PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card Review

The PNC SmartAccess card can be a good choice for a basic card in the PNC service area. It lacks some features that users might find important, however. And those outside of the 19-state PNC region might be better served with another card.

PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Card -- AT-a-Glance

8.3

Features

7.5/10

Fees

9.0/10

Card Limits

8.5/10

Pros

  • Free ATM (limited to PNC)
  • Reasonable fees

Cons

  • Some features limited to PNC service area
  • No mobile check deposit

PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Card Overview

The PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card is offered by PNC Bank, which has branch and ATM locations in 19 states. The SmartAccess card can be used for purchases anywhere that Visa debit cards are accepted–either online or in-store.

For existing PNC banking customers or those in its service area, the card can be a good choice among prepaid cards. It has a simple fee structure and fee-free ATM access at PNC ATMs. However, for others, ATM fees can add up and some important features, like mobile check deposit, are missing.

PNC SmartAccess® Prepaid Visa® Card not what you're looking for? Check out other options in our Best Prepaid Debit Cards list.

Features of the PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card

The PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa is a no-frills card. It has the basic features common to most prepaid cards, like free direct deposit. It also has a mobile app, but with limitations.

Mobile App. The PNC offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices to check balances and see transaction history. However, the mobile app doesn’t provide for check deposits.

No-Fee Cash Withdrawals. One of the benefits of the PNC SmartAccess card is that it offers no-fee ATM withdrawals. The downside is that it’s only for PNC ATMs. PNC ATMs can be located online here.

PNC SmartAccess Fees

The PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Card has a simple fee structure.

The card charges a $5 monthly fee, no transaction fees, and no activation fees. The monthly fee is about average for cards that charge a monthly fee. But, where some prepaid cards offer to waive the monthly fee, there’s no way to waive the monthly fee with PNC’s card.

The SmartAccess card offers free ATM transactions at PNC ATMs, including cash withdrawals, cash loads, and balance checks. For out-of-network ATM withdrawals, there’s a $3.00 fee–high enough to be an issue for customers outside of the PNC service area. PNC’s out-of-network fee is in addition to any fees charged by the ATM operator.

There is no inactivity fee, but the PNC SmartAccess card will charge $10 to refund the card balance if the card is cancelled.

PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Visa Card Limits

The limits are a bit lower than the average prepaid card.

The maximum card balance for the PNC SmartAccess card is $10,000–somewhat lower than the average prepaid card. The daily spending limit is $2,500, also a little lower than average. The daily ATM cash limit is $500, also lower.

However, the daily cash load limit of $5,000 is higher than most cards.

Adding Money to the PNC SmartAccess Prepaid Card

You have 3 options to reload the PNC SmartAccess card:

Direct Deposit. You can set up paychecks and government benefits to be loaded onto the card via direct deposit. It is free to use direct deposit.

Online Transfers. You can transfer money online from a bank account for free.

Cash. You can load cash to the card for free at PNC branches and ATMs. You can also use Visa ReadyLink, which runs $3.74 – 4.95 for cash loads up to $500.

Getting the PNC SmartAccess Visa

You can get the card online or at PNC branches. There’s no charge either way.

As with any prepaid card, the PNC Smart Access Prepaid Visa Card doesn’t require a Chexsystems or credit check. Just a simple application with social security number. An initial minimum load of $25 is required.

Summary

The PNC SmartAccess prepaid card is pretty basic. Customers in the PNC network will benefit from no-fee ATM transactions at PNC locations. The fees are competitive. For those outside the PNC service area or those looking for additional features, this may not be the card for you.

Features

Direct Deposit
Mobile App
Text Alerts

Limits

Card Limit:
$10,000
Daily Spending Limit:
$2,500
Daily ATM Limit:
$500
Daily Cash Load:
$5,000

Fees

Activation Fee:
$0.00
Monthly Fee:
$5.00
ATM Fee (in network):
$0.00
ATM Fee (out of network):
$3.00
Signature Purchase Fee:
$0.00
PIN Purchase Fee:
$0.00
Direct Deposit Fee:
$0.00
Cash Reload Fee:
$0.00