PNC Virtual Wallet Online Banking Review

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PNC Virtual Wallet is an online tool for managing the money you're holding in PNC savings, checking and some other types of accounts. There are also apps for iPhone and Android that sync with the online tools.

While PNC doesn't offer interest rates as high as SmartyPig does, Virtual Wallet has more features to help with budgeting, getting an overview of your finances and saving money. Here's a breakdown of the features:

PNC Virtual Wallet Money Bar

Virtual Wallet's Money Bar is a bar graph that shows you at a glance how much money you have available for general spending. These funds are categorized as Free on the Money Bar. The Scheduled setting shows how much money you have set aside to pay upcoming bills. Reserve is the feature showing money held in savings.

You can adjust the amounts in Reserve and Free by adjusting a slider, and your money automatically moves from one category to another for you.

Calendar and Online Bill Pay

The Calendar shows bills, income, and spending in a color-coded daily, weekly or monthly view. The Calendar also shows Danger Days in red if the account you use to make payments could be overdrawn in the future. If you see Danger Days, you can move funds from your Reserve stash or change the date you pay a bill.

You can use Online Bill Pay from the Calendar to make one time or recurring payments, and you'll get an email to remind you of the bill due dates so you don't have to visit Virtual Wallet every day to stay on top of paying bills.

Spending Zone Use

This tool is for setting up a budget and getting budget reports. To set up a budget, assign amounts to budget categories. View totals for budgeted categories, a list of recent transactions and compare spending over the past year with a graphical report. You can get emails to warn you when you're getting close to overspending in a category, too.

Punch the Pig Savings Tools

Virtual Wallet has four ways to help you get into saving money:

  1. The Wish List divides the total amount you have set aside in Reserve savings into amounts being saved for individual items, like a vacation, a set of new tires or a special big night out on the town. Wish List items have priorities attached, so if you drive to work and your car has bald tires with winter just a couple of months away, the tires can take priority for savings allocated from Reserve over the vacation and night out.
  2. Reserve Account refers to money set aside in short-term savings for expected expenses, with a reminder on the Calendar.
  3. Growth Account is used for long-term savings and pays interest.
  4. The Savings Engine automatically transfers an amount you set from Spending to savings on paydays and easily makes Bill Pay makes payment transfers. The Punch the Pig is a piggy bank that pops up while your banking online, you "punch" it and the amount you choose will be moved from Spending to the savings in Virtual Wallet.

Transferring Funds

Transferring money is free with Virtual Wallet and can be done three ways. You can easily move money between PNC bank accounts, use Popmoney to send or receive money using an email address or mobile phone number, or set up you non-PNC accounts to send and receive transfers

Mobile Apps

There's a Virtual Wallet app for Android phones and tablets, iPhone and iPad. Other web-enabled smartphones can access to use Virtual Wallet. The apps can snap photos of checks to deposit them into your account.

If you don't have a smartphone, you can send text messages to get account information like checking on balances, viewing the last several transactions, bill due dates and more.

Virtual Wallet Student

Virtual Wallet Student is an account for college students and their parents or guardians. This type of account has the above features and makes it easy for parents to transfer funds to the student's account and if the student is attending a PNC Alliance college, the account will be accented with school colors with important school events appearing on the Calendar.

Fees, Performance Spend and Sign Up

Virtual Wallet accounts are free to set up, but come with some fees. For example, 50 cents per check after the first three each month. However, these are easy to avoid with the online Bill Pay. You'll also need to pay to use non-PNC ATMs.

The Virtual Wallet Performance Spend account has unlimited check writing, reimbursement of ATM fees, interest in the Spend account and many other perks, but costs $10 per month unless you can keep some minimum balances or can direct deposit a set amount. The minimum balances, direct deposit amount and fees depend on where you live, but you can determine what they are by clicking on Features and Fees on the Virtual Wallet comparison table.