Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box? (2024)

Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box? (1)

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Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box? (3)

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Have you been wondering if your documents and valuables are secure? Perhaps you saw a movie with a spy rifling through several fake IDs and different currencies in a safety deposit box and got curious about which bank has the cheapest safety deposit box.

Safety Deposit Box 101

A safety deposit box is an individual locked container stored inside the vault of a federally insured bank or credit union. They use a dual key system, where the bank or credit union controls the key to unlock the vault and the renter controls the key to their safety deposit box.

Another layer of security is the authorized signature. When the account is opened, anyone who is authorized to access the safety deposit box will put their signature on file with the bank.

Most safety deposit boxes range from 3″ x 5″ to 10″ x 10″. The bigger the safety deposit box, the more it will cost to rent. The location also affects the fee for a safety deposit box.

How To Rent a Safety Deposit Box

Find a location near you with a safety deposit box available for the time you need it. Be sure the bank’s hours work in your schedule so you can access your items when needed.

Next, fill out a rental agreement. This will outline what is allowed in the safety deposit box, the fees and if there is any insurance available. After signing the rental agreement and verify your identity, you’ll get the keys to the safety deposit box.

Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box?

The cheapest safety deposit boxes can currently be found at Erie Federal Credit Union, Ent Credit Union, Local Government Federal Credit Union and First Bank & Trust. For the cost of a safety deposit box at other banks that still offer the service, check out the table below.

BankCheapest BoxSize of Box
ANB Bank$30 per year3″ x 5.5″ x 24″
Vibe Credit Union$30 per year5″ x 5″
Columbia Bank$25 per year2″ x 5″
Ent Credit Union$15 per year3″ x 5″ x 24″
First Service Credit Union$25 per year3″ x 5″
First Bank & Trust$20 per year3″ x 5″
Erie Federal Credit Union$15 per year3″ x 5″
Local Government Federal Credit Union$18 per year3″ x 5″
People First Federal Credit Union$30 per year2″ x 5″
Truist$45 per year3″ x 5″
Lake City Bank$60 per year3″ x 10″

How Much Does a Safety Deposit Box Cost at Bank of America?

Some banks, like Chase and Bank of America, Member FDIC, are discontinuing their safety deposit box services altogether. Banks are saying that the cost of the service is too high and many smaller branches just don’t have room.

What Do People Store in Safety Deposit Boxes?

People can store anything they think is valuable in a safety deposit box. That includes items with financial or sentimental value like copies of contracts, marriage or birth certificates, or family heirlooms.

Things Not To Store in a Safety Deposit Box

Each bank or credit union has its own rules about when renters can access their boxes, so it’s not a good idea to store anything that might be needed quickly or unexpectedly, like a passport or COVID-19 vaccine card. Most places will not allow users to store weapons, illegal items or cash in their safety deposit boxes. Even if cash were allowed, there are a lot better places to store it, like an investment.

Even though a will is like a contract, it should not be kept in a safety deposit box unless the beneficiaries are authorized to access it. Otherwise, loved ones may need a court order to access the box after death.

Are Bank Safety Deposit Boxes Worth It?

This depends on what is stored in it. Different people have different situations. A safety deposit box could be very useful for someone who often has people in their home when they aren’t present, like shared housing or for people who frequently move within the same area.

Here are more pros and cons of using safety deposit boxes.

Pros of Using Safety Deposit Boxes

  • Only the box renter and the people they authorize can access the items inside.
  • Items in a safety deposit box cannot be misplaced.
  • Banks and credit unions have several layers of security that homes may not have. It is easier for a thief to steal from a home than from a bank or credit union.
  • Safety deposit boxes are cheaper than home safes in the short term.

Cons of Using Safety Deposit Boxes

  • Safety deposit boxes can only be accessed when the bank or credit union is open, not in the middle of the night or on holidays.
  • Vaults are not disaster-proof. Items should be in waterproof and fireproof bags.
  • Items in safety deposit boxes are not covered under the FDIC and may need additional insurance.
  • If the rent isn’t paid, the owner may lose the items in the safety deposit box.

What Is Better Than a Safety Deposit Box?

Since no one can predict the future, it is hard to say what would be better. Even in areas with a high risk of natural disasters, items would be better off in a safety deposit box if the renter has people they don’t trust in their home.

An alternative to a safety deposit box is a fireproof home safe. These safes are small and fairly inexpensive. Though it would take years of safety deposit box rental to equal the same cost as buying a home safe, if long-term use is the goal, then a home safe could be cheaper.

Fireproof and waterproof document safes are portable and rated to keep documents, flash drives or other small items safe during house fires. Many can also keep items safe when submerged in water from floods or pipes bursting.

For bigger items or added security, a safe that bolts to the floor is an option as well. They are more expensive, but they cannot be carried out of the house if someone breaks in.

Final Take

Safety deposit boxes are not perfect for every situation or item. For valuables that won’t need to be accessed immediately or unexpectedly, a safety deposit box is a good idea.

Information is accurate as of Nov. 7, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box? (2024)

FAQs

Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box? ›

Exploring alternative options such as home safes, virtual safes, and private vault facilities can provide you with the security and convenience you desire. Additionally, considering insurance options can offer added financial protection.

What is the best alternative to a bank safe deposit box? ›

Exploring alternative options such as home safes, virtual safes, and private vault facilities can provide you with the security and convenience you desire. Additionally, considering insurance options can offer added financial protection.

How much is a small safe deposit box at bank of America? ›

Average Safety Deposit Box Prices
Box Size (inches)3×55×10
Bank of America$77$152
Chase$83$220
Wells Fargo$60$100
PNC$40
1 more row
Apr 2, 2023

Do banks check what you put in a safety deposit box? ›

The safe deposit box is a storage space you rent from the bank. Its contents are kept private, and the bank doesn't know what you put in there.

Why are banks discontinuing safety deposit boxes? ›

One reason that banks are exiting this space is that customers are simply not using these services as much as they used to. With the rise of online banking and digital storage options, many people are choosing to keep their important documents and valuables in electronic form rather than in a physical safe.

Which bank has the cheapest safe deposit box? ›

Which Bank Has the Cheapest Safety Deposit Box?
BankCheapest BoxSize of Box
Local Government Federal Credit Union$18 per year3″ x 5″
People First Federal Credit Union$30 per year2″ x 5″
Truist$45 per year3″ x 5″
Lake City Bank$60 per year3″ x 10″
7 more rows

Is it OK to keep cash in a safe deposit box? ›

It's also unwise to store cash or similar investments in a safe deposit box. Since these won't be earning interest, you would actually be losing money due to the bank's leasing fees. To get the most out of your money, you consider looking for the best high-yield savings accounts.

What is the difference between a safe deposit box and a safety deposit box? ›

A safe deposit box, also known as a safety deposit box, is an individually secured container, usually held within a larger safe or bank vault. Safe deposit boxes are generally located in banks, post offices or other institutions.

Are bank safe deposit boxes worth it? ›

A safe deposit box can offer secure, reliable storage for valuables and important documents. This type of storage can be useful if you're uncomfortable storing documents digitally or have valuables you can't keep safe at home. It's also helpful if you move often or are prone to misplacing important items.

What happens to the contents of a safe deposit box? ›

If the property remains unclaimed and is classified as abandoned, the bank may be required to transfer the contents of the safe deposit box to the state treasurer or unclaimed-property office in a process called escheat.

What are the disadvantages of a safe deposit box? ›

Cons. Limited access: You can only access your safe deposit box during the institution's business hours. Fees: There's a yearly fee associated with maintaining a box. Other options, such as home safes, have only a one-time cost.

Can the IRS check safety deposit boxes? ›

IRS representatives cannot arbitrarily gain access to your box. However, they can serve a Notice of Levy or Seizure requiring us to freeze your box. The IRS requests that you open the box in the presence of their representatives.

How much cash can you keep at home legally in the US? ›

The government has no regulations on the amount of money you can legally keep in your house or even the amount of money you can legally own overall. Just, the problem with keeping so much money in one place (likely in the form of cash) — it's very vulnerable to being lost.

What is safer than a safe deposit box? ›

You're better off stashing your cash in a bank deposit account, like a savings account or certificate of deposit, than in a home safe or a safe deposit box. Among the reasons: "Cash that's not in a deposit account isn't protected by FDIC insurance," noted Luke W.

What happens to safe deposit boxes when a bank collapses? ›

If your bank fails, you likely will be able to retrieve the contents of your safe deposit box. If another bank acquires your bank's branches, you can contact that bank to ask about accessing your safe deposit box. If the failed bank isn't bought by another bank, the FDIC will contact you about your safe deposit box.

How much does a lock box cost at bank of America? ›

Annual cost of safe deposit boxes by bank and size
3" x 5"3" x 10"
Bank of America$75$150
Chase$50$90
Wells Fargo$80$125
US Bank$63$112
3 more rows
Mar 31, 2017

What is a disadvantage of using a safe deposit box? ›

Limited Access: Access to a bank safety deposit box is restricted to the bank's operating hours. If you need to retrieve or update your estate planning documents outside of these hours, you may face delays. This limitation can be inconvenient, especially during emergencies when immediate access is required.

What are the alternatives to bank lockers? ›

Alternatives to traditional bank lockers, such as home safes or vault services, are good options and provide several benefits. Modern alternatives often come with advanced security features, including biometric locks and connected systems that alert you to any security breaches.

Why are safe deposit boxes not as popular as they used to be? ›

If bank boxes are much more expensive than, say, a home safe or a home security system, customers will opt for the latter. Safe deposit also came with a handful of legal headaches. Banking industry executives fretted over hypothetical scenarios about when they would let a customer in to see their valuables.

Are safe deposit boxes worth it? ›

A safe deposit box can offer secure, reliable storage for valuables and important documents. This type of storage can be useful if you're uncomfortable storing documents digitally or have valuables you can't keep safe at home. It's also helpful if you move often or are prone to misplacing important items.

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