Best Gold IRA Companies

Though many people favor traditional individual retirement accounts (IRA), savvy investors may opt for alternatives, like precious metals. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the benefits of gold IRAs and the best providers to work with.

Best Overall
Augusta Precious Metals logo
Editor's Rating    5/5

Augusta Precious Metals is one of the leading gold IRA companies in America. With their low fees, excellent customer education and reviews, there is a reason why we rated them as our #1 company to work with.

Best Pricing
Goldco logo
Editor's Rating    4.5/5

Goldco Precious Metals is one of the premier precious metals companies in the U.S. We've rated them our #1 option when it comes to best pricing. See why they have 1,000's of 5 star reviews from customers.

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Precious metals spark images of wealth and prosperity, don’t they? Gold, silver, and platinum have marked wealth and prosperity for centuries, and that’s not likely to change soon.

That makes investing in precious metals an exceptional way to secure your retirement.

We’ve seen market turmoil too often over the past few decades. In many cases, it has cost good people large portions of their retirement funds. With the push to diversify and find more stable investments, precious metals emerged as a robust option. 

At first glance, a gold IRA may feel like chasing the shiny toy, but if you dig a little deeper, it’s a wise decision. A diverse portfolio is your best defense against market instability, and choosing something that retains value could give you a stronger sense of security.

Of course, as with any investment, there are crooks promising all that glitters only to deliver a poor knock-off.

Fortunately, investing in precious metals isn’t new, and the best gold IRA companies have a reliable system, solid business ratings, and long-term customers.

The Best Gold IRA Companies for 2021

Comparison of the Best Precious Metals IRA Companies

Best Overall

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals helps retirement savers gain peace of mind by diversifying savings with gold and silver.

Best Pricing

Goldco Precious Metals

Goldco Precious Metals is a renowned precious metals firm specializing in IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts). 

Lowest Minimums

American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold Group is proud to help individuals and families protect their wealth by diversifying with precious metals.

Lowest Fees

Noble Gold Investments

The mission at Noble Gold is to give clients a safe and easy way to buy precious metals. They believe in honesty & increasing our client's investment value.

Best Customer Service

Birch Gold Group

Since 2003, Birch Gold Group become a leading dealer of physical precious metals in the United States.

Best Gold & Crypto

Regal Assets

Regal Assets is a highly respected investment company that assists clients with alternative investment options. 

Most Educational

Advantage Gold

Advantage Gold is an investment firm that specializes in precious metals. They help to educate their clients about investing about gold and silver.

A Detailed List of the Top Gold IRA Companies

Choosing the best gold IRA companies to work with wasn’t easy, but we narrowed the list to a few select categories to help you decide.

From best overall to high-quality customer service, each company on our list contributes something unique to the industry.

1. Augusta Precious Metals - Best Overall

Augusta Precious Metals offers a "partner" in gold IRA investment, a team that will help educate you on market conditions and protect your savings. Since 2012, the company has been offering knowledgeable and education-focused investment opportunities to its clientele.

Citing celebrity clientele, like Joe Montana, and high ratings from the likes of Google Business, Facebook Business, the National Ethics Association, and the BBB, the company seeks to empower its customers. 

Augusta offers four departments devoted to giving you the best customer experience, including a customer success agent, an economic analytics team that helps with studying the market, a processing team that handles the legal work, and the order desk, which lets you choose metals.

Staff also helps with 95 percent of the legal paperwork, including transfer and rollover forms.

Pros
  • Offers phone and web chat for client education.
  • Company waives fees for the first year.
  • Four departments devoted to a great customer experience.
Cons
  • No online orders.
  • High minimum orders, $50,000 for cash purchases and IRA’s.

2. Goldco Precious Metals - Best Pricing

Goldco handles precious metals, and while the company’s specialties are gold and silver IRAs, they also sell directly to consumers. Founded in 2006, Goldco has rapidly grown and established a formidable reputation in investing.

Low fees remain one of the key selling points for Goldco; you can expect to set up precious metal IRAs for around $260. Plus, Goldco offers specials for new customers, charges zero fees for non-IRA transactions, and has a quick and easy rollover process for existing plans. 

Working with Goldco means limited effort on your part. You receive a catalog from your advisor, select the items you wish to purchase, and Goldco does the rest.

Pros
  • Low annual fees
  • Stellar customer service
  • Highly rated across multiple reputable third-party platforms
Cons
  • Minimum deposit is $25,000
  • No online account options

3. American Hartford Gold - Lowest Minimums

American Hartford Gold is a family-owned and operated precious metals IRA company located in Los Angeles, CA. They take pride in offering their customers best-in-class support along with some of the lowest investment minimums in the industry.

AHG has an A+ rating with the BBB, along with 1,000's of 5 star customer reviews. Their leadership team takes pride in delivering quality service along with fair pricing to all of their customers.

Their company mission is to educate and help clients about investments in the precious metal industry with complete transparency and fair dealing.

Pros
  • Low investment minimums
  • Low annual fees
  • Excellent customer service
Cons
  • Most speak to a representative to invest.
  • No home metal delivery service

4. Noble Gold Investments - Lowest Fees

Noble Gold Investments is a newer company, but the founders have more than 25 years of investing experience, which explains their commitment to customer service. Knowledgeable advisors walk you through the entire process and explain options thoroughly.

Investment opportunities include gold and silver IRAs and collectors coins. Noble Gold also offers new customer specials, like bonus metal or coins. Further, Noble Gold covers the first year of fees for qualified IRAs, and only uses segregated storage.

Given that Noble has nearly perfect customer reviews across multiple sites, it’s difficult to imagine a better gold IRA investment experience. If quality customer service is as important to you as your investment portfolio, Noble may be the way to go.

Pros
  • Unparalleled customer service
  • Low minimum investment and fees
  • Advisors offer educational information and insight
Cons
  • Newer company founded in 2017
  • No international storage options available

5. Birch Gold Group - Best Customer Service

After almost twenty years in business, Birch Gold Group has established a strong reputation as one of the top precious metal dealers in America. The company offers a range of products, including gold coins, and partners with some of the most reputable custodial companies.

Birch Gold’s fee structure for gold IRAs is reasonable, and one of the lowest available. Plus, the company waives the first-year fees for new IRA accounts over $50,000. Birch Gold also offers your choice between segregated and non-segregated storage.

Though Birch doesn’t advertise much about their management team, the company has a strong presence in their California community and support from the political commentator, Ben Shapiro. If you prefer working with an established firm, Birch may fit the bill.

Pros
  • Excellent customer service reputation
  • Low minimum thresholds for IRA purchases
  • You can choose between three storage options
Cons
  • May not be as transparent about some things, like set up fees
  • High minimums for non-IRA purchases

6. Regal Assets - Best for Gold & Crypto

Regal Assets offers gold IRAs and cryptocurrency IRAs, providing some diversity for your portfolio if desired. It’s also a reputable, highly-rated company with a reasonable fee structure. Brokers customize and handle your account, and you have vast resources at your disposal.

You can choose various investment levels, and there are additional corporate options. Regal Assets also segregates all customer assets, and you can even store some in Europe or Dubai.

Regal Assets boasts features in Forbes, the Inc 500 list, Reuters, and Market Watch, giving the company significant attention. Given the multitude of options, Regal Assets may be best for experienced investors hoping to diversify with precious metals and cryptocurrency.

Pros
  • Reasonable annual and storage fees
  • Listed as an official retailer by the US Mint
  • More than 1,000 ratings on TrustLink, mostly positive
Cons
  • Limited international options
  • Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau like others

7. Advantage Gold - Most Educational

Though other companies on this list offer educational resources, none come close to Advantage Gold's setup. You get a free investment guide, dedicated advisors, and access to an education center with videos, workshops, books, and more.

Depending on your initial investment, you could claim special welcome bonuses. The fee structure varies slightly, which may take some investigation and discussion with your company contact.

However, the minimums and fees are competitive with other companies.

Advantage Gold’s team created an awesome experience for investors with impressive customer service response time and a wide product selection. Between the fees and educational center, Advantage Gold is an excellent choice for inexperienced investors.

Pros
  • Team of trusted IRA experts
  • Offers a buyback program
  • Positive customer reviews
Cons
  • Account set up can only be done by phone
  • Website doesn’t list their fees

What is a Gold or Precious Metals IRA?

An IRA, or individual retirement account, is meant to see you through the retirement years. Traditional IRAs can involve various investments, like a 401(k) program, while gold and precious metal IRAs rely on stocks in gold companies or physical products, like coins.

Benefits of a Having a Gold IRA

Investing in precious metal IRAs could carry significant benefits if you handle them properly. Keep in mind that precious metal IRAs, like any other investment, should only make up part of your portfolio.

Tax-free Growth

Though the IRS has guidelines and rules for gold IRAs, they also provide some special benefits for using them. Contributions are tax-deductible, and you have some tax-free rollover options.

Security

As we’ve seen time and again, banks, stocks, and paper money can rise and fall. Gold and other precious metals offer more security in uncertain times because they remain almost universally coveted. 

Diversification

Spreading your investments around and choosing a combination of assets builds a more diverse portfolio. The diversification approach limits the risk of loss and helps you survive any market volatility.

Capital Appreciation

Gold prices change like anything else, but they trend toward increases, often substantial, making them a solid investment plan. Likewise, other precious metals follow a similar trend, though they all differ slightly.

Limit Inflation

Though gold prices trend upward, they usually run opposite paper money and stocks, meaning they may protect you against inflation. When stocks and other paper assets plummet, you can rely on precious metal IRAs to hold their own and keep you afloat.

Gold IRA Rules & Regulation

The best gold IRA companies know the rules and regulations so that they can stay in business. However, as the investor, it helps to have an idea about what to expect before you enter into an investment. 

Gold Standards

We’ve come a long way from the days of the 49ers prospecting for gold, but just like those days, investors have standards. You can’t use just any gold for an IRA, it must meet requirements outlined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including a minimum fineness.

Unfortunately, not just any gold qualifies for an IRA. Even some of the most valuable collector’s coins fall short of the minimum fineness ratings, making them collectibles instead of assets. 

Gold and other precious metals must meet fineness standards of .999 or 99.9%.

Purchase Through a Custodian

Also, unlike the prospectors of old, you can’t take any gold you find or possess and shift it into an IRA. You must purchase precious metals through an IRS-approved custodian.

Special Storage

If a gold IRA gives you the image of opening a lockbox in your home whenever you feel the need to gaze upon your investment, you are in for a surprise. The physical gold, or other precious metals, must remain within a bank or IRS-approved trustee.

Many providers allow you to choose segregated or non-segregated storage. Segregated storage means your precious metals have their own space in the facility, while non-segregated vaults contain gold belonging to several people.

Required Minimum Distribution

Like most IRAs, gold and precious metals have required minimum distributions (RMD). While it may not be an issue some years, other years you may end up struggling to sell the gold at an optimal time to meet that minimum and avoid penalties.

FAQ’s

Investing is complicated, so you probably have more questions about gold and precious metal IRAs. We get it, so we compiled a list of common questions to fill in the blanks for you.

Where is Gold Stored?

While it would be awesome to have a chest of gold, most of us aren’t pirates or treasure hunters. Investing in a gold IRA means that you own the gold, but it must remain stored within an IRS-approved vault. The United States permits six institutions to manage the gold:

  • Brinks Security
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank North America
  • Delaware Depository
  • CNT Depository
  • Scotia Mocatta
  • HSBC Bank USA

While these companies primarily use storage locations in America, most offer some international options in major cities around the globe, including London, Dubai, and Zurich. Note that the IRS still approves the off-shore storage options for gold and precious metals.

How Does a Gold IRA Work?

Gold IRAs work much like any other IRA with set contribution limits and rules about distribution and withdrawal. The difference is the actual holding. With stocks and bonds, you have a piece of paper detailing the assets, but a gold IRA uses physical items, like a coin.

As noted above, gold IRAs can also involve stocks in a gold mining or production company, mutual funds that invest in gold, or gold exchange-traded funds. However, most gold IRAs involve storing physical pieces in a vault.
What is a Self-Directed IRA?

Self-directed IRAs refer to a subcategory of individual retirement accounts that involve alternative investments. Custodians or trustees handle the investment, but the individual manages it. 

For example, with a gold IRA, you must purchase the precious metals through an IRS-approved custodian. However, you decide to make the investment and determine if and when to sell or withdraw.

What is an IRA Custodian?

IRA custodians hold your investments and ensure that they follow all applicable rules and regulations. Before working with an IRA custodian, make sure they provide proof of IRS approval.

Is Gold Viewed as a Retirement Asset by the IRS?

This question can be tricky. Generally, the IRS considers most precious metals to be collectibles. However, there is an exception for IRA investments in certain precious metals, including American gold coins.

Where is Gold Stored?

While it would be awesome to have a chest of gold, most of us aren’t pirates or treasure hunters. Investing in a gold IRA means that you own the gold, but it must remain stored within an IRS-approved vault. The United States permits six institutions to manage the gold: Brinks Security JPMorgan Chase Bank North America Delaware Depository CNT Depository Scotia Mocatta HSBC Bank USA While these companies primarily use storage locations in America, most offer some international options in major cities around the globe, including London, Dubai, and Zurich. Note that the IRS still approves the off-shore storage options for gold and precious metals.

How Does a Gold IRA Work?

Gold IRAs work much like any other IRA with set contribution limits and rules about distribution and withdrawal. The difference is the actual holding. With stocks and bonds, you have a piece of paper detailing the assets, but a gold IRA uses physical items, like a coin. As noted above, gold IRAs can also involve stocks in a gold mining or production company, mutual funds that invest in gold, or gold exchange-traded funds. However, most gold IRAs involve storing physical pieces in a vault.

What is a Self-Directed IRA?

Self-directed IRAs refer to a subcategory of individual retirement accounts that involve alternative investments. Custodians or trustees handle the investment, but the individual manages it. For example, with a gold IRA, you must purchase the precious metals through an IRS-approved custodian. However, you decide to make the investment and determine if and when to sell or withdraw.

What is an IRA Custodian?

IRA custodians hold your investments and ensure that they follow all applicable rules and regulations. Before working with an IRA custodian, make sure they provide proof of IRS approval.

Is Gold Viewed as a Retirement Asset by the IRS?

This question can be tricky. Generally, the IRS considers most precious metals to be collectibles. However, there is an exception for IRA investments in certain precious metals, including American gold coins.

How to Invest in a Gold IRA

Once you determine that a gold IRA is right for you, it helps to know how to set one up. Though you may not want to rush into anything, you may be surprised by how easy it is.

Step #1: Choose a Gold IRA Provider

Since you need to go through an IRS-approved custodian, that’s the best place to start. It’s important to find a reputable company to work with but note that some brokers may suggest custodians they know.

Doing your homework is crucial to protect yourself and your investments. Since you’re developing a self-directed IRA, many firms don’t offer support for choosing a gold broker or custodian.

As you research companies, don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig deep.

  • Look for transparency, especially regarding fees and minimum thresholds.
  • Check the company’s history from objective sources, like the Better Business Bureau and other review sites.
  • Make sure the company possesses all necessary licenses, registration, and insurances. Remember that the company must be IRS-approved to handle a gold IRA.

As a final note about choosing a provider, don’t underestimate your gut feeling. If a company seems too good to be true or doesn’t seem to offer a personal experience, it may not be the right fit.

Step #2: Begin Rollover or Transaction Process

Establish the self-directed IRA account and set up your contribution. You could also roll over funds from qualified plans. Make sure you meet all minimums and work within the established contribution limits.

Step: #3: Invest in Gold or Precious Metals

While you can’t buy just any gold or silver, you have some options. Depending on the provider you chose, they may provide you a selection of dealers to use. Again, everything you purchase must meet the IRS guidelines to work for a gold IRA.

Next Steps

Diversifying your investment portfolio with gold IRAs gives you power over your future and more security in uncertain times. There’s no such thing as guaranteed, but precious metals have more or less retained value for centuries. 

Now that you know the best gold IRA companies and what it means to invest in precious metals, why not take the leap? Invest in something shiny for your future self!

Our #1 Gold IRA Company
Augusta Precious Metals logo

When it comes to customer service, fees, safety, and overall customer satisfaction, Augusta Precious Metals checks all of the boxes.