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26 Apr 2018

Should you ever open a 'premium' bank account?

How does HSBC's Premier bank account compare?

HSBC is relaxing the criteria for its premium bank account, HSBC Premier, to make it more accessible and family friendly.

Premium bank accounts are targeted at high-earners (with a salary of £75,000 or above) and often offer a more tailored banking service and other perks.

Changes to the HSBC Premier account include reducing the individual income requirement from £100,000 to £75,000.

Free travel insurance has also been added as a perk to for customers under the age of 70.

HSBC is also offering a number of benefits to help the children and grandchildren of HSBC Premier account-holders save for their future and get on to the property ladder.

Find out how HSBC Premier compares with other premium bank accounts on the market, and find the best bank account for you.

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What is a premium bank account?

Premium bank accounts are generally for people who earn high salaries (usually £75,000 and above) or who have significant investments or mortgage borrowing with their bank.

They are often seen as the middle ground between packaged bank accounts and private banking.

Premium bank accounts are similar to packaged bank accounts in the sense that they offer customers perks for being an account holder.

These perks include access to special mortgage rates, insurance, concierge services, discounts, or other financial products.

Unlike packaged bank accounts, however, premium bank accounts do not charge a monthly fee and don't usually pay interest on your balance, either.

HSBC Premier bank account

  • Min income requirement: £75,000
  • Perks: Travel insurance, special mortgage rates, special savings products for children and grandchildren
  • Monthly fee: £0

To be eligible for an HSBC Premier account, you must have either savings or investments with HSBC of £50,000 - or an individual annual income of £75,000 as well as an HSBC UK mortgage, investment life insurance or protection product.

The account also now offers travel insurance for customers under the age of 70, which covers a partner and dependent children under the age of 18 (or under the age of 23 if they're in full-time education).

HSBC has also introduced'special premier terms' on selected mortgages which will be available to customers' children or grandchildren to help them get on to the property ladder.

Customers will also be able to open a new 'save and grow' account for children aged 7-17 years old to help them save. If your child can save £50 or more by 2 December 2018, they will get a £10 bonus as a reward.

HSBC Premier customers are eligible for a £500 interest-free overdraft and can make cash withdrawals of up to £1,000 worldwide without being charged a cash withdrawal fee.

Until 30 June 2018, new customers that switch to an HSBC Premier bank account will get a free one night stay at a premium hotel in the UK.

Barclays Premier current account

  • Min Income requirement: £75,000
  • Perks: Special rates on savings, mortgages and loans, discounts on entertainment and travel
  • Monthly Fee: £0

To get a Barclays Premier current account you need to have an individual income of at least £75,000 paid into a Barclays account or £100,000 or more invested with Barclays.

Similarly to HSBC, Barclays Premier customers make daily cash withdrawals of up to £1,000 and are eligible to apply for a fee-free overdraft of up to £1,000.

Account holders can also apply for exclusive rates on mortgages, loans and savings accounts.

There are a number of entertainment perks available to Barclays Premier customers, such as discounts on dining out, free entry to 280 English Heritage sites, free membership to Picturehouse cinemas and access to the Barclays Premier Lounge at the O2 music arena in Greenwich, London.

Unlike HSBC, Barclays' Premier current account doesn't come with free insurance, but it is possible to add mobile phone insurance, gadget insurance, travel insurance or RAC breakdown cover for a monthly fee.

The current insurance tariffs are shown in the table below.

Insurance PackMonthly fee
Travel pack£10.50
Travel-plus pack£15.50

Citigold current account

  • Min income requirement: None but you must maintain a min balance of £150,000
  • Perks: Travel insurance, fee-free international transfers
  • Monthly Fee: £0

There is no minimum income requirement to open a Citigold account but you must maintain a monthly balance of £150,000 across all your Citi UK accounts, including investments.

Failing to do so will result in you being charged £75 a month for the account.

Citigold account holders also get free annual worldwide travel insurance, which covers travellers up until the age of 80 years old.

Customers of Citigold can also switch between three currencies (sterling, euros and US dollars), making it easier and cheaper to pay while abroad.

Finding the best bank account

Premium bank accounts certainly aren't for everyone and it's important to find the best bank account to suits your needs.

Shopping around can really help you find the best bank accounts on offer.

It's important to read the small print before opening a bank account so that you don't get caught out by things such as overdraft fees.

You should also consider the quality of customer service a bank offers, so that your queries and overall banking experience can be as smooth as possible.

For help on and tips on how to find the right bank account for you, check out our guide on thebest bank accountswhich uses impartial scores to rate the offers available.