Banking for the Almost-Rich: A Look at Premium Checking
The structure, in a sense, mirrors how banks handle their ultra-high or high-net-worth clients, who are rewarded amply for investing a certain portion of their fortune with a particular financial institution. But the average consumer shouldn't let the lowered thresholds fool them into going after one of these second-tier accounts. As Wei points out, the perks on premium checking accounts aren't nearly as good.
Typically, they include access to a dedicated customer service team, but there also are a strange assortment of other perks associated with various accounts. Citi (C), for instance, gives its Citigold account holders priority processing on credit card applications, while Chase (JPM) gives its Premier Platinum Checking account holders nine additional checking accounts with no monthly service fee.
"Many of these services are of dubious usefulness or diminishing marginal returns," Wei says. They also typically don't include better interest rates on the checking account themselves, although account olders do bypass additional fees."
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