Metris Cos. will purchase $1 billion of credit card receivables from PNC Bank Corp., the companies announced Tuesday.

The 518,000 accounts in the deal represent customers who do not hold an affinity card and with whom PNC does not have other relationships, the companies said.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, and the accounts converted in early 1999.

Two-year-old Metris, a spinoff of Fingerhut Companies, has $3.9 billion in receivables. Through its subsidiary Direct Merchants Credit Card Bank the company has developed a specialty in subprime card loans.

"We are extremely pleased to acquire this portfolio," said Ronald N. Zebeck, Metris president and chief executive officer. "The acquisition enables Metris to leverage its existing infrastructure in both our consumer credit and fee-based businesses, and continue our goal of creating value for our shareholders."

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