.

As you can see, the type of checking account or direct deposit account you have will determine the amount of the bonus on base points that you can earn with the PNC Points Visa credit card. Read the fine print comes to this points program, as minimum balances must be maintained. The following figures will be effective for the PNC points program by March 22, 2014.

For example, Virtual Wallet accounts must maintain an average monthly balance of $500 or more in a standard reserve account, as well as have qualifying monthly direct deposits of $500 or more into that account.  In addition, you are required to only utilize mobile, online or ATM methods to make deposits or withdrawals.

The PNC Bank Performance checking account and the Virtual Wallet with Performance also come with stipulations. Such accounts must maintain an average monthly balance of $2,000 and combined average monthly balance requirements of $15,000. You must direct deposit $2000 or more into your account on a monthly basis.

Each account has specifications regarding average monthly balances and deposits. That’s why it’s so important to read the terms and conditions of any rewards program or the PNC Points Visa credit card in regard to terms and conditions. Know the rules before you apply!

Also keep in mind that the terminology “qualifying purchases” doesn’t necessarily mean that you can buy anything with your PNC Points Visa credit card. Some transactions are excluded, including convenience check purchases, cash advances, gift card purchases, and balance transfers. PNC Bank’s definition of “bonus points” specifies to special bonus offers, bonus points that are associated with credit card products, and purchase payback bonus points.

The terms and conditions for each of the types of accounts you have, as well as the stipulations for qualifying for the 25%, 50%, 75% bonus points rewards are quite lengthy and detailed. However, if you’re interested in this card, it behooves consumers to read the fine print to avoid misinterpretation.

About the Rewards

A number of rewards are available from your use of the PNC Points credit card, including but not limited to travel, merchandise, and cash awards. In addition to such options, PNC Bank also offers special features that include:

  •  Auto redemption – for people who like to choose the same rewards.
  • Deal  of the week – every Wednesday, you’ll receive an e-mail that contains special offers, which are only available for 24 hours.
  • Wish list – this is for those who can’t quite make up their mind what they want to redeem their points for. You can keep up to 25 items on the wish list at any given time.

When you enter the rewards program site, you’ll have access to the full rewards catalog. The amount of points you need to receive rewards varies. For example:

  •  3,500 points will earn you a $5 Starbucks card
  • 7,500 points to get you a $15 cash value award
  • 11,500 points will get you a $25 gift card at Target
  • 50,000 points will earn you $100 cash value award

You determine whether the money you spend to earn the points is worth the reward.

Rates and Fees

In addition to the above stipulations regarding the PNC Points credit card rewards program, the credit card itself comes with its own rates and fees. As mentioned, the introductory offer of a 0% APR is good for 12 months on balance transfers that occur within the first 90 days of opening the account. After that, balance transfer and purchase APR’s rise to 11.99% to 21.99%, based on your credit history.

While the PNC Points credit card does not charge an annual fee, additional fees do apply. Cash advances will accrue a 21.99% APR, and if you make a late payment, your penalty APR may rise to 28.99%.  This penalty rate may apply until you have made six consecutive minimum payments by the due date.

Balance transfer transaction fees amount to $5 or 3% of the balance transfer amount, whichever is larger. Cash advanced transaction fees amount to $10 or 4% of the cash advanced, again, whichever is larger. You can expect to pay 3% in foreign transaction fees, in US dollars. If you make a late payment or a payment has been returned, you can expect to be charged up to $35. Log on to the website to learn more about their terms.

Bottom Line

Carefully review the points program and determine whether the money you spend to earn points is worth the rewards, and that goes for the PNC Points Visa credit card as well. The stipulations, regulations, and rules attached to this card are lengthy, and may not offer a really good deal in the long run.

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