Is it Time to Give Priority Banking a Try? These 3 Signs Say “Yes”

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 04 April, 2023

Priority banking may be the ideal solution for high income earners looking to grow their wealth. Here are three signs that tell you when it’s time to give priority banking a go.

Banks sometimes go to great lengths to wrap their priority banking programmes in an air of exclusivity.

Which can be counterproductive if you’ve found yourself approaching the threshold for admittance into this supposedly rarefied club, yet can’t quite find enough information to make a decision either way.

Well, there are some signs that can tell you if it’s time to give priority a try. But before we get into them, let’s have a quick run through of what priority banking is.  


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SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Get 40,000 Max Miles (worth a one-way Business Class to Japan/Korea) or S$800 Cash when you successfully apply for a Citigold Account and make a S$250,000 deposit within 3 months of account opening and maintain these funds until gift fulfilment. Also, apply through SingSaver and enjoy 3.1% p.a. on a 6-month SGD Time Deposit (equates to S$3,875 cash reward!). Valid till 30 June 2024. T&Cs apply.

Plus, get additional welcome rewards on top of the above offer (T&Cs apply):

- Get additional S$100 Cash Reward from Citibank when you complete an Investment Risk Profile and Fact Find
- Get additional S$100 Cash Reward from Citibank when you hold a valid Primary Citibank Credit Card
- Get additional S$500 Cash Reward from Citibank when you apply for a Citibank Mortgage loan with min. loan size of - S$800,000 within 3 months of account opening
- Get additional S$250 Cash Reward for every S$50K purchase of investment and/or insurance from Citibank


Understanding priority banking

What is priority banking?

Simply put, priority banking is a higher-level banking relationship that is only offered to individuals with a high level of income.

Priority banking includes all the basic banking functions you’d come to expect, but also encompasses a slew of bank products and services that are not available to retail customers.

Benefits of priority banking

Besides a higher level of service (think express lane, fee waivers, free coffee, etc), priority banking also offers several features.

For one, you will get access to exclusive banking products, facilities and investment opportunities, better interest rates, fee waivers, and other reserved services.

For another, you will also be provided with market updates and insights, webinars, and educational events that help you better understand and identify opportunities to grow your wealth.

Helping to bring all these together are digital banking tools for easier portfolio tracking, as well as a dedicated Relationship Manager to offer customised recommendations and advice to help you on your wealth journey.

Priority banking also frequently includes lifestyle perks and privileges, ranging from hobby classes to luncheons and dinners, wine tasting, overseas trips, golf outings, private concerts and other bespoke events and experiences.

Cons of priority banking

Perhaps the biggest drawback to priority banking is the substantial amount of funds required to qualify – and which you have to maintain to keep your priority banking relationship active.

This represents an opportunity cost you have to bear, as your funds are effectively locked up for the duration of your membership.

Related to this topic: Citigold Review (2023): An Abundance Of Wealth Solutions For The Well-Heeled


Eligibility criteria for priority banking

As priority banking is aimed at high-income earners, there is a high threshold to qualify. Here’s how much you’ll need to deposit – and maintain – in order to qualify for various priority banking programmes in Singapore.

Priority banking

Minimum assets under management

Citigold

S$250,000

Standard Chartered Priority Banking

S$200,000

OCBC Premier Banking

S$200,000

HSBC Everyday Global Account (Premier)

S$200,000

DBS Treasures

S$350,000

UOB Privilege Banking

S$350,000


3 signs it’s time to sign up for priority banking

Your wealth isn’t growing, despite high income

So here’s a weird situation: Despite earning a high income, you find that your wealth isn’t growing, leaving you somewhat at more-or-less the same level of affluence. What’s going on?

Apparently, that’s not uncommon. In fact, way back in 2003, Fortune magazine had already identified this phenomenon, naming persons caught in this conundrum HENRYS (high earners, not rich yet).

Now, there could be many reasons why someone blessed with a substantial salary may still find difficulty in making their bank balance go up. And, these reasons will likely vary from one person to another, because we all have unique circumstances and challenges.

But the good news is, you don’t have to tackle your problems all by yourself. With priority banking, you will gain the services of an advisory team that can help you identify areas for improvement, or suggest changes to your financial arrangements that can set you on the right track.

Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective – and access to banking services and products that give you a better deal (for example, preferential interest rates for investing a certain amount, vs retail interest rates earned for keeping your money in a savings account).

To enjoy the bonus interest entitlement under the Citi Wealth First Account, you must maintain the minimum Total Relationship Balance of S$250,000 for Citigold and S$1,500,000 for Citigold Private Client. 

 


Your investment results are lacklustre

You pride yourself on keeping up with world events and market trends, knowing the importance of such insights in investing. Yet, despite your best efforts, your investment results remain stubbornly lacklustre.

Well, it’s not that you aren’t trying hard enough. It could be that you are simply not getting the right insights at the right time. The fact is, by the time something hits the news cycle, it’s almost always too late for you to capitalise on it.

What you need are insights that alert you to emerging trends and upcoming opportunities so you can enter the market at the right time.

Priority banking is an excellent way to access such insights. This is because you will have access to professional market analysts who work to suss out potential opportunities and package them for easy understanding.

Your Relationship Manager or Team may even be able to handpick recommendations and insights based on your preferences, goals and objectives.

Receiving relevant insights early enough for you to act on could just be the boost your investments need to truly take off.

Related to this topic: Citigold Promotion: Get S$1,000 Cash, Dyson Air Purifier Or iPad Air + Apple Pencil


Your credit card perks just aren’t cutting it anymore

Credit cards are among the most common financial tools in our modern world, and if used correctly, can unlock perks and privileges that help you get a bigger bang for your buck.

If you’ve been feeling like the perks you’re getting from your credit card just aren’t cutting it any more, perhaps it’s time to move on to premium credit cards.

That’s an informal term for credit cards that offer top-of-the-line perks and privileges that outstrips those offered by conventional credit cards. The catch is they come with stiff annual income requirements – often in the vicinity of S$120,000 – clearly marking them as products aimed at high income earners.

Whether coincidentally or not, an annual income of S$120,000 also means you have a good chance of qualifying for priority banking, which is why many priority banking programmes offer premium credit cards as part of the package.

What can you expect from premium credit cards? Basically, supercharged perks that give you more cashback, air miles, or reward points per dollar spent (and here we thought money, being fungible, is equal – apparently not!)

Along with that, you can also expect some added bells and whistles normally reserved for rock stars – think expedited security clearance at customs, complimentary private limo pickups, invitations to exclusive events and the like.

Read these next:

Priority Banking 2023 – Which Bank Offers the Best Welcome Rewards?

A Full Guide To Priority Banking In Singapore (2023)

Priority Banking In Singapore: How Does It Help To Grow Your Wealth?

Best Ways to Grow Your Wealth Through Priority Banking

Have Enough Money To Jet Off to Space? 5 Signs You’re Ready For Priority Banking

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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