PNC Bank is well known and available almost nationwide, so it makes sense to consider it for your small business checking needs. There are four main PNC Business Checking Account options, each with various features and costs, along with a few additional accounts for more specialized uses.
Now let’s figure out if PNC is the right place to turn for your business. In this PNC Business Checking Account review, we compare PNC’s business accounts with its competitors, highlight its most interesting features, and explain how to open an account if you decide to go that route.
PNC Business Checking Overview
PNC Bank is a popular Member FDIC bank founded over 160 years ago. It’s available in 28 states across the country and the District of Columbia. There are four main business checking accounts to choose from, as well as several that target specific clients like non-profits. PNC is part of the Visa network, so it should be easy to use worldwide.
- Four business checking account options with varying perks and fees
- May be able to get an intro bonus when signing up for a new account
- Access to 19,000 in-network ATMs across the country
- Large number of free transactions and deposits with its highest-tier accounts
- Cannot open a business account fully online
- Higher fees than some of the competition
- Large balance requirements to avoid the monthly fees
- The bank isn’t available in every state
PNC Bank offers its members online banking, mobile banking, and bill pay for free. You can also gain access to the PNC Purchase Payback program, which is a built-in cash back rewards program, simply by using your debit card.
If you’re wondering which of the four main accounts might be right for you, here’s a breakdown:
- Business Checking Account: Best for small businesses that have simple business checking needs without many monthly transactions.
- Business Checking Plus Account: Best for small businesses that need to perform a larger volume of transactions without an additional cost and that need insight into their cash flow. An added perk is that you may also qualify for a no-fee personal checking account through PNC Bank.
- Treasury Enterprise Plan: Best for businesses needing an even larger volume of free transactions and more tools for managing your business’s money.
- Analysis Business Checking Account: Best for businesses that need to connect several checking accounts and want to get an earnings credit.
In the table below, we explore each of these accounts in more detail to help you make the best decision for your business.
What Are the Best Features of a PNC Business Checking Account?
One of the most exciting features of PNC business checking is that new account holders can earn a sign-up bonus of either $200 or $500. The amount depends on the account you open. The mobile banking app is also well rated for both Apple and Android. The mobile app offers a wide range of banking services, like checking account balances, transferring to or from savings accounts, or making a wire transfer.
Keep in mind that every PNC Bank Business Checking Account requires an opening deposit of $100. This requirement is higher than a lot of the competition — some financial institutions don’t require a deposit at all.
Here’s an overview of each of the features of the four main PNC business checking accounts.
|Account name||Monthly maintenance fee||How to waive monthly fee||Free monthly transactions||Free cash deposits||Sign-up bonus|
|Business Checking||No fee for the first three months of a new account, then $10||Keep an average balance of $500Or link a PNC credit card or merchant services account and complete $500 worth of transactions||150, then $0.50 per transaction||$5,000, then $0.25 per $100||N/A|
|Business Checking Plus||No fee for the first three months of a new account, then $20||Keep a $5,000 average balance Or link a PNC credit card or merchant services account and complete $5,000 worth of transactionsOr keep combined $20,000 with a PNC business money market account||500, then $0.50 per transaction||$10,000, then $0.25 per $100||$200|
|Treasury Enterprise Plan||No fee for the first three months of a new account, then $50||Keep a $30,000 average balance in all your accounts||2,500, then $0.50 per transaction||$50,000, then $0.25 per $100||$500|
|Analysis Business Checking||$25||Get an earnings credit||Pay per transaction||None: $0.20 per $100||$500|
PNC Bank also offers three other options to help with business needs: a Business Interest Checking Account, a Non-Profit Checking Account, and an Interest On Lawyers Trust Account.
The Business Interest Checking Account is basically a mirror to the basic Business Checking account except for two factors: It has a slightly higher $25 fee each month that can be waived for a larger $5,000 average account balance. The benefit to this account is that you can earn variable interest. To find current interest rates, you can call 1-877-BUS-BNKG.
The Non-Profit Checking Account targets non-profit organizations and charges a lower $5 monthly fee. Maintaining a $500 average balance can waive the fee. You also get 150 free transactions and $5,000 of free cash deposits.
The Interest On Lawyers Trust Account has no monthly fee and no minimum deposit to open.
How Does PNC Business Checking Compare to Others in 2022?
There are pros and cons to every bank account, but it’s helpful to look at how PNC Business Checking compares to the direct competition. We looked into several other business checking accounts in comparison to PNC below.
When you’re choosing a small business checking account, you’ll want to look at things like:
- Monthly account maintenance fees and pricing
- The number of free transactions
- The number of free cash deposits
- Opening deposit requirements
- Sign-up bonus when you open an account
- Whether it earns an annual percentage yield (APY), also known as interest
You can often waive monthly maintenance fees by qualifying with an average monthly balance or spending a specific amount. It’s a good idea to check the account details to make sure you can meet the requirements and avoid the monthly fee. Also, it can help to consider whether there is overdraft protection for debit card transactions and whether you get cash rewards for using your business debit card before applying for an account.
Each of the banks below allow you to open a business checking account completely online, but PNC doesn’t have that capacity yet.
Axos Basic Business Checking
Unlike PNC, Axos Bank charges no fees for maintenance, overdrafts, or falling below the minimum balance (it costs $36 to overdraft at PNC). Axos also doesn’t have a minimum deposit to open an account, and allows for unlimited free transactions and deposits. On the other hand, both PNC and Axos Bank offer the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus, and each has at least one business checking account option that earns interest.
Small Business Checking by Bank of America
The Business Advantage Fundamentals Banking by Bank of America costs $16 each month. But you can waive it by maintaining a $5,000 balance or spending only $250 per month, which is easier to achieve than PNC’s spending requirement. With both Bank of America and PNC, you may be able to earn a sign-on bonus. You also get 50 more free paper and in-person transactions and the first $7,500 in cash deposits free with Bank of America.
Chase Business Complete Banking℠
Chase members can accept payments using QuickAccept. Unlike PNC, Chase Bank has physical branches in all lower 48 states and the District of Columbia. Chase also has five ways to avoid its $15 monthly maintenance fee. However, you’ll only get 20 free paper and in-person transactions, but unlimited electronic transactions. You have an opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus with both Chase and PNC Bank.
BlueVine Business Banking
With BlueVine Business Banking, you won’t pay any monthly fees or minimum balance fees. However, because it’s completely online, BlueVine can’t accept cash or paper check deposits, while PNC can. And if you pay your bills with a credit card using BlueVine, you’ll pay a 2.9% transaction fee. You can also earn interest on $100,000 or less if you qualify, which PNC also offers with two of its accounts.
Online & Mobile Small Business Checking by Bank Novo
Bank Novo’s business checking solution is fee-free and doesn’t require you to keep a minimum average balance. A Novo business checking account can integrate with accounting software like Xero and Wise to make bookkeeping easier. You can apply for this Novo account online in around 10 minutes while you have to go to a physical branch to open a PNC business bank account.
What Is the Minimum Balance for a PNC Business Checking Account?
Keeping a minimum balance on your PNC business checking account can allow you to avoid the monthly maintenance fee, which can save you a lot of money over time. The balance you’ll need to maintain depends on which PNC account you have.
The Business Checking Account, the most basic of PNC’s business checking options, requires an average minimum balance of $500 to not have to pay the monthly fee. The next tier, the Business Checking Plus Account, requires a higher average minimum balance of $5,000 to avoid the monthly fee. The Treasury Enterprise Plan requires a very high $30,000 minimum account balance to not have to pay the fee each month. The latter two minimum balances may not be manageable for new businesses or small businesses.
You’ll also need to make a $100 deposit to open any PNC Business Checking Account. This minimum opening deposit amount is on the higher end compared to the competition. Many banks (online banks, in particular) either don’t require this at all or charge less than PNC Bank. But some other large banks charge the same $100 deposit to open an account. This deposit will stay in your account until you have either used the funds or closed the account.
Can You Open a PNC Business Checking Account Without an LLC?
Yes. Sole proprietors can open a PNC Business Checking Account. According to PNC’s website, you’ll simply need to provide your social security number and proof of name registration if you’re operating under a fictitious business name.
In fact, we recommend all small business owners consider opening a separate business checking account for several reasons. First, you might face less personal liability as a business owner. If you ever get audited by the IRS, having your business and personal expenses already separated will make the entire process much smoother.
Bookkeeping will also be simpler since many business checking accounts offer cash flow insights. You won’t be able to utilize this type of feature if your personal expenses are included in the same account, however. This division will also make taxes much easier to finalize because you won’t have to cherry pick your business expenses out of a combined account.
Finally, if you’re wondering how to establish business credit, you’ll need to open a business checking account and become an LLC or corporation as the first step. Your personal and business finances cannot be mixed if you want to establish business credit.
If you’re interested in potentially opening one or more business credit cards in the future, establishing a relationship with a bank through a business checking account may help you qualify. It’s a good idea to look into PNC’s small business credit card options and compare them to the competition before deciding on a business checking account.
Can I Open a PNC Business Checking Account Online?
No. You must visit a physical branch to open a business checking account with PNC Bank. So PNC may not be a viable option for anyone living outside of its branch network. There are 2,600 PNC branch locations throughout the nation, but not every state is covered.
Nav’s Final Word
Opening a business checking account is an important step in gaining access to small business loans and other business financing. But whether that means that one of PNC’s business checking accounts is right for you depends on your business needs. These accounts have higher fees and balance requirements than much of the competition, so it may not be the best option if you aren’t able to qualify for a waiver of the monthly fee.
However, one of PNC’s higher-tier accounts may work well for you if you have a large volume of transactions and want to avoid paying a per-transaction fee. Nav is here to help you find the right business checking account for your business. Create a free account at Nav.com to compare your best options today.