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Standard Chartered Priority vs UOB Privilege Banking: Which is Better For You?

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 17 February, 2023

Standard Chartered Priority is easier to join but has a narrower focus, while UOB Privilege Banking sets a higher barrier to entry but comes with added services. Which is the better priority banking programme for you?


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Standard Chartered Priority and UOB Privilege Banking have markedly different entry points. The former requires just S$200,000 to qualify, while for the latter, you’d need at least S$350,000. 

With such a gap, it’s safe to say that both programmes are aimed at different segments of the population, an assumption further borne out when considering the mix of services offered by each platform. 

But besides wealth level, what other differences are there between these two popular priority banking programmes?


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At-a-glance: Standard Chartered Priority vs UOB Privilege Banking

Standard Chartered Priority
UOB Privilege Banking
Minimum deposit: S$200,000 
Minimum deposit: S$350,000
Up to S$16,500 welcome reward
No welcome reward offered 
Standard Chartered Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card
UOB Privilege Banking Card
Digital and online wealth management tools, market insights, relationship managers trained and certified by INSEAD, Fitch Learning
Digital portfolio advisory and management tools, market insights, dedicated Client Advisor and team
Mainly focused on investment
Focuses on investment and wealth management, along with family and lifestyle needs


How these two priority banking platforms are the same

Standard Chartered Priority and UOB Privilege Banking are priority banking programmes that are aimed at high-income earners and wealthy Singaporeans. 

Both platforms promise to help clients grow and protect their wealth through wealth advisory and management services, digital tools, personalised insights, and access to exclusive investment opportunities and banking products.  

There are also a slew of lifestyle privileges and rewards customers can enjoy, including elevated banking experiences, preferential interest rates, special promotions, and exclusive lifestyle events. 

Customers are also offered premium credit cards with high-level perks, including accelerated points earn rates, concierge services, airport lounge access and other benefits. 

Both Standard Chartered Priority and UOB Privilege Banking have a similar sign-up process; simply deposit and maintain the minimum account balance required by each programme, and indicate your interest by way of email, phone call or online form.


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How these two priority banking programmes differ

Minimum qualifying deposit

Of the two, Standard Chartered Priority has a lower barrier to entry. You can sign up just by depositing a minimum of S$200,000 in fresh funds.

Meanwhile, UOB Privilege Banking requires you to maintain at least S$350,000 in deposits or investments with the bank to qualify. 

Welcome reward

As of February 2023, Standard Chartered Priority is offering a Welcome Reward for new sign-ups that grants up to S$16,500 in cash credit. That’s a nice chunk of free money, but it’s a little complicated in how it all works. 

In order to qualify for the welcome reward, you’d have to

  1. Deposit S$200,000 in fresh funds to sign up

  2. Within three months, increase your total account balance to at least S$500,000 

You’ll receive a higher welcome reward if you increase your account balance to S$1.5 million or more (at which point you’ll be bumped up to Priority Private). 

Also, if you invest at least S$10,000 and consent to be treated as an Accredited Investor, you will receive additional cash rewards. 

Hence, while the minimum sum required to qualify is just S$200,000, you’ll need to deposit at least S$500,000 in all to receive your welcome reward (which starts from S$1,500).

In comparison, UOB Privilege Banking isn’t offering any welcome rewards at the moment. But this makes no difference if you’re not planning to commit half-a-million dollars to priority banking in the next three months.
 

Credit card benefits (and annual fees)

Customers of Standard Chartered Priority can apply for the Priority Visa Infinite Credit Card, which offers an accelerated earn rate of the bank’s 360° Rewards points. 

Besides earning 2.5 points per S$1 spent, customers will also be rewarded points based on their account balances for savings accounts, fixed deposits, investments and mortgages. This means you can passively rack up points just for maintaining your banking relationship, and actively using your card will help you accumulate points even faster. 

As for UOB Privilege customers, they can apply for the UOB Privilege Banking Card. This card functions more like a traditional air miles card, allowing holders to earn 1.2 miles per S$1 spent locally, and 2 miles per dollar spent on luxury brands and overseas transactions. 

You’ll also receive 60,000 air miles upon paying the card’s annual fee – which sits at a cool S$1,994 (first year waived). 

In contrast, the Standard Chartered Priority Visa Infinite Credit Card has an annual fee of S$324.

Area of focus

Standard Chartered Priority’s range of services seems to be more tightly focused on investment and wealth growth. 

Customers can access in-depth market insights, personalised investment planning, and portfolio management tools to track their financial goals. 

UOB Privilege Banking, too, offers a similar suite of investment and wealth services. 

However, it goes beyond wealth advisory services, providing customers with travel and medical concierge services, as well as overseas education advice via the bank’s partner consultant. 

Standard Chartered Priority or UOB Privilege Banking – which should you choose?

Well, if you’re looking to dip your toes into priority banking without committing too much funds, the lower qualifying amount of Standard Chartered Priority will make it the better choice here. 

Assuming you’re in the market for either programme, Standard Chartered Priority offers just investment advisory services, which is perfectly ok if that’s all you’re looking for. Plus, there’s the potential to receive cash rewards, which aligns with your overall goal. 

But if you’re seeking lifestyle and family services – on top of wealth advisory and management – then UOB Privilege Banking will likely offer a more well-rounded experience between the two.

Read these next:
A Full Guide to Priority Banking in Singapore (2023)
Best Ways to Grow Your Wealth Through Priority Banking
Priority Banking in 2023: Which Bank Offers the Best Welcome Rewards
Normal Banking vs Priority Banking: Which One Should You Choose?
Priority Banking in Singapore: Does it Really Help to Grow Your Wealth?

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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