Maybe you aren’t a mega millionaire but you have a nice nest egg put
aside, maybe as much as a quarter of a million or more – or perhaps as
‘little’ as $100K. If so, you are considered part of the ‘mass affluent’
by banks and your dollars are much desired by them.
What are the
perks for the affluent?
The are as different as the bank and marketers can come up with.
I’ve seen any and all of the following offered:
Wine and cheese; chocolate chip cookies; separate lounges; after hours
appointments; good products and good service in a private setting;
concierge-style service for banking chores; special lounges in airports;
or personalized service, you can always interact with your assigned
financial adviser (you can also just walk into the bank and use any of
the people there).
Here are even more examples:
- A 24×7 service
phone line so that you can do things like a wire transfer, get new
checks and etc after bank hours.
- Other perks can be
things such as the below
- Free wire
- Use of out of
network ATMs without fees
- One consistent
contact for any need (your adviser).
recommendations on investments to make
- No foreign
exchange fees for debit card usage outside the U.S.
- No charges for
domestic and international wire transfers, notary services, personal
checks, traveler’s checks, stop payments, online overnight checks,
- Higher daily
withdrawal limits on debit cards
- A special debit
card that can be linked to your checking account and given to
children, home staff or others, with specific monthly spending and
withdrawal limits that are set by you for each cardholder
- Preferred mortgage
- Expanded credit
- Access to a
greater variety of credit cards.
How do you
get those perks?
All you have to do is deposit very large sums of money and get very
little interest from the bank on it! Some banks allow you to combine
several accounts together to reach the minimum threshold for the
‘privileged’ status. Others don’t let you in unless they invite you. Some
banks have seperate facilities to use, others combine it with there
are offering special deals for the affluent?
Many banks have tiered service levels depending on how much money you
keep with them. Four that specifically service the mass affluent market
- Bank of America has a
‘preferred’ level and has a thousand Financial Solutions advisers
recently hired to channel their money into Merrill investments.
- HSBC Premier offers perks
such as helping you relocate your banking and credit information
when you move, providing emergency funding and next day card
replacements, premier airport lounges and more
- Citibank’s Citgold and
Citgold Select provide a personal point of contact for you,
reductions on certain fees and access to more loan products, among
- Chase offers Chase
Private Client with some of the above bulleted perks.
sign up for affluent banking?
If you like feeling privileged, want to use an investment adviser from
a bank (who will recommend proprietary products) or if you travel a lot
and if you don’t mind not earning interest on your banked money these
accounts may be for you.
Brooklynmatt from the Flyer Talk online forum isn’t buying into them.
“All [HSBC] Premier or Citigold is really is a chance for the
bank to lock in your money at no interest and facilitate sales of their
proprietary products under the guise of Wealth Management.”
However, Chuck 2007 likes HSBC Premier. His comments on the Flyer Talk
“I have been a HSBC Premier customer for just under 2 years and
overall have been quite satisfied. Here are the positives as I see them:
1. Got a Kindle for signing up and depositing $50K
2. Opened a brokerage account and was able to buy US corporate bonds at a
lower price than I could at either Schwab or TD Ameritrade
3. I save transaction fees every month since I do regular transfers to a
foreign bank account
4. While traveling abroad, I am able to use the HSBC Premier Credit card
with no foreign exchange charges
5. I opened a business account recently and have been able to do
international wire transfers for a fee of $15 (compared to $30-$50 at
6. The Rewards program is decent with a $400 ticket available for 24000
points (approx. 1.67 cents per dollar spent). Of course, you can get
value of up to 2 cents per dollar spent with the Capital One Venture card
– but I was OK with this.
Overall, I find it convenient to do business with a global bank that is
present internationally in most (if not all) of the countries that I
travel to and do business in.”
I won’t be using them myself. Too much money at no or low
interest rates results in lower investment gains. Besides, the
perks aren’t ones that are meaningful to my lifestyle.