Add Napa wineries, tours of Petra and a stay in a Versailles hotel to the list of perks Bank of America’s biggest spenders can now expect.
In the high-stakes battle for affluent clients, the bank is rolling out a host of travel sweeteners to ultra-high-net-worth customers. It’s partnered with the luxury-travel firm Indagare to offer the experiences to members with more than $10 million in their accounts.
Banks have gone head to head in the fight for the wealthy across the U.S. as consumers with more money both spend and save. For companies like Bank of America, securing affluent card customers can help line up assets for the firm’s wealth management business.
In one example of the perks — which are being offered to the bank’s Diamond Honors members — clients could get a trip to Paris, complete with visits to artist studios, private homes and ending with a stay at the first hotel located on the grounds of Versailles, dining on cuisine created by chef Alain Ducasse. In another, guests will take a private tour of Petra in Jordan at night.
“Travel is intensely in demand right now, especially as we emerge from the pandemic,” Chris Curtin, head of rewards at Bank of America, said in an interview. “Many of our clients would rather spend money on a fantastic trip rather than an expensive car. Two-thirds of affluent people are already planning their next vacation.”
Despite high inflation, consumers continue to spend and racked up savings over the pandemic. Last year, the firm’s private bank and Merrill arm brought in around 1,025 new clients with at least $10 million in assets, up 40% from 2020 and 47% from 2019.
Bank of America revamped its rewards program late last year, debuting a new $550-a-year metal credit card that offers extra points on travel and dining purchases along with a $300 travel credit. The top rewards tiers give customers access to perks such as driving exotic cars and the ability to book private jets.
“People are interested in having someone else curate the best way to spend their time,” Indagare CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley said. “They are flooding back to destinations and doing it at a really high quality.”