Posted by William Charles on September 27, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 27th, 2016 | by William Charles


[Expired] PNC $400 Checking Bonus [IL Only]

Update 2: This has expired according to this comment. You can view current checking promos here.

Update: Please let us know in the comments if this has been extended or not.

Seems to be IL only unfortunately.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: Up to $400 
  • Availability: IL only and maybe only greater Chicago area
  • Direct deposit required: $2,000
  • Additional requirements: 10 debit card transactions
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft 
  • Credit card funding: Up to $2,000 with Visa or Mastercard. Unsure if it will be a cash advance if you open in branch
  • Monthly fees: $7-$25, waive-able 
  • Early account termination fee: $25 if closed within six months
  • Expiration date: October 31st, 2016 December 31st, 2016

The Offer

No direct offer link, must go in branch

  • Open a new Virtual Wallet withPerformance Spend, Virtual Wallet with Performance Select, Performance Checking Or Performance Select Checking before October 31st and receive a $400 bonus when you do the following:


The Fine Print

  • Bonus will post within 60 days of all conditions being met
  • Only one reward per customer
  • New account will not be eligible for offer if any signer has signing authority on an existing PNC Bank consumer checking account or has closed an account within the past 90 days, or has been paid a promotional premium in the past 12 months
  • A qualifying Direct Deposit is defined as a recurring Direct Deposit of a paycheck, pension, Social Security or other regular monthly income electronically deposited by an employer or an outside agency
  • A qualifying debit card purchase is defined as any debit card purchase made at a point of sale using your signature or PIN, or a purchase made electronicially or online using your debit card number.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them
  • Promo code is BEAR1

Avoiding Fees

There is an early account termination of $25 if the account is closed within 6 months of account opening. The account must also be open and in good standing when the bonus posts.

Performance Checking $15 Monthly Fee

This is the easiest account to keep fee free. The $15 monthly fee is waived if you do any of the following:

  • Average monthly balance of $2,000 or more
  • Qualifying direct deposit of $2,000 or more
  • $15,000 in linked eligible accounts

Our Verdict

They are also offering a bonus of up to $300 with some slightly different requirements. This bonus is obviously better, but you do need to go in branch to get it and there is no guarantees they will actually offer you this bonus (reader Feb S let us know about it). They also sometimes offer the $400 bonus without needing to go in branch, but that does require a higher direct deposit requirement. We might add this to our best checking sign up bonus list depending on people’s experiences with this offer. Make sure you share yours in the comments.

Asking the banker to input the promo code BEAR1 might help.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

99 Responses to [Expired] PNC $400 Checking Bonus [IL Only]

  1. Evan says:

    Will this be available at any branch, since you need to get a Bears debit card? Could it only be for IL?

  2. projectx says:

    Wow… if this offer holds up, this is one of the best I’ve seen.

  3. Kayla says:

    I can’t help but feel like I would just be asking for my car to get egged if I request a Bears card living in Green Bay….

  4. David M says:

    I’ll go to a branch in DC later today. Fingers crossed.

  5. Rambo says:

    I called a branch here in FL and was told that this offer was for IL only. If anyone has success with this outside of IL, please let us know.

  6. Dan says:

    The closest branch is 70 miles from me. Does PNC have any rules about this?

  7. Raghu says:

    Why does it say “Maximum bonus amount: Up to $300 ” is it supposed to be 400 ?

  8. Humberto says:

    I just opened an account. The branch manager said that I could fund the account with a credit card and that it would be a cash advance.
    The bears card has a $10 per year fee.

  9. larry says:

    FWIW you better have an actual DD from you employer if you want to collect on this bonus. ACH and Paypal do not work. We even filed a complaint via CFPB like D of C recommends and still got nowhere with this the last time it was offered.

  10. DH7 says:

    DP Branch nowhere near Chicago, had me leave and is waiting for a call to verify it will work.

  11. Moose Cow says:

    Anyone know if you’re able to open online, then go in to a branch to claim this offer? I want to do CC funding, but in-branch probably codes as cash advance.

  12. Kleingordon says:

    Any DPs/idea whether I could have the prior offer matched to this one? I’ve almost met 2k DD and have done 10 debit transactions – think they’d let me get the Bears card and get the $400 instead?

  13. Modulus16 says:

    1. Do you have to be a resident of IL, or just apply in a branch in IL?

    2. Does the DD have to be a single DD of $2k or would several DD’s spread out over the 60 days work for the $2k requirement?

    • Dan says:

      I want to know some DPs on #1. As to #2 – any combination that reaches 2k is fine.

    • Ben says:

      I went in person to a chicago bank (live in Iowa) and they told me I was good to go on the promotion for $400. However I realized later that I never got any written confirmation so I guess I’ll see what happens when I hit the $2000 in dd.

  14. Yeshu says:

    Denied because of stupid Chex systems. I haven’t even opened many accounts this year – just 3. And I have no negative reports on my accounts. FU PNC

  15. Dan says:

    How do they link this offer to your account when signing up? Is there a code the banker enters? Is there any confirmation that you are enrolled in the offer? Will be trying it in Milwaukee, WI

  16. Humberto says:

    At The bottom of the ad it says promotion code: BEAR1

  17. Phillip M Dampier says:

    A visit to an Erie, Pa branch proved fruitless. This promotion is valid ONLY for Illinois residents living within the greater Chicago-area. This was double-confirmed by a bank representative and the marketing department has been flooded with calls about this promotion. The rep told me this is being advertised only within Illinois and only branches displaying a signboard or window sign with this offer qualify to enroll customers in this promotion.

    Unfortunately, those who think they successfully enrolled in this promo actually did not. The bonus will never post to the account unless your account shows a qualifying zip code within Illinois. I was enrolled in a $300 promotion instead that is valid in Pennsylvania.

    They were adamant about the geographic restriction, despite the fact they don’t show one on their advertising. But since they have boilerplate language allowing them to change/cancel an offer for any reason at any time, they are within their rights not to pay the bonus if you are outside of the region.

  18. TJ says:

    Where is the origin of this ad???

  19. Adam D says:

    I live in chicago suburbs, anybody know if fidelity will work as a DD for pnc?

  20. MP90 says:

    I’m down in the Metro East (aka STL suburbs aka “wait, you live in Illinois, not Chicago and not a corn field??”) I’m getting the impression from comments here that we aren’t eligible down here, but seeing as how as of this season we no longer have a local football franchise, has anyone down here had luck getting it?

    • Jimmy Shotgun says:

      youd probably have to take a drive up 55. id call and find out from a branch if they have flyers in the branch or and signage, maybe decatur/springfield area has it active.

      • MP90 says:

        I’ll check into Springfield. I was gonna drive up anyway to redeem the Chase offer from last week. Could be a $900 profit trip to Springfield. o.o

        I wonder if it’ll be not just branch restricted but account holder zip restricted though. I saw a comment or two suggesting that may be the case.

    • TJ says:

      I called PNC in Rockford, IL (Loves Park) which is 80 miles from Chicago and asked personal banker if they were aware of this promo. The friendly woman I spoke with was very well aware of the $400 Bears promo and says they will absolutely honor it. She made sure to tell me that there is a $10 annual fee for the debit card. Made an appointment with her this afternoon!!

  21. Jimmy Shotgun says:

    Just signed up, the fore-mentioned checking account comes with a savings acct attached.

    Related note; I called a few days ago on a previous hsbc application ($350) and was told it will be approved in a few business days, also signed up for tiaa-direct ($200) checking on 9/30….hopefully $950 from these 3 accts. Data Point: Im at 12 or so checking accounts since 1/2016 so I wasnt sur eif I’d get approved for these massive PNC $400 offer. Bears debit card does indeed cost $10. So far this year $2000 in collected bonuses and if all goes well I’ll be at $2950 with these bonuses and will sign up for bmo harris by end of year. Thanks DoC.

  22. Elena says:

    Went to a branch in VA and was able to open a account but when I asked for some sort of verification on bonus she wasn’t able to provide me with one and only wrote bear1 on my copy…lol.

    Well, came home and a few hours later I get a voice mail from the branch person asking me if the coupon I showed is associated with the same email I gave her.

    Funded my account a little to experiment and CSR went as advance cash.

    I am really discouraged right now and don’t know what to do. I haven’t called back as I did not receive the coupon and seen it here.

    What should I do?

    Thank you for your help

    • Elena says:

      Got my card in the mail today and will be setting up account online and then call to confirm the bonus. I am still skeptical because of the phone call mentioning the coupon and no formal aknowledgment of the offer.
      Will report once I know more.

      Btw, even though I posted yesterday, I actually applied Thursday last week, so a week for the card to arrive.

  23. dabrain13 says:

    Just visited the PNC branch in Evanston, IL (just a few miles outside Chicago) and the banker I talked to had never heard of this particular offer. This might be super-locally restricted.

    I’m planning on trying a branch that’s address is in Chicago later this week.

    • adam d says:

      Call numerous branches, the PNC in the western burbs have a poster in the window for a bears debit card, my banker barely heard of it but applied the code.

      • dabrain13 says:

        The Evanston branch has a ton of posters about the Bears debit card but didn’t know about this particular deal. The banker seemed to only know about the Virtual Wallet bonuses (max of $300) and said I couldn’t open a performance checking account and get a bonus. He was pretty adamant and I didn’t want to push too hard so I left.

        Honestly easier to visit a different branch and try again.

  24. Vijay says:

    Just want to share this DP, I was able to successfully open an account at GA Branch using this flyer/promotional code. No questions asked nor they didn’t see it’s just for IL only, since no where it stated that way in the flyer. My banker has confirmed over the email that the Backoffice has confirmed that the promotion is successfully applied and I would get $400.

    May be you can take this flyer and show and make sure you get written confirmation from your banker and if possible backoffice confirmation. You can always fight with their confirmation email if they didn’t honor the $400 and in the past I’ve seen an supervisor will manually credit $400 in to your account since they have honored it over the email. YMMV.

    • Vijayaraghavan Natarajan says:

      Today $400 bonus posted automatically. I did not chat, no phone calls, nothing. It posted automatically. I believe as long as the banker or the backoffice puts the promo code correctly, the system will honor irrespective of which state you live. I am pretty sure this is NOT just for IL as I live in GA.

  25. dabrain13 says:

    Another update: I was able to open this account in a branch outside Chicago. When I called, the banker was quite familiar with offer and was eager to help me open the account. She said I had to open a Virtual Wallet account (with Performance Spend) which has the same requirements as the Performance Checking account. It’s a little weird since you’re really opening 3 accounts simultaneously, but avoiding the fee is just as easy.

    There is a $10 fee for the Bears debit card and it’s charged as soon as you open the account. It takes a while to arrive, so keep that in mind. Also, although you’re issued a PNC debit card when you open the account, the 10 transactions MUST be on the Bears Debit card which has a different number associated with it.

    Didn’t get a chance to try credit card funding since all my cards don’t allow me to limit cash advance and I’m too scared to play the game.

    I asked the banker for a copy of the flyer, so I have a color copy of the flyer I’m willing to send if anybody is interested in trying their luck.

  26. carl wilson says:


    I opened with flyer for $400 Bears checking account with debit card. Opened with $30 cash (there’s a $25 minumem).

    Now I need to know if I can fund this account with my AA Platinum Select Mastercard or Chase Sapphire Reserve with no cash advance. If I’m confident it will code as purchase I will proceed, otherwise will transfer in the 2k+ from paypal.

  27. Nick B says:

    DoC, went in today for this offer since it was to expire on the 31st. I was told that the offer has been extended through to the end of the year.

    Unfortunately, looks like I got denied due to ChexSystems 🙁 I’ve opened PNC Savings (already closed), Radius Checking, and Chase Checking in the past year. The banker did not understand why the system wasn’t allowing him to open my account and it printed out a sheet with 4 different bureaus that may have been the reason, Chex being one of them… I’m assuming its that.

    • But you’ve only opened two accounts recently? That seems odd you’d be denied, maybe it was due to the PNC savings account that was closed?

      • Nick B says:

        I was incorrect, I was denied due to Early Warning Systems. I have submitted my request for their file on me so I will see what is up. At least it wasn’t one of the credit bureaus.

  28. Chris H says:

    Do we know if they are still running this promo? I was a little late on this one and am wondering if the promo code will still work. I reside in IL so that aspect should not be a problem.

  29. douglas says:

    is this still going on till 12/31 for sure? i checked my 2 closest branches on the north side of chicago (live in the city) and neither of them knew about this at all and shoe’d me away.

    if anyone has opened in a chicago branch, can you tell me which location? i am definitely willing to travel anywhere in the city if i can successfully get this promo opened. just wondering if its still active, and if so which chicago spots are still honoring it

  30. Ben says:

    If I apply in branch, can I use CC for initial funding? Will it go to cash advance?

  31. David M says:

    William Charles, do we have an updated flyer with the extended promotion date? I’d like a copy if anyone has one. Thanks!

  32. dabrain13 says:

    Opened 10/8/2016, requirements (DD + 10 transactions) completed 10/31/2016, bonus posted 11/18/2016.

    Pretty good deal!

  33. Adam D says:

    Fidelity has worke for me for over 12 banks as DD for bonus purposes. However, PNC categorized the ACH deposit as “transfer”. My real DD (less than $2000 was “other income”. Fidelity did not work, I ach’d with TIAA DIrect as it showed up a “other income” and the $400 bonus posted yesterday, about 2 weeks after TIAA push….DoC please update for PNC as TIAA Direct as works for DD, and Fidelity as not even though it has in the past. PNC bonuses are too lucrative to miss out.

    • Adam D says:

      my theory is that since TIAA Direct has some sort of affiliation with teacher’s pensions, or has in the past that this is the go to bank now for ACH pushes, I signed up for the $150 a few months ago, but in retrospect I would sign up for this bank solely for the purpose of the highest probability of activating the DD bonues for other financial institutions.

  34. David M says:

    Found a PNC Bank in DC that accepted the updated flyer… Account opened and Bears card on its way.

    I’ll update to see what happens in the next few months.

    • David M says:

      Opened on 12/15 and received $400 bonus on 1/31 as a DC resident and at a DC branch. It required an additional call to the branch after only $200 were posted. But otherwise a success. Thanks, DOC!

  35. Matthew says:

    Grrrrrrrr. I just opened this account a few days ago and didn’t realize the banker placed me in the Performance Select account with $5k DD requirement to be fee free. I’m tempted to e-mail him to see if he will put me in the Performance Spend account, but worried that would mess up the bonus… Grrrrrr…

  36. John says:

    Can I do 10 Amazon giftcard purchase online or it has to be PIN debit transactions at real stores?

  37. Phani says:

    This has to be one of the simplest. My bonus posted on Dec 6th.

    Opened Account (Performance Spend) with 50$ : Oct 28th
    Received Bear Card : Nov 5th

    5 Amazon 1$ Gift Card purchases using Bear Card : Nov 15th
    5 Utility bill payments of 1$ each using Bear Card : Nov 15th
    Paypal Transfer of 2k$ : Nov 17th

    Bonus Posted : Dec 6th

  38. whodidntante says:

    I called a PNC in Illinois today and they told me the Bears checking expire last year and is not currently available. I’m bummed.

  39. Tim says:

    Spouses account
    10/31 $2000 PayPal push
    11/03 $800 Pay Pal push (reoccurring)
    11/10 $500 Pay Pal push (reoccurring)
    11/10 Complete 10 debit card purchases
    12/05 $400 bonus posted

    My account
    10/08 $1000 CapitalOne360 push
    10/10 $1000 CapitalOne360 push (reoccurring)
    11/03 Complete 10 debit card purchases
    01/11 No bonus yet posted so I secure messaged and was told I did not have a qualifying DD.

    • Thanks for the DP, keep us updated.

    • RTC says:

      Tim: regarding the lack of qualifying DD, do you believe it’s the difference between the 2 types of “push” you used? Think they closed a loophole or that CapitalOne360 just coded different?

    • Jordan says:

      Did you use your own PayPal to transfer money from another bank to PNC or you ask some to send money to your PayPal and then send to PNC? Because I thought it’s prohibited to send money from one bank to another using your own PayPal.

  40. Adam L says:

    Got my bonus!

    12-02: Opened Account through a business-relations banker (so I couldn’t fund anything at opening)
    12-07: Transferred $11 through PayPal so my account wasn’t negative $10 (for debit card annual fee)
    12-09: Received debit card
    12-10: Transferred $2000 from PayPal
    12-15: $1 Amazon debit transaction as a test
    12-20: $1 x 9 Amazon debit transactions
    12-21: Account statement printed with all the transactions posted on it
    01-13: Received bonus, 15 business days after completing requirements

    From other people’s datapoints, I calculated it’s taking between 12 and 15 business days to get bonus after completing the requirements.

    I also signed up my spouse, but they told us it was one per household, and they let us use a different address for her. I did her Amazon transactions later, so I’ll report back to see when/if she gets the bonus. We also used legit DD for her instead of PayPal.

    • Adam L says:

      My Spouse got the bonus on 1-18. So that means we both got the bonus exactly 15 days after meeting the requirements. Also means that it didn’t matter whether you had a legit payroll Direct Deposit or ACH transfer through PayPal.

      • Mark says:

        Congratulations @Adam
        That’s good to know.
        Do you think that their “one per household” rule also applies to online account openings also?
        Did they just tell you this rule or it is also in writing somewhere?

        • Adam L says:

          They told us it was one per household, but I didn’t go searching through fineprint to verify that.

          I also found out that the rep had enrolled my wife in another promo for a $50 Visa gift card for both accounts. Not sure exactly what happened, but instead of getting gift cards her account got another $100 bonus deposit.

  41. DaBrain13 says:

    Anyone else not get a 1099-INT for this bonus?

    I didn’t get one in the mail, called PNC and was told it didn’t count as interest…

  42. Js101 says:

    Does capital one 360 savings work as a DD?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Please do not share your referral links/codes unless the post specifically states it's allowed. If the post states it is allowed please follow the rules carefully. If you'd like an image next to your comments please create a gravatar. Most of all please be kind and respectful to each other. 

Last Posts

Back to Top ↑