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Best Gold IRA Companies

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by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

Gold IRAs let you diversify your retirement portfolio with precious metals, but it can be tough to choose the right one for your needs. To aid your decision, we’ve compared the highest-rated gold IRA companies on our site below based on recent customer reviews, storage options, minimum investment amounts and annual fees.

Our top gold IRA company picks

Many companies in this industry are similar, but the best stand out for their professionalism and transparency. Our picks for gold IRA companies generally offer an easy investment process, reasonable fees and ongoing support.

The ConsumerAffairs research team vetted 18 gold IRA companies that are rated by more than 3,460 customers. Read our methodology to see how we ended up with our list of top gold IRA companies.

Our top pick overallNoble Gold InvestmentsAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
  • Minimum IRA investment: Undisclosed
  • Annual fees: $80 to $230
  • Year founded: Undisclosed

Noble Gold Investments specializes in precious metal IRAs, and it has a diverse selection of products — letting you buy IRA-approved gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Many companies only offer silver and gold.

A Noble Gold IRA is a solid value because there are no setup fees for new accounts, and the annual rates are competitive.

Storage: International Depository Services (IDS) facilities in Texas, Delaware and Ontario are available.

What we like: Noble Gold offers enough products, options and services to suit a variety of needs.

What customers say: As of publishing, nearly all Noble Gold reviews are positive. “They were easy to work with and answered all my questions. I feel my retirement is safer invested in physical precious metals,” according to a reviewer in Florida.

“I was never in the dark at any point of the IRA TRANSFER with Noble Gold and not one moment of unclarity,” a reviewer in Minnesota said.

A reviewer in Ohio who described themselves as a “first-time investor and needed guidance” said that their rep “was very helpful and patient with me. He took time to explain the process and answer my questions.”

Our pick for IRA rolloversGoldcoAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold and silver
  • Minimum IRA investment: $25,000
  • Annual fees: $175 or $225
  • Year founded: 2006

If you’re thinking about rolling over your existing retirement account into gold or silver, Goldco is worth considering. It is relatively easy to get started with Goldco through its website, but the minimum investment amount might be too high for some.

Goldco also provides a lot of useful tools, including investment information and purchase options.

What we like: Goldco is a full-service precious metals firm. It offers a range of account services and precious metal products.

Storage options: Metals must be held in an IRS-approved depository, but Goldco doesn’t provide much more info. Goldco uses Equity Institutional and Self Directed IRA as custodians, though.

What customers say: Many recent reviewers highlight that account managers and executives are straightforward, professional and friendly.

A reviewer in Virginia, who “just finished a transaction to open a Goldco IRA with a rollover from my traditional plan,” said that “the entire experience was very professionally handled and the transaction was done in a very timely manner.”

“I have now done three good-sized rollover transactions with Goldco over the last couple of years and I could not be happier,” a reviewer in Rhode Island said.

Our pick for large investmentsPatriot Gold GroupAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold and silver
  • Minimum IRA investment: $15,000
  • Annual fees: Varies
  • Year founded: Undisclosed

Patriot Gold is a precious metals dealer specializing in self-directed gold IRAs. Through its “no fees for life” program, qualifying investors can get reimbursed for rollover, storage and insurance fees on accounts of a certain size.

Minimum account thresholds are required for the program, but if you have a large amount to invest, you could save money in the long term.

What we like: You can work directly with an owner of the company.

Storage options: Various storage options are available, including facilities run by Delaware Depository and Brink’s Global Services USA.

What customers say: Patriot is a good company for both self-directed IRAs and first-time precious metals buyers, according to reviews.

"They made me aware of tax advantages that I would never have considered when it comes time to withdraw your investment,” according to a reviewer in Oklahoma.

A reviewer in Virginia who contracted Patriot to transfer a traditional IRA into a precious metal IRA said, “They answered all my questions without any sales pressure. When I was ready to open my account, transfer my IRA, purchase my gold and silver and deposit the metal into the custodian, Patriot Gold Group made the entire process a pleasure.”

“I have purchased precious metals from Patriot Gold Group twice, have liquidated some of my holdings once and I set up an IRA with them in which they pay the fees each year,” a reviewer in California said. “The transitions and customer service has been exceptional.”

Our pick for online toolsAugusta Precious Metals
  • IRA metals: Gold and silver
  • Minimum IRA investment: $25,000 to $50,000
  • Annual fees: $180
  • Year founded: 2012

The Augusta Precious Metals website makes setting up a new retirement account easy. The company also offers online seminars that can educate you about investment opportunities and risks.

There are no management, shipping or insurance fees with qualifying purchases, either. Unfortunately, you can’t buy platinum or palladium investments with this company.

What we like: Augusta provides lifetime customer support.

Storage options: Augusta partners with several depositories across the United States, including:

  • Brink's Global Services USA (Los Angeles, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • International Depository Services (Dallas, Texas, and New Castle, Delaware)
  • CNT Depository (Bridgewater, Massachusetts)
  • Texas Precious Metals Depository (Shiner, Texas)
  • Idaho Armored Vault (Nampa, Idaho)
  • A-M Global Logistics (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Dakota Depository Company (South Fargo, North Dakota)

What customers say: Augusta reps are reportedly trustworthy, and the online webinars are extremely informative.

A reviewer in Georgia, who had “basically no familiarity with precious metals,” worked with Augusta to add gold and silver to their retirement portfolio. “Long story short: I’m thrilled with Augusta. Special shout-out to Mr. Devlyn, who hosts Augusta’s free precious metals web conference and is VERY patient.”

Other reviewers like Devlyn, too. According to a reviewer in Arkansas, he has “a lot of great information concerning the current economic climate and the likely price movement expected for the next few years of precious metals due to current policies in the United States.”

A reviewer in New York said the sessions are “not only informative, but educational as well, without the pressure many of us have experienced when someone has tried to sell us various goods and services.”

Our pick for low feesOrion Metal ExchangeAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold, silver and platinum
  • Minimum IRA investment: $5,000
  • Annual fees: Free storage for up to 3 years
  • Year founded: 2017

Orion Metal Exchange is a full-service gold investment company with a devoted in-house IRA group.

There are no setup or transfer fees associated with a precious metal IRA. Plus, you can get up to three years of free storage from promotional offers.

What we like: Clients get ongoing support to help manage their accounts.

Storage options: You can store with any IRS-approved depository.

What customers say: Orion has “the best deal for a small investor,” according to a reviewer in Texas.

A reviewer in Florida was interested in a rollover because “the stock market was going up and down, up and down. I got a bad feeling that it would go south.”

“The guy that helped me out was good,” the reviewer wrote. “That guy just kept calling me and he called me at the right time. I said, ‘Yeah. Hell, yeah. Let's move it all over.’ Whoever that guy was, he was persistent and top-notch.” However, the reviewer noted that “it was hard to transfer that money from E-Trade.”

Our pick for beginnersAdvantage GoldAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
  • Minimum IRA investment: $5,000
  • Annual fees: $180
  • Year founded: 2014

Advantage Gold is a good pick for first-time investors looking for an easy setup process. It also has relatively low fees and minimum investment requirements, and there’s plenty of customer support and online resources to help beginners get started.

Advantage Gold also has an easy-to-understand fee structure. As of publishing, it costs $50 to set up and then $180 per year ($80 annual administration fee plus a $100 annual storage fee).

What we like: Advantage Gold offers a buyback program that lets you sell back your gold at the current market rate.

Storage options: Advantage Gold works with both Brink’s Global Services USA (Los Angeles, California, or Salt Lake City, Utah) and Delaware Depository (Wilmington, Delaware).

What customers say: As of publishing, Advantage Gold has excellent reviews overall. “These guys have all the tools to get you invested in gold and silver,” according to a reviewer in Arizona.

Other recent reviewers highlight the company’s helpful customer service and silver coin collections. A reviewer in Texas said that a company rep “stayed on top of things and answered all of our questions to the fullest.”

“Even though I was making a small purchase by comparison to other investors, they treated me with extreme patience and consideration,” a reviewer in Oregon said.

Our pick for a low minimum investmentRed Rock SecuredAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • IRA metals: Gold and silver
  • Minimum IRA investment: $1,500
  • Annual fees: $125 to $300
  • Year founded: 2008

Red Rock Secured is a California-based investment firm that specializes in self-directed IRAs. Unlike a lot of other companies, Red Rock Secured offers a home delivery option, though it is legally complex.

Its standout $1,500 investment minimum could make gold IRAs viable for more investors, and fees can range from $125 to $300 per year, though the company claims that 90% of its clients pay “zero fees for life.”

What we like: Its “never zero” policy guarantees that your portfolio stays above $0.

Storage options: You have your choice of depository storage or home delivery. For home delivery, you have to create an LLC and then store metals in an IRS-approved facility (like a safety deposit box at your bank), though.

What customers say: Red Rock Secured has overall great reviews. “All of my questions were answered expeditiously, and they literally held my hand every step of the way,” a reviewer in Montana said recently.

One reviewer in Arizona said they had “issues with delivery on the transportation. Other than that professional level with customers are on point.”

Other reviewers say that reps are easy to talk to and very helpful. “The education and resources they have to offer are nothing like I've ever seen, low pressure and very knowledgeable,” a reviewer in Massachusetts said.

Compare Top Gold IRA Company Reviews

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    Gold and other precious metal IRAs are an investment and carry risk. Consumers should be alert to claims that customers can make a lot of money in these or any investment with little risk. As with any investment, you can lose money and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance results. Consumers should also obtain a clear understanding of the fees associated with any investment before agreeing to invest.

    What is a gold IRA?

    A gold IRA is a self-directed individual retirement account that holds gold (or other approved metals) instead of paper assets. This means you can use a gold IRA to purchase actual, physical gold. However, you don’t hold the gold yourself — it’s stored in a secure depository. (If you want to buy gold directly and hold it yourself, you can buy it from a gold dealer.)

    Even though your gold is stored securely, there are some risks. While gold has historically held its value during inflation, it can be volatile in the short term and hard to sell at times.

    How does a gold IRA work?

    A gold or silver IRA functions much like other individual retirement accounts, but your investments are in gold and other precious metals, including silver, platinum and palladium.

    You usually have to pay penalties if you withdraw funds before age 59½.

    Most people start a gold IRA with $5,000 or more, often rolled over from an existing IRA or 401(k). Your gold IRA company or gold dealer can then help you purchase the metals for your IRA. Once you open the account and purchase your precious metals, the physical metal is stored in a secure storage facility called a “depository.”

    Your IRA custodian, or trustee, then manages the account. Potential custodians include banks, credit unions, trust companies, loan associations or other organizations with federal or state approval. The IRS also lets you hold gold in ETFs or mutual funds. For more, read about the differences between physical gold and ETFs.

    If you’re looking for a little more detail, we’ve broken down what you need to do after opening your account below.

    1. Transfer funds into the account.

    Most gold IRA companies have a required initial minimum investment. This can be as high as $50,000, but it really varies by company. Some companies don’t advertise their minimum investments, but it’s in your best interest and theirs to make sure you’re on the same page early on.

    After your initial deposit or rollover, you’ll have to stay within annual contribution limits. For 2021, the annual contribution limit set by the IRS is $6,000 or, for those over 50, $7,000. Your contributions also can’t be lower than your taxable compensation for the year.

    2. Pay commissions and fees.

    Brokerage firms and dealers often charge commissions when they sell precious metals, so some of your money will go towards that. However, there are other fees you may encounter.

    Additional fees associated with gold IRAs include:

    • Setup fees: Gold IRA companies typically charge a one-time processing fee for setting up your gold IRA. This is often about $50 to $100.
    • Storage fees: The depositories that hold your gold charge a yearly fee, and your gold IRA administrator passes this expense on to you. Most gold IRA holders pay $100 to $300 per year for storage and insurance.
    • Annual maintenance fee: Maintenance fees can be anywhere from $50 to $300 per year, but this is often included in your storage fee. Some gold IRA companies also waive maintenance fees for the first year, but not all do.
    • Miscellaneous fees: The company you work with should disclose any additional charges, including wire transfer fees, when you open your account. If they don’t disclose these fees ahead of time, they might be trying to nickel and dime you.

    3. Wait to withdraw your funds.

    When you want to access your investments, contact your custodian or trustee and fill out the necessary forms. You can then sell your precious metals or take possession of the physical gold, silver, platinum or palladium.

    You may have to pay penalties if you withdraw funds before the age of 59½ or if you haven’t had the account for a certain amount of time. However, once you reach the age of 70½, you’re subject to required minimum distributions, which means you must withdraw a certain amount from your IRA(s) each year.

    Gold IRA investment tips

    If you want to invest in gold as part of your retirement plan, here are tips for navigating the world of gold IRAs.

    Many companies in this industry are similar, so look for companies that have competitive prices, good customer service and an easy investment process.

    Then, spend time reading online reviews from clients to learn more about their experiences with a given gold investment company. Some scammers can appear legitimate, so it’s vital to consider how many years a company has been in business and what reviewers say about it. Choose a company that completes transactions honestly and transparently.

    Also, avoid companies that advertise “special” home storage offers or “collectible” coins for IRA use. Neither of these are generally allowed by IRS regulations.

    Many gold IRA companies offer multiple vault options. These can be as simple as a choice of location or as detailed as letting your choose your preferred method of storage. For example, you may have two types of depositories available:
    • Allocated depositories: In an allocated depository, your asset inventory is kept in something resembling a safety deposit box, and your coins or bars are separate from anybody else’s inventory.
    • Unallocated depositories: Unallocated depositories store precious metals based on their size, weight, year and refinery. When distributed, investors receive the same type of gold coin or bar they purchased, but it probably won’t be the exact same physical object.
    Like with other commodities, the price of gold is determined by the market, meaning gold prices fluctuate over time. Keeping up with this spot price is important if you want to buy low and sell high.
    Vault receipts, sometimes called warrant or warehouse receipts, prove the ownership of your precious metal commodities and confirm transfers. Detailed receipts are often necessary to prove or disprove the value of metals at the time of purchase.
    Gold coins offer unique investment opportunities, but their worth and legitimacy must be proven. Numismatic (collectible) coins are often not IRA-eligible, and the IRS has specific requirements for what types of bullion (precious metals sold by weight) are acceptable for use in a gold IRA.

    Read about the IRS rules for individual retirement arrangements and retirement plan investments for more information.

    Gold IRA pros and cons

    Investing in a gold IRA has many of the same risks and benefits as any retirement account. That means you get some significant tax benefits, but your money is mostly locked away until you’re of retirement age. Still, there are some unique pros and cons to a gold IRA.

    Perhaps the most significant benefit of a gold IRA is it allows you to diversify your retirement portfolio into a different kind of investment. Gold IRA companies also like to emphasize the stable value of gold relative to paper assets in times of economic uncertainty.

    However, gold and silver prices have their own potential for volatility, and they don’t pay dividends or produce steady income. Precious metals IRAs also tend to have higher fees and storage costs compared to traditional or Roth IRAs.

    Pros

    • Portfolio diversification
    • Long-term stability
    • Hedges against inflation

    Cons

    • High annual fees
    • No bank guarantee
    • High minimum deposit requirements

    Gold IRA questions

    No, you can’t take physical possession of gold currently in your IRA. It must be stored in an IRS-approved facility, and you could be subject to high penalties if you store gold from your IRA in your home.

    However, at the end of your IRA term, you can liquidate your gold assets for cash or take possession of your gold without penalty.

    Yes. You can keep a traditional IRA and also open a self-directed IRA for gold or other precious metals.
    A gold IRA rollover allows you to move your retirement savings from an existing retirement account into a gold IRA. Most brokers offer no-fee rollovers, but ask if you aren't sure about your broker’s rules. You can roll over the following types of retirement accounts:
    • Roth IRAs
    • Traditional IRAs
    • SEP IRAs
    • SIMPLE IRAs
    • Annuity plans
    • 401(k)s
    • 403(b)s
    • Pension plans
    • TSPs (Thrift Savings Plans)
    Not all IRAs can be used to invest in gold. You need a self-directed IRA if you want to purchase gold or other precious metals with it.
    Gold must meet specific standards set by the IRS to be eligible for use in a gold IRA. Eligible gold products must:
    • Meet minimum fineness requirements of 99.5% purity
    • Not be considered highly collectible
    • Come from a U.S. mint or an approved foreign mint
    It depends on what measurement you use. On a geological scale, there’s less gold in the earth’s crust (0.004 parts per million) than there is platinum (0.005 ppm) or silver (0.075 ppm).

    However, gold has been mined for thousands of years, so there’s a fair bit on the market at any given time, especially relative to how much new gold is being introduced.

    Gold is a physical asset, so there is always the chance of theft. However, making sure your gold is stored in a legitimate depository helps keep it safe. Do your research and be sure the depository where your precious metals are stored meets IRS standards.

    Supplementing your portfolio with gold can be a good choice, but you probably shouldn’t put your entire retirement plan into a gold IRA. Gold investments are a way to hedge your bets against inflation, but they won’t pay dividends like stocks.

    Methodology

    The ConsumerAffairs research team started with a list of 18 gold IRA companies. To narrow this list down, we first eliminated companies with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars, leaving 12.

    We then required our top picks to have at least twice as many 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews on our site over the last year (September 15, 2020, through September 15, 2021). In total, we analyzed more than 800 verified reviews.

    To make the final selections, we scored companies based on the difference between their 5-star and 1-star reviews factored by the ratio of 5-star reviews to all other star ratings.

    Our recommendations are based on recurring themes in the positive reviews or standout features identified by our editorial team. For example, our pick for IRS rollovers has a relatively high density of the words “rollover” and “transfer” in recent 5-star reviews. Our pick for “low minimum investment” has the lowest minimum investment requirement of all our picks.

    Gold IRA reviews

    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    Noble Gold Investments

    This company helps you invest in a precious metals IRA or buy precious metals directly. It even maintains and administers your account. Setting up an IRA takes less than five minutes. IRA transfers for 401(k), 403(b), Roth, TRA or TSA accounts take about 48 hours.

    • Storage options: You can back your IRA with gold, silver, platinum or palladium. The company stores all precious metals with International Depository Services. A segregated storage option is also available.
    • Costs: Noble Gold charges an annual fee of $80, plus $150 per year if you store gold in Texas or Delaware.
    • Minimum investment: To invest with Noble Gold, you need to invest at least $2,000.
    • Additional benefits: You can open a precious metal IRA or buy precious metals directly from Noble Gold. It also has a buyback program if you decide to sell your gold and offers a free gold IRA guide with information for investors on how to roll over your existing retirement account into a gold IRA.
    Read 411 Reviews
    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    Red Rock Secured

    This company lets you open up a precious metals IRA or purchase precious metals directly for home storage. You can complete most transactions online.

    • Storage options: You can invest in gold, silver, platinum or palladium for your IRA or purchase precious metals directly.
    • Costs: Storage fees range from $125 to $300 per year, but the company waives fees for most customers.
    • Minimum investment: You need at least $1,500 in your gold IRA to invest with Red Rock Secured.
    • Additional benefits: If you opt to purchase precious metals instead of investing in a gold IRA, Red Rock delivers the precious metals directly to your home. Resources on the company’s website can help you decide the best path forward.
    Read 100 Reviews
    United Gold Direct

    Besides gold IRAs, this company sells precious metals directly, including special gold and silver coins. Its staff inspects the precious metals to make sure they are of high quality.

    Regal Assets

    This company lets you roll over or convert your existing retirement account into a gold IRA. It also has shipping for direct investments and a buyback policy. One of its most popular gold investments is 10-ounce, 99.99% pure gold bars from the Swiss National Bank with an embossed finish.

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    Compare Top Gold IRA Company Reviews

    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.

    1. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Traditional and Roth IRAs.” Accessed July 23, 2021.
    2. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), “Investments in Collectibles in Individually-Directed Qualified Plan Accounts.” Accessed September 16, 2021.
    by Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance Contributing Editor

    Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.

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