We all know that banks really like wealthy clients.
Just look at credit cards – the most exclusive credit cards are for the highest net worths and offer some of the sexiest benefits.
Regular banks are no different.
And while many banks provide private banking services to their wealthiest clients, some of them have started to compete the perks they offer. The benefits include preferred pricing, hands-on wealth management, and other perks for customers seeking personalized service.
Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify as a private banking client – a net worth of $1MM or more is usually required.
This article will cover several perks of today’s best private banking services, if only to see how the other side lives! 😊
Table of Contents
- What are the Best Private Client Perks?
- Best Banks for Private Client Millionaire Perks
- J.P. Morgan Private Bank
- Bank of America Private Bank
- First Republic
- Citigold Private Client
- Goldman Sachs
- Morgan Stanley
- TD Bank
- Union Bank
- Private Bank Alternatives
- Final Thoughts
What are the Best Private Client Perks?
Private client services vary between banks but can include any or all of the following:
- Dedicated advisor (or advisory team)
- Wealth planning
- Investment management
- Earn higher yields on savings accounts
- Preferred interest rates on mortgages and loans
- Waived wire transfer fees
- Complimentary ATM access
- Free safe deposit box
- Business banking benefits
- Estate planning
- Access to other professional services (accounting, legal)
Many institutions invite you to apply for private banking with a minimum $1 million balance. However, some services may require as much as $10 million to enroll in private banking.
Privileges and the quality of customer service can vary by bank. For some, physical branch locations are an essential factor – hence why it’s worth comparing several to find your best fit.
Best Banks for Private Client Millionaire Perks
Most large banks offer private banking perks. To help you in your search, we’ve selected some of the most prestigious private banking firms you’ll find anywhere, starting with a familiar name; J.P Morgan.
J.P. Morgan Private Bank
J.P. Morgan Private Bank is a perennial favorite for winning private bank awards and is also popular with high net worth individuals. According to Global Finance, the institution has ranked as the “Best Private Bank in the World” for three consecutive years (2020-2022).
However, this service requires $10 million in assets to become a member. If you qualify as an individual or business, you can expect the following privileges:
- Personal and business banking
- Financial planning
This bank now offers values-based ESG investing (environmental, social, and governance) solutions that more customers desire to pursue. You can also get managed portfolios and self-directed brokerage accounts and access to investment strategists, credit analysts, and economists.
J.P. Morgan has one of the most well-respected investment research services today. In addition, the service can help you hold alternative investments and acquire financing for these tangible assets.
You’ll have access to the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card ($595 annual fee), one of the most exclusive rewards credit cards you’ll find anywhere. The card shares many of the same travel benefits as its sister card – Chase Sapphire Reserve. Even if you can’t qualify for J.P. Morgan Private Banking, you can still take advantage of their self-directed investing promotions.
Bank of America Private Bank
Bank of America Private Bank requires $3 million in liquid assets, but you can combine your Bank of America and Merrill account balances to reach the minimum threshold.
Their Wealth Management Interest checking account offers a higher interest rate and no standard banking fees. Clients are also eligible for the Preferred Rewards program, which has three different membership tiers.
Platinum Honors ($100,000 to $1 million average daily balance) is the top tier and offers the following benefits:
- A 75% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America credit cards
- Unlimited non-Bank of America ATM transactions
- 15% Merrill Guided Investing discount
- Loan interest rate discounts
First Republic stands out for its excellent customer service, even if you have a “small” account balance of $1 million. This platform tends to offer quicker response times than other big banks.
You can use First Republic for banking and investing. You can also enjoy rate discounts on multiple loan products, including jumbo mortgages.
The private wealth management services can also make estate planning more manageable. In fairness, other private banks on this list offer similar benefits for long-term wealth planning.
Citigold Private Client
If you like Citibank, consider Citigold Private Client, which offers a white-glove service for banking, investing, and financial guidance.
Citi offers several levels of savings and checking accounts and you can enjoy the best benefits. With investing, you can access high-end research and also get early access to select alternative assets.
Your membership goes beyond enjoying a better banking and investment experience. Other travel and entertainment benefits can include:
- Citigold Lounge access: Visit over 100 lounges worldwide for relaxation, invite-only events, and consult with an advisor.
- Citigold Private Client debit card: Zero international ATM fees or foreign transaction fees
- World Wallet Currency Exchange: Next business day delivery of foreign currencies to your home, office, or bank branch. No foreign exchange fees or delivery fees apply.
- Credit card perks: Annual fee statement credit and purchase statement credits with participating credit cards.
- Citigold Culture Pass: Free or discounted access to museums and performing arts organizations.
You may need as much as $10 million in qualifying assets to be eligible for this top-tier service. As an alternative, a standard Citigold membership can only require an average daily balance of at least $200,000 in cash and investments.
Goldman Sachs is best known for its investment services as the investment bank has a position in just about every publicly-traded asset on the planet.
However, the service also offers wealth management and banking products (i.e., Marcus by Goldman Sachs) to make this juggernaut an all-in-one solution to save money, earn passive income, and borrow at discounted rates.
You may consider this service if you primarily want access to extensive investment options. However, it’s also an excellent option for estate planning as a trust or family office.
This private client platform requires $10 million in qualifying assets.
Morgan Stanley is another reputable investment research firm that offers private banking and financial advisor access to customers with $10 million or more under management.
Your wealth management benefits can include managed portfolios (0.30% annual fee) and commission-free trading from E*TRADE. You can also enjoy access to the Morgan Stanley Reserved – a lifestyle rewards program offering travel and shopping discounts.
One of the best non-investing benefits can be an annual fee waiver for the Morgan Stanley American Express Platinum Card ($695 yearly fee). In addition, your first secondary card is also free, and your following three additional cards cost up to $175 total.
By comparison, regular American Express Platinum members pay a flat fee of $175 for up to three additional cards and don’t get a complimentary secondary card.
Consider UBS if you prefer a European bank with a global presence. The institution has won several awards from Euromoney for private banking and family office services, and its North American wealth management service offers personal and banking solutions.
Private clients can also apply for rewards credit cards, personalized mortgages, and extensive financial planning. Customers also prefer this bank as it can be easier to network with other clients with similar interests at events.
TD Bank can accommodate international banking, and you only need $750,000 in assets to be eligible. A wealth relationship manager can help you enroll in the following services:
- Private Tiered Savings Account
- Private Tiered Checking Account
- Rewards credit card
- Personalized lending options for borrowing at least $250,000
- Business banking services
The Private Bank from Union Bank offers the following benefits:
- Wealth planning
- Trust and estate services
- Investment management (through HighMark Capital Management)
- Risk management (i.e., insurance solutions and risk management with fluctuating foreign currency and interest rates)
- Access to personal and business lending
Banking services are by MUFG Bank, which is part of Japan’s largest bank after the merger of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd. and UFJ Bank Ltd. Your membership gets you a Private Advantage checking account that doesn’t charge monthly service fees.
It’s also possible to carry the Union Bank Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card ($199 annual fee) that earns up to 3 points per $1 on purchases. Featured travel benefits include four free Priority Pass lounge visits per year and $100 in annual airline incidental fee statement credits.
Schwab Private Client provides on-demand support from a financial consultant in addition to standard investing and banking services. The consultant’s advice covers investments, retirement planning, and general financial planning.
You can also open a fee-free checking account with impressive benefits like worldwide ATM fee rebates and the ability to earn interest. This company also has rewards credit cards through American Express and provides loan interest rate discounts.
Private Bank Alternatives
If you’re not ready for a private bank, consider the following alternatives for hands-on guidance and competitive benefits.
Chase Private Client
You only need $250,000 in qualifying assets to join Chase Private Client. It’s possible to enjoy special features not available to general customers, such as:
- Priority service with a Private Client Banker
- No Chase fee for wire transfers, ATM fees worldwide, or four yearly overdrafts
- Reduced fees on qualifying loans
Despite these hands-on benefits, many high-net-worth customers report that Chase Private Client isn’t an authentic private banking experience. If you’re a millionaire, you can still get better service from one of the private bank options above.
One advantage of going with Chase Private Client is access to the numerous Chase branches. For example, there can be more Chase branches in your neighborhood and business district than other private banks.
Regional or local banks may also provide private client services that can rival or exceed the national and international banks. For example, you’re less likely to be another number and can receive more personalized service. As you’re helping support a smaller bank, you have more assurance that your deposits remain within the community.
Hire a Financial Advisor
Unfortunately, private banks earn commissions by selling you more services. While these services can improve your finances, there might be better options.
Hiring a financial advisor is often a better option if you have a smaller net worth or prefer an independent opinion. Your minimum balance can be as low as $100,000 to qualify for an advisor.
High-Yield Savings Accounts
If you don’t need local branch access, you may consider stashing your surplus cash in a high-yield savings account from an online bank. You may be able to earn a higher interest rate than a private bank savings account.
However, you should pay attention to the FDIC insurance limit. Most online-only accounts provide the standard $250,000 in coverage, but private banks may sweep your funds between several partners to provide $10 million in FDIC coverage.
Private banks make managing significant amounts of cash and investments easier as you can get a dedicated advisor. Additional perks include higher yields and waived service fees to help grow your wealth. If you have the net worth to qualify, you can save time and money by becoming a private banking client at any of the above banks. And if not? You can rest assured that even regular banking has never been more affordable or convenient.
Best Banks for Private Client Millionaire Perks (plus Alternatives) is written by Josh Patoka for wallethacks.com