Bank Elite Status: The Key to Great Rewards, Benefits & Approvals

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Bank Elite Status Benefits

Bank Elite Status Benefits

Elite status is the name of the game for many of us and I often write about strategies to obtain elite status across a variety of hotel and airline loyalty programs. I have even written about Founderscard and why I have that membership which gives me some elite like benefits at various businesses. If you can find a way to enhance your experience through “status” then why not?

One thing that isn’t talked about often is what I am going to call Bank Elite Status. Of course every bank has a different phrase describing their program, but in essence they give their high value customers a lot of perks in exchange for large deposits. This can open up avenues to greater rewards and even a higher chance of approvals. Today we’ll look at 3 of the major bank elite statuses.

Bank of America Preferred Rewards

Bank Elite Status Benefits

Bank of America calls their loyalty program Preferred Rewards and it actually comes with three tiers. They must really like being compared to travel loyalty programs. The three tiers are:

  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Platinum Honors

To earn status you must:

Maintain a 3-month average combined balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge® and Merrill Lynch investment accounts of at least $20,000 for the Gold tier, $50,000 for the Platinum tier, or $100,000 for the Platinum Honors tier.

How to Earn Preferred Rewards Status

As you can see, you must maintain a 3 month average of $100K. This means you could deposit $300K for one month and get the status. Once status is reached, they won’t reevaluate you for 12 months and then upon reevaluation will give you 3 more months to meet the requirements again. In other words, you get it for 15 months after qualification even if you move the money out.

What It Gives You

So let’s talk about Platinum Honors. Among the interesting benefits are free ATM withdrawals, priority customer service and discounts on loans. The big benefit though is a 75% bonus on credit card rewards. That makes a card like the BofA Travel Rewards card go from 1.5% cashback to 2.625% everywhere. Very powerful!

More Info

I personally have obtained Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors status in order to gain the increased rewards earning. You can find out more about how I did it and why in this post.

Citigold

Bank Elite Status Benefits

For the longest time Citigold was a bank elite status for the every man. All you needed to do was open a Citigold account and you were in. Of course the Citigold account came with a $30 monthly fee or a steep balance requirement to waive the fee, but everyone could get it. That is changing very soon. Beginning on November 1, the $30 fee will be eliminated, but you wont be able to get Citigold unless you have $200K or more in combined balances with the bank.

Citigold Benefits

As a product that everyone could get, Citigold used to be nice with very good customer service and some modest benefits like a reduced annual fee on the Prestige card ($350 vs. $450). Now, with such a high requirement I don’t think it stacks up given the benefits.

Among the benefits are:

  • Annual fee waivers on some products
  • Reduced or waived fees on many accounts
  • Reduced interest rates
  • Bonus rewards offers for select credit cards

Since Citigold is sort of in the middle of a re-branding, it remains to be seen if they will offer additional benefits to their high net worth clients once the asset requirement is in place. As of now I am not aware of any huge credit card benefits other than the Prestige annual fee reduction, however the hope is that Citigold may in the future help to get around Citi’s new bonus rules and maybe make approvals easier.

Time will tell, but I would wait on this one.

Chase Private Client

Bank Elite Status Benefits

If you haven’t quite heard yet, Chase has tightened on their approvals of credit cards, especially for people who have opened up 5 or more new accounts over the past 24 months. One known way around this restriction is to become a Chase Private Client.

Officially, this is how Chase determines eligibility for Chase Private Client:

Available to individuals who maintain an average daily balance of $250,000 or more in any combination of qualifying linked deposits and investments.

And this is true. You need to place $250K in the bank or commit to placing $250K in the bank. You can try to meet with a Private Client Banker and request the status without having all of the funds in place, but they will make sure you move over the money or they can downgrade you out of the program.

Chase Private Client Benefits

Among the benefits of Chase Private Client are:

  • Free ATM withdrawals worldwide
  • Free safe deposit box
  • Many free checking and savings account
  • Wire transfer and other fees waived
  • Benefits extended to immediate adult family members
Worth Pursuing?

Of course the biggest benefit of Chase Private Client for many of you will be the possibility of avoiding the 5/24 guideline. While this isn’t guaranteed, your applications will have a higher chance of approval based on data points. Considering Chase’s wide range of travel rewards products, it might make sense to meet with a Chase Private Banker to see if you can move towards joining the program, even if you don’t move all of your money over right away.

Conclusion

Other banks have similar programs for high net-worth clients. They often waive fees and give other discounts, but of course require you to deposit a lot of money with them and can charge high fees on investment products. As always, you should seek the advice of your personal financial professional to determine what you should do, but each of these three programs offers value if you care about the credit card (and other) products of that particular bank.

For me Bank of America Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors status is paying off with both higher credit lines on my cards and higher cashback rewards as well. Chase Private Client is on my list to pursue as well, but Citigold just isn’t worth it anymore unless they sweeten the pot signifcantly after the upcoming changes.

What are your thoughts on bank elite status or high net worth client programs? Let us know in the comments!


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22 COMMENTS

  1. I also thought that putting in $300K one time would cut the 3 month time frame down to 1 month to show $100K average but that is not the case.

    It seems now that the account must have the funds in there for 3 months minimum unless this was required since my bank account was new and I had deposited $300K.

    Just a heads up.

    • It has worked for me and others, but you do need to keep in mind that they only look at your balance one time, generally on the statement print date. So, if you deposit the money and your statement prints 10 days later you only get credit for the 10 days you had the money and then would have to wait an additional month until they look at your account again.

      Are you saying that you had to wait a full 3 months? That wasn’t the case for me as recent as a few months ago. If so, I definitely appreciate the updated data point!

      • Hi Shawn- I opened up and deposited $300K on 06/14.

        As of today, I am still not showing any status with Bank of America.

        They keep telling me I have to wait the full 90 days before even getting the lower tier status and then it will get to top Platinum pretty quickly but still have to wait 90 days. In this case, it would have been better to just leave $100K in the account. I hope this helps.

      • Same Boat as Sam.

        I invested $200,000 at Merrill Edge for the $600 bonus in June for BOTH Personal and IRA, so well over $300,000. My rep told me 3 month mark was September 5th to meet the bonus period, then safe to reduce my account below $200,000 if desired. My Plat honors also shows effective September. My “average was over $100,000 in August as I saw the qualifying amount logging in, but it clearly stated Plat Honors as of September. My rep thought he might be able to move it up as I told him I have some large spend pending, but got back to me NO.

        It would be interesting to see if Plat Honors benefits actually posted for you before 3 months. Maybe the Bank said you were, but did not get benefits.

  2. Quick addition on Citigold, for what it’s worth: I stopped by a branch asking for clarifications on product offering post November. Based on what I was told, Citi will have a new elite level with a lesser name but benefits somewhat equivalent to the current Citigold (I was told waived fees on incoming wires and certified checks). Definitely available at no cost for balances above $50k, unclear if accessible to all via payment of fees.
    No word on implications on credit cards.

  3. I worked for preferred rewards prog in bank of america 4 years ago. It has good benefits and boa employees are automatically qualified for gold status. And its good to see , many of them are having good knowledge on the qualifying criteria and grace period loop.

    But discover miles give 3% in your first year without any status. Why this card is not highlighted in blogging area is unknown to me. Why invest 300 k for a month just to get a 2.65 % card , where u can apply for discover miles card and get 3%?

    • Discover it Miles is definitely a good card and I have covered it before. For some people who are only able to get one Discover card then the regular Discover it may be a better deal. You are right though, 1.5X up front with that doubled after 1 year is definitely worth looking at.

      • any idea on how to qualify for the miles card after the first year? Cancel and reapply again in 2 months ?

        3% is unbeatable for non category and super good card for MS even with low CL

        • Once you have your first Discover card for a year you can usually get a second one. The terms are foggy as to whether they will give you double cashback again or not though.

    • I should clarify, if I move money back out after becoming CPC, will I keep the status for some amount of time or indefinitely?

  4. These are expensive benefits though so weigh carefully… $250k placed in an online savings bank at 1.05% nets you $2625 in interest per year. Considering chase will pay you close to zero, I think you can buy yourself a lot of wire transfers and pay for a lot of ATM fees. You won’t be able to get enough UR points to make up for this either. Any thoughts?

  5. These benefits come at a cost which makes me hesitant to want to take advantage of them. Goldman Sachs pays 1.05% on deposits, while Chase pays essentially zero. That nets you $2625 in interest that you would not get, and you can pay a lot of ATM fees, wire transfer fees with it. Making up for it with aggressive CC applications to get UR points will wont make you break even… Any thoughts?

    • There is a lot to consider and I think that people get the most advantage out of these statuses when they have investments and are not simply parking money in a low interest account. With that said, there is way too much financial detail to cover in a post like this, but I agree that doing this probably isn’t for everyone.

  6. I had problems with Chase as well despite $50K maintained in account. Will never trust them again! Have never HD problems with any other bank.

  7. Citigold isn’t the correct comparison to Chase Private Bank. You should be comparing Citi Private Bank to Chase Private Bank. Regardless, one other benefit for Citi Private Bank customers that have the Citi Prestige (in addition to the 100 fee credit) is the extra 25% TY points on purchases – making the minimum points earned 1.25.

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