We study the existence of the numéraire portfolio under predictable convex constraints in a general semimartingale model of a financial market. The numéraire portfolio generates a wealth process, with respect to which the relative wealth processes of all other portfolios are supermartingales. Necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of the numéraire portfolio are obtained in terms of the triplet of predictable characteristics of the asset price process. This characterization is then used to obtain further necessary and sufficient conditions, in terms of an arbitrage-type notion. In particular, the full strength of the “No Free Lunch with Vanishing Risk” (NFLVR) is not needed, only the weaker “No Unbounded Profit with Bounded Risk” (NUPBR) condition that involves the boundedness in probability of the terminal values of wealth processes. We show that this notion is the minimal a-priori assumption required, in order to proceed with utility optimization. The fact that it is expressed entirely in terms of predictable characteristics makes it easy to check, something that the stronger NFLVR condition lacks.