Priority banking in Singapore
Priority banking is designed for high net worth individuals who deal with significant transactions. The advantages of being a priority banking customer include priority queues, a personal relationship manager to handle all customers banking needs, better interest and foreign exchange rates and even more powerful loan packages. Privileges may include airport lounges, travel and golf club discounts.
Of course, to become a priority banking customer, you need to place a certain amount of assets with the bank and meet some requirements. The assets can be either cash in savings accounts or fixed deposit accounts, or investments such as bonds, shares, unit trusts, ETFs and REITs. In this article, we will go through some priority banking programmes in Singapore.
DBS (Development Bank of Singapore) was set up by the Singapore Government in 1968. Today it’s the largest bank in Southeast Asia with total assets of S$579 billion as of 2019.
If customers place assets of S$350,000 with DBS Treasures, they can enjoy the real VIP treatment in the DBS Treasures Centres or ATM lobbies, exclusively for priority customers.
DBS Treasures customers can also enjoy the DBS Treasures Exclusive Safekeeping Centre where they can lock up their valuables. The centre is open from 8:30 am to 10 pm. This service comes with private parking and rest area.
Saving customers money, DBS has waived fees on telegraphic transfers and withdrawals abroad.
OCBC (Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation) is the second biggest bank in Southeast Asia with total assets of S$491 billion as of 2019.
To be eligible for OCBC Premier banking, customers have to deposit or invest S$200,000. Eligible customers can receive a welcome reward of up to S$1,000 cash credit when they start a Premier banking relationship with S$350,000 fresh funds.
Premier customers can access banking centres in mainland China, Macao SAR, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Some other banking privileges include sending money overseas without cable and commission charges for foreign currencies and getting access to preferential fees for selected transactions.
The OCBC Premier VOYAGE credit card suits the frequent flyers. Card members receive 2.3 miles with every S$1 spent in foreign currency, 1.6 miles with every S$1 spent on dining in Singapore and 1.2 miles for every S$1 on local shopping. All miles accrued on this card have no expiration date. In addition, card members also enjoy concierge services, VIP premium airport lounge access and complimentary airport transfers with monthly minimum spends. Other benefits include golf privileges and up to 19% off at Caltex petrol stations with no minimum spending required.
UOB (United Overseas Bank) started operating in 1935. Today it has total assets of S$404 billion as of 2019.
To become a UOB Privilege Banking customer, customers need to place assets of at least S$350,000. UOB Privilege Banking provides wealth management services to high net worth clients around the world. Currently, there are seven dedicated Privilege banking centres and personal services in all 44 UOB branches in Singapore.
Privilege banking customers are entitled to the UOB Privilege Banking Card, which offers the following odds:
- 60,000 air miles if customers pay for the annual membership fee;
- 2 miles for every $1 spent on overseas dining and retail;
- 1.2 miles for every $1 spent on everything else;
- 24-hour UOB Privilege Concierge service;
- Complimentary weekday green fees at Sentosa Golf Club.
Citibank Singapore Limited is a division of Citibank N.A. of the United States and incorporated in Singapore on 28 June 2004. Its parent was awarded Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) status on 20 October 1999, and this status was transferred to the Singapore division on the day of its incorporation.
Now it has nearly 700 Citibank branches in the US and more than 1,800 overseas. It holds a total asset of US$1.917 trillion as of 2018.
Citibank has two priority programmes – City Priority and Citi Gold.
To qualify for Citi Priority, customers are required to deposit S$70,000. In return, customers will get preferential rates and personalized services, lifestyle privileges and a personal banker.
The Citi Priority debit Mastercard will let customers withdraw cash without charges at Citibank ATMs worldwide.
Opening the Citigold account requires customers to deposit S$250,000 in the bank, but the perks are far more significant. The welcome gift is a jaw dropping S$7,484 or two business class return tickets to Australia, subject to terms and conditions. Customers will deposit S$500,000 in fresh funds, purchase S$250,000 of unit trusts or life insurance in the first six months and maintain a balance of S$100,000 till month 12.
As a Citigold client, customers are entitled to Citigold Debit Mastercard, which gives customers access to over 850 Mastercard airport lounges worldwide, 15% savings on medical and wellness packages. You can also enjoy exclusive member benefits, including free nights, room upgrades and special rates at over 500 independent properties in more than 80 countries around the world.
Maybank (Malayan Banking Berhad) is Malaysia’s largest bank with total assets of US$188 billion as of 2017.
With S$300,000 in deposit, customers can open a Maybank Premium Wealth account and enjoy priority services at all its branches in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Bank Internasional branches in Indonesia.
You will also gain access to Premier centres in Maybank Tower, Holland Village, Marine Parade and MSpace at Orchard.
As a privileged client, customers are entitled to a Maybank Premier platinum debit card, which allows cash withdrawal in local currency from any Maybank ATM in Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia (BII ATMs) and Cambodia, without any service charge.
HSBC Holdings is a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. It is the 7th largest bank in the world and the largest in Europe with total assets of US$2.558 trillion as of 2018.
The HSBC Premier programme requires customers to place a minimum of S$200,000 (or the equivalent in foreign currency). HSBC has offered S$400 as a welcome gift to qualified customers in this Premier programme.
HSBC Premier MasterCard comes with the following perks:
- 5% cashback on everyday spend (both overseas and local);
- Discounts & privileges on dining, travel, hotel, shopping;
- Complimentary travel insurance coverage of up to S$1 million;
- Complimentary consultation and exclusive Premier rates on school enrolment services through education partners;
- Worldwide banking assistance extended to your children.
Standard Chartered is a British banking company represented in over 70 countries. It started operating in Singapore in 1859. As of 2019, it holds US$720 billion in total assets.
To become the SC Priority Banking client, customers need to bring in minimum fresh funds of S$200,000. You will be entitled to a welcoming bonus of up to S$6,000.
Being a priority customer allows you to get a Visa Infinite credit card, which provides the following benefits:
- Earn 2.5 points for every S$1 spent on your credit card;
- Complimentary travel insurance worth S$50,000 each for you and your spouse when customers charge to your card at least once when overseas;
- Priority Pass lounge access;
- 24 hours Visa Infinite concierge service.
Therefore, picking which privilege programme to sign for is only up to your lifestyle and assets. Based on the funds customers have, here is a consolidated table of priority banking programmes available in Singapore:
Total assets in the bank
Suitable priority programme
Less than S$100,000
OCBC Premier, Citi Gold, HSBC Premier, Standard Chartered Priority Banking
Maybank Premium Wealth
DBS Treasures, UOB Privilege Banking