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Are you looking for the best choices among precious metals IRAs, also known as “gold IRAs”?
While Birch Gold Group is considered one of the best options in the precious metals space, our research team discovered that lots of people are searching for viable alternatives to Birch Gold.
We sifted through reams of online and other data sources to find the top five companies that offer gold IRAs directly to the public.
Finding a top-notch gold IRA company can be perplexing, to say the least. The search can be a hassle for everyday investors who don’t have the time or expertise to dig through hundreds of choices, compare features, test customer service response times, evaluate fees, and assess management teams.
Truth be told, there are some great and not-so-great alternatives to Birch Gold Group out there, and we put them all under our microscope.
What did our team find out?
Well, the market for gold IRAs is not only super-competitive but includes several providers who offer excellent options for people who want to protect their long-term financial security.
After whittling down our original short-list to five main contenders within the gold and precious metals IRA market niche, we dug in even more and checked out all the particulars.
That way, you can scan the list below and see what features are most attractive to you and which company is the best fit for your investing needs.
Here’s the final result of our team’s in-depth research:
- New customers might get 10% free metals in silver coins
- First-year fees might be waived
- Goldco reps don't get pushy with heavy sales tactics
- Staff are quite friendly and knowledgeable to new investors
- This broker wants investors to make good investment choices
- Minimum investment level stands at $20,000
- Website not totally transparent about fees
Goldco is one of the most trusted and oldest members of the highly-competitive gold IRA niche. You’ve probably heard Sean Hannity endorse them. They use a top-notch custodian, Equity Trust, for all their IRA accounts.
As noted in the pros and cons below, Goldco gets all the big stuff right and takes care of the small details as well.
Their fees are reasonable and competitive but come with a high initial minimum of $25k for IRAs. For every $25,000 you invest, they will reimburse you for a full year of storage fees, which vary depending on which storage provider you select. Yearly custodial fees are $80 and up, and depository fees average $100 per year.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent Buyback Program
Unlike many of its competitors, Goldco has a buyback program should you ever want to unload some or all of your metals. With 16-plus years in the industry and vast experience in the precious metals and IRA space, the company leads the way with its buyback arrangement for all its customers.
- Asset Selection
With a wide listing of metals products for IRS-approved accounts, Goldco not only offers platinum, silver, gold, and palladium assets for retirement accounts but also sells precious metals products for cash directly to the public.
The minimum cash-buy (non-IRA) purchase is $10,000.
- Quick & Easy Account Setup For Newcomers
The company’s reps are thorough, friendly, and fast when helping new clients set up IRAs. They walk you through the process step-by-step and answer any questions you pose to them.
- Some Complaints From Reviewers
Though it’s certainly not a pattern or long-term trend, there are a few scattered negative reviews out there. Keep in mind that every company, even the biggest and best in any industry, receives a handful of negative comments from time to time.
- High Minimum For Some IRA Investors
The company’s $25,000 minimum for gold IRA opening balances is higher than its competitors. It’s important for investors to know this in advance, but if you have that much or more to invest, then the amount is not an issue.
2. Augusta Precious Metals (APM)
If you have heard of Joe Montana, Hall of Fame NFL player, then you’re probably aware that he is the endorsement face of APM, a company that focuses on serious investors who want to build gold IRAs.
You can purchase many metals-related products from Augusta, but the bulk of their business is centered on selling gold and other precious metals to investors.
They have defied the odds by never having a negative Better Business Bureau (BBB) review in over a decade. They are not only well-known but have a sterling reputation in the competitive niche of gold IRAs.
Plus, their fees are among the best in the industry.
However, their $50k minimum for gold IRAs puts some people off. Setup fees are very low at $50, but the company will waive them, as well as custodian and annual storage fees, for larger accounts.
Custodian fees run $80 per year, and storage will cost you $100 annually if you don’t have an account large enough for the waiver. There’s no shipping cost for account holders, but there is a 5% markup on bullion products.
Pros and Cons
- Ratings & Reputation
The well-regarded company has many hundreds of verified five-star reviews on the top sites and has earned an A+ rating from BBB as well as a AAA rating from BCA.
- Industry-Leading Customer Service
APM’s customer service reps are considered the best. They are not only friendly and knowledgeable but do all the paperwork for new and existing investors. They truly deliver unparalleled service from the minute you contact them.
Plus, they offer a personalized webinar for every new client during which you can ask questions and receive direct answers from company leaders.
- Lack of Customer Complaints
Not only does APM have nearly zero verified, relevant customer complaints among thousands of total reviews, but the company also waives many of its fees for larger accounts for up to ten years.
Amid all the great stuff about APM, they have one downside we could find, and that’s their industry-high minimum of $50,00 for new gold IRAs.
However, if you can meet that hurdle, they are one of the very best and most reliable providers in the industry.
3. Regal Assets (RA)
Regal has been around for 13 years and is one of the biggest players in the gold IRA and alternative investments space.
They are unique among the top precious metals IRA providers in that they also offer cryptocurrency for IRAs.
They are known for their excellent customer service, cryptocurrency offerings, low account minimums, and famous founder Tyler Gallagher, a familiar face on financial news programs.
RA currently manages more than $1 billion in AUM (assets under management), which ranks them as one of the nation’s largest gold IRA providers.
Pros and Cons
- Established Firm With Excellent Reviews
Since 2009, Gallagher and his small, efficient team have been helping people set up retirement accounts that hold precious metals and cryptocurrency.
RA has amassed an amazing 1000-plus five-star consumer reviews online. Additionally, they have earned a AAA score from the BCA.
- Lowest Minimums In the Industry
Regal offers cash sales of bullion for a $5k minimum, and IRA accounts for $10k, making it one of the industry’s most accessible choices for new investors.
- Gold Buyback Program and Cryptocurrency Sales
You’ll look far and wide to find other companies that offer cryptocurrency for IRAs, but RA does. Likewise, they have one of the better gold buyback programs for its account holders.
- Some Negative Reviews and No BBB Accreditation
Even though RA has thousands of positive reviews, they have several verified negative ones as well. Plus, they are currently not accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Unclear Fees and Charges
It’s nearly impossible to find charges and fees on the company’s website, which can be frustrating for prospective investors who want precise information.
4. Advantage Gold (AG)
In business since 2013, AG might not be the most famous member of the gold IRA sector, but they indeed work hard to maintain a top reputation.
For starters, they have worked with the very best vault facilities and custodians in the niche, which allows them to offer low fees.
Plus, their customer service team can find and deliver all kinds of competitively-priced bars and coins for IRS-approved IRAs.
They have established themselves as a leader in customer education and offer fair prices to any account holders who want to sell metals back to the company.
Account fees for setup are a one-time $50 charge. Yearly storage is between $50 and $100, while annual fees for accounts range from $95 to $250. The cash purchase minimum is $10k. The minimum for IRAs is $25k, and there are no buyback fees because the company pays spot or higher prices for metals you sell back to them.
Pros and Cons
- Perfect Choice For First-Timers
Low fees and account minimums make AG a good fit for newcomers to the gold IRA field.
- Solid Reputation & Reviews
AG has earned a AAA rating from BCA and an A+ rating from BBB, two hallmarks of a top-tier IRA provider. They have also amassed more than 1,500 positive consumer reviews on respected websites.
- Great Buyback Program
Few gold IRA companies even have buyback programs, much less ones that pay spot price or better for the metals their customers choose to sell back to them.
Combined with very low fees for storage and custodial services, AG is a standout in its industry.
- Minimum investment can be a barrier for some
The $25k minimum for gold IRA new accounts is too high for many people who want to take advantage of this kind of account.
- Hard to Find Info For Pricing and Fees
It’s nearly impossible to learn the company’s pricing and fee information from their otherwise informative website. Our team had to do some serious digging to find the data.
5. Noble Gold (NG)
In business for slightly more than five years, NG has already built a reputation in a niche that includes older, more experienced competitors. They offer the standard lineup of gold IRA products and services as well as oddities like “survival packs” of precious metals.
Plus, NG offers precious metals storage facilities for foreign investors. Their pricing, charges, and fees are competitive, and they are a trustworthy company that has a large volume of verifiable, positive consumer reviews.
While younger than most of its chief competitors, NG already has a BBB rating of A+ and a BCA rating of AAA. At CA (Consumer Alliance) they are rated as a five-star company. Their fees are on the low side, and their customer service gets good reviews.
Pros and Cons
- Pro: Top Buyback Program
NG offers a buyback program that features fair pricing and a streamlined process.
- Universally Excellent Reviews
You’ll have to search extensively to find even a slightly negative comment or review of the company.
- Wide Product Selection
For collectors and IRA customers, Noble offers a long list of high-quality products in the bullion category.
- Storage Limitations
Account holders can only choose from a couple of storage options in a total of three US states, which is a much more limited offering than competitors.
- Hard to Find Pricing Details
The NG website does not list prices, fees, or charges, which presents a challenge for potential customers.
How To Choose the Best Gold IRA For Your Needs
Picking the best fit for your investing needs can be a bit tricky. In a way, the process is a lot like buying a new car. Everyone has different tastes, budgets, favorite features, etc. That’s why it’s essential to review the following four tips our research team came up with for anyone in the gold IRA market.
1. Verify Charges and Fees
This is a biggie.
You don’t want any surprises when it comes to annual fees, storage costs, or anything else. Always read the fine print of contracts before signing.
More importantly, call the customer service departments of any precious metal IRAs on your list and specifically ask about all fees and charges for new and existing account holders. Take notes. This is a must-do step.
2. Do Your Due Diligence
Our researchers did a thorough job of vetting the top gold IRA companies, but it’s up to you to do a final check for yourself. That’s because company policies tend to change from time to time, and it’s critical for investors to get the latest data.
How can you do this?
Phone or email a company rep with any lingering questions you have. Plus, check the most recent ratings on sites like BBB (Better Business Bureau) to see if any new complaints or ratings have been posted.
3. Read Lots Of Customer Reviews
Consumers, gold IRA account holders, and former customers post new reviews all the time, so be sure to check the top review sites at least once per week before you choose a company. However, beware that not all review websites are reliable.
Some are nothing more than disguised advertisements for one or more companies. Try to stick with the better-known review sites that have been around for several years and have a decent reputation for posting comments from verified account holders or former account holders.
4. Review Historical Gold Prices
Whether you’re a numbers-type person or not, visit one of the financial websites like Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, MarketWatch, or Fox’s financial section and view the historical and recent gold price charts.
This step is a great way to get a feel for the long-term price stability of gold and other precious metals, all of which tend to rise and fall along the same general lines.
See how your retirement nest egg would have performed if you had invested in a gold IRA five, ten, or twenty years ago.
5. Consult with a Certified Financial Planner
This is always recommended before making any investment as they can offer the best advice for your personal financial situation.
Summary: The “Big Picture” For Gold IRA Investors
There’s a lot to think about when choosing a place to park your hard-earned capital. People facing retirement in the near or distant future should spend time evaluating their options. As we noted above, there are at least five excellent gold IRA companies.
The one that’s the best fit for you depends on how much you want to invest, what kind of educational resources you desire, and more. While there’s no such thing as the “perfect” gold IRA company for everyone, our team put Goldco at the top of its list for a number of reasons.
First, with inflation at record levels, it’s comforting to work with a company like Goldco that has been hard at work for more than 16 years. They are not newcomers to the industry and currently have many thousands of clients all over the US.
Goldco checks all the essential boxes, like having a BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating of “A+” and a BCA (Business Consumer Alliance) rating of “AAA.” Both are the highest ratings from those companies. Additionally, Goldco has many hundreds of five-star, verified customer reviews on reliable rating websites.
They have a buyback program, responsive customer service, fair pricing policies, very low fees, and a large selection of government-approved metals for self-directed IRAs of all kinds. Customers can choose from gold, palladium, platinum, and silver.
And, if you want helpful reps who can answer any IRA-related question, Goldco’s always-available team members know their stuff. They’ll happily walk new customers through the account setup process and do all the paperwork for you.
Our researchers were in complete agreement is placing Goldco at the top of their list.