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PNC Cash Rewards Review: Is this the best new cash back card?

Alex Cohen Alex Cohen  | 

PNC's newest cash back credit card is a great addition to the top cash back credit cards on the market. Although we're typically advocates for cards that earn you miles or points, we can't overlook a great cash back card. And when it comes to evaluating cash back cards, we typically look at three components: the categories and merchant bonuses, how easy it is to redeem your cash back (is there a minimum) and is there a maximum spend for the bonus.

Here's what you need to know:

  • $100 sign on bonus after $1000 of purchases in the first three months
  • No annual fee!
  • 4% cash back on gas, 3% on dining, 2% back on groceries and 1% back on everything else
  • $8000 annual cap on spend for the above mentioned bonus categories

This is exciting for a few reasons.

For a card with no annual fee and this high of a spending cap, 4% and 3% back on purchases on some of your highest spending categories is fantastic. If you spend around $1200/year on gas and the other $6800 on dining, that's an easy $252 in cash rewards. If you were to swap this card out with the Chase Freedom or Discover It cards during their 5% bonus quarters on gas and grocery, you could easily around around $300 in cash back each year, just on this spend.

The only other popular card that earns more than 4% on groceries year round is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, which earns 6% back on groceries, on up to $6000 in spend per year.

PNC Cash Rewards Visa

PNC Cash Rewards Cards: Benefits and Rewards Basics

Big cash back bonus on gas
4% cash back on gas with an $8000 spending limit is one of the highest cash back bonuses on the market. Even the Amex Blue Cash Preferred doesn't compare - with a 3% cash back deal on gas. The only difference is that the Amex BCP bonus is on unlimited spend.

Good dining rewards
3% on dining isn't too shabby either. What you may want to consider is using one of the cash back cards with a rotating 5% category to swap in and out. That way you'll earn 5% for at least one quarter each year on your dining spend and 3% consistently during all other times.

Sign up bonus
The card has a pretty low minimum spend in order to get the $100 sign on bonus. You only need to spend $1000 in the first 90 days.

Should you consider the PNC Cash Rewards Card?

It's one of my new favorite cash back cards on the market - especially considering I'm not a Costco or Sam's Club member and I can combine this with other cash back or travel cards to really take advantage of every dollar spent. If you spend a bit (but not too crazy) amount on dining out and filling up the car each year, seriously consider this card as an addition to your wallet.

As always, email with any questions!

Alex Cohen

Alex Cohen

I run Birch by day and watch cat videos by night

San Francisco, CA