Aimed at above-average earners, premier or premium bank accounts offer a more personalised service than you would receive on a standard account. But how do they benefit your finances? We find out.

If you want a more personalised style of banking, it might be worth upgrading to a premier or elite account. To find out if you qualify, the first step is to check your salary slip. While premier bank accounts are not as hard to get as private bank accounts (which cater to millionaires and billionaires), there are still restrictions.

You either need a solid minimum balance – sometimes as high as AED 350,000 pa or more – or a higher minimum salary. If you don’t have either, strike a premier account off your list of must-haves. If you do qualify, however, you might want to compare the selection available.

But what are the benefits of having an elite account?

  • Well, you will have a dedicated relationship manager with fewer clients to handle than a standard bank account relationship manager. This is because higher earners tend to have more complex financial needs and therefore need more time devoted to their investments and general financial affairs.
  • There are also a number of other perks and lifestyle benefits, which can include airport lounge access, free meet-and-greet services at Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, free golf sessions and more.
  • Perhaps the biggest benefit, however, is preferential rates on personal finance products. Some come with free overdrafts, free credit cards, free travel insurance and accounts that come in multiple currencies. You can also withdraw higher amounts from the cash point.

However, there are downsides:

  • You need to earn a big salary, so if you are only just above the threshold you should consider it carefully. This is because some premier accounts come with a monthly or annual fee. So while you might get more attention from the bank, you are paying for that attention.
  • Also the interest rate is the same as a standard account – so that large minimum balance will not be working for you as well as it might be in a savings or fixed deposit bank account.
  • The other thing to consider is that some people don’t use all the added extras that come with their premier account. So if they are treating their premier account like a standard account, they might as well ditch it and save on the annual fee.