Why It’s Tough to Get a Good Price on Cremation

Konstantin Tronin / Shutterstock.com

The national average cost of a basic cremation — with no additional services — is $2,057.

However, from one city to another — and even from one funeral home to another — the cost can vary from less than $1,000 to more than $9,000, according to a recent analysis by Parting.com.

As the website sums it up:

“Same service, drastically different price.”

Parting.com aims to bring transparency to the funeral industry by helping you compare funeral homes, including their prices.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to give you certain financial information under certain circumstances, such as price information if you request it by phone or a price list if you visit a funeral home.

However, the rule does not require funeral homes to publish such information on their websites. Parting.com notes:

Tough access to comparison shopping seems to affect pricing.

For its cremation cost comparison, Parting.com examined price ranges for direct cremation in the 40 largest U.S. cities.

Direct cremation entails only cremating remains and returning the ashes to the family, according to Parting.com. Aside from scientific donation, it’s often the most affordable option.

Costs for a cremation memorial, on the other hand, include cremation and a memorial service.

Parting.com describes the cremation process itself as “relatively straightforward” with no more than “minor differences,” depending on the funeral home. Yet the website found that in New York, the most expensive parlor offers direct cremation services at a price 18 times higher than that of the lowest-priced parlor.

New York ranked No. 1 in price disparity because costs ranged from $550 to $10,125 — a gap of $9,575.

The cities with the widest ranges are:

  1. New York: $9,575
  2. Washington, D.C.: $6,895
  3. Houston: $6,120
  4. Dallas: $5,440
  5. Indianapolis: $5,170
  6. Chicago: $3,700
  7. Charlotte, North Carolina: $3,495
  8. Virginia Beach, Virginia: $3,430
  9. Pittsburgh: $3,200
  10. Baltimore: $3,190

To learn more about why cremation is growing in popularity, check out “7 Reasons Cremation Is Becoming America’s Favorite Last Act.”

For help keeping funeral costs manageable, check out “15 Ways to Have a Memorable Funeral on the Cheap.”

How do you feel about the wide price range for basic cremations? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big.

7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time
7 Ways Coupons Waste Your Money and Time

Here’s why I hung up my scissors and quit clipping coupons.

9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money
9 Free Things That Used to Cost Us Money

Not everything is getting more expensive.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories