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Banking 101: What Does a Safe Deposit Box Cost? Average Rates By Size


Written by Dillon Thompson | Published on March 1, 2020

Note: This article is part of our Basic Banking series, designed to provide new savers with the key skills to save smarter.

We spoke with numerous banks around the country and found that annual safe deposit box prices can range from as low as $49 for a 3-by-5-inch box to as high as $360 for some 10-by-10-inch options. Here’s a pricing selection for some of the big national banks: 

  • Bank of America: The most popular sizes rent for $60 to $125, but Bank of America suggested that customers reach out to individual branches for exact pricing for specific sizes. 
  • Chase: Safe deposit box pricing varies state by state, but Chase offered the following pricing for its Florida branches: $55 for a 3-by-5 box; $80 for 5-by-5; $80 for 3-by-10; $105 for 5-by-10; and $165 for 10-by-10.
  • PNC Bank: Costs can differ based on the type of PNC account you have, in addition to your location. The bank offered average prices on some of its most popular sizes: $49 for a 3-by-5 box; $77 for 3-by-10; $103 for 5-by-10; and $146 for 10-by-10. 
  • TD Bank: This bank noted that prices are likely to fall within a set range for the most commonly used sizes: $70 to $120 for 5-by-5; $70 to $170 for 3-by-10; $100 to $240 for 5-by-10; and $150 to $360 for 10-by-10.

Representatives for other major banks — including Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank — recommended that customers reach out to their local branch, as prices and size availability can vary widely based on location. 

In this article we will cover:

Where can I get safe deposit box discounts?

Many credit unions and banks offer discounts for their safe deposit boxes, such as special deals for customers with certain checking accounts. Here’s a bank-by-bank breakdown, which could help you save some cash. 

  • Bank of America: Preferred Rewards members who are Platinum or Platinum Honors tier members are able to rent a small safe deposit box for no charge. Additionally, the bank offers a 15% annual discount (up to $70) for customers who sign up for automatic payments from a Bank of America account. 
  • Chase: Premier Plus Checking account holders get a free small-sized box — subject to availability — plus a 20% discount on larger options. 
  • PNC Bank: Consumers with the bank’s premium, Performance Select checking account get a $100 annual discount, plus an additional $5 off annually if the payments auto-deduct from your account. 
  • Regions: Customers with a checking account get 30% off their rental, plus an additional 10% off when they set up automatic payments.
  • U.S. Bank: Customers who are current or former military service members — and those who are 65 and older — receive a 50% discount. Customers with the bank’s Platinum Checking account also get 50% off. 

The cost of a safe deposit box can depend on which bank or credit union branches are a convenient distance from your home, the size of the safe deposit box you need and possible discounts. You’ll need to understand your options and do some research.

How do I find a safe deposit box near me?

Finding a safe deposit box near you depends on which bank or credit union branches are available in your area. The best place to start is with your own bank since it’s hopefully familiar to you — and, as noted above, you might get a discount.

But if that doesn’t seem like the right fit, take a look at other nearby branches. The teller or manager at any branch should be able to tell you exactly what’s available and give you price comparisons for each size. Before doing that, it might be worth taking stock of what you want to keep in your box — that way you’ll know how much space you need. 

Private vault companies, which exist separately from banks and sometimes offer greater security, are another option. However, these companies often charge more than traditional banks, with annual prices starting at a few hundred dollars for small sizes. 

It’s worth noting that for any institution, the cost of each safe deposit box can also vary from branch to branch. You can use these examples as guidelines, but ultimately you should call your local branches to get specific pricing before making a decision.

Safe deposit box FAQ

What is a safe deposit box?

A safe deposit box is a secure place to store valuable items outside your home. They’re typically kept in vaults inside banks and credit unions, featuring round-the-clock security — making them a great place to store items that you want to keep safe but don’t need every day. 

How can I get a no-cost safe deposit box?

It depends on your bank, but some financial institutions offer a small box for premium account holders. For example, Bank of America Platinum or Platinum Honors customers get a no-cost safe deposit box, and so do customers who have Chase’s Premier Plus Checking. 

Can I keep cash in a safe deposit box?

Most banks allow you to keep cash in a safe deposit box, but it’s not recommended. Cash kept in safe deposit boxes is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), meaning your money is not covered if it gets lost, damaged or stolen. Additionally, it’s usually better to keep cash where you can access it quickly if needed.

What should — and shouldn’t — you put in a safe deposit box?

Some things commonly kept in a safe deposit box include family heirlooms, expensive jewelry, U.S. savings bonds and the original versions of important documents such as birth certificates, car titles and property deeds. It’s best to avoid keeping passports and other ID forms in your box, as you might need those items more often. Additionally, you should speak with your attorney about where to keep things like your will and power of attorney documents. 

Are there safety deposit box regulations about what you can put inside?

What you can or can’t keep inside your safety deposit box ultimately comes down to your bank’s individual rules. Bank of America, for example, prohibits liquids, drugs, weapons and a litany of other substances. That’s why it’s best to check with your financial institution when you’re deciding what to store.

What happens if I lose my safety deposit box key?

You should notify your bank immediately if you lose your key; it will want to change your lock in order to prevent fraud or theft. That said, losing your key can be a costly mistake, as banks might charge a hefty “drilling fee” for the price of paying a locksmith to open your box.

Are safe deposit boxes insured?

The contents of safe deposit boxes are not insured by the FDIC or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). However, some banks may offer partial insurance, so it’s worth checking with yours about what options you might have. Private companies, meanwhile, will often provide insurance for customers, but again, their services can cost more than traditional options.

How safe are safety deposit boxes?

The FDIC noted that safe deposit boxes are often more secure than home safes, which could be compromised if, for example, a burglar broke into your home. But the organization also warned that items in any safe or box may be vulnerable to fires, floods and other damage, which is why it’s worth taking precautions about how you store your items (for example, zippered plastic bags might protect documents in the event of water damage).

What are some safe deposit box alternatives?

Home safes are one of the most common and popular alternatives available. They’re expensive but often provide full customization and the convenience of having your belongings with you at home. Another home option is a “diversion box,” which is smaller, cheaper and meant to be disguised as an everyday object like a clock or large book. 

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