I am Not Chase Private Client Worthy, It Seems, and Where is My Yacht?

Along with many of you I visited my local Chase branch last week to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. My neighborhood is the hot area for free-spending Chinese students at NYU and Cooper Union. The branch has been overwhelmed with a school year rush of new customers. Branch reception took my number and their business banker called me that afternoon.

I met the business banker once prior when opening a checking account and unsuccessfully submitting an Ink Bold application. He then mentioned Chase Private Client to me, and this time, as I  submitted a series of credit card applications, he talked up the virtues of Chase Private Client. His evidence for my suitability is limited. My business checking account seldom has more than the $1,500 to avoid monthly fees.

Chase Private Client

The gentleman is nice, however it should not take an expert salesperson to see I am not a Chris Christie-style New Jerseyan. I searched just now if it is New Jerseyan or -ite. Turns out I am supposed to dislike -ite. My address says New Jersey. My manner and accent say Midwest where millionaires often wear flannel shirts and drive Buicks. The spiel about the awesomeness of the lead Private Banker, ‘Top 1% in the country,’ and all the comps that will flow my way like an Atlantic City casino all had me thinking, Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?

Since all my apps went to pending I agreed to a follow-up appointment for an audience with the magnificent private banker. I would bring in my retirement account statements and receive an analysis ‘worth $1,000.’ The business banker would be on vacation.

Today came my appointment. Branch even packed with the young faces and P.R. China passports of my new neighbors. A friendly receptionist asked if I had an appointment, screwed up her face when I said the name of the private banker, and went in the back.

I saw her confer with the lead personal banker. She came back to say, “He already left for the day. Didn’t anyone inform you? Well, it sounds like a family emergency.”

Whether true or not, family emergency is always the reason given to a customer who has just wasted his time coming to the branch. I have not met the gentleman and if it is a genuine emergency I wish him and family the best.

Maybe I’ll hear from them again, maybe not. The sales process is when you put your best foot forward and they didnot muster a notification. If all my applications get denied I may still follow-up to see if they have a magic wand. Recent reports are that Chase Private Client advocacy/’special consideration’ only goes so far. Otherwise, pretty hard to see why I should come in again to hear about all the (future) attention I will receive in exchange for active management and high investment fees.

I am not worthy! 🙂

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  • I’d like the reputed credit-card benefits of being a Chase Private Client, but I don’t want to have some guy on commission tell me that I need to take all my retirement savings out of Vanguard index funds and put them into his less-desirable investment products. To me, it’s just not worth the cost.

    I’ve been told, by a reputable source, that each Chase branch office is different…some are friendly, some do the hard sell. Too bad that the branch closest to me was identified by that same source as ‘gotta meet the numbers, go sell!’

  • Jana

    This is spot on. I was preapproved for the card last week. So given the rush for the card and my concerns that they would reduce the bonus, I took (dragged?) my poor spouse to meet the banker. He was not preapproved and got the 7-10 day pending . While we were waiting for the application to process, we were treated to an extensive sales pitch by the JPMorgan guy, who assertively pushed for another meeting. We managed to be noncommittal while hopeful that the banker will push the credit application forward.

  • Shannon

    Why do you prefer such exotic neighborhood? It can be very frustrating and over crowded. Or you miss old times in China?

  • @Shannon – my wife chose it, I did not see it in advance, so I prefer what she prefers. 🙂 It is a a very quiet place and convenient for shopping and transport so I am happy she found it. The Chinese influx is recent and other than the elderly Chinese doing their morning dances earlier and louder as times go by, it is still a delight.

  • Bill

    CPC requires $250k, which for me is the end of the conversation.
    I’d love to pick up a Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I don’t have $250k to put in the bank. Oh well.

  • @Bill – I wish I had as well. The idea many have tried is to find ways to get in on a teaser, say $10k, with the inference that it will build up. From reports it seems CPC bankers not able to get approvals for clients over 5/24, so not worth it.