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Best Gold IRA Companies Reviews: Top 3 precious metals IRA comparison
This is not a financial Advice Article. Refer to a professional for financial advice. This page has affiliate links that recommend Augusta Precious Metals, Goldco, and American Hartford Gold Group. The Positive or Negative Reviews may not be independent or neutral.
Gold investing is a smart way to diversify a personal portfolio and protect your wealth against inflation, market volatility, and economic recessions. One way to invest in gold and other precious metals is by buying a gold individual retirement account (IRA).
This self-directed, specialized IRA permits gold, silver, palladium, or platinum ownership. Upon your retirement, you have the option to liquidate these assets to dollars or withdraw the physical gold. For this purpose, finding the Best Gold IRA Companies is important.
The best gold IRA providers have the expertise, experience, and resources to make your gold investing a stress-free experience. It is common knowledge that not all companies offering gold IRAs are created equal. Some have shady reputations and hidden fees that could cost you more over time. Reputable companies are transparent with their dealings and ensure that their clients have no trouble setting up the gold IRA account which can be complicated, especially to new investors. If you want to convert your existing 401(k) or regular IRA to a Gold IRA, the best companies can easily make a rollover from paper assets (stocks, bonds, index funds) into gold coins or bullions investments.
Unlike the traditional individual retirement account (IRA) that is easy to set up and is maintained by a custodian, gold IRA management is a bit complex. This self-directed IRA requires choosing an approved depository to store the purchased gold that comes with the account. Upon purchase, the precious metals of your choice would be transferred immediately to the depository under the protection of the custodian. Working with a well-experienced gold IRA firm makes investing a breeze and without an iota of doubt.
To make your journey to gold IRA investing easy, we rounded up the best companies with the highest consumer approval ratings and stellar reputation in the industry.
The 3 Best Gold IRA Companies of 2021
- Augusta Precious Metals: Best gold IRA company overall
- American Hartford Gold: Best gold IRA reviews
- GoldCo: Easiest gold IRA setup
Augusta Precious Metals is voted as the best gold IRA company in the investment industry. It offers gold and silver-backed retirement accounts for individuals who want to diversify their financial portfolio and hedge their retirement egg nest against market volatility. Established in 2012, Augusta Precious Metals offers lifetime customer support and online educational seminars about investment risks, rewards, and opportunities. This family-owned company believes that financial preparation and savings for retirement are not a sprint, but a marathon. It considers clients as partners that need constant guidance on emerging trends and significant issues that impact the gold IRAs.
This company is committed to helping you grow your money and achieve your retirement goals. It will guide you balance your retirement savings, letting you enjoy a comfortable life during your senior years.
With a team of dedicated and passionate professionals, Augusta Precious Metals will be at your side from start to finish, answering your questions and explaining things that you find confusing.
- A customer success agent will be assigned to you, making you well-informed about their gold IRA account features and benefits.
- You will be enlightened by the company’s education team about the updated investment information and the precious metal market’s current status.
- The order desk of the company will create your portfolio based on your selected precious metals.
- You get a free copy of the gold IRA investment guide that helped Quarterback Hall of Famer Joe Montana to diversify his retirement account.
When it comes to price transparency, Augusta Precious Metals tops the list. For qualified purchases, this company does not charge management, insurance, or shipping fees. The scheme and fee structure of Augusta are straightforward with a 7-day price protection guarantee for fair pricing. Moreover, it offers a 100% refund for new customers.
Augusta is a member of the National Ethics Association. BBB gave it an A+ rating while it received an AAA from BCA for transparency and integrity. It also earned consistent Highest Honor for 5 consecutive years from TrustLink, Very High Rating of 4.9 out of 5 in Consumer Affairs, Highest Rating of 5.5 in Facebook, Most Trusted in the U.S. and Very High Rating of 4.8 in Google My Business.
The minimum gold IRA investment is $25,000 to $50,000 with an annual fee of $180. Setting up an account is easy with only 4 steps to follow:
- 1: Submit your application here.
- 2: Speak with a representative to get your account set up.
- 3: Transfer value to your new account.
- 4: Select your preferred precious metal, and place an order.
The transaction will be handled by the confirmation team who will verify your order and finalize the details through a recorded voice call. The rest of the paperwork is wrapped up by your assigned specialist.
This company is the standard in customer service. You can always reach out for answers via online chat or phone call. New investors are assisted by the account specialists during the onboarding process and are given continuing services. This client-centered approach results in customers’ peace of mind, trust, and loyalty. With a self-directed gold IRA account, you control your holdings, but you will always be guided by the company’s assigned specialist to your account.
Augusta Precious Metals has depository partners across the United States to hold your physical assets. The list includes Brink’s Global Services USA, Texas Precious Metals Depository, International Depository Services, Idaho Armored Vault, Dakota Depository Company, CNT Depository, and A-M Global Logistics.
It offers premium gold and silver, gold bullion and silver bullion, and several select precious coins. No commission is added to the listed prices of the precious metals. It also has a great buy-back policy program.
The drawbacks when you invest in Augusta are the high minimum investment requirement for Gold IRA and the limited selection of metals. It does not have palladium or platinum.
American Hartford Gold is a trusted and leading company in Gold IRA and the precious metals industry. It specializes in the diversification of individual retirement accounts (IRA), 401k, and TSP accounts by allowing investors to add precious metals to their holdings. Its collection of IRA-eligible assets includes bullions, bars, and coins of gold, silver, and platinum from the U.S., Swiss, Canadian, Australian, South African, and Austrian mints.
It is a family-owned and operated firm that is committed to helping clients protect their retirement savings and wealth. Its precious metals delivery record showed more than $500 million and counting. They deliver the physical assets straight to the doorstep of investors. Since its inception in 2016, American Hartford Gold has been reaping lots of recognition and excellent customer satisfaction ratings due to its expertise, comprehensive knowledge, and personalized care for clients.
American Hartford Gold places a high priority on customer satisfaction by delivering quality customer service, extensive investment data and market research, complete cost disclosure before the final sale, and an exclusive buyback program. The company’s experts provide assistance to customers – from precious metals selection, purchase, to selling processes. Its BuyBack Commitment allows clients to sell the assets and avoid liquidation fees.
To open a self-directed Gold IRA account, the company uses a 3-step process.
- 1: Accomplish and submit the form on the website to get the assistance of a Product Specialist to complete the necessary paperwork.
- 2: Make a fund transfer to your new account or initiate a rollover from your traditional IRA or Roth IRAs (401k, 403k).
- 3: Select IRS-approved precious metals.
American Hartford Gold has no minimum requirement to open a Gold IRA and does not charge set up and rollover costs. It also provides free shipping of your physical asset to the depository, including tracking and insurance. Storage fees vary, depending on the depository, but the company waives fees for 3 years or longer depending on the stored number of precious metals or the Gold IRA account size.
For best depository options, it recommends the Delaware Depository Service Company, International Depository Services (IDS), and Brinks Global Services. You can also request separate storage for your assets in the depository. Generally, the average storage fee is $75 per year.
Its website has a dedicated section for precious metals price charts, pricing tools, and market news articles. Their online catalog of products offers an extensive selection of gold, silver, and platinum. There are also fact sheets and expert analyses about precious metals. If you want to receive a free investment guide, fill up the available form on the page to get one via email. This guide has the FAQs on setting a Gold IRA account and buying precious metals.
For additional questions you want to ask, the online chat is the fastest way to converse with a representative. To get timely and accurate updates about the performance of your account, talk to a product specialist or your account executive. You will also get in your inbox regular account value statements.
American Hartford Gold is accredited by BBB and ConsumerAffairs. It is voted as Inc.5000’s #1 Gold Company in its list of 2021 fastest-growing private companies in America. It got a 5-Star Rating from Trustpilot and Google, 4.7 Stars out of 5 from ConsumerAffairs, 9.6 out of 10 TrustScore ratings, an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau (BBB), an A rating from Business Consumer Alliance (BCA).
As for the downsides or complaints, most of them revolve around the price fluctuations of the precious metals, and not about the company. Overall, its customers have only good reviews about the credibility, services, and friendly staff.
GoldCo is considered the best place to start if you are a beginner investor. It was established in 2006 with a mission to help clients safeguard their retirement money by investing it in precious metals. Also, it takes pride by offering the easiest way to set up a Gold IRA account and access gold and silver. It offers easy rollover of traditional IRAs, 401(k), or 403(b) to self-directed IRAs with gold or silver assets.
Its founder Trevor Gerszt believes that ownership of these much-coveted precious metals is the key to securing one’s hard-earned money and saving for the senior years. His opinion does not only come from the business view but because his family is collecting precious metals to hedge their wealth. This makes GoldCo more credible and knowledgeable about physical gold and silver coins, as well as gold bullions. Furthermore, it has a solid buyback program.
It offers superior customer support and makes sure that investors would have objective, comprehensive, and clear knowledge on how to invest in Gold IRA. The company’s account specialists even go the extra mile to deliver accurate information to existing and prospective clients to help them make smart decisions. It has extensive educational resources which include videos, e-books, FAQs, and a blog page that covers investing topics.
The customer-centered, ’white-glove’ service of GoldCo includes giving clients direct access to investment specialists who are with them from setting up accounts to other related transactions. New Gold IRA account holders also enjoy 10% back in a qualified purchase or free silver coins. It requires a minimum IRA investment of $25,000 to open an account.
To set up your account, you will be given an option to fund it with post-tax (Roth) or pre-tax (conventional) dollars. A GoldCo specialist will assist you during the rollover to comply with the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Once the fund is transferred, your next action is to choose the precious metal from reputable mints that are supplying bars and coins for the company. If the structure setup of your Gold IRA account allows diversification, you can buy bullions, coins, and bars.
GoldCo assists investors in selecting their preferred depository facility and offers options to store the assets in separate storage. The annual fee ranges from $175 to $225 but is waived during the first year. This fee seems higher compared to other companies, but you have the right to view your individually stored gold or silver whenever you wish.
GoldCo is a consistent recipient of a Gold Star from its customers in terms of quality of service, reliability, and ethical standards. It has an A+ rating from BBB, an AAA rating from BCA, and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
What Is a Gold IRA?
A Gold IRA is a kind of self-directed retirement account holding precious metals as qualified investment assets. The acceptable precious metals are determined by the “fineness” standards of the IRS. It works like the other IRAs where accumulated earnings are tax-deferred and allows pre-tax contributions.
The income limits and contributions are somehow similar, but rather than the traditional paper assets like stocks, ETFs, or cash equivalents, your investment portfolio has gold, silver, palladium, platinum, and other approved precious metals. This means that you can actually purchase physical gold bars or silver coins and store them in a depository for safekeeping until the time you want to liquidate or sell them.
How We Ranked the Top Gold IRA Companies?
Our ranking procedure depends on the variety of elements that make the Gold IRA companies on the list stand out from their competitors. Basically, our review revolves around exemplary customer service, extensive market experience, ease of setting up the account, and features of the account.
Reputation and Reviews
Customers are the lifeline of any business. Their honest reviews can make or break the reputation of any Gold IRA company. We gave value to positive testimonials of customers and the recommendations of experts in the industry when setting up our own rating standards.
Our top choices display phenomenal performance and have earned 4.8 to 5 Stars ratings from reputable sources. All the three Gold IRA providers are recipients of an A+ rating from BBB and an AAA rating from BCA. All these recognitions confirm their solid reputation, trustworthiness, and integrity. Each has demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of precious metals and the investing industry. They have a satisfied client base that enjoys premium services and lives up to their business missions.
Ease of Setup
Nobody wants to have a hard time when opening an account. The Gold IRA providers that made it to our list offer 3 easy setup steps. You can do it yourself by accomplishing the online form on their websites or request assistance from one of their account specialists to guide you through the process.
Cost and Fees
These features vary, depending on the movements of the gold or precious metals market and other factors. Our best picks have updated the precious metals prices including the necessary fees on their websites. They have a competitive pricing structure that lets investors optimize their holdings and even waive some fees during the first year. When your purchase qualifies, you qualify for certain discounts.
Commissions are computed based on the amount of your purchase. Usually, they are about 5%. Most account custodians are not affiliated with the dealers of precious metals, so they make a profit from your purchase. Generally, when they earn huge profits from the deal, you qualify for very low transaction or annual fees. The best Gold IRA companies usually do not charge commissions for buying or selling gold and other precious metals. They are also transparent about markup costs for certain transactions.
Gold IRA providers charge a one-time, upfront setup fee for opening an account. It usually ranges from $50 to over $100 but less than $200. However, if your deposit or precious metals’ purchase is huge, the setup fee is usually waived by the company.
The rule of thumb with regards to storage fees is the more gold in your account, the higher fee you pay to the custodian. The storage cost can be a fixed amount during the initial deposit of gold. Other companies charge 1% to 5% of the gold’s value in the client’s account. The depository charges an annual fee that can be around $300 and paid through the company.
These fees cover the administration expenses, which include clients’ account maintenance and necessary paperwork. Investors with large accounts usually pay higher annual administration fees. It can be from $50 to $300 that are typically included in the storage fee you pay every year because they factor in their expenses in shipping, security, insurance premium, and some miscellaneous fees.
Our selected Gold IRA companies are very transparent about these fees, making their customers aware of every dollar they pay. Beware of providers that do not disclose the fee structure on their websites because they may have hidden charges. You can request via email or call them to get the complete list of fees.
Selection of Gold and Silver Products
The three Gold IRA companies we reviewed today have a wider option of IRS-approved precious metals. The most popular are gold and silver, but platinum and palladium are also gaining higher adoption rates among investors. During the selection of precious metals, these companies have well-experienced account specialists who offer their expertise to prospective clients.
Working with a specialist makes it easy to diversify your portfolio holdings, helping you easily buy gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins and bars. You will get assurance that you are buying IRS-approved bullion bars and coins for IRA investment and not numismatics and collectible coins. There are several precious metals traders that push these products to earn profits.
However, since they are not IRA-approved assets, you cannot use them to back your account. You still need to buy the government-recognized products from your chosen Gold IRA provider.
It is important to check if your Gold IRA company has a buyback program with a transparent fee structure. This program helps a lot during emergencies if you need to unload or sell your gold or silver before the retirement period. If adverse circumstances happen, cashing in your Gold IRA is an option. You get immediate access to cash when your provider has this feature. However, there is an IRS-imposed 10% penalty if you liquidate your funds before reaching the age of 59.5 years old.
Moreover, the buyback plans of the company would help you avoid incurring additional costs during the liquidation time. By selling them to your Gold IRA provider, you get assurance that you will enjoy a spot price or a fair market price. The buyback feature of our top choices offers convenience and lesser fees. They handle everything, including the shipment of your precious metals. All you need to do is to check the payment via bank wire transfer or check in your mailbox.
Why Invest in a Gold-Based IRA?
If you’re planning to diversify your retirement portfolio by adding alternative assets, an excellent option is Gold IRA. It also allows you to become an owner of actual gold. Gold is known for its value appreciation, which means you can sell your physical gold coins or bars at a higher cost in the future. Make sure to ask your account executive about the gold’s quality and fineness before buying it for your IRA account.
Your gold investment in IRA protects you against inflation and market fluctuation issues. Generally, gold is the safest investment vehicle that can withstand the extreme downturns of investment markets. It is also the best hedge against inflation and deflation.
What Is a Gold IRA Rollover?
One of the vital concepts in the Gold IRA investment is rollover. It technically refers to the transfer of value from the traditional IRA to your newly-opened gold individual retirement account without tax penalties. You just need to apply for the transfer and wait for up to 2 weeks to complete the rollover process.
You can also make gold IRA rollovers from your 401(k), 457(b), or 403(b). Your existing custodian will send either a direct transfer to your gold IRA provider or make an indirect transfer by sending a check under your name. If this is the case, you need to deposit the fund and forward it within 60 days to the company.
What Is the Minimum Investment for a Gold IRA?
While IRS does not have a minimum amount of investment to open a Gold IRA account, individual Gold IRA companies are allowed to impose minimum requirements that can start from $5,000 to $25,000. Take note also that IRS has annual maximums which are dependent on the age of the investor. It usually increases up to $7,000 per year. There are also companies offering as low as $100 minimum investment requirement plus administrative and storage costs.
Should You Buy Gold Bullion or Gold Coins?
When in a quandary on whether to purchase gold or silver bullion or coins, seek the guidance of the Gold IRA company to help you decide. One of the advantages of bullion is providing an accurate reflection of the market value of gold or other precious metals. On the other hand, gold coins can command a higher price because of their commemorative nature.
They also are easy to transport, store, and sell. In addition, coins are harder to counterfeit, cheaper to deliver, and do not need tight security during the transfer. Ultimately, your choice should be based on what suits your investor persona.
Where Are the Precious Metals Inside Your Gold IRA Stored?
In compliance with the IRS rules, the IRAs are handled by a trustee or custodian. Investors of retirement accounts with precious metals are advised to arrange a depository to protect their investment. According to the storage regulations of IRS for physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium holdings, they should stay in the trustee’s custody, which includes pre-approved facilities, federally owned insured banks, savings and loans, and credit unions.
Your Gold IRA custodian can also recommend a private depository that is endorsed by a commodity exchange and has complied with the IRS’s standards in terms of accounting, reporting, auditing, and security features. Aside from top-tier security, the storage facility should have up to $1 billion in insurance policies. All the three companies we picked for your perusal have partnerships with trusted depositories across the states.
Which IRS-Approved Coins Can You Hold in a Gold IRA?
The IRS has widened the list of approved precious metals for self-directed Gold IRAs. The account holders can now own bullion and coins from minted gold, platinum, silver, and palladium.
- Gold coins include U.S Buffalo, Canadian Maple Leaf coin, Lunar Series and Kangaroo/Nugget bullion coins (Australia), 2013 and later issues of British Britannia coins, Philharmonic bullion coins (Austria), and Panda coins (China).
- Silver coin options are American Eagle, America the Beautiful, and the 1-ounce coins issued by the U.S. Treasury, Maple Leaf (Canada), Kookaburra coins (Australia), Libertad bullion coins (Mexico), Panda Coins (China), and Vienna Harmonic bullion coins (Austria).
- Platinum choices are American Eagle Coins, Noble bullion coins (Isle of Man), Maple Leaf coins (Canada), and Koala bullion coins (Australia).
- Palladium Maple Leaf coins
Final Thoughts – Which Gold IRA Company Is Right for You?
The perfect Gold IRA company is the one that represents the essential values and factors that you are looking for such as stellar reputation in the industry, competitiveness, financial security, consumer ratings, features, customer service, reasonable price of products, diversified selection of physical precious stones, and safe storage.
At the end of the day, the top Gold IRA companies provide significant value to ensure that your post-retirement years will be fine by safeguarding your current investments. This kind of retirement account is a good way to plan your future life. This is why you need to find a company that can help you achieve your dream retirement life.