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PNC Premier Traveler Credit Card Review

PNC Premier Traveler Credit Card Review

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This article was last updated Feb 27, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you want a PNC credit card to travel abroad with, the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card could be just what you’re looking for. It offers a flat rate on every $1 spent as well as useful travel benefits. We’ll examine what benefits are offered and compare it to a couple other travel cards that might have more flexibility when it comes to transferring rewards to travel partners.

PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card pros

Rewards. Earn 2 miles for every $1 in purchases. This is a solid flat rate to earn on every purchase. Miles are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel. And you can redeem miles either to cover past purchases or to book new travel — either online through the PNC Rewards Center or by phone. Note that there’s a minimum redemption of 5,000 miles.

You can also redeem your miles for travel-related gift cards (starting at 3,350 miles) and for cash back to a variety of eligible PNC accounts (starting at 1,000 miles). For the latter option, you’ll get half a cent for each mile redeemed.

Sign-up bonus. Earn 30,000 bonus miles when you make $3,000 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening. This is worth $300 when redeemed for travel.

Travel benefits. This card is a Visa Signature card, and comes with standard Visa Signature travel benefits, including:

  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Roadside dispatch
  • 24/7 Visa Signature Concierge
  • Benefits at properties in the the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Additional PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card benefits

The annual fee is waived the first year. The PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card charges a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, $85 each year thereafter. Some competing cards may not waive the annual fee for the first year, so it’s a nice benefit that this one does.

No foreign transaction fee. Don’t worry about paying foreign transaction fees on each purchase you make outside the United States — there are none on this card.

Intro 0% APR for balance transfers. This card offers 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles following account opening when the balance is transferred within the first 90 days following account opening. After, an APR of 17.49% variable applies. There’s a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each balance transfer.

However, if you’re planning to use this card for a big purchase and earn the sign-up bonus, adding existing debt to the card via a balance transfer might not be the wisest idea. And note that balance transfers don’t count toward the spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus.

PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card cons

There’s an annual fee after the first year. You’ll pay a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, $85 each year thereafter to carry this card. It’s a comparable annual fee to other cards with similar rewards and benefits, but if you prefer not to pay to carry a card, note that there are no-annual-fee travel cards.

You can’t transfer miles. Some travel credit cards will let you transfer your miles to airline or hotel loyalty programs. You can’t do that with rewards earned on the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card.

Compare it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

One of the cards that consistently ranks among our top travel cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Like the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card, it’s a mid-tier travel card — meaning it doesn’t have all the benefits that a premium travel card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has, but it also doesn’t charge as high of an annual fee. Here’s how the two compare to each other:

PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Sign-up bonusEarn 30,000 bonus miles when you make $3,000 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening.Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
RewardsEarn 2 miles for every $1 in purchases.2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
Annual fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, $85 each year thereafter.$95
Foreign transaction feeNone$0
Regular purchase APR17.49% variable15.99% - 22.99% variable

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

The PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card offers a better rewards rate on purchases that don’t fall into the travel and dining categories.

However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers extra value when you redeem points for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal — 25% more, to be specific. For example, 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth $750 in travel when redeemed via the portal.

Another advantage of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that you can transfer your points at a 1:1 value to the following airline and hotel travel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

Is the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card right for you?

If you want a travel card that earns a competitive flat rate and charges a reasonable annual fee after the first year, the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card is a good option. However, if you want to be able to transfer your rewards for airline miles or hotel points, this card won’t let you do that. A better choice might be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers strong rewards on travel and dining purchases and lets you transfer points to 13 travel partners at a 1:1 value.

For those who want a flat-rate card that lets you transfer miles, neither the PNC Premier Traveler® Visa Signature® Credit Card nor the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a perfect match. In that case, a card such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card might be worth a look. It offers 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, and allows you to transfer your miles to 15-plus travel partners. Note that it charges an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.


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