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Is Citi’s new UHNW card the ultimate offering for (crazy) rich Asians?

Angel Ng and Michelle Yeoh at Citi ULTIMA Gala Dinner
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From golf at St Andrews, to private islands and supercar driving experiences, Citi Global Wealth (CGW) is aiming to cater to Asian UHNWIs’ skyrocketing needs for luxury and bespoke experiences with the launch of an exclusive new credit card.

The ULTIMA Mastercard credit card offers benefits including priority booking for Michelin-starred restaurants, complimentary hotel stays and air tickets, and access to European vineyards and distilleries. It also comes with a dedicated “lifestyle” RM.

The card is available to select Citi clients across Asia and was unveiled in Singapore and Hong Kong this week. The latter event was a gala dinner featuring Academy Award-winning actress and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ star Michelle Yeoh.

Angel Ng, Citi

“Citi’s ULTIMA proposition has etched its place as a leading and exclusive credit card for ultra-high net worth clients. The latest iteration of the card ensures that we continue to stay ahead of our clients’ needs and wants as their spending behaviours evolve,” said Angel Ng, Asia head of CGW, on Wednesday. “The partnership between our credit cards and private banking businesses is helping us to unlock new opportunities to expand and deepen our client relationships in the UHNW segment.”

Spending on luxury goods and bespoke experiences has been rising following the re-opening of Asian economies post-COVID-19. In 1H 2023 such spending rose by 56% in Singapore and 36% in Hong Kong, compared to the same period in 2019. Shopping, dining and travel were the leading spend categories.

“The Asia Pacific region has experienced a strong and sustained economic recovery post-pandemic. It is now home to 30% of the world’s UHNW population and in recent years has seen the affluent segment in Singapore and Hong Kong expand,” added Jason Lane, executive vice president, global account management, Mastercard.

This trend has also been evident among rival private banks in Asia, including UOB.

Jacquelyn Tan, the head of group personal financial services at UOB, told APB in an exclusive interview last month that there had been a 30% surge in credit card consumer spending in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam post-COVID-19, with a focus towards travel, luxury and fine dining.

Below is a rundown of some of the ULTIMA card’s benefits:

Ultimate Dedication

  • Dedicated ULTIMA Lifestyle Relationship Managers

Ultimate Horizons

  • Golf at St. Andrews with a Pro or Golfing experience at the Open
  • Access to luxury private islands in different regions across Asia and the Pacific Islands
    with full-service resorts for personal and family retreats
  • Access to renowned distilleries and vineyards in Europe
  • Supercar drive experiences – on racetracks around the world and exclusive tours to automotive museums
  • Complimentary one-night stay with a minimum of two consecutive nights booked at over
    900 luxurious participating properties worldwide
  • Complimentary companion airfare with a purchase of a full fare First or Business class ticket on eight participating airlines

Ultimate Indulgence

  • Access to priority booking for designated Michelin restaurants in Hong Kong and chef-
    curated exclusive dinners in Singapore through the bank’s partnership with Michelin Guide

Ultimate Balance

  • Exclusively curated wellness retreats

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