Most millionaires in the US use bank accounts just like you and me. I’ve personally banked with Chase for over 20 years, using the same checking account today that I did before I was a millionaire.
The main difference—now I have more features, account options, and access to a private banker, which are perks that most banks offer when your assets grow. Like anything in life, the more money you have, the more benefits you get.
Let’s dig into the biggest advantages of having over $1 million in investable assets at a bank and walk through our list of the best banks for millionaires.
Private Banking for Millionaires
When it comes to banking, there are two options – personal and private banking.
- Personal Banking: Personal banking is the banking we all know, where banks offer products and services to the general public.
- Private Banking: Private banking, which the same banks typically offer, is reserved for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs).
Private banking includes customized services and investment opportunities and is the more exclusive form of banking.
Most U.S. banks have a private banking arm, which allows them to attract affluent customers.
Sometimes the threshold for private banking services is lower than $1 million, so you may need less money than you think to qualify for these services.
Why Millionaires Use Private Banks
The biggest benefits of private banks are the level of personalized service, lower fees, product access, and customized advice you get.
Here’s a closer look at the services private banks offer:
- Higher Rates on Savings Accounts: Like tiered rates at personal banks, private banks automatically offer an institution’s highest rates.
- Dedicated Customer Service: High net-worth customers are high-priority clients. You’ll have access to a singular point of contact rather than relying on a general customer service line, who will get to know you and help meet your needs.
- Higher Payment Limit: Millionaire bank account customers often need to move larger sums than typical customers. The standard limits on debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals, and ACH transfers are all significantly higher at a private bank.
- Better Loan Borrowing Terms: Mortgage, car loan, and auto loan interest rates are typically lower because wealthy customers are considered to pose less risk since the bank can see what’s in their account.
- Cash Management Accounts: The most compelling feature of cash management accounts is that they use bank partnerships to spread funds to multiple accounts, protecting more than the standard $250,000 FDIC insurance.
- Fee Waivers: HNW customers automatically enjoy maintenance fee waivers, free wire transfers, cashier’s checks, safety deposit boxes, and more.
- Real Estate Management: Private banks often offer services to help clients manage their real estate portfolios. This includes services and advice around acquisition and management strategies like maximizing cash flow or selling tasks like identifying qualified buyers or minimizing capital gains.
10 Banks that Millionaires Use
According to data from IBISWorld, the private banking industry’s market size increased by an average of 9.6% each year from 2017 to 2022.
A lot of banks comprise that growing market. We’ve identified the best banks for millionaires based on their minimum investment requirements and additional services for millionaire accountholders.
- Chase: Private Client
- TD Bank: Private Bank
- Wells Fargo: Private Bank
- Bank of America: Private Banking
- Morgan Stanley: Private Wealth Management
- Citi: Private Banking
- JP Morgan: Private Bank
- HSBC: Private Banking
- Goldman Sachs: Private Wealth Management
- UBS: Wealth Management
1. Chase Private Client
Chase Private Client is a Private Client checking account that provides VIP service and exclusive benefits. In addition, Chase clients get access to investing advice and strategies from J.P. Morgan Wealth Management.
Some benefits of being a Chase Private Client include no basic banking fees worldwide, exclusive rates on Chase loans, higher banking limits, including ATM withdrawals and Zelle transfers, and priority service for your banking needs.
- You must have at least a $150,000 average daily balance in your Chase accounts
2. TD Bank Private Bank
TD Bank is one of the nation’s most popular banks, and its Private Banking services have a lower threshold than most banks at $750,000.
The TD Wealth Private Client Group provides high-net-worth individuals with a dedicated Relationship Manager to help with all their banking and financing needs. TD Bank creates customized banking and lending solutions for each Private Bank client.
The services include funding options above $250,000, concierge services for deposit accounts, flexible funding options, tiered interest rates on deposit accounts, assistance to maximize your rewards from your TD Bank Visa cards, and wealth planning for business owners.
- You must have at least $750,000 in assets
3. Wells Fargo: The Private Bank
Wells Fargo’s The Private Bank is aimed at wealthy individuals who need financial solutions tailored to their requirements.
The bank offers a team-based approach, meaning a whole team will be dedicated to the client’s account.
Additionally, clients get access to a signature Visa card with exclusive travel and shopping benefits, tailored fraud prevention support, higher transfer limits, and preferred foreign exchange rates.
Clients also get access to exclusive experiences and events and insights into the market to understand what to expect as the world evolves.
- You must have a $1 million account balance to become a Wells Fargo The Private Bank account customer.
4. Bank of America: Private Bank
Bank of America Private Bank is the private banking arm of Bank of America that is reserved for millionaires.
It offers several services that aren’t always found at private banks, like investment management, wealth planning, specialty asset management, and art services along with a Strategic Philanthropy & Grantmaking service, where an advisor helps you define your values, create a philanthropic strategy, and align your contributions and financial goals.
- You need at least $3 million in assets to open a Bank of America Private Bank account.
5. Morgan Stanley
Unlike many other banks in this list, Morgan Stanley is an investment bank owned by the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (also known as MUFG).
The Private Bank offers rewarding brokerage, savings, and CD accounts with enhanced perks for high net-worth customers.
CashPlus Platinum account holders get access to an annual bonus, no cash management fees, and unlimited ATM fee rebates. Private Bank account holders also get competitive loans using their investments as collateral, relationship pricing on mortgages, and a private banker.
Additionally, the private wealth management division offers customized services and solutions to individuals and families of significant means. Additionally, clients with at least $2 million invested get Reserve perks, including special travel rates, discounted concert tickets, and cashback on new car purchases.
- You must have at least $20 million in assets for private wealth management services. The minimum for private banking benefits varies based on your account balance, and the minimum for Morgan Stanley Reserved is $2 million.
6. Citibank: Private Bank
Citi Private Bank is the private banking department of Citibank. Its services are reserved for worldly and wealthy individuals and their families.
While eligible clients can get deposit and retirement accounts as you’d find at any other bank, there are also many specialized products and services. These include aircraft financing, investing, escrow, and agency services, art advisory and finance, and philanthropic strategies.
- You must have a minimum of $5 million invested
- You must have a net worth of $10 million
7. JP Morgan: Private Bank
J.P. Morgan Private Bank offers different services for different types of individuals with varying financial needs.
You’ll find planning and advice, investing, lending, trusts, estates, and banking services among their offerings.
Banking is available for both individuals and businesses. Some of the perks offered include no fees (even overdrafts and out-of-network ATM withdrawals get refunded), dedicated banking teams, and discounts on loan rates.
The services offered by JP Mortgage Private Bank also include financial planning, investing guidance, lending strategies, and personal and business banking services.
- You must have at least $10 million in assets
8. HSBC: Private Banking
HSBC Private Banking brings together the bank’s banking, investments, and wealth management expertise to offer wealthy individuals a complete financial management solution.
It focuses on business owners and their families and is available worldwide.
HSBC Private Banking services include investing, wealth planning, and bespoke financing.
Each high-net-worth individual gets access to HSBC’s multi-specialist approach.
Depending on your needs, this may include a credit advisor, investment strategist, product specialist, and investment counselor.
- You must be invited by HSBC and have your assets reviewed.
9. Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management
Goldman Sachs is a premier investment management institution that offers exclusive benefits for the ultra-wealthy. If you can meet the $10 million minimum, Private Wealth Management services could be well worth considering.
As a Private Wealth Management client at Goldman Sachs, you receive curated service tailored to your needs. The services include wealth management strategies, tax guidance, investment advice, access to alternative investments, and philanthropic guidance.
Clients get access to trust and estate planning, liquidity, and lending services. Goldman Sachs keeps a low client-to-advisor ratio for exceptional service, no matter where you are in the world, as they have a global reach.
- You must have $10 million in assets
10. UBS Wealth Management
UBS Wealth Management services ultra-high net worth individuals and their families through its global presence. It’s best suited to ultra high net worth individuals and families, with a $100 million minimum.
UBS offers access to wealth advisors who curate portfolios, estate plans, and legacy plans, as well as guidance for businesses.
The bank also provides exclusive networks that allow its customers to get in touch with other people who share the same interests and passions – all of whom are wealthy.
- You must have at least $100 million in assets in your family or across family offices
Benefits of Private Banking For The Ultra-Rich
Even though the required minimum balances are much higher for private banking accounts than standard, there are many benefits the rich can enjoy when becoming a private client.
While every bank differs, here are some of the most common benefits:
- Security and privacy: People with a high net worth have a much greater need for security and privacy. Most banks offering private client accounts put security at the forefront of their priorities.
- Concierge service: You are more than just a number when you are a private client. You’ll get dedicated service or sometimes a team of professionals that work together to ensure your experience is perfect.
- Exclusive pricing: Many banks offer relationship pricing for private clients, including higher APYs on deposit accounts, lower fees on investment accounts, and lower rates on loans.
- Higher limits: Most private client programs allow much higher limits on withdrawals, deposits, credit limits, and loans.
- Estate planning: Ultra-rich individuals have a greater need for estate planning to protect future generations. Private client banks usually offer tailored services to meet each client’s needs, including those regarding their property, assets, and charitable-giving wishes.
How is Banking Different for the Ultra-Rich?
Most high-net-worth individuals bank just like regular people, with a few exceptions. As a bank’s private client, they get access to many services that ordinary people do not.
The main difference is that they might be eligible for better interest rates. Still, most banks offer this to those with a higher account balance anyway.
The important thing to understand here is context. While a million dollars might sound like a lot of money, it may only guarantee access to some exclusive banks.
In most cases, you need more than one million to afford access to banks like Morgan Stanley, which are reserved for those who are very wealthy.
Here are some other factors that high net-worth individuals might consider.
A jurisdiction is an area, more often than not a country, with its own legal framework. The United States is its own jurisdiction (federal and state), and so are other countries with jurisdiction. A country can make its own laws, including tax laws, by owning its own legal framework.
Taxes are a big thing whether you have little money or a lot of money. No one likes to pay taxes which is why jurisdictions pay a lot of attention to their tax laws. While some countries have increased their taxes, others have done the opposite – they lowered them. By reducing taxes, they can attract investors who are invariably rich and their money. This gives them access to capital that would have previously been unavailable.
One of the options available to rich people is to move their money to a bank account in a jurisdiction that offers them lower tax rates. Since taxes should be paid in the U.S. anyway, they can set up a shell company in that jurisdiction and funnel money through it.
In fact, even companies take this route. Apple and Microsoft, for example, have major operations in Ireland. This country offers much lower tax rates but still has the necessary infrastructure to allow large companies to operate. It’s important to note that this is very different from offshore accounts.
Onshore vs. Offshore Accounts
An offshore account is simply a bank account held at a bank located outside of the U.S. It is perfectly legal to keep an offshore account – as long as all due taxes are paid. While many associate offshore accounts with tax avoidance, this is not always the case.
Most countries share information, including financial information. This makes it very difficult for anyone to hide money in a secret bank account offshore. Of course, some secretive jurisdictions do not share information with the U.S. or others, but these are actually few and far between.
Instead, what is more likely the driving force behind holding an offshore account is risk management.
The FDIC only insures an account up to $250,000 for U.S. millionaires or billionaires, this is a problem. There are cash management accounts that can help protect more, but this still isn’t a perfect solution.
What’s more, the FDIC only insures the money in the account and not its value against other currencies. The value of the US dollar fluctuates just like every other currency or investment. Sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it goes down. If you don’t have a lot of money, the difference will only be a few cents. But if you have millions, the difference will amount to thousands.
To protect themselves from adverse market conditions, the rich diversify their portfolio by moving some of their money offshore.
Money in a bank account is a type of liquid asset called cash. While cash is good to have, it does not grow as much as other types of investments.
A high-yield checking account will give you APY rates of up to 1%, while CD rates might go up to around 5.0%. While this might sound great, especially since the risk is relatively low, millionaires typically want a higher return on their money, even if it comes at a greater risk.
As such, millionaires will often hold different bank accounts that do not contain cash. Instead, it will have other types of assets, such as mutual funds, which are riskier but offer the possibility of bigger rewards.
Even so, some of their wealth is kept in bank accounts at home. They use the same banks most Americans use but tend to turn to the bank’s private banking arm instead of the personal one we all use.