Citizens Introduces Private Client Mastercard with Touch Card
This week, Citizens Bank introduced a new credit card that not only appeals to its top-tier customers but will also utilize a brand new feature. As the bank announced, the new Citizens Private Client World Elite Mastercard will be the first in the United States to utilize Mastercard’s Touch Card.
About the card:
With the Citizens Private Client credit card, customers can earn unlimited 2% back on all purchases. Additionally, the card will offer a rebate on TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees as well as access to more than 1,300 airport lounges (presumably via Priority Pass Select).
As the name implies, the Citizens Private Client Mastercard is only available to those with Citizens Private Client Checking accounts. In order to qualify for a Private Client checking account, customers will need to maintain a balance of at least $200,000 between their Citizen deposit and investment accounts. The bank also notes that those who open the card while meeting the requirement but then lose their eligibility will incur a $195 annual fee.
Mastercard Touch Card:
Beyond the rewards and benefits of the Private Client card, what makes this offering unique is its use of Mastercard’s Touch Card feature. Originally announced in 2021, Touch Card aims to improve accessibility for customers who are blind or partially sighted by providing a tactile notch on the card’s side. This is meant to help consumers identify whether they’re grabbing a debit card (with a rounded notch), a prepaid card (with a triangular notch), or a credit card (with a squared notch).
What they’re saying:
Announcing the debut of the new card, Citizens’ Vice Chairman and Head of Consumer Banking Brendan Coughlin said, “The launch of the Citizens Private Client metal card is another strong step in building a world-class offering for our Private Client customers.” Coughlin continued, “We are committed to being our customers’ trusted financial advisor by providing cutting-edge products, advice and experiences that reward them for their business and loyalty. This innovative launch with Mastercard is another example of the continued value our customers receive when banking with Citizens.”
Starting with the rewards aspects of the Citizens Private Client Mastercard, while the card does amount to a decent deal for those who already qualify for it, the card isn’t all that exciting overall. For example, given the number of 2% flat rate cards that now exist, making this the main selling point of a card that’s meant for premium customers leaves something to be desired. Plus, there’s no mention of any welcome bonus on Citizens’ site, marking another potential blow to this card’s viability for customers. On the other hand, including a Priority Pass does make the card fairly unique for what is (technically) a no-annual-fee card.
That said, for those who aren’t Citizens Private Client customers and don’t plan to be, a good alternative might be the Capital One Venture X, which includes 2x points on all purchases and a Priority Pass Select among other benefits. Although that card does have a $395 annual fee, that’s heavily offset by the up to $300 in annual statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel.
As for the Touch Card component, it is cool to see that Mastercard’s feature will finally debut. Unfortunately, this debut product is fairly limited, so it’s unclear how many people who might benefit from such a feature will be able to utilize it. Nevertheless, it is a start.
All in all, while the Citizens Private Client Mastercard certainly isn’t for everyone, its introduction feels like a net good thanks to the Touch Card roll-out and the potential for customers to gain a solid rewards base for their credit card portfolios.