A safe deposit box — often referred to as a safety deposit — is a small, locked metal container stored in a vault within a bank. These boxes involve two sets of keys: one which remains with the bank and one which goes to the owner of the box. Both keys are required to open the safe deposit box, which provides an additional layer of security. The boxes provide a space that will hold and protect your valuable items or vital documents from any potential security risks or disasters. Most banks, even small, local ones, will have an area set aside for at least a small section of safe deposit boxes.

You pay an annual fee for the safe deposit box. In some cases, you can choose to rent an entire vault annually, though this option comes with a high price tag. You can either choose to be the sole owner of the box and its items or you can authorize specific people to also be able to get into the safe deposit box.

In This Article

Safe Deposit Box Sizes and Costs

In most banks, the smallest safe deposit box will be two by five by 12 inches (2 inches depth, 5 inches width, 12 inches length). A box of this size will be relatively cheap per year: think $15 to $35. The largest box (aside from the vault itself, which is so expensive it’s not even in the same category as a safe deposit box), will be around 15 by 22 by 22 inches (15 inches depth, 22 inches width, 22 inches length) and will cost you $100 to $300 per year. In rare cases with banks that were specifically designed for safe deposit boxes, this fee can reach $700). However, these are just the two extremes. Most banks will offer a variety of options between these two, with varying costs as well.

List of Safe Deposit Box Options at Major Banks

Specific safe deposit box prices vary even from branch to branch of the same bank. We obtained prices directly from each bank’s website or by contacting a customer service representative. Keeping in mind that these prices may vary by region, we’ve included a general phone number that will direct your call to a local branch which can tell you about specific prices in your area.

Neither banks nor the federal government automatically provides insurance for safe deposit boxes. Many banks will provide the option for you to purchase insurance, but this will be an added fee.

1. Bank of America

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $101 for a five by five inch box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 432-1000
  • Find your nearest Bank of America

2. BB&T Bank

Note: Capital One used to offer safe deposit boxes but no longer does. The locations that formerly had safe deposit boxes are now BB&T Bank branch locations.

  • Sizes available: Three by five inch and five by five inch
  • Annual rate: Three by five inch box for $21; five by five inch box for $40; Elite Gold account holders get a free 3″ x 5″ box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 226-5228
  • Find your nearest BB&T Bank

3. BMO Harris Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $40 to $110, depending on size; Premier Service clients receive a free three by five inch safe deposit box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (888) 340-2265
  • Find your nearest BMO Harris Bank

4. Chase Bank

  • Sizes available: Range from five by five inches to ten by ten inches
  • Annual rate: $55 to $190, depending on size; Premier Plus Checking account holders receive a free box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 935-9935
  • Find your nearest Chase Bank

5. Citibank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: Starting at $65 for a three by five inch box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (888) 248-4226
  • Find your nearest Citibank

6. Citizens Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $25 to $80
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 922-9999
  • Find your nearest Citizens Bank

7. Fifth Third Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $50 to $110; Preferred banking members or high-yield account holders get a free three by five inch box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (866) 671-5353
  • Find your nearest Fifth Third Bank

8. HSBC Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $65 to $140, depending on size; Premier checking account holders receive a free small safe deposit box, where available
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 975-4722
  • Find your nearest HSBC Bank

9. KeyBank

  • Sizes available: Varies by location
  • Annual rate: $55 to $275, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 539-2968
  • Find your nearest KeyBank

10. M&T Bank

  • Sizes available: Five by three inch; three by 10 inch; five by 10 inch
  • Annual rate: About $90 for a five by five inch box; about $105 for a three by 10 inch box; about $160 for a five by 10 inch box; Select checking account holders receive a 50% discount on safe deposit box rental
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 724-2440
  • Find your nearest M&T Bank

11. PNC Bank

  • Sizes available: Three by five inches; 10 by 10 inches
  • Annual rate: $35 to $100 inches, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (888) 762-2265
  • Find your nearest PNC Bank

12. Regions Bank

  • Sizes available: Two by five inches; 10 by 10 inches
  • Annual rate: $50 to $250, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 734-4667
  • Find the nearest Regions Bank

13. Santander Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $30 to $120, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (877) 768-2265
  • Find your nearest Santander Bank

14. SunTrust Bank

  • Sizes available: Three by five inches to 10 by 10 inches
  • Annual rate: $45 to $100, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 786-8787
  • Find your nearest SunTrust Bank

15. TD Bank

  • Sizes available: Nine square inches and up
  • Annual rate: $69 small (nine square inches); $85 medium (9.1 – 17.5 square inches); $125 large (17.6 – 27 square inches), and an additional $5 per square inch for over-sized boxes
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (888) 751-9000
  • Find your nearest TD Bank

16. United Bank

  • Sizes available: Vary by location
  • Annual rate: $40 to $150, depending on size
  • Extra insurance available? Yes
  • General phone number: (866) 959-2265
  • Find your nearest United Bank

17. U.S. Bank

  • Sizes available: Five by five inches; five by 10 inches
  • Annual rate: $110 to $130; Platinum or Premium account holders get 50% off the cost of a safe deposit box
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 872-2657
  • Find your nearest U.S. Bank

18. Wells Fargo

  • Sizes available: Varies by location
  • Annual rate: $30 to $120, depending on size
  • Extra insurance offered? Yes
  • General phone number: (800) 869-3557
  • Find your nearest Wells Fargo

Items You Should (And Should Not) Put in A Safe Deposit Box

Many banks will provide you with a list of items that you should put into a safe deposit box and other items that you should store elsewhere. In general, items that should go into a safe deposit box are items that you wouldn’t need in a hurry, that you don’t often need, and that you consider vital to your estate or your person. These are documents such as adoption papers, birth certificates, passports (if you’re not a frequent traveler), a copy of your will, car titles, saving bonds, and property deeds.

Documents aren’t the only thing you can (and should) store in a safe deposit back; small items that are precious to you are also a viable option. These items include jewelry, heirlooms, family keepsakes, valuable collections, and videos/pictures/inventories of your home possessions for insurance purposes. If you do decide to rent a safe deposit box, take pictures of all the items you put inside and store them on your computer and a hard drive that you know where to find. Though the boxes are incredibly well protected, natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes cannot be predicted, and you should plan for them just in case.

Items you shouldn’t put in your safe deposit boxes are a little trickier. Should you put cash in a safe deposit box? No. If your cash is in a bank account, it is protected by FDIC insurance, whereas there is no federal insurance for safe deposit boxes. You should also not include items you may need to get quickly or in an emergency, such as the only copy of your will, medical directives in case of illness or an emergency, original copies of power of attorney documents, and similar items. In general, if you need to have it on hand or quickly, don’t put it in a safe deposit box. However, copies of all these documents would definitely be a worthy addition to a safe deposit box.

In Summary

Safe deposit box prices correlate to size, and sometimes you’ll be eligible for a discount or a free box with your checking account. For small boxes, expect to pay less than $40 per year; for larger boxes, you can easily pay over $100. Remember to exercise caution when choosing what to put in a safe deposit box — while family keepsakes should be placed in a safe deposit box, documents you’d need to obtain quickly in case of an emergency are better kept on hand.