PNC Bank, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) today announced it will be the nation's first major bank to offer its customers access to free ATMs worldwide.
This offer, in response to consumers' feedback, will be a feature of new performance checking accounts along with rewards for everyday transactions, including check card purchases and online banking. The new accounts will be available Sunday, Aug. 27, while the free ATM offer and rewards program begin Sept. 1 with the start of a new month.
"Our research found that consumers dislike paying for access to their own money, so we are responding with truly free ATMs," said Joseph C. Guyaux, president of PNC. "Our goal is to become the primary bank for more customers and make their banking easier and more convenient. We believe free ATMs coupled with other enhancements will help us achieve that goal."
The most significant improvement is PNC's decision to offer access to a worldwide network of free ATMs. Besides free use of PNC's 3,600 machines, customers in the bank's three new checking accounts also may be able to enjoy free use of the 1 million ATMs worldwide, including 395,000 across the United States.
PNC, with 2 million retail customers and a retail network that spans eight states plus the District of Columbia, is the first major bank to rebate both fees charged for using another provider's cash machine -- the ATM fee previously charged by PNC plus the surcharge levied by the machine's owner. With PNC's new offer, there is no limit on the number of ATM transactions. On average, consumers today pay $126 a year in ATM usage fees. Total fees paid reached a record high of $4.2 billion in 2005.
PNC's offer will be available to customers throughout its retail banking markets. The free ATM offer was expanded based on the positive consumer response in the Greater Washington Area since May 2005 when PNC acquired Riggs Bank.
Accounts that Work Harder
PNC also announced a simplified choice of three personal checking accounts that provide a higher level of performance, backed with valuable features that save time and money. For customers who choose Performance Checking or Performance Select Checking, and Free Checking customers who maintain an average monthly balance of $2,500 or more, PNC will automatically reimburse withdrawal fees charged by other ATM owners.
These three accounts also offer other meaningful benefits, including a free PNC Bank Visa Check Card, free Visa Extras with points for exciting rewards along with interest rate discounts on loans and lines of credit. The two "Performance" accounts also include competitive rates on checking balances, bonus rates on select CDs, and free identity theft reimbursement insurance.
PNC's small business customers will be offered free ATMs and rewards in select accounts, including Basic Checking and Enterprise Checking.
"Customers expect products and services that meet new standards of performance, so we now have checking accounts that work harder, with competitive returns and bonus rates," Guyaux said.
For new customers, PNC will provide a courtesy overdraft-fee waiver for the first overdraft/non-sufficient funds (OD/NSF) event occurring in their first year. "Our customers have told us that it is often difficult to seamlessly change banks," Guyaux said. "With this waiver, we want to ease the switch from another bank to PNC. It's a great benefit for our new customers."
Consumers also want to be rewarded for their loyalty. With the PNC Bank check card, customers who sign up for PNC's expanded Visa Extras can turn everyday purchases into valuable rewards. Every use of the check card for qualifying purchases will earn points toward rewards like free air travel, unique dining experiences, vacation getaways and tickets to sporting events. Points can also be earned when customers take advantage of services like Direct Deposit or Online Bill Pay.
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management; asset management and global fund services.
SOURCE: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
CONTACT: Patrick McMahon of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.,
+1-412-762-2477, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.pnc.com/
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