Best Gold IRA Companies


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Examine our selection of the best Gold IRA companies based on our experiences evaluating their offerings. Use our buyers guide to learn about Gold IRAs and discover tips for making wise investment choices.

(77 Reviews)
  • Competitive Pricing
  • More metal for your money
  • New accounts receive free shipping

Orion Metals Exchange is an affordable precious metals dealer that provides direct pricing, low management costs, as well as a variety of services, including an easy-to-set-up IRA account.

(19 Reviews)
  • No Fee for Life IRA
  • Highly-rated with ConsumerAffairs
  • No management fees

With a fast turnaround for new accounts (24-hour setup) and a simple 3-step process to begin, Patriot makes Gold IRAs simple to start and affordable to manage.

(145 Reviews)
  • Great Retailer
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Over experience in Precious Metals IRAs

Goldco offers many years of experience in both the precious metals market and Precious Metals IRAs. This experience lets them guide investors through important decisions, the rules surrounding Precious Metals IRAs and the investment options available for Precious Metals IRAs.

(9 Reviews)
  • Great Ongoing Promotions
  • Lowest price guarantee and no buy-back fees
  • Up to $15,000 in FREE silver on qualified accounts

American Hartford Gold specializes in Gold and Silver IRAs and buying and selling gold and silver for physical possession. It uses a quick three-step process for acquiring precious metals for physical delivery, Gold IRAs or a precious metals IRA. Its same-day IRA is the fastest in the industry, and customers can access more promotions than other gold companies.

(26 Reviews)
  • Great Service
  • Fees waived with minimum IRA
  • Personalized customer service and education

With a low annual management cost and a reputation for good customer service, Lear Capital is a great option for individuals interested in a precious metals IRA.

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  • Great portfolio simulator
  • Live gold prices online
  • Transfer fees waived for IRA investments over $50,000

Open a gold IRA with the help of a trained specialist or buy physical precious metals for home storage directly on the website. Premier Gold’s unique data-backed investor simulator tool can help you learn how adjusting your portfolio allocations can affect your annual returns.

(15 Reviews)
  • No Fees BuyBack Program
  • Minimal gold IRA fees and competitive pricing
  • Lifetime account support

Preserve Gold is a full-service precious metals IRA dealer offering an extensive catalog of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bars available for purchase. The company caters to first-time and experienced investors with lifetime account support from a dedicated wealth preservation specialist. Exclusive market research and analysis are available for all customers.

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  • Great free storage
  • Informative website with investment tips
  • Competitive buy-back policy

If you roll over $50,000 or more to a Priority Gold IRA, they’ll waive your storage and administrative fees. The dealer is highly rated by both consumer and business sites, and you’ll be assigned a representative to guide you through the investment process.

(2 Reviews)
  • Great Mobile App
  • 24/7 access to manage assets
  • Low fees and competitive prices

Invest in vaulted precious metals through an online account without the hassle of holding and storing your assets. Liquidate or take possession of physical assets when it’s right for you.

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  • Great Customer Service
  • 100% 7-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Zero setup, custodian & storage fees for up to 10 years.

Augusta Precious Metals provides each customer with a customer service partner to assist with the buying process.

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  • Great Online Education
  • Fees waived on transfers $50,000+
  • $10,000 min. investment

Birch Gold Group specializes in Precious Metals IRAs and strives to provide customers with the right information so they can make the appropriate decisions for their financial future. Precious metal offerings include Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium.

Read Review
  • Great Customer Reputation
  • Buys and Sells Precious Metals and Collectibles
  • Ongoing Account Support

National Gold Group buys and sells precious metals for IRAs and physical possession. Its minimum investment is $10,000. The first-year fees for new clients are $99, but for those who make a larger investment, the company waives fees for one to five years. National Gold Group also offers a no-fee buyback program.

Allegiance Gold
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  • Flat Fee Structure
  • Ongoing customer support
  • First-time buyer promotions

Allegiance Gold sells IRA-approved gold coins, bullion, and other precious metals. You must buy at least $10,000 worth of gold to open an IRA. Senior portfolio managers will help you fund, maintain, and liquidate your account.

Monetary Gold
Read Review
  • Unique Investor Workshops
  • Workshops provide education with consultation
  • Broadest investment range

Monetary Gold buys precious metals directly from the source to keep prices down. The brokerage offers an expanded range of investments via registration with the world’s largest derivatives marketplace. Monetary Gold provides workshops and individual consultations, so clients understand markets and investment options.

Gold Alliance
(2 Reviews)
  • Great Customer Service
  • Specializes in retirement accounts
  • Great buy-back options

Gold Alliance’s team is equipped with both financial and precious metals experts. Gold Alliance is known for client satisfaction.

Oxford Gold Group
(6 Reviews)
  • Flexible Pricing
  • 15+ Precious metal options
  • Gold, silver, platinum

With nearly 20 years of service, Oxford Gold Group has consistently partnered with individuals as they look to grow their investment portfolio in gold & silver products.

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.

Our Experience Testing Gold IRA Companies

To provide the most authentic buying guide for gold IRAs, the Retirement Living content team spent several days contacting gold IRA companies to learn about the investment process and product details. When available, we asked companies for starter kits we could analyze. We had to offer our name, email address, and phone number to receive a digital copy of a starter kit, but our requests were granted quickly.

For instances where companies did not offer an informational kit, we used the live chat feature. Each company asked for a name, email, and phone number to enter a live chat, but we found all company representatives very responsive and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions in full.

Orion Metal Exchange

Orion Metal Exchange stands out among our list of best gold IRA companies because it displays real-time metal prices directly on its website—not all competitors do the same. It has the most customer reviews on our site from people who’ve invested with the company and worked with its team of professionals.

Oxford Gold Group

We found Oxford Gold Group’s investor kit most helpful and effective for engaging new customers. They sent us a 15-page PDF full of relevant information about precious metals, the storage depositories they partner with, and ways to diversify our portfolios with different metals.

Our experience with each company was positive overall. Moving forward, we’d love to see the gold industry become more transparent as an industry standard. Obscuring pricing information from website visitors makes it difficult for potential investors to accurately gauge their investment potential and budget for additional fees that come with opening and maintaining a gold IRA. Companies that prioritize transparent pricing and fees online can secure a competitive advantage with consumers.

What Gold IRA Customers Say About Their Experience

To learn how customers rate their experience with gold IRA companies, we analyzed three years’ worth of customer reviews of gold IRA companies on our site. Are customers who invested in gold happy with their experience? According to the 195 reviews posted on Retirement Living, customers who have invested with the companies on this list have an average satisfaction rating of 4.4 stars.

And while price does factor into customer satisfaction, other aspects like customer service, responsiveness, and investor education are referenced more frequently than we expected. In fact, 43% of reviewers mention a representative or account manager by name when detailing their experience (good and bad) with the company.

Key takeaways from our review analysis of gold IRA companies on Retirement Living include:

  • Over 90% of gold IRA customer reviews are 4 stars or higher.
  • Reviewers who mention communication are more likely to rate their experience as positive.
  • Overall, the majority of customers are satisfied with the customer service they received throughout the investment process, such as one Orion Metal Exchange reviewer who said their experience was easier than expected. “I expected it to be more complex but my rep helped me all the way through and was very knowledgeable on investing. They keep following up with me which I didn’t expect, but found very helpful.”.

Only 9.5% of gold IRA customer reviews were less than 4 stars. Of the reviews that skewed negatively:

  • 85% reference high premiums compared to the spot price (market value) of the coins and steep fees that limit investment potential, such as one California reviewer who said fees accounted for 33% of his investment. 
  • 65% mention high-pressure sales tactics and a lack of consumer education before making an investment decision.
  • 15% mention issues contacting customer service and delays in account maintenance requests.

Nearly all reviews on our site reference feeling nervous and worried about making large investments that can affect their retirement—though our data suggests that some companies are better than others at putting customers at ease.

We think gold IRA companies can improve their rankings by delivering high-touch, personalized service to all customers and committing to educating investors about fees, risk, and whether investing in alternative assets is right for their particular situation.

Gold IRA Company Reviews

The following companies currently offer gold IRAs and have been rated highly by customers, the BBB, and the press.

Lear Capital Review

Great Service | 4.9 Stars

Lear Capital Screenshot
Screenshot: Lear Capital Website

Most of Lear Capital’s customers have existing retirement accounts they wish to diversify with gold and silver, but the company will assist anyone with an IRA or 401(k) rollover.

You’ll pay a $200 annual fee for Lear to manage your IRA. The fee covers the costs of storage, custodian management, and quarterly statements. There are no additional fees from Lear Capital for maintaining your IRA, although there may be costs associated with buying, selling, and transfer of assets.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, and platinum bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: $25,000
  • Fees: Setup, annual maintenance (including storage)
  • Storage options: Delaware Depository

We contacted Lear Capital to request a gold IRA investor kit and learned firsthand how hard the company works to educate its customers about Gold IRAs. The kit and the website provide comprehensive resources for customers to review and learn. Lear’s knowledge of the gold and silver markets is established in the private markets and translates well to their IRA management.

Read our full Lear Capital review.

Goldco Review

Great Retailer | 4.75 Stars

Goldco Screenshot
Screenshot: Goldco Website

This company has recently made a big splash in the industry, thanks to celebrity endorsements from Sean Hannity and Chuck Norris, among others. Specifically, we like this company’s buyback price guarantee: Goldco promises to buy back your metals at the highest possible price. This, and its silver coins promo for new accounts, allows us to confidently recommend Goldco for first-time buyers who are unsure how to begin investing wisely.

The modest $200 annual fee (waived the first year) is a bit higher than other companies but gives you the ability to see your own assets at any time.

  • Metals: Gold and silver bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: $25,000
  • Fees: Setup, maintenance, wiring, storage
  • Storage options: Not disclosed

Admittedly, we had a tough time finding information online about fees, account minimums, custodians, and storage options. But representatives were quick to respond to our questions when we reached out via the live chat feature. We also found Goldco’s in-depth blog, eBooks, and educational videos very helpful for potential investors.

For more information, read our full Goldco review.

Orion Metal Exchange Review

Most Competitive Pricing | 4.9 Stars

Orion Metal Exchange
Screenshot: Orion Metal Exchange Website

Orion Metal Exchange offers transparent pricing and over 50 years of precious metals investment service. While Orion is based in Los Angeles, it has options for investors in all 50 states to fund IRAs with gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

One of the reasons we placed Orion at the top of our list is that they made it easy for us to access educational resources quickly and request a free investor kit to learn more about buying gold and silver through them. The kit was sent to our email; it gave us several easily-implemented tips for choosing the right gold IRA company and how to avoid rookie mistakes when buying gold, which we found really helpful for empowering our decision. We also had many opportunities to contact an experienced account representative. Once connected, we found the expert knowledgeable and friendly as they explained the process of opening an IRA.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins and bars
  • Minimum investment: $5,000
  • Fees: Storage (only after three years)
  • Storage options: Works with all IRS-approved gold IRA custodial institutions

The company displays its list of IRS-approved coins on its website. Transparent product pricing is important for ensuring you get the best deal. Orion Metal Exchange gold IRA charges fewer fees than its competitors. For example, there is no setup or transfer fee, and the company will pay your storage fees for up to three years.

Orion recommends you store precious metals at a local Brinks or Delaware Depository location. Although home storage is an option, Orion does not recommend it because such methods are not IRS-compliant.

For more information, read our full Orion Metal Exchange review.

Patriot Gold Group Review

No Fee for Life IRA | 4.8 Stars

Patriot Gold Screenshot
Screenshot: Patriot Gold Group Website

Investing with Patriot Gold Group is fast, easy, and affordable. We think Patriot Gold stands out from others because it makes getting started with a gold IRA easy with a 24-hour turnaround. They advertise no fees for life (if you have more than $100,000 in your account).

Patriot Gold is a dealer-direct company, which means you won’t pay typical fees charged for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion or coin purchases. This feature undoubtedly benefits the consumer, but the website lacks information about fee amounts, account minimums, and other details. You will have to contact them before signing up to learn more.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: $50,000
  • Fees: Setup (depending on account balance), transaction, storage, insurance
  • Storage options: Advertises Brink’s Global Services and Delaware Depository, but doesn’t disclose full list

You can initiate a gold IRA account online by filling out their online form with your basic information and the best time to be reached. You can roll over an existing IRA into a gold IRA or start a new gold IRA from scratch. Patriot Gold Group has a five-star rating from ConsumerAffairs and AAA rating from the Business Council Alliance.

To contact Patriot Gold Group, call (844) 524-9001 or get a free investor kit online.

Read our comprehensive Patriot Gold Group review.

Oxford Gold Group Review

Flexible Pricing | 4.6 Stars

Oxford Gold Screenshot
Screenshot: Oxford Gold Group Website

A gold mainstay for more than 20 years, Oxford Gold Group is a popular choice for people hoping to protect their assets against uncertain markets and potential economic downturns. Whether you’re an experienced investor or just getting started, Oxford Gold Group has the experience to help you meet your goals. You can open a new account online in less than 24 hours, and the company will assign you a dedicated account executive to walk you through the investment process. After you’ve made your selection, the metals are shipped to the depository and stored.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: Not disclosed
  • Fees: Setup, maintenance, transaction
  • Storage options: Brink’s Global Services, Delaware Depository, International Depository Services

This company works with investors to develop an investment strategy for minimizing risk and then uses that approach to inform investing in precious metals. Oxford is proud of its personalized service and convenient access to its 24/7 customer care team, should questions arise during your investment journey. Oxford does not charge shipping fees.

While several gold IRA companies offer investor kits, we thought Oxford’s starter resources explained the differences (i.e., your options) for investing in bullion, numismatic, and semi-numismatic metals better than competitors. The kit also detailed what to expect when you want to transfer your gains to your beneficiaries.

Read our comprehensive Oxford Gold Group review.

Birch Gold Group Review

Great Online Education | 4.45 Stars

birch gold group screenshot
Screenshot: Birch Gold Group Website

Since 2003, Birch Gold Group has been selling physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium to fund IRAs or for physical possession. They’re recognized as an industry leader because of their efforts to educate consumers on the best way to turn precious metals into long-term investments.

Customers will have ongoing access to account executives who will educate you in person or online about how Precious Metals IRAs can diversify your portfolio, hedge against inflation and show strong growth potential. Birch Gold Group frequently offers promotional pricing, such as getting additional free precious metals, depending on the order amount.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: $10,000 recommended
  • Fees: Setup, annual maintenance, transfer
  • Storage options: Delaware Depository, Brink’s Global Services, Texas Precious Metals Depository, International Depository Services

In addition to its “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau, Birch Gold Group has won numerous awards including five stars with TrustLink touting their customer service and a “AAA” rating with Business Consumer Alliance.

Read our complete Birch Gold Group review for more details.

American Hartford Gold Review

Great Ongoing Promotions | 4.6 Stars

American Hartford Gold Screenshot
Screenshot: American Hartford Gold Website

Based in Los Angeles, American Hartford Gold specializes in Gold and Precious Metals IRAs. To open a Precious Metals IRA, click on the website link to call a product specialist to complete the necessary paperwork. If you’re rolling over an existing account, American Hardfort Gold will transfer your funds within three days. The assets you buy will be stored in an IRA-approved vault.

The buyback commitment offered by American Hartford Gold is what stands out to us the most. This program guarantee lets customers sell their precious metals while avoiding additional fees during the liquidation process. They also offer customers more promotions than other gold companies, including free account setup, free insured shipping, and free storage.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: Not disclosed
  • Fees: Flat annual storage
  • Storage options: Delaware Depository, Brink’s Global Services, A-M Global Logistics (AMGL), International Depository Services

We couldn’t download the 25-page investor kit without providing a name, email, and phone number, but we could access the company’s robust investor library, which gave us four eBooks explaining updated information for the year. This includes tips for preparing for a recession and a guide for opening a gold IRA.

For more details, read our full American Hartford Gold review.

To contact American Hartford Gold, call 877-672-6779 or request a free starter kit.

VaultUS Gold Review

Great Personalization | 4.6 Stars

Screenshot: VaultUS Gold Website

VaultUS Gold stands out to us as a reputable precious metals dealer because they create custom investment portfolio suggestions based on your budget, risk tolerance, and investment goals. The price of their portfolio suggestions includes all costs and fees associated with opening and maintaining a gold IRA.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and coins
  • Minimum investment: $5,000
  • Fees: Setup, maintenance, storage (about $250 for the first year)
  • Storage options: Delaware Depository, Lloyd’s of London, International Depository Services, Brink’s US

Unlike other competitors, VaultUS Gold does not list its precious metal prices online. However, a company representative told us the storage and maintenance fees for your IRA-eligible metals are typically $250 for the first year and $200 per year thereafter. VaultUS offers up to five years of free storage and maintenance, depending on the size of the account.

Read our full VaultUS Gold review to learn more.

Premier Gold Review

Great portfolio simulator | 4.6 Stars

Premier Gold is a precious metals dealer whose specialists can help you diversify by rolling over funds to a gold IRA or purchasing precious metals for physical possession. Its business model is based on repeat business and referrals, supported in large part by transparent investor education. Invest an amount you feel comfortable with, though gold IRA fees are waived for transfers over $50,000.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
  • Minimum investment: None (dealer recommends $50,000)
  • Fees: Setup, annual maintenance
  • Storage options: Brink’s Global Services, Delaware Depository, International Depository Services, A-M Global Logistics

Premier Gold specialists are financial experts, not sellers, so they’ll work with you to identify assets that best fit your investment goals. There are more than 60 IRA-approved metals to choose from and consultations are free.

Read our full Premier Gold review to learn more.

Priority Gold Review

Great free storage | 4.6 Stars

To open a self-directed gold IRA, you’ll need to invest at least $20,000. Call Priority Gold and speak to a specialist who will guide you through the process. 

Since 2015, Priority Gold has helped new and seasoned investors make responsible, educated investments. Specialists have more than 20 years of combined experience facilitating gold IRA rollovers into gold and silver, collaborating with Preferred Trust Company to provide custody services.

  • Metals: Gold, silver, platinum, palladium
  • Minimum investment: $20,000
  • Fees: Setup, annual maintenance, storage (waived for certain investments)
  • Storage options: Brink’s Global Services, Delaware Depository

Customers praise Priority for its customer service and guidance throughout the investment process. Its website is also full of educational information, including an investment glossary of terms and a real-time price chart you can use to compare the current price of gold to the U.S. dollar, S&P 500, Oil, or Dow Jones to learn how gold is performing.
Read our full Priority Gold review to learn more.

Additional Gold IRA Companies

Freedom Gold USA is a precious metals dealer based in Los Angeles, CA. Read our comprehensive Freedom Gold USA Review to learn more.

All American Assets offers affordable gold and silver products from the U.S. Mint. Browse live pricing online or work with a full-service IRA team to invest. Read our All American Assets review to learn more.

Red Rock Secured is a Gold IRA provider offering gold, silver, and other investment tools. Read our comprehensive Red Rock Secured Review to learn more.

Lexi Capital helps customers convert their existing IRA, 401(k), annuity or other retirement accounts. Read our comprehensive Lexi Capital Review to learn more.

The Gold Financial Group explains gold investing and the precious metals each client is interested in. To learn more about the company, read our Gold Financial Group Review.

American Precious Metals Exchange is one of the largest precious metals dealers specializing in precious metals for Gold IRA accounts. Check out our APMEX comprehensive review.

Rosland Capital’s specialists help clients choose precious metals that are in compliance with IRS rules for Gold IRAs. Check out our Rosland Capital comprehensive review.

JM Bullion buys and sells precious metals such as gold, silver, copper and platinum. Check out our JM Bullion comprehensive review.

Advantage Gold agents will work alongside you to fund your precious metals IRA. The company strives to educate the customer so they can be confident in their investment. Read our comprehensive Advantage Gold Review.

Noble Gold representatives simplify setting up an IRA or rollover IRA. Check out our comprehensive Noble Gold Review.

To identify top gold IRA providers, we analyzed 10 data points to give you a well-rounded review of each provider. We sourced feedback and reviews from real consumers and consulted with finance experts. We also considered these features:

  • Licensure and credentials
  • Fees, such as transfer and setup, annual management, and storage costs
  • Access to educational information and investment resources
  • Customer service and support availability
  • Industry reputation
  • Storage options
  • Minimum investment requirements
  • Options for precious metals

We also requested starter kits, as most companies allow interested investors to call for a starter kit or more information. We wanted to narrow down the list to those that would answer your questions right away, either with a live chat rep, or an easy-to-use request form. Companies that responded within a few days (or quicker) stayed on our list.

Basically, we followed our own buying tips to uncover the best providers. Companies that obscured their prices, had difficult or confusing policies and procedures, and/or limited investment and storage options were eliminated. The result of our analysis is the best gold IRA companies for you, a friend, or a family member to consider.

Tips for Choosing the Right Gold IRA Company

The three most significant considerations for finding the best gold IRA company are consumer ratings, customer service and reputation.

Top tips:

  • Be a skeptical investor; only work with reputable companies that are committed to customer education
  • Make sure you buy IRS-approved and IRA-approved coins from a reputable company
  • Understand potential tax penalties for selling and home storage options

Before investing in gold, you should know exactly what you’re getting. Ask lots of questions and do your due diligence. Going into a transaction of this magnitude unprepared or without the right knowledge could cost you money in the long run.

Compare Top Gold IRA Companies

4.2 Stars
4.6 Stars
4.6 Stars

Gold IRA Best Practices

Buy IRA-approved metals: Per IRS rules, you can hold only certain types of gold and precious metals in an IRA. JM Bullion has a good list of IRA-approved metals you can use to guide your investments. The metals that don’t appear on this list have not been deemed pure enough, and you won’t be able to use your IRA funds to purchase them. To be IRS-eligible, gold must have a 99.5% purity, silver 99.9% purity, and platinum and palladium 99.95% purity. (The IRS makes an exception to the fineness rule for American Gold Eagle coins, which must only be 22 karats or 91.67% pure gold.) Metals must also meet other qualifications pertaining to their condition (near perfect), weight, and authenticity.

IRA accounts only accept gold bullion, not collectibles, so save your numismatic coins for your display case and fund your gold IRA with tangible bullion instead.

Store it properly: Gold purchased for a gold IRA must be stored with a reputable, IRS-approved storage facility. While many IRAs offer you the ability to keep your gold in separate storage away from the metals of other investors in the same facility (known as comingled storage), beware of any company that provides an option to store them at home in a safe or bank deposit box. This is not an IRS-approved method and would result in the removal of the metals from your IRA and potentially incur a withdrawal tax penalty.

Hold your gold until maturity: If you need access to your IRA funds, you can take distributions from your gold IRA like a traditional IRA. In most instances, you can opt to receive the actual bullion or the cash value of your precious metals. But remember that early withdrawals before 59 1/2 attract a 10% penalty, and the dollar value withdrawn is added to your income and subject to ordinary income tax.

Top Gold IRA Companies

What Are the Typical Gold IRA Fees?

In addition to the cost of the metals themselves, you’ll need to budget for other fees related to establishing and maintaining a gold IRA.

  • Setup fees: An application fee to process a new account or initiate an IRA/401k rollover. These fees range from $50 to $275, but some custodians wave this expense for larger accounts.
  • Transaction fees: A flat fee to purchase or sell metals within the account. Fees are typically about $40 per transaction.
  • Account maintenance fees: Annual fee to maintain your account. These fees can vary from $75 to a few hundred dollars per year, though some custodians may offer discounts based on account size.
  • Wiring fees: IRA custodians will charge a wiring fee of about $25 for each outgoing wire.
  • Storage fees: A percentage of your investment or a flat fee paid in exchange for holding and securing your metals in an approved depository. Some custodians may include insurance costs in their storage fees.
  • Shipping fees: A flat fee to move your metals to and from the depository.

Options for Storing Your Gold

When deciding where to store your gold investments, your options are limited in an IRA. The IRS has only a few approved depositories for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Examples of IRS-approved depositories include Delaware Depository Service Company, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, and CNT Depository.

Under IRS law, you cannot store your investments at home or in a safe deposit box — without incurring a fee, at least. If you store them at home, the IRS will consider it a withdrawal and levy taxes (if it’s a traditional gold IRA) and/or penalties (if the withdrawal takes place before age 59 1/2).

Many gold IRA companies partner with a third-party storage firm or secured depository. When researching companies to invest with, ensure they’ve partnered with reputable facilities and ask how they handle transportation and insurance coverage. Then, determine how they’ll be stored. Allocated storage means your metals will be stored alongside the metals of other investors. Commingled, or segregated storage, keeps your investments separate from assets held by other investors in an individual storage box or vault.

  • Allocated storage means your bullion will be stored alongside the metals of other investors. Upon withdrawal, you may not receive the exact same bullion that you purchased, but rather an equivalent type. This is a less expensive form of storage and is acceptable for most people who don’t need to receive their exact individual pieces of bullion. 
  • Commingled, or segregated storage, keeps your investments separate from assets held by other investors in an individual storage box or vault.

What to Consider Before Investing in a Gold IRA

There are pluses and minuses to investing in a gold IRA.

It helps diversify your portfolio

Most retirement experts have recommended that you allocate 5% to 10% of your total portfolio to precious metals, but making finite suggestions can be challenging since investment preferences are highly personal.

From Our Expert

“Precious metals can be an important part of a well-diversified portfolio. Historically, gold and other precious metals have had a low correlation with the general stock market. This makes it a good asset to hold when wanting to minimize portfolio volatility.”

It’s a proven way to grow your investments

The price of gold has risen steadily over time, reaching its highest price ever in 2020. In 2023, gold prices spiked to new all-time highs, and it currently hovers near record-breaking levels.

Historically, gold has proven itself as a reliable investment by keeping up with inflation despite long periods of both underperformance and overperformance. It has also served well during periods of high turmoil due to its perception as a “safe haven” asset. In 2020, during a period of high turmoil, gold outperformed the S&P 500.

It comes with higher fees

The cost to have a custodian to store and insure and buy, ship, and transport your assets is pretty steep. You’ll also have to budget for annual custodial fees, which tend to be higher than traditional IRA management costs.

It is subject to an early withdrawal penalty

Ideally, you’ll hold gold in your IRA until you retire, but if you withdraw funds before age 59 1/2, you’ll pay a 10% penalty. You’ll need to start taking mandatory distributions at age 72, or you could face additional taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gold IRAs

Here are answers to the most commonly-asked questions regarding gold and precious metals IRAs. Review them to get an understanding of how an account can be started to help you build wealth in retirement.

What is a gold IRA?

A gold IRA is like a typical IRA (Individual Retirement Account), except the assets held are physical gold bars, coins, or other precious metal pieces. A typical IRA deals in paper assets and a gold IRA is funded by gold.

What do gold IRA companies do?

Gold IRA companies open and operate self-directed IRAs like gold IRAs. A reputable gold IRA company can assist you with purchasing, storing, and selling your gold investments, as well as rolling over traditional IRAs, 401(k)’s, and eligible retirement fund account assets to a gold IRA account. While these custodians are not as widely available, some popular gold IRA companies include Orion Metal Exchange, Oxford Gold Group, Lear Capital, and Goldco, among others.

How do I sell my gold IRA?

If you want to cash in on your funds once the account matures, you can withdraw the assets and have the metals sent directly to you to either sell or store yourself. Alternatively, you can leverage the company’s buy-back program and allow the custodian to take back possession of the metals and do what you want with the funds. Some investors might opt to get a cash distribution, buy a different asset, or transfer funds to a different account. Most gold IRA companies have a buy-back option, but the terms differ. Be sure to confirm your rights before investing.

Are gold IRAs safe?

Any investment carries risk, and gold IRAs are not a sure thing. You must carefully weigh the pros and cons of investing in physical bullion. If you feel that investing in gold is a worthwhile and manageable risk, then a gold IRA can provide a tax-efficient means to invest.

Do gold IRAs only handle gold?

Gold IRAs are also called “precious metal IRAs” because they can hold silver, platinum or palladium investments. These metals can be in bar or coin form as long as the assets meet purity standards and other requirements set by the IRS.

Can I do a gold IRA rollover?

Yes, though rollovers have specific rules and not everyone is eligible. Talk with a gold representative to see if you can initiate a rollover. Many investors fund a gold IRA with funds from a 401(k) or traditional IRA. All gold IRA rollovers must follow the same tax rules for funds rolled into a traditional or Roth IRA. Some choose to roll over just a portion of their IRA or 401(k) to a gold IRA as a way to diversify their nest egg.

Is it better to buy gold bars or coins?

You can choose to purchase bars and certain coins for your IRA. They’re both valued per ounce based on the price of gold, but some believe coins are the safer choice. This is because coins are easier to transfer (sell back), sold at higher premiums, and not as easily counterfeited. Some of the most common coins include:

– American Eagle gold coin
– American Eagle silver coin
– American Eagle platinum coin
– Maple Leaf palladium coin

No matter what you choose to purchase, make sure you work with a reputable gold IRA company with a competitive buy-back policy. However, premiums are higher for coins.

Related Gold IRA Resources

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How to Buy Gold

Read about the different forms of physical gold you can purchase, where you can purchase it and tips for buying gold.

7 Ways to Invest in Gold

There are many ways to invest in gold in addition to a Gold IRA. Check out seven of the most popular forms of investing in gold.

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What Causes Fluctuation in Gold Prices?

Multiple factors affect the price of gold including inflation, monetary policy and supply. Read about the various things that can affect the price of gold.

Concluding Thoughts on Gold IRAs

Bottom Line:
Gold IRAs can be a smart investment, and you have options for choosing a Gold IRA company.

Investing in a Gold IRA is one of many ways to plan for retirement, and if you choose to do so, you should be aware of the way to do it wisely. There is likely a company out there that represents your values in price, customer service, product, and storage.

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