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There’s a new travel rewards card which earns flexible miles you can redeem for travel, gift cards, or statement credits.
But you must have an address in:
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Emily and I don’t earn a commission for this card, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
And I’ll explain why folks new to miles & points should NOT sign-up for this card, while those of y’all who already have lots of cards might be tempted!
What’s the Deal?
And you’ll get:
- 2X miles per $1 on all purchases (worth 2% back when you redeem for travel)
- Redeem miles for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, and car rentals (minimum 5,000 miles or $50)
- No foreign transaction fees
The $85 annual fee is waived for the first year.
PNC limits card approvals to folks in 18 states and Washington, DC. But even if you’re not in an included state, you might be able to get around this restriction (for example, if you have a vacation home in Florida!)
What Are PNC Miles Worth?
Your miles are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for travel.
PNC says “travel” includes:
- hotel stays
- rental cars
- vacation packages booked through their travel agency
The minimum redemption amount is 5,000 miles ($50+ travel purchase).
And you can redeem for travel purchases you’ve already made, within 90 days of the purchase posting to your account. Or use miles for future travel by booking through PNC’s travel agency.
Because this card earns 2X miles per $1 on all purchases, it’s effectively a 2% back card for travel purchases.
Bad Deal Alert!
You can also redeem miles for gift cards, but they don’t publish a redemption rate. I suspect it’s not as good a deal as directly redeeming miles for travel.
You can also exchange miles for cash deposits to your PNC account or statement credits. But that’s a bad deal because your miles are only worth half a cent each when you redeem them this way.
How Does PNC Premier Traveler Compare to Other Cards?
But the sign-up bonus is NOT as good and the travel category is more limited! Here’s a quick comparison of the 3 cards:
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus||Capital One Venture||PNC Premier Traveler|
|Sign-Up Bonus||40,000 Arrival miles (worth $400 in travel)||40,000 Venture miles (worth $400 in travel)||30,000 PNC miles (worth $300 in travel)|
|Minimum Spending||$3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening||$3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening||$3,000 on purchases in the first 3 billing cycles from account opening|
|Annual Fee||$89 (waived the first year)||$59 (waived the first year)||$85 (waived the first year)|
|Minimum Redemption||$100+ travel purchases (10,000 miles)||$25+ travel purchases if making a partial redemption (2,500 miles)||$50+ travel purchases (5,000 miles)|
|Travel Categories||Includes airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, purchase and travel agencies, discount travel sites, trains, buses, taxis, limousines, and ferries||Includes airlines, hotels, rail lines, car rental agencies, limousine services, bus lines, cruise lines, taxi cabs, travel agents and time shares||Includes airfare, cruises, hotels, and car rentals|
|Redemption Time Limit||120 days from purchase||90 days from purchase||90 days from purchase|
|Redemption Rebate||5% of redeemed miles||None||None|
|Use Miles for New Travel Purchases||No||Yes||Yes|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||None||None|
Of these cards, the Capital One Venture is the best combination of a good sign-up bonus and low redemption minimum. But some folks avoid Capital One cards because they pull your credit report from all 3 main credit bureaus.
That said, if you already have lots of cards from other banks, you might consider the PNC Bank Premier Traveler card.
Do NOT Make PNC Premier Traveler One of Your First Cards!
If you’re new to miles & points, this is NOT a good card to start with. There are plenty of significantly better offers!
Most importantly, Chase (which issues some of the best miles & points cards) will likely not approve you for new cards if you’ve opened ~5+ cards in the past 24 months. So it’s even essential to make your applications count!
After the sign-up bonus, PNC Premier Traveler isn’t a terrific card for everyday spending. You’ll earn an effective 2% back for travel purchases only. Other purchases earn 1% back as a statement credit or bank deposit.
Depending on your spending habits, you could earn more cash back with cards like:
The new PNC Bank Premier Traveler card has a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles (worth $300 in travel) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 billing cycles from opening your account.
You can only apply if you live in certain states. And the sign-up bonus isn’t as good as similar cards, like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture. And the travel category isn’t as broad.
Many folks will do better with no-annual-fee cash back cards like the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, or Discover it Cash Back. But this might be a good deal if you already have a lot of cards from other banks.
We don’t earn a commission from this card, but we’ll always share new deals with our readers!