the PNC points® Visa® credit card might make you feel like you’re on an “Oprah” giveaway show. With an annual membership fee of $ 0 and a win rate of 4 points for every dollar spent, it looks like you can practically show up with the card and walk away with a point-rich prize package.
But before you get caught up in a rewards-induced rush to spend that cache, you need to factor in the value of those points – and this is where the card stumbles. In addition to these low value points, the application of the map comes with geographic restrictions. Unless you bank with PNC, it is only available in certain states.
1. If you do not yet have a PNC bank account, there are application restrictions.
The application conditions for the PNC points® Visa® credit card vary depending on where you live and whether you bank with PNC.
You can apply for the card whether you are banking with PNC if you live in the District of Columbia or any of the following states:
If you live elsewhere, you will need to have an active deposit account with PNC in good standing to apply, according to the bank.
2. It earns a lot of points …
The goal of any reward card is to amass a pool of points that you can redeem for whatever you want. the PNC points® Visa® credit card delivers goods at a whopping 4 points for every $ 1 in purchases. In terms of how many points you collect, you’d be hard pressed to find a flat rate card that outperforms it.
You can increase this rate even more if you qualify for one of the Cabin Crew Members relationship bonus, which offer an additional 25%, 50% or 75% bonus on basis points for those who qualify. That could mean 7 points per dollar spent for people at the highest level.
If you want to earn points through your daily spending, the PNC points® Visa® credit card will help you achieve this goal. You can redeem things like cash, travel, gift cards, and merchandise.
3. But these point values are mostly meh
For cash back and gift cards, a PNC point is worth 0.2 cents (and potentially less for merchandise). That’s a pitiful assessment compared to many other reward cards that earn points worth a penny or more each.
Certainly the PNC points® Visa® credit card earns more total points per dollar spent than most competitors. But it helps to consider math.
For example, a balance of 50,000 points on the PNC points® Visa® credit card can be redeemed for $ 100 in cash. But for cards that value penny points, those same 50,000 points would earn you $ 500 in cash.
In other words: if you earn 4 points for every dollar spent with the PNC points® Visa® credit card, that means you will have to spend $ 12,500 to get $ 100 back. But if you spent the same $ 12,500 on a lump sum cash back card that earns you a mere 2% back on every purchase, you would earn $ 250 in cash back.
An exception to the 0.2 point value of the card is the exchange for a plane ticket. A PNC spokesperson notes that points are worth the most when redeemed for flights, followed by hotels, then cash.
According to PNC, a return flight in economy class Cleveland-Chicago priced at $ 212.40 would require 70,800 points. In this scenario, a point is worth 0.3 cents – slightly better, but still much, much less per point than other cards offer.
There are many other reward cards that can take you further and with less complexity.
4. It takes a lot of effort to maximize the rewards
Speaking of complexity, in many cases, distributing how many PNC points you need for a particular item can be a headache. As of this writing, a $ 25 Amazon gift card will cost you 11,276 points, and a $ 100 Amazon gift card will cost you 45,826 points. At a glance, these sky-high prices make it hard to tell what kind of value you’re getting.
Redeeming points for goods can be even trickier. In some cases, points are worth as little as 0.1 cents each through the PNC portal compared to the dollar prices of these items on popular retail websites.
You might be better off with a card that doesn’t require you to pull out a calculator to figure out what kind of value you’re getting when you trade for goods or travel.
5. There is no sign-up bonus
Many rewards cards typically offer some type of welcome offer to meet a minimum spending requirement. But the PNC points® Visa® credit card does not, which drops it a few pegs compared to other rewards cards with no annual fee.
So even though you will get a lot of points going with the PNC points® Visa® credit card, you won’t get anything up front. Another rewards card can earn you more, at least the first year.