Get the latest information on the best priority banking accounts in Singapore with this comprehensive guide. Find out how you can earn the most attractive rewards as a priority banking client.
- Priority banking accounts offer attractive benefits to customers such as sign-up rewards, preferential interest rates, and additional rewards for purchase of investment or insurance products.
- For example, Citigold is offering up to S$1,600 of cash rewards for customers who deposit up to S$1 million. Standard Chartered Priority Banking is offering a $7,000 sign up bonus for deposits above S$1 million.
- Citigold is offering a preferential interest rate of up to 3.4% per annum on a 3-month and 6-month fixed deposit with a minimum deposit of $250,000.
- HSBC Premier is offering $3,000 cash credit for customers who place $350,000 in fresh funds with HSBC Premier and purchase S$50,000 in wealth products.
You may have heard of banks’ priority banking programs - programs with exclusive perks catering to wealthier individuals, especially those that can engage in significant financial transactions with a bank.
To qualify for priority banking services in Singapore, your account must maintain a minimum threshold of funds, which can be held in your savings account, invested in assets like bonds and shares, or allocated across various other assets.
This number can range from $200K to $350K as a start, depending on the bank you are signing up with.
What is Priority Banking?
In Singapore, most bank segments its customers into three tiers of customers: Personal Banking, Priority Banking, and Private Banking.
When you opt for priority banking, you're essentially enrolling as an esteemed VIP within the bank's clientele, and you can enjoy certain privileges.
For example, you may enjoy higher interest rates, better foreign exchange rates, have a dedicated relationship manager that can cater to your financial needs, access certain wealth management products or even save on certain fees like account fall below fees.
How to qualify for Priority Banking?
Every bank has its own brand for its Priority Banking customers. For instance, DBS brands it as DBS Treasures. The same Priority Banking status at Citibank is known as Citigold. Since every bank has its own modus operandi, the way to qualify for Priority Banking is also different.
In general, if you want to be a Priority Banking customer, then you better be prepared to have at least $200,000 of Total Relationship Balance (TRB) with the bank.
To break the technical jargon for you, TRB just refers to the total assets under your name with the bank. These assets generally refer to liquid assets such as cash, investments, or insurance.
Therefore, in case you are wondering who has $200,000 cash lying in the bank, the $200,000 can be a mixture of cash, investments, and insurance.
What are the advantages of Priority Banking?
#1 - Preferential rates
Priority Banking customers enjoy a preferential rate when it comes to savings account and fixed deposits. After all, the bank doesn’t want you to stop banking with them. Thus, they will offer you preferential rates to keep your money within the bank.
Some banks also offer better-than-market rate on mortgage. If you have a mortgage to service, you might want to put it under your Priority Banking account.
#2 - Access to relationship manager
As a Priority Banking customer of the bank, you will get your own banker or relationship manager to help you manage your wealth. If you have questions about your transactions or accounts, they are there to help you too.
In addition, you may gain access to wider suite of wealth management products, especially if you were to sign up as an accredited investor.
#3 - Convenience
Since you are a Priority Banking customer, you get priority for any banking service done at the counter. There are also branches opened specifically to serve the Priority Banking customers that only Priority Banking customers can enter.
Best Priority Banking Accounts and Benefits in Singapore
There are at least 8 different priority banking programs in Singapore, and not all priority banking accounts are designed the same way.
The majority of them offer some form of wealth management services, often with attractive perks dangled in front of you such as an eye-watering sign up promotion.
Since every bank has its own Priority Banking, we thought it will be useful to compile a list of all the Priority Banking accounts and how to qualify for one.
While there are other qualifying criteria, most banks require you to have at least $200,000 (or more) of TRB with them.
|Priority Banking Programme||Total Relationship Balance (TRB)||Other Qualifying Criteria|
|CIMB Preferred||$250,000||At least $1 million mortgage with CIMB|
|HSBC Premier||$200,000||Credit monthly salary of at least $15,000; or at least $800,000 mortgage with HSBC|
|Standard Chartered Priority||$200,000||At least $1.5 million in mortgage with Standard Chartered|
|Source: Company websites as of 5 October 2023|
Citigold is Citibank’s priority banking program catering to those who enjoy wealth planning and investments.
For example, Citigold members can enjoy personalised wealth solutions and tools, preferential interest rates on deposits, receive financial advice and global insights from their team, in addition to a dedicated relationship manager to provide you advice for your wealth.
In addition, Citigold members get to enjoy Citi’s wide array of lifestyle and dining benefits such as 12% discount on Agoda bookings, or complimentary main courses at participating restaurants across Asia. Citigold requires a minimum AUM of $250,000.
DBS Treasure’s is DBS’ priority banking program with great card perks and lifestyle benefits, in addition to traditional wealth management services.
DBS Treasures members can sign up for the DBS Treasures Visa Debit Card and the DBS Treasures Black Elite Card. The former earns 4% cashback on online food delivery, local transport and foreign currency transactions, and ATM fee waivers on your cash withdrawal overseas, while the latter earns you 2.4 miles per dollar on overseas spending (and 1.2 miles per dollar on local spending).
DBS Treasures also gives members access to DBS relationship managers and their suite of investment services, including a suite of sophisticated solutions to grow, protect and pass on your wealth. A minimum of $350,000 and accreditation as an Accredited Investor is required.
HSBC Premier is HSBC’s priority banking program with a focus on wealth planning too. Members can gain access to HSBC’s relationship managers and receive personalised wealth management solutions, including legacy planning and tax advisory solutions.
One unique aspect about HSBC’s priority banking program is the ability to extend your priority benefits to your family members like your spouse and up to three children with no additional funding required. In addition to the wealth planning benefits, they get to enjoy global banking privileges such as bank accounts in over 30 destinations, and global fee-free money transfers. HSBC Premier requries a minimum AUM of $200,000.
Standard Chartered Priority Banking
Standard Chartered’s priority banking offers a good mix of investments, savings and lifestyle benefits in addition to the wealth management solutions typically available for priority banking programs.
With their priority banking, you can sign up for Standard Chartered’s Wealth$aver account and earn up to 5.0% annual interest, enjoy seamless global banking across over 30 markets in Asia, Africa and in the Middle East and link all of them in one view, enjoy preferential rates on their online equities platform and receive special waivers on selected fees and charges. You can also participate in their 360 rewards program and earn rewards points on card spending and product holdings, including mortgage, selected investments, deposits and online transactions.
For those who sign up for the Priority Banking Visa Infinite Credit Card, you can also receive complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
UOB Privilege Banking
UOB Privilege Banking is UOB’s offering in this segment of the market, offering plenty of perks and benefits from travel, dining and lifestyle, to education and wellness. UOB Privilege Banking members can also sign up for the UOB Privilege Banking card, which gives 2 miles per dollar on overseas dining and retail and 5 miles per dollar on bookings with selected airline partners and hotels.
UOB also has quite the repository of perks in the dining and lifestyle segment. For example, UOB frequently offers dining benefits such as a 1-for-1 lunch buffet at Triple Three Mandarin Orchard, which makes it a popular choice among those looking for a well-rounded experience. For those interested, a minimum AUM of $350,000 is needed to bank with UOB Privilege Banking.
Best Priority Banking Accounts with Most Attractive Sign-up Rewards
While choosing a priority banking program often is a matter of personal preferences, many offer attractive sign up bonuses for signing up and depositing your initial capital to begin a priority relationship with them.
The reward varies according to your deposit tier:
- For deposits less than $1 million: Citigold offers up to $1,600 welcome cash.
- For deposits more than $1 million: Standard Chartered Priority banking offers an impressive $7,000 in welcome cash with less requirements, or HSBC Premier if you have plans to purchase a minimum of $100K in wealth products
|Tier||Citi Priority Banking||HSBC Premier||Standard Chartered Priority||UOB Privilege Banking|
|$200K-$250K||-||$1,600||$500||Does not offer any welcome cash reward|
|$350K-$500K||-||$3,800* Purchase a minimum of SGD50,000 in eligible wealth or insurance products|
|$1.2-$1.5M||-||$18,000* Purchase a minimum of SGD100,000 in eligible wealth or insurance products and be an existing accredited investor or opts in to be an accredited investor.|
|Above $1.5M||$4,000+||$7,000* *Requires signing up as priority private client and accredited investor.|
|Company websites as of 6 October 2023|
Best Priority Banking Accounts with Highest Preferential Interest Rates or Fixed Deposit Rates
Banks may offers priority banking customers a higher interest rate for savings accounts and fixed deposits.
For example, Citigold offers priority banking clients an interest rate of 3.4% per annum on a 3-month fixed deposit with a minimum deposit of S$250,000. This is above the fixed deposit rate of 3.2% per annum offered to non-priority banking customers. However, keep in mind that this preferential time deposit offer from Citi is applicable only if you opt not to take up their welcome cash offer.
|Citigold||HSBC Premier||Standard Chartered Priority||UOB Privilege Banking|
Enjoy 1% p.a. bonus interest on rising SGD Average Daily Balance in Everyday Global Account (up to SGD300).
Get a SGD300 one-time bonus cash reward for maintaining a consistent SGD200,000 average balance over 6 consecutive months after signing up.
|1.50% p.a. with Wealth$aver account for balances between $200,000 - $1,500,000. 3.00% p.a. with Wealth$aver account for balances above $1.5 mil.||3.55% p.a. for 3 months* with UOB Privilege Account *Requires min. $200,000 in fresh funds|
|Time Deposit||3.40% p.a. for 3-month fixed deposit with $250,000 minimum.||-||3.1% p.a.* (for priority banking) to 3.2% p.a.* (for Priority Private) for 6-month time deposit *Requires min. deposit of $25,000||-|
|Company websites as of 6 October 2023|
Best Priority Banking Accounts with additional rewards for spend/invest/insure
If you're aiming to enhance your wealth through the bank's wealth and insurance options, it's essential to identify which banks offer the best value for your investment.
We've compared priority banking deals that offer rewards for expanding your portfolio within the bank. With everyone having different preferences, you can choose the option that suits you best.
Among the five banks compared, only Citi, HSBC, and Standard Chartered provide extra rewards to customers who engage in spending, borrowing, and investing/insuring with them.
Best bank for eligible wealth and insurance products: HSBC Priority Banking
|Invest/insure product value||Citigold||HSBC Premier||Standard Chartered Priority|
|More than $25,000||-||$850 cash credit* *Require $200,000 in fresh funds in HSBC Premier.||-|
|More than $50,000||-||$3,000 cash credit* *Requires $350,000 in fresh funds in HSBC Premier.||$100 cash credit|
|More than $75,000||$650 cash credit|
|More than $100,000||$18,000 cash credit* *Requires $1,200,000 fresh funds in HSBC Premier with Premier Elite service and be an Accredited Investor||$200 cash credit|
|More than $250,000||$2,500 cash credit||-||$500 cash credit|
|More than $500,000||$5,400 cash credit||-||$1,000 cash credit|
|More than $1,000,000||$11,000 cash credit||-||$2,000 cash credit|
|More than $2,000,000||$24,000 cash credit||-||$4,000 cash credit|
|More than $3,000,000||$37,000 cash credit||-||$6,000 cash credit|
|Company websites as of 6 October 2023|
Next, let's look at the rewards for spend, borrow, and save categories with the bank.
HSBC seems to offer the sweetest deals for priority banking customers:
- Best priority banking deal for credit card spend: HSBC Priority banking
- Best priority banking deal for a mortgage loan: HSBC Priority banking
|Citigold||HSBC Premier||Standard Chartered Priority Banking|
|Spend (Credit card rewards)||Receive S$300 cash reward with a Citi credit card||Receive up to $970 worth of rewards: - SGD$670 worth of Samsonite Prestige 69cm Spinner Exp luggage OR $150 cash: With min spend of > S$1,000 with Premier Mastercard Credit Card. - Get 1% cashback (capped at S$500) when you spend on your HSBC Everyday Global Debit Card, HSBC Credit Card or make a GIRO bill payment||-|
|Borrow (Home mortgage loan)||Receive S$500 cash reward with a Citibank mortgage (min. $800,000)||Receive up to $1,000 cash reward with Home loan refinancing*: • SGD500 cash credit: with a mortgage of min. S$1,000,000 and above • S$1,000 cash credit: with a mortgage of min. S$1,500,000 and above *for new to premier with Premier Elite service customers||-|
|Save (Bonus Interest in savings account)||-||-||Enjoy bonus interest of up to 2% p.a. on the first $500k under the Wealth Booster Promo with the Wealth$aver account|
|Company websites as of 6 October 2023|
What is the difference between Priority Banking and Private Banking?
While both Priority Banking and Private Banking are considered VIPs by the banks, Private Banking is a tier higher than Priority Banking.
To qualify, you will need to have assets in the range of millions. Similar to Priority Banking, the asset needs to be liquid and investable. So if you are thinking about using your million dollar HDB flat as part of the $1 million, that doesn’t quite qualify in most cases.
What should you consider when selecting a Priority Banking account?
To have more than $200,000 of investable assets is a tall ask for many of us. Therefore, if you are really keen on getting your hands on a Priority Banking account, the fastest way is to find the one that has the lowest barrier to entry.
For instance, if you are already planning to invest in a condo and need mortgage financing of at least $800,000, then HSBC Premier lets you enter into the Priority Banking world with that alone.
Perks and privileges
Importantly, what’s the point of being a Priority Banking customer without getting some perks and/or privileges? If you don’t get some good perks out of a Priority Banking account, then there really isn’t any point for you to get locked-in with the bank right?
What would Beansprout do?
If you are seeking preferential treatment such as preferential interest rates on deposits or loan, priority queues and a dedicated relationship manager to speak to, starting a priority banking relationship can bring one closer to their financial goals.
We would consider the qualification requirements as well as perks and privileges when deciding which priority banking account to open.
If you are looking for the best priority banking account with the best sign up bonus, consider Citigold for deposits up to $1 million as it offers up to $1600 welcome cash. For deposits above $1 million, Standard Chartered Priority Banking offers a $7,000 sign up bonus with fewer requirements.
If you are looking for the best priority banking account with a higher fixed deposit rate compared to non-priority banking customers, Citigold offers up to 3.4% p.a. on a 3-month time deposit with minimum $250,000 in deposits.
If you are looking for the best priority banking account with eligible wealth products, HSBC Premier appears to offer the best rewards. You can receive up to $3,000 cash credit if you place $350,000 in fresh funds with HSBC Premier and purchase S$50,000 in wealth products.
Find out how you can also gain access to a wider range of investment products by qualifying as an accredited investor.
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