PNC Overdraft Limit, Fees and Protection Explained

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AUGUST 2022 UPDATE: PNC has just announced that is eliminating NSF fees on all consumer accounts. This follows the bank’s recent reduction in daily overdraft fees.

FeeCostMax Fees Per DayMax. Daily Cost
PNC Overdraft Fee$361$36
PNC Insufficient Funds Fee$00$0
PNC Linked Account Transfer Fee$10UnlimitedUnlimited

Everyone runs into cash flow shortages from time to time. That’s where an overdraft can help. A valuable safety net for emergencies or necessities, overdrafts provide the funds you need – but there are fees to be aware of.

Read on to find out about PNC overdraft limits and fees, how much PNC will let you overdraw your account, and how to get the cash you need without spiraling into debt.

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Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and checking account provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank N.A.; Members FDIC.

What we’ll cover:

customer using PNC bank website

PNC Bank is a large regional bank based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Operating 2,500 branches in 21 states with 18,000 PNC and PNC partner ATMs, there’s a good chance you’ve walked past a PNC bank branch or cash machine.

Offering a wide range of financial products including checking accounts, personal loans, mortgages, and online banking, PNC is one of the largest diversified financial institutions in the United States.

If you’re one of PNC’s 9 million customers, it helps to know what fees and charges apply when you’re short of funds and need a little help to cover your next bill or purchase. We’ve found all the information you need to know to help you understand your overdraft rights and responsibilities and help you manage your money without stress.

What is PNC’s overdraft policy?

PNC charges an overdraft fee when your account has insufficient funds to cover a transaction. 

There are five payment types where overdraft fees are charged. Three of these are made at the bank’s discretion and two require you to opt into overdraft coverage.

PNC allows overdrafts on the following transactions at their discretion:

  • Checks
  • Automated bill payments
  • Payments from your checking account that use your PNC checking account number

PNC allows overdrafts on the following transactions if you opt-in for overdraft protection:

Overdrawing your account is permitted at the bank’s discretion and your account history may be considered before approving or denying a transaction. PNC overdraft limit for your account may change frequently and the bank does not guarantee that it will authorize and pay all transactions that send your account into a negative balance.

How much are PNC overdraft fees?

PNC CEO B ill Demchak discussing reduced overdraft fees on Bloomberg TV
PNC has recently reduced its daily overdraft cap to one $36 fee per day and eliminated NSF fees.

PNC charges a $36 overdraft fee per transaction.

However, PNC does offer a $5 margin of error as a safety buffer. This means you won’t be charged an overdraft fee if your account is only overdrawn by $5 or less. If you can spot your overdrawn account (within the $5 margin) before the end of the same business day and make a deposit to cover the transaction, PNC will refund you any overdraft charges and you can stay in control of your fees. 

Additionally, PNC has debuted Low Cash Mode, which gives you a 24 hour grace period to bring your account back to positive territory and avoid overdraft fees. The PNC app even counts down the time you have remaining to make a deposit or transfer to your account.

PNC recently reduced its daily overdraft fee cap from four to one, meaning you will incur a single $36 overdraft fee, even if you have multiple overdraft transactions in this same day. This reduces the daily maximum PNC overdraft fees from $144 to $36!

After 5 days in the red, PNC will charge you a further $7 per day in extended overdraft fees for each day your account is overdrawn, up to a maximum of 14 days for a total of $98.

WAIT! High overdraft fees aren't the only way PNC is costing you money.

With inflation overheating, you've probably heard that interest rates are climbing sharply. That means that for the first time in years, it's a great time to shop around for a high interest savings account.

PNC savings accounts currently pay just 0.01% APY1 as of 11/22/2022. That means that if you have $2,500 in a savings account, you'd earn just $0.25 after one year! Move those hard-earned savings to an FDIC-insured bank paying 3.50% APY and you'd earn $87.49 after one year, and some banks now pay even higher rates!

Don't let your hard-earned savings sit there doing next to nothing. Check out the rates that you can earn at other banks:

How much are PNC overdraft limits at an ATM?

Looking for fast cash but short on funds? It’s common to wonder how much PNC will let you overdraft at an ATM.

The answer is “it depends”.

Your PNC overdraft limit is set at the bank’s discretion and may change daily. This ATM limit is typically based on your account balance, account history, and usage. 

If you, or a joint account holder, opt-in for PNC’s overdraft protection, you can pay overdrafts on ATM transactions linked to an eligible checking account. Whether you withdraw $10 or $1,000, this will incur PNC’s overdraft fee of $36.

To opt-in for overdraft coverage and access ATM overdrafts, you’ll need to do one of the following:

  • Visit your local PNC branch and opt-in face-to-face.
  • Edit your ‘Overdraft Solutions’ settings in your PNC mobile app.
  • Edit your ‘Overdraft Solutions’ settings through PNC online banking.
  • Call 1-877-588-3605 and choose option ‘1’.

Prefer to cancel your overdraft protection? No problem. You can opt-out of overdraft coverage at any time using the same options listed above.

Short of money at the ATM? Try these quick fixes…

Does PNC offer overdraft coverage?


PNC’s optional overdraft coverage can help you avoid failed transactions on ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases when you’re low on funds.

As mentioned, you can choose to add overdraft coverage to each PNC checking account you have and opt-in and out at any time. Overdraft coverage comes with a fee of $36. This means you’ll be able to overdraft your debit card or at an ATM, but you will need to quickly repay the shortage in your account plus your overdraft fee. 

For example, withdrawing $200 from an ATM will mean you owe $236 ($200 successful transaction + $36 overdraft fee).

However, overdraft coverage is not the same as overdraft protection. These are two different services offered at the bank’s discretion, both of which require you to opt-in. While overdraft coverage is capped at four transactions per day, overdraft protection uses a linked account to provide the necessary funds and has no daily limit (assuming your linked account has sufficient funds).

PNC Overdraft CoveragePNC Overdraft Protection
Transaction approved without a linked account Link an eligible account to a checking account
Approval at the discretion of PNC Automatically transfer funds
Bank provides an extra layer of protectionMultiple layers of protection
Overdraft fees apply ($36) Transfer fees apply ($10)

Overdraft protection: PNC Virtual Wallet explained

If you want to reduce the amount you’re paying in overdraft fees without removing your ability to pay your bills and buy necessities, then PNC’s Virtual Wallet can help control overdraft fees.

The Virtual Wallet is a unique online bank account that combines checking and savings accounts into one. Packed full of tools to help you manage overdrafts and keep you in control of your money, you can use your Virtual Wallet to link accounts and cover any shortage of funds. A Virtual Wallet includes:

  • Upcoming payment calendar
  • Money Bar® (showing money earmarked for bills and disposable income)
  • Spending and budget groups
  • Account alerts
  • Savings goals
  • Danger Day notifications (more on that below).

Types of Virtual Wallet accounts explained

A Virtual Wallet combines checking and savings accounts with online money management tools. The account types available include:

  • Spend: Primary checking account used for day-to-day purchases. Includes ATM withdrawals, checks, debit card transactions, and online bill payments.
  • Reserve: Short-term savings account with funds providing overdraft protection for your ‘Spend’ account via small transfer fee ($10).
  • Grow: Long-term savings with a higher interest rate and a secondary source of overdraft protection if your ‘Reserve’ account has insufficient funds.

A convenient online banking app, the Virtual Wallet allows you to manage your finances and budgeting from one place as well as link accounts to avoid overdraft fees. For example, if your spending account has insufficient funds, a linked account can cover the difference without exposing you to a $36 overdraft fee. 

PNC Virtual Wallet tool

Can you overdraft your PNC Virtual Wallet?

Yes – and since your Virtual Wallet links multiple accounts, you can avoid paying overdraft fees.

PNC’s Virtual Wallet comes with an overdraft protection service for greater control over your use of overdrafts (instead of letting your bank decide). While some banks remove overdraft fees by prohibiting customers from overdrawing, this may leave you with unpaid bills and no way of getting your weekly groceries or paying your bills.

PNC automatically links your Virtual Wallet ‘Spend’ checking account with your ‘Reserve’ short-term savings account. The ‘Spend’ account is also linked to your ‘Growth’ long-term savings account. This gives you two backup accounts to dip into to cover a transaction when you’re running low on immediate funds.

Does PNC charge NSF fees?

Not any more! PNC eliminated NSF fees – previously $36 – on all consumer accounts in August 2022, so if you have a bounced check you won’t incur any fees from PNC. (You still may face extra fees from the intended recipient of the payment.)

PNC Low Cash Mode explained

Low Cash Mode is a digital service offered by PNC. Available to Virtual Wallet users across the United States, Low Cash Mode allows you to control when certain debits are processed from your account (instead of letting your bank decide).

Features of Low Cash Mode include:

  • Receive alerts if your account balance is low or negative. Alerts are available as text, email, or push notifications and can be set to a specific threshold. Alerts can also be set to track the remaining time left to bring your account balance back to $0 to avoid overdraft fees.
  • A grace period before an overdraft fee is applied. You will have at least 24-hours to bring your account balance back to zero to avoid overdraft fees. You can see how much time remains using PNC’s ‘Extra Time’ clock visible in your Virtual Wallet.
  • Capped overdraft fees at one per day.

Since launching in April 2021, PNC says ‘Low Cash Mode’ has been tested by 20,000 participants and saw a reduction in overdraft fees by roughly 60% – equivalent to $150 million in customer savings per year.

PNC Low Cash Mode tool

What is PNC Danger Day?

As mentioned, PNC’s Virtual Wallet contains innovative tools to help you manage your money, and Danger Days are a valuable tool to help limit unnecessary overdrafts.

With 54% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, knowing how to budget and forecast your money can help you avoid the need for overdrafts (and the fees that come with them). When the money in your ‘Spend’ account is low, Danger Days will appear on your calendar to alert you of days you are likely to overdraw your account. 

This gives you time to transfer money from another account to cover the difference, successfully pay your bills, and avoid overdraft fees.

Can you get a PNC overdraft fee waived?

You might think getting a bank to waive or refund an overdraft fee would be difficult, but there may be situations when PNC reverses overdraft fees.

Banks know that customers can make mistakes and end up dealing with unexpected insufficient funds, so you may be able to speak to a PNC customer service representative and request your overdraft fee be reversed.

Although banks have the final say on whether an overdraft fee is waived or not, you may be successful with your appeal if this is your first overdraft and you have a strong banking history with PNC. If you are a repeat offender and find yourself short of funds often, you may not be as successful.

As a rule of thumb, most banks will allow one overdraft fee reversal per year, but this is at PNC’s discretion. 

To speak to a PNC customer service representative, you can find more information here.

man calling bank on mobile phone

How to avoid overdraft fees with PNC Bank

Prevention is better than a cure. If you’d rather avoid dealing with overdraft fees entirely, there are steps you can take from linking your accounts to finding cash advance alternatives that don’t leave you at the mercy of your bank’s overdraft policies.

Consider the following strategies to avoid overdraft fees with PNC Bank:

Set up alerts, linked accounts, and use ‘Low Cash Mode’

As mentioned, PNC offers tools you can use to avoid overdraft fees. Between using Low Cash Mode to create alerts when your account is reaching $0 and assigning linked PNC accounts to transfer funds, you can stop overdrafts before they happen and avoid the fees that come with them. 

Take advantage of no-fee overdraft apps like Chime and Albert

Albert $150 new account bonus

Low-balance alerts can help you stop spending money you don’t have, but what if you need that extra cash? That’s where cash advance apps can help. 

Fee-free overdraft options like Chime’s SpotMe service allow you to make ATM withdrawals or debit card purchases with no overdraft fees.

Enrolling in SpotMe is free and once your account is set up to receive a $200 direct deposit or more a month, you’re good to go with limits starting at $20 and going up to $200. Here’s an example of how SpotMe can help you avoid sky-high overdraft fees:

You’re ready to pay for your delicious $60 meal, but there’s only $40 in your account. Most banks would approve the transaction. Then sting you with a $35 overdraft fee (turning your $60 meal into a $95 affair). But SpotMe approves the transaction with no fees attached. As long as your paycheck is regularly deposited into your account, your next deposit will balance out the negative amount.

SpotMe covers the extra funds you need when you’re a little short, without the fees that banks hit you with. Keep in mind, you’ll need to be a Chime member who receives $200 or more in qualifying deposits over a 34-day period to be eligible for SpotMe. This is a valuable long-term tool, but if you want cash NOW, read on for fast options.

Sick of overdraft fees? Explore SpotMe here

The Albert app is another popular option offering up to $250 in cash advances (with no fees). You’ll also get access to Albert Geniuses – real human financial experts who can provide personalized recommendations on questions like how to best pay off your credit cards, how improve your credit score, getting started with investing, and more. You don’t need to move your direct deposit if you don’t want to, so you can top up your checking account and avoid paying overdraft fees to PNC.

No-interest, No-fee cash advances for up to $250 >>> Create an Albert account in two minutes

Get fast cash with a cash advance app

Cash advance apps – which give you access to immediate funds until your next payday – have become increasingly popular as Americans look to escape frustrating overdraft fees. If you need immediate cash, there are plenty of cash advance apps to choose from.

PockBox stands out from the crowd as users can borrow up to $2,500 (10x more than the amount typically offered by cash advance apps). Users can apply with bad credit to help reduce the barriers to the money they need. And if approved, funds can be available in your nominated account by the next business day.

It’s important to note that short-term borrowing isn’t a long-term solution. But if you need cash fast, this option can provide an instant solution. For example, if you don’t have the funds to pay an upcoming bill and you’re facing even costlier late charges and fees, PockBox can be the solution.


PockBox App on smartphone

Final thoughts and what to do next…

Everyone wants to waste less money, save more, and enjoy stronger financial health. As a PNC Bank customer, overdraft fees offer convenience to bridge the gap when money is short. But it doesn’t take long to quickly spiral into debt.

At $36 each, overdraft fees and NSF fees with PNC can become a headache, so it’s important to stay on top of your options. 

If you’ve made it through this guide, or if you’ve scrolled to the bottom to look for ways to avoid overdraft fees (we don’t blame you for wanting to find a quick way to skip fees), there are options. These include:

  • Utilize PNC online banking services to avoid manually checking your account and enjoy automated transfers from linked accounts.
  • Sign up for Chime SpotMe to take advantage of no-fee overdraft apps by depositing your weekly paycheck to approve transactions without overdraft fees. 
  • Use a popular cash advance app like PockBox to get up to $2,500 fast to avoid overcharge fees or late fees on your urgent bills.

Whatever option you choose, take what you’ve learned here and take control of your money. As a PNC customer, there are plenty of ways to stay on top of your finances, and now you’ve got all the information you need to make spiraling overdraft fees a thing of the past.

Watch: PNC eliminating most overdraft fees

Alexander Porter
  1. Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month and Visa debit card activation. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See terms and conditions.
  2. Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.

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