9 Exclusive Priority Banking Benefits That You Probably Didn’t Know About

Emma Lam

Emma Lam

Last updated 11 April, 2023

On your path to becoming a millionaire? This is how priority banking can help beef up your wealth while letting you enjoy the finer things in life.

Best priority banking accounts on SingSaver

For the common folk, priority banking seems like a far-off consideration as many of us are still contented with using traditional high-interest savings accounts, cash management accounts, and other alternative tools

But also, Singapore was the inspiration and literal set for the movie “Crazy Rich Asians”, it’s unsurprising that a sizeable portion of our population is in fact, made up of the insanely rich. 

According to the Global Wealth Report 2022, roughly 298,650 people currently residing in Singapore are millionaires and billionaires. Out of these, 99.4% are classified as high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and the remainder 0.6% are ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals. It’s expected for the number of millionaires in Singapore to grow by 61.9% in 2025 – a 167,000 increase since 2020. 

While we might not all be millionaires, it was reported in Singapore that the mean wealth per adult (net worth) was US$358,204 while the median wealth was S$93,130 in 2021. This means that the average Singaporean has between S$120,000 to S$475,000 accumulated in savings and/or assets to qualify them for priority banking.



Table of contents



What is priority banking?

The name might sound intimidating, but in essence, priority banking functions similarly to a loyalty programme. It’s offered to customers who wish to transact larger amounts with a bank, primarily in the six-digit figure range of S$100,000 to S$500,000.

These transactions aren’t fixed to just cash deposits. Rather, it encompasses a whole variety of cash, investments, and insurance products. These combined assets are known as assets under management (AUM) or total relationship balance (TRB). 

Each priority banking customer will be assigned a dedicated Relationship Manager to manage and advise their assets. 

And of course, as with every loyalty membership programme, you’ll unlock tons of coveted financial and lifestyle privileges that regular banking customers won’t have access to. These benefits include airport lounge access, complimentary golf games, deals & discounts, and even, exclusively-elite credit cards for the uber-rich only.

And the more investments you make with them, the more exclusive perks and treatment you’ll receive.




Who can sign up for priority banking?

Every bank has different requirements to join as their priority banking customers. But in general, there are four different ways to qualify:

  1. Owning the minimum required amount of asset value. This ranges from S$100,000 to S$350,000.
  2. Be an Accredited Investor (AI). This is an individual who has been formally assessed under the Securities and Futures Act and is granted access to trade with a wider range of alternative risk-entailed securities and services (e.g. private equity, hedge funds, infrastructure) that regular retail investors are restricted from.
  3. Take up a property or housing loan. For example, HSBC Premier requires a loan of at least S$800,000 / AUD$200,000 while Standard Chartered Priority Banking requires a loan of at least S$1.5 million.
  4. Credit a minimum monthly salary into account. For example, the criteria for HSBC Premier is S$15,000 per month.

Out of the lot, many of us might be confused as to what an Accredited Investor even is. In Singapore, you’ll need to meet one of the following to qualify:

  • Financial assets (net of any related liabilities) exceeding S$1 million (or its equivalent in foreign currency)
  • Earn a minimum annual income of S$300,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency)
  • Net personal assets exceeding S$2 million (or its equivalent in foreign currency) of which the individual’s primary residence (net of any secured loan) can only contribute up to S$1 million in value

So as long as you fulfil any of these conditions, you’ll have the option of becoming an Accredited Investor or remaining as a Retail Investor. This is part of the opt-in regime introduced by The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2019 for investors to give their consent and preferences accordingly.

But we digress. 

In most cases, priority banking customers usually satisfy the first option of accumulating sufficient asset wealth.





What are the advantages of priority banking?

Enough of all the criteria, let’s fast forward to your qualifying to be a priority banking customer. 

Yay! What now? 

What exclusive (and possibly unexpected) advantages does priority banking actually offer?

#1 Avoid regular lines and join the priority queue at banks

Although this is one of the most obvious perks, the amount of time a priority queue saves you is really quite shiok. After all, banks are notorious for their long wait times, which is made worse when you have to rush off somewhere else later.

But unless you don’t foresee yourself visiting the bank soon (or very often), then perhaps this perk won’t mean as much to you. Regardless, it’s still a nice-to-have that elevates your in-person banking experience.

#2 Engage with a dedicated Relationship Manager

Hate doing administrative work? Don’t worry, because as a priority banking customer, your dedicated Relationship Manager will handle all the nitty gritty banking work for you!

These professionals offer 24/7 concierge assistance to guide you along your wealth-building journey. Based on their assessment, they’ll recommend suitable financial packages, preferential pricing on selected products (e.g. loans and mortgages), and other bank-related services catered to your wealth management needs.

Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of banking internationally, your Relationship Manager can also advise you with bespoke solutions on globally-curated market updates and insights.

Other possible wealth management solutions include legacy planning and tax advisory.

#3 Complimentary or discounted entry to airport lounges

Typically, a miles credit card like Citi PremierMiles Card or DBS Altitude Card grants cardholders with complimentary airport lounge access. However, this access is often limited to one or two visits per year at best. 

But for most priority banking members, you’ll be granted complimentary, unlimited access to airport lounges. Below is a table of priority airport lounge access by each priority banking programme:

Priority banking programme
Airport lounge membership
HSBC Premier
HSBC Premier MasterCard
Discounted airport lounge access rates at US$32 per person per visit
Present credit card + quote “LoungeKey” to enter
Complimentary membership valid till 31 Dec 2023
HSBC Visa Infinite Card
Unlimited access to over 1,100 VIP airport lounges worldwide
Present credit card + boarding pass + quote “LoungeKey” for free entry
Extra charges of US$32 per guest per visit apply
Priority Pass
Citi Prestige Card
Unlimited and complimentary access to over 1,300 VIP airport lounges worldwide
Applicable to primary cardholder and one guest only
Not valid for supplementary cardholders
DBS Asia Treasures
DBS Asia Treasures Lounge
Applicable to DBS Asia Treasures member and two guests
Note: DBS Asia Treasure’s priority banking membership is by invite only
OCBC Premier
Plaza Premium Lounge
OCBC Premier VOYAGE Card
Unlimited, complimentary access to over 130 VIP airport lounges worldwide
Applicable to primary and supplementary cardholders only
Note: The OCBC VOYAGE Card and its variations are by invite only

Although UOB Privilege does offer complimentary access to lounges for its members and two accompanying guests, these are not airport lounges. They are business and meeting lounges. You can find them at Marina Bay Financial Centre, UOB Privilege Banking Centres, and other UOB Privilege Reserve Suits all over Singapore.

💡Pro-tip: The Citi Prestige Card is the only retail credit card that grants you unlimited complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges. You don’t even need to be a Citigold member to sign up for a Citi Prestige Card. You can apply for it as per usual but the downsides are its high S$120,000 minimum annual income and S$535 annual fee.


#4 Potentially earn Relationship Bonus Points

Depending on the bank, certain priority banking programmes reward long-withstanding customers for their continued membership. The most notable example is Citigold from Citibank. 

According to the table below, Citibank shows its appreciation to both regular, priority, and private banking customers alike through Relationship Bonus Points calculated against your annual retail card purchase.

The tiers are determined by three criteria: whether you’re a Citibank cardholder, your tenure with Citibank, and the status of your banking relationship.

Thus, it goes without saying that a regular Citibank customer will only earn 5% of their annual retail card spend in Relationship Bonus Points. Conversely, a Citibank priority banking customer, who’s been loyal for more than 10 years, will earn 30% of their annual retail card spend in Relationship Bonus Points.

Source: Citibank



#5 Support for your children’s overseas education

Countries like Australia and the UK have long been popular destinations for Singaporeans to send their children abroad to study. Just ask around, and I’m sure you’ll have at least one or two friends who’ve studied in either one of these countries.

Knowing this, HSBC Premier is one such priority banking programme that supports your child’s overseas education. The HSBC Premier bank account offers international banking support, providing your child with a multi-currency debit card (HSBC Premier Everyday Global Debit Card), supplementary credit card (HSBC Premier Mastercard Credit Card), and chequebook.

They’ll also be able to receive instant emergency funds of US$2,000 (or local currency equivalent) from any HSBC branch in the world.

Last but not least, complimentary university consultations from HSBC’s partners are available to help enhance your child’s profile.

All in all, your child will be financially comfortable and set up for success no matter which country he/she studies in.

If you’re thinking of applying for an overseas education loan, read these:
Best Student Loans For Overseas Studies
When Should You Use a Personal Loan For Education?
What’s the Difference Between Tuition Fee Loan and Study Loan?



If you’re wondering about multi-currency accounts and cards, read these:
Digital Multi-Currency Account Comparison 2023: Revolut vs YouTrip vs Instarem vs Wise vs Wirex
Cash vs Credit Card vs Multi-Currency Card For Travelling
Why Use A Multi-Currency Savings Account in 2023?



#6 Earn exclusive preferential rates on timed deposits

While most of us are aware of fixed deposits, did you know that priority banking offers them too at preferential rates? Currently, the typical fixed deposit rates hover between 3% to 4%, a relatively higher interest rate than the measly 0.05% rate by many traditional savings accounts.

But are the timed deposits preferential rates by priority banking all they claim to be? Let’s take a look.

OCBC Premier Banking

Interest rate (p.a.)
6 months

This rate applies to both OCBC Premier Banking’s timed deposit and CPF timed deposit. When compared to fixed deposits offered in regular banking, this isn’t exactly a fantastic rate. In fact, it only outclasses DBS/POSB and Standard Chartered rates.

UOB Privilege Banking

Min. investment in unit trusts
Min. fresh funds deposit
Total interest rate (p.a.)
S$100,000 of foreign currency equivalent of S$100,000 in a single trade
3 months

Meanwhile, UOB Privilege Banking’s criteria for preferential rates are a tad different. In order to hit their maximum 4.75% p.a. interest, you’ll need to fulfil three steps:

  1. Submit a participation form through your Client Advisor or by leaving your contact details
  2. Deposit a minimum of S$200,000 in fresh funds 
  3. Invest in a minimum of S$100,000 worth of qualifying unit trusts

That said, the maximum fresh funds deposit amount is limited to twice the amount invested in unit trusts. 

Although this demands a hefty sum of funds, the interest rate earned is definitely way higher than the maximum 4% p.a. interest of regular fixed deposits.

DBS Treasures

Min. fresh funds deposit
Total interest rate (p.a.)
US$100,000 - US$500,000
1 - 12 months
4.11% - 4.68%
£100,000 - £500,000
3.22% - 3.77% 
AUD$100,000 - AUD$500,000
2.14% - 2.83%
CHF₣100,000 - CHF₣750,000
0.105% - 1.05%
HKD$100,000 - HKD$5,000,000
1.56% - 2.44%
€150,000 - €500,000
1.55% - 2.04%
CAD$100,000 - CAD$500,000
1 week - 12 months
2.99% - 4.08%
NZD$100,000 - NZD$500,000
3.00% - 4.385%
RMB¥100,000 - RMB¥5,000,000
0.015% - 0.87%

Disclaimer: Rates are accurate as of 11 April 2023.

The highest 3.20% p.a. fixed deposit rate by DBS/POSB is only eligible for funds up to S$19,999. Any value beyond that will cause the rate to drop to the base 0.05% p.a. (You can click here and here to see the full table.) 

Thus, it seems that DBS Treasure’s strong suit lies in its foreign currency timed deposits instead.

As seen from the table above, US dollar features the highest rate of 4.68% p.a. while the Chinese Yuan features the lowest rate of 0.015%. Of course, these rates are also subject to the tenure of the fixed deposit. 

You can see all their foreign fixed deposit rates here.

HSBC Premier

HSBC Premier Partnerships | Mauve Partnership
Fresh funds deposit
Total interest rate (p.a.)
S$5,000 - S$1 million and above
1 - 3 months
6 months
12 months 0.15%
24 months 3.00%

When compared to other timed deposit rates, HSBC Premier's local currency rates are pretty lacklustre unless you hold your funds for at least a year. Moreover, the highest interest earned on your deposits is only 3% p.a.

While this isn't a low rate, this isn't the highest either. Citigold itself already offers 3.80% p.a. interest for a minimum deposit of S$10,000 held for only a 3-month tenure.

The only good thing is that the minimum fresh funds deposit starts as low as S$5,000. Hence, this timed deposit is the best for tertiary students above the age of 18.

HSBC Premier Partnerships | Mauve Partnership
Min. fresh funds deposit
Total interest rate (p.a.)
US$100,000 - US$1 million
1 - 12 months
4.00% - 4.40%
£100,000 - £1 million
3.30% - 3.70% 
AUD$100,000 - AUD$1 million
2.40% - 3.00%
HKD$100,000 - HKD$10,000,000
1.60% - 3.00%
CAD$100,000 - CAD$1 million
3.00% - 4.00%
NZD$100,000 - NZD$1 million
3.00% - 4.35%

Looking at this table, HSBC Premier's foreign currency timed deposit rates are more competitive than DBS Treasure's rates. The only downside is that HSBC Premier has relatively fewer foreign currencies offered.

So unless you can't find your preferred foreign currency, HSBC Premier might be the go-to choice.


Timed Deposit Promotions
Fresh funds deposit
3 months
6 months
US$50,000 - US$3,000,000
4.60% p.a. interest
S$10,000 - <S$250,000
3.80% p.a. interest
3.38% p.a. interest
S$250,000 - S$3,000,000
4% p.a. interest
3.48% p.a. interest

To qualify, you’ll need to be a qualified Citigold member with an AUM of at least S$250,000 or a Citigold Private Client with an AUM of at least S$1.5 million. The promotional rates are valid on a fresh funds deposit of a minimum S$10,000 to a maximum S$3 million per eligible customer.

Time Deposit Investment Bundle Promotion
Min. timed deposit placement
Max. timed deposit placement
Investment sales charge
2 months
Lower of:
  • 1x Investment placement amount or
  • S$2 million
1% and above
6% p.a. interest


Foreign Currency Time Deposit Investment Bundle Promotion
Min. timed deposit placement
Max. timed deposit placement
2 months
Lower of:
  • Investment placement amount or
  • US$2 million
7.50% p.a. interest

Finally, the preferential timed deposit rates offered by Citigold are quite attractive – racking up to an admirable 4.60% p.a. interest. Moreover, they boast the most diverse range of promotional rates separated into four different bundles:

  • Timed deposit
  • Timed deposit + investment bundle
  • Foreign currency timed deposit + investment bundle
  • Insurance + time deposit bundle*

The respective rates have been reflected in the tables above.

*Not listed here. Please refer to their website for the full rates.

As they say, "all good things must come to an end". These promos end on 30 April 2023, so you might want to lock in your fund deposits now before they expire!

Read more:
Best Alternatives to Savings Accounts in Singapore (2023)
What is the Ultimate Credit Card & Savings Account Combo?
Fixed Deposit vs Endowment Plan vs Cash Management Account: Which Should You Choose?



#7 Waived bank fees

Because priority banking customers tend to transact a huge amount of money at a time, pesky bank fees will eat away at their funds very quickly. Thus, most bank fees are waived unless stated otherwise in the fine print.

Honestly, this is just as good, if not better, than waived credit card fees.

#8 Get invited to sign up for exclusive credit cards

No banking experience is complete without the perks and privileges of credit cards. But these aren’t just any ordinary credit card, these are exclusive credit cards – mostly by invitation only.

Indeed, priority banking will make you feel like credit card royalty when you specially write in to apply for them or banks reach out to you.

The biggest advantage of these credit cards is the gamut of exclusive benefits that come with them. Privileges like golf membership, (aforementioned) airport lounge access, discounted accommodation rates, complimentary hotel room upgrades, discounts off travel site bookings, prestigious event invites, and much more.

Here are some priority banking credit cards available on the market.

Credit card
Key benefits
Citi Prestige Card



5 ThankYou Points (2 miles) per S$1 spend in foreign currency
3.25 ThankYou Points (1.3 miles) per S$1 spend in local currency
6 complimentary golf games in selected golf courses in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China
Unlimited, complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access
8 complimentary airport transfers
Complimentary 1-night stay when booking min. 5D4N stay at any hotel or resort
Extra 30% ThankYou Points according to banking relationship status
Not exactly a Citigold exclusive, but is considered elite-tier credit card
Annual fee: S$545
Min. annual income: S$120,000
Standard Chartered Priority Visa Infinite Card
2.5 360° Rewards Points (1 mile) per S$1 spend
Up to S$50,000 complimentary travel insurance for cardholder and spouse
Complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge visits 
Min. S$500 monthly spend
360° Rewards Points never expire
Annual fee: S$324 (first-year waived)
Min. annual income: S$30,000 (Singaporeans/PR) or $60,000 (Foreigners)

Other priority banking perks:
10 Rewards Points per S$10,000 balance in Current Account per month
10 Rewards Points per S$10,000 balance in fixed deposits per month
5 Rewards Points per S$20,000 investments in average AUM per month
10 Rewards Points per S$10,000 outstanding balance in mortgage loans per month
Standard Chartered Visa Infinite X Card



Up to 2 miles per S$1 spend or 2% cash reward or 360° Rewards Points
2 complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access per year
Up to complimentary S$1 million travel insurance coverage
360° Rewards Points never expire
Annual fee: S$702 (first year waived)
Min. annual income: S$30,000 (Priority/Private Banking customers), otherwise S$80,000
UOB Reserve Card
2.4 miles per S$1 spend in foreign currency
2 miles per S$1 spend in local currency on luxury goods
1.6 miles per S$1 spend on all other local purchases
By invite only
Min. spend requirement: S$1 million per year
A total of S$10 million transaction though UOB Payment Facility per year
Annual fee: S$3,888 
Min. annual income: S$500,000
OCBC Premier VOYAGE Card
2.2 VOYAGE Miles per S$1 spend in foreign currency
1.3 VOYAGE Miles per S$1 spend in local currency
Up to 2.3% cash rebate
Unlimited, complimentary airport lounge visits
Complimentary airport transfer service with min. S$12,000 spend per quarter
VOYAGE Miles never expire
Fuel savings:
  • Up to 23% off fuel spend at Sinopec
  • 19% off fuel spend at Caltex
  • 14% off fuel spend at Esso
Annual fee: S$492.50 with 15,000 VOYAGE Miles or S$3,240 with 150,000 VOYAGE Miles
Min. annual income: S$120,000
OCBC Premier Visa Infinite Card
28 OCBC$ per S$5 spend (2.24 mpd) in foreign currency
16 OCBC$ per S$5 spend (1.28 mpd) in local currency
2 complimentary Plaza Premium airport lounge visits per year
Complimentary airport transfer service
Up to US$1,000 e-commerce protection
1 mile = 2.5 OCBC$
Can be used to earn miles on bills like income tax, insurance, school fees, car loans, etc. with CardUp
Fuel savings:
  • Up to 23% off fuel spend at Sinopec
  • 19% off fuel spend at Caltex
  • 14% off fuel spend at Esso
Annual fee: N/A
Min. annual income: S$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) or S$60,000 (Foreigner)
DBS Treasures Black Elite Card
2.4 miles per S$1 spend in foreign currency
1.2 miles per S$1 spend in local currency
Up to S$1 million travel insurance coverage
3.2 miles per S$1 spend on min. S$300 retail spend on eligible Club 21 boutiques
DBS has stopped accepting Black Elite Card applications temporarily since 1 Jan 2023
Maybank Privilege Horizon Visa Signature Card
8X TREATS Points (3.2 miles) per S$1 spend on dining and travel in local and foreign currency
5X TREATS Points per S$1 spend on air tickets, cruise, travel packages, and foreign currency transactions
Complimentary travel insurance coverage
2 complimentary Grab airport transfers
Unlimited, complimentary VIP airport lounge access
By invite only
Miles can only be redeemed via the TREATS SG app
Annual fee: N/A
Min. annual income: S$30,000 (Singaporean/PR) or S$45,000 (Malaysian) or S$60,000 (Foreigner)

#9 Enjoy better foreign exchange rates

Have you noticed the common denominator among all these credit cards? Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, all these credit cards reward accelerated miles or points earn rates on overseas spend. 

Why? Because if you’re a priority banking customer, chances are, you’ll be jet-setting around the globe fairly often. During your travels, the last thing you’d want to be hindered by are annoying foreign exchange rates.

That’s why priority banking programmes endeavour to offer customers with the best foreign exchange rates possible. Not only will you be able to transact your foreign purchases at the best exchange rates, but you can also convert foreign currencies at much lower prices.



What are the disadvantages of priority banking?

While priority banking might look all glitz and glamour at first glance, not everything that glitters is gold.

Some downsides to priority banking include…

#1 Some management fee exceptions

While one of the major plus points of priority banking is the waived bank fees, convenience fees, and all other fees, there are still a few hefty management fees here and there.

Take OCBC Premier for example. 

If you were to open a Premier Dividend+ Savings Account, you’d be subjected to a S$50,000 fee on your minimum initial deposit. But, there are exceptions. If you open a Foreign Currency Deposit Account, you actually enjoy a lower 0.75% minimum commission-in-lieu of exchange when no foreign exchange is involved.

However, these are very minor “T&Cs apply” sort of conditions.

#2 Watch out for penalty fees

Since priority banking requires a large minimum amount of funds deposits or asset value from the get-go, it stands to reason that there’ll be hefty penalty fees incurred for compliance failures. 

For instance, a possible issue would be if your account balance falls below a certain amount. This fall-below fee is a common penalty observed in both regular and priority banking alike, except the latter would incur a higher cost.

Is priority banking worth it?

Honestly, we’d say, just go for it if you satisfy all the priority banking requirements. If you think about it, the mechanics of priority banking is akin to regular banking – just that it’s for higher net-worth individuals and features tons of better, exclusive privileges. 

There are not many disadvantages to priority banking, other than heftier credit card annual fees and other occasional fees. Apart from those, priority banking is definitely a cut above the rest in terms of banking experience.

However, it’s not even the upper-most echelon in the world of premium banking. There’s still another tier beyond that called Private Clients or Private Banking. As reference, DBS requires you to own over S$1.5 million or over S$5 million in investible assets before you can even think of qualifying.

Source: DBS

But do note, these values are not fixed across all banks. Every bank has its own different definitions and benchmark for what qualifies as high net worth individuals (HNWI) and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI).

Read these next:
Normal Banking vs Priority Banking: Which Should I Choose?
The Four Most Exclusive Credit Cards in Singapore
Citi Wealth First Account: High Rates & Best For Citigold Clients
Priority Banking 2023: Which Bank Offers the Best Welcome Rewards?
Best Ways to Grow Your Wealth Through Priority Banking

Although she struggles *slightly* in resisting good deals and sales, Emma is on a lifelong journey to understand what financial independence as a Z-llennial means. That said, her inner child is still very much alive… with animals and gaming being her weaknesses.


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