Disclaimer: Some or all of the companies listed on this page my provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service for consumers that visit us. Compensation & hard research determine where and how companies appear below.
Figuring out how to invest can be nerve-wracking. That goes especially for investing your retirement funds. You want to make wise decisions that leave you with an ideal amount of money to live on in the future. But what happens when the economy causes many of your traditional investments to plunge in value?
That's a problem that more and more retirees find themselves facing in today's volatile economy. Precious metals are considered a hedge against that. Gold and silver have value because they don't exist at the whim of the stock market. Since they exist outside of any centralized currency or government, they skyrocket in value when the value of centralized assets dips.
Gold and silver can be kept in a personal self-directed IRA. But as the name implies, you have total control over all of the assets in this account. You decide exactly what you buy and how you diversify. That gets overwhelming fast, particularly if you're not from an investment background.
On top of that, the paperwork to open the account can be difficult to manage. Then you have to put funds into the account and make sure that all of the products you buy comply with the many, many IRS rules.
Gold IRA companies are designed to help. These companies focus on taking care of your paperwork and connecting you with a custodian. Then they help you buy precious metals for your account. But not all gold IRA companies are created equal. Some use deceptive sales tactics or predatory marketing.
We've compiled a list of the top best gold IRA companies in the industry. All of these have incredible reviews, reputations, pricing, policies, and customer service. Our top pick overall is Goldco, thanks to their super streamlined approach.
Best Gold IRA Companies - Our Recommendation
Goldco is our top pick overall for anybody who can afford the investment minimum of $25,000. Though that might seem like a hefty price, it's worth it for the stellar customer service. You can find hundreds of reviews on websites like Trustpilot and Trustlink, which almost unanimously say that the customer was pleased with Goldco's offerings.
While Goldco does have some items available for cash purchase, their main focus is on IRAs. They have an entire team of IRA-focused professionals to help you. When you use their IRA services, you are given a dedicated representative. This individual will facilitate all of your interactions for the entire time you're with the company.
There's no sense that you're just another number. This person will get to know you on a personal level, finding out about your goals and your family and your tolerance for risk. They'll answer any questions that you might have, and then they'll help to recommend products that perform well in the precious metals market.
One of the biggest selling points of Goldco is the streamlining of their process. In fact, they are more streamlined than basically any other company on the market. While a few companies on this list come close, they can't quite surpass Goldco.
When you sign up for a self-directed IRA, you generally have to file an application with a custodian. Then you have to do tedious paperwork with your custodian to roll over your funds, and then you have to open an account with a depository, and only then can you finally make your purchase.
Goldco takes care of all of that for you. They help you with the application, with the rollover paperwork, and with choosing a depository. Not only that, but they fully communicate with your custodian on your behalf. You never need to talk to anybody except your one account representative. They'll coordinate the shipping of your metals to your depository with your custodian, and you can just sit back and relax.
That's a big deal. The overwhelming tediousness of the IRA process is a big part of why many people don't sign up. Goldco's setup fee is just $50, which is a tiny amount for the amount of time and hassle they're saving you. Many other companies have setup fees that are either percentage-based or greater than $100. The companies on our list are less pricey, which is part of why they're on the list.
Goldco sells a huge variety of IRA-approved gold and silver from mints all over the world. There are also gold and silver bars available in a variety of weights from various global refineries. You can get coins from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
You can buy any of the IRA-eligible products with cash if you want. Since these purchases aren't made with retirement funds, they aren't bound to the same IRS rules. You can have the packages shipped to either a depository or your home.
A small number of Goldco's products aren't eligible for an IRA at all. These must be purchased with non-retirement funds. For example, there are sometimes collectible or impure items. Their availability shifts based on the company's inventory, so you should ask your representative about whether certain coins are available for purchase.
Another item that Goldco offers is the Five Principles coin that celebrates Chuck Norris. This collectible item has an engraving with five of the actor's biggest principles in life. It includes a certificate of authenticity and is packaged in a wooden gift box. That makes it a great choice for Chuck Norris lovers who have birthdays or holidays coming up.
Fees and Promotions
As mentioned, there's a minimum of $25,000 to get started, plus the basic $50 for setup. This doesn't include the other account fees that you need to pay.
Your other fees are for the storage and the custodian. With Goldco, the custodian typically costs $80. The storage costs between $100 and $150, depending on the depository and the type of vault that you use. The more segregated your vault is, the higher the price will be. Both of these costs are paid annually.
Goldco does have some promotions that they run for new customers, though. It's important to make sure that these promotions are still active when you get started. As of writing, there are two major promotions.
One is that if you invest at least $50,000, then Goldco won't charge the setup fee and will cover the first year of basic account fees. So you'll save several hundred dollars immediately.
The other promotion is that if you invest at least $50,000, you can have 5% of your purchase sent back to you in free silver. The silver is shipped directly to you and isn't part of your retirement account, so you can do whatever you want with it.
Pros & Cons of Goldco
#2. Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals is almost as good as Goldco, easily securing a spot as the second best gold IRA company on our list. Their streamlining is nearly as good as Goldco's, and their client education is unparalleled. They're a good option if you have the $50,000 minimum required to invest -- although you might prefer to use Goldco's promotions instead!
Like Goldco, Augusta focuses on IRAs and gives people a dedicated representative. This person acts as your advocate the entire time you work with Augusta. They help you through your paperwork, answer questions, make recommendations, and coordinate with your depository. They work to efficiently get your account funded and filled with gold within a few weeks, about the same time frame as Goldco.
The most unique thing about Augusta is the company's setup. Instead of having every employee be an expert at everything about the industry, they have five different teams. Each team has a focus on just one part of the IRA process. For example, you'd talk to the product team about the actual available products. But for questions about requirements and legal paperwork, you'd talk to someone else.
You'll be speaking to your one account representative for the whole setup and purchase process. But if you have questions they don't know the answer to, they'll ask one of the relevant department's specialists for an answer. In this way, you get people with a much deeper breadth of knowledge about a much narrower niche.
Augusta's reviews from past customers indicate that this works. Many people say that they felt more comfortable working with Augusta than they had with any other company. Others say that they were first time investors, and that working with Augusta really demystified the whole IRA process.
Augusta Precious Metals has one of the most dedicated education policies in the entire business. It goes beyond just having helpful resources on their website. They really want to make sure that each customer understands exactly what they're buying and why.
There is a Director of Education for the entire company named Devlyn Steele. Devlyn Steele is an analyst and economist who trained at Harvard. His entire purpose is to make sure that people are informed. Not only does he teach customers before they make a purchase, but he also provides ongoing insights after you've created your account. There's a lifetime of service.
You will find many other resources on the Augusta website, like a guide to the gold industry, articles about retirement, and an entire page that explains how to recognize scams and avoid them. And there are frequent webinars that you can attend for free, where you'll work one-on-one with a trained economic analyst.
Once you've created an account, you can always log in to see how your holdings are doing. If you have questions, you can immediately get in touch with your account executive or another customer service representative. They'll give you thoughts on the economy, your holdings, the prices of current products, and the best options available to you.
Fees and Promotions
Since Augusta isn't technically the manager of your account, they don't charge any management fees. They just charge a fee for setup. You will need to pay maintenance and storage costs to your respective custodian and chosen depository, though.
Augusta Precious Metals will also cover the shipping costs of IRA purchases. The package will be sent to your depository and processed free of charge.
Like Goldco, Augusta has a flat setup fee of $50. Their partnered custodian typically costs $100, while the partnered depositories also cost $100. This gets you non-segregated storage, which is more inexpensive. Though your items mingle with other people's, there are strict audits and security protocols in place. You also have a full insurance policy on your holdings.
Augusta Precious Metals is slightly unusual in that they publish their spread, otherwise known as their formula for calculating prices. When they're selling standard bullion, the price is 5% higher than the spot price. That's a significantly lower markup than most dealers charge.
However, if you're looking to buy Premium products with cash instead of your retirement savings, then the markups tend to be higher. The highest they'll go is 33%. You should make sure to research any cash purchases that you make prior to getting started.
Augusta runs some promotions as well, but there's not a lot of information about these on their website. You'll need to ask about the requirements to use these promotions. One example would be that they offer to cover your annual fees for anywhere from 1 to 3 years, depending on the amount that you invest when you get started.
Pros & Cons of Augusta Precious Metals
#3. American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold is a relative newcomer to the IRA scene when compared to some of the competition. And yet they've managed to quickly rise to the top of the ranks when it comes to gold IRAs. While this company offers many of the same basics that Goldco and Augusta Precious Metals do, there are some key differences.
The biggest difference is probably in the intended clientele. American Hartford Gold has great reviews because they provide world class customer service, the kind of service you'd expect at a high-minimum investment firm. But they don't have any minimum investment. They don't even have setup fees.
How are they able to provide such good service without the fees? Part of it has to do with how they source their inventory. Instead of having the latest minted coins, they often stock popular bullion from a few years back. For example, there might be Gold American Eagles from 2014 or 2017, but not from 2021 or 2022.
These older coins are often considered less desirable, since they've been replaced by newer mints. But that's not actually the case. The price of bullion coins like American Eagles is based much more on their purity, condition, and melt value than on their age. There is a negligible difference in value between a 2014 Gold American Eagle and a 2021 Gold American Eagle of the same condition and size.
But acquiring unsold coins from earlier years might be easier for American Hartford Gold. Some companies won't sell the coins that are "out of date," which means that AHG is able to pick them up at a discount. In turn, they can sell these to people at a reasonable price, while still making a significant profit.
Since AHG doesn't have any investment minimums, they've tapped into a clientele that previously couldn't use any of the companies on this list. The lowest investment minimum otherwise is Noble Gold, which requires $5,000 if you're doing a rollover.
Fees and Promotions
Even though there isn't a setup fee or minimum investment, you will still need to pay some fees. The storage and custodian costs are mandatory. Unlike many of the other companies on this list, American Hartford Gold hasn't published full pricing for their partners. They say that your fees will vary depending on which depository and custodian you choose.
However, they do have an investment guide that has some more information. It says that if you choose their partnered depository with Delaware Depository or Brinks Global Services, you'll be charged $75 annually by Strata Trust as long as your account has less than $100,000 in it. Once the value of the account is higher than $100,000, it will cost $125 for Strata Trust to maintain your holdings.
They say that the depository itself will usually bill a flat fee of $100. But there may be special cases in which the customer is expected to pay a different rate. You can ask about the details regarding how the storage pricing is calculated.
American Hartford Gold is also often running advertisements and promotions. They have entire promotional campaigns to entice people into investing in a precious metals IRA. Their promotions fluctuate month to month, so you should double check.
As of writing, there are two main promotions on the site. One is to have your account costs covered for up to 3 years with a qualifying purchase. That means no maintenance, storage, or product transfer fees.
The other promotion is to receive a maximum of $5,000 worth of silver for free. When you reach a certain purchase threshold for your IRA, a percentage of that will be sent back to you as non-IRA silver, for you to do whatever you please with.
A free gold and silver guide is also available for download from the website. You're just asked to provide basic contact information.
Pros & Cons of American Hartford Gold
#4. Birch Gold Group
When you look up Birch Gold Group, one of the first things you'll see is their partnership with Ben Shapiro. In fact, many of Birch Gold's customers were referred through Ben Shapiro's talk show or podcast. He's a popular commentator with an audience who trusts his judgement, and he says that he'll never work with any gold company except Birch.
Birch Gold Group is also one of the longest-lasting companies on our list. They've been operating since 2003, making them older than even Goldco. Like the other options, they mainly focus on IRAs, but they do have inventory available for cash purchases.
Birch Gold Group has a variety of popular and long-lasting IRA-approved bullion choices in their inventory. In addition to classic US Mint options like the American Eagle, they also have coins from other sovereign mints, bars of various weights from Valcambi, and a number of other choices.
There are some collectible coins available for purchase as well. Since collectibles can't be kept in an IRA, these must be purchased with cash. You'll see sections of the website dedicated to rarities from pre-1933, rare gold coins, silver dollars, and other numismatic investments.
Though Birch Gold Group has a big focus on IRAs, they also might have the largest non-IRA selection on the list. This makes them a solid choice for anyone who's looking for specific historic or rare collectibles. If you're not sure whether Birch Gold has what you're looking for, you can always call and find out if they can get it.
Every company on this list has a buyback program. They will make an offer for your precious metals when you're ready to liquidate. Birch Gold happens to have one of the most solid buyback setups on the list. They promise that they will always make an offer when you decide that you're ready to liquidate your holdings.
In addition, there aren't any additional transaction fees or hidden costs. Some companies offer buyback deals but then hit the seller with major percentage costs. That's not the case here; what you're offered is what you get.
Fees and Promotions
Birch Gold most closely works with the custodian Equity Trust Company. Many companies on this list do, since Equity Trust Company is one of the best established IRA custodians on the planet. They have been in business for decades and manage billions upon billions in client assets.
If you do use Equity Trust, you'll pay a fee of $80 annually for the maintenance of your account. There is also a basic setup fee paid to Birch Gold of $50. On top of that, the wire transfer fee for your first purchase is $30. This is only charged once, in order to establish the connection between your bank account and Birch's.
If you invest a minimum of $50,000, then you will have your fees completely waived for your first year. But the minimum investment to use the services at all is just $10,000. While that's significantly less than Goldco or Augusta, it might still be out of some people's price ranges.
If you choose a segregated vault with any of Birch Gold Group's partnered depositories, you'll pay $150 every year. That cost is just $100 if you don't use segregated storage. Again, non-segregated storage is still extremely secure, audited, and fully insured against fraud or theft or damage.
Birch Gold Group works closely with several different storage companies. Mainly, they work with International Depository Services, Brinks Global Services, and Delaware Depository. This helps them connect clients to a range of vault options in multiple different regions.
IDS offers segregated storage through the Texas depository. The other companies offer both segregated and non-segregated options. You can talk about the locations and various tax advantages that each different depository might give you.
It's worth noting that all of these depositories -- as well as all of the depositories used by the other companies on this list -- are privately owned and operated. They are also fully insured. Thanks to the private ownership, they have a high level of confidentiality and are operated fully outside of the banking sector.
There have been times in the past when people have had their valuables seized from safety deposit boxes by the FBI and other government organizations. That's much less likely to happen with a private storage facility, since your items are essentially held "off the grid."
It's ultimately up to you whether you choose to have segregated or non-segregated storage. But we do think that non-segregated security measures are good enough.
Pros & Cons of Birch Gold Group
#5. Noble Gold
Though Noble Gold is the last option on our list, that doesn't take away from the company's excellence. Like the other choices, they have an incredible reputation, with positive reviews and a high level of ethics. They've been highly rated by a number of different organizations that act as third party watchdogs.
Noble Gold is also somewhat unique in that it is the only company that doesn't focus exclusively on IRAs. While a big chunk of their business involves IRAs, they also have a big focus on their Royal Survival Packs. These are packages of bullion that can only be purchased with cash.
The philosophy behind Noble Gold is that precious metals are a vital component of financial security. No matter whether you're saving for retirement or preparing for an emergency, they have the stability and liquidity that you need. Noble Gold caters to people from all walks of life who want the security and peace of mind that comes with a gold investment.
Royal Survival Packs
If you want to buy bullion with cash, it's fairly easy to do. You just go online, pick a product, find a seller who has a reasonable offer, and make the purchase.
But what if you don't know anything about the best bullion products? What if you're new to the precious metals scene? What if you're totally overwhelmed and don't know where to start? Maybe all you want is to invest a certain amount, and then to have somebody else pick out the best products for you.
With the IRA services, there's no setup fee, and the minimum investment is $2,000 if you pay cash. If you need to roll over funds, the minimum goes up to $5,000.
That's where the Royal Survival Packs come in.
You choose an investment tier and send Noble Gold the money. Then they assemble a package for you with hand-selected bullion that's easy to liquidate. You'll have it on hand in case of natural disasters, political unrest, extreme economic events, or anything else that you might be concerned about.
At the lowest tiers, the packages have enough bullion to sustain an individual or a small family for a few weeks. Once you get into the higher tiers, there's enough bullion to sustain you for months, finance travel, or help with any other emergency you may have.
At the highest tier, you'll get a custom pack that's made specifically regarding your input. A representative of the company will get in touch and find out everything about your concerns, who you're trying to protect, and what kind of products you need.
These purchases are made using cash savings, so they aren't subject to the same regulations as an IRA. In fact, you can store these in your home if you want.
The one exception is the customized Noble Ambassador tier. This is a special service that's only available for international clients who specifically want to store a large amount of bullion untraceably in the US. Noble Gold will protect your privacy and make sure that everything is set for you if you need to cross the border. This tier can be paid for either in American currency or in Bitcoin.
Some collectible coins are also available for purchase through Noble Gold's inventory. All of these coins have historical value and have been carefully sourced. They will appeal particularly to history enthusiasts.
Every coin in the inventory has been independently graded and given a certification by the NGC or PCGS. These are the two main coin evaluation organizations in the US.
In addition to rare historical coins, there are also collectible coins made of materials like silver, platinum, and palladium.
Pros & Cons of Noble Gold
There are dozens or perhaps even hundreds of gold and silver IRA companies. But very few of them have the quality that you'll find on this list. Every company we've listed has a great reputation, quality customer service team, and high level of integrity.
The best choice for you just depends on what you're looking for. We recommend Goldco overall because of their streamlining, customer care, and overall quality. Goldco fosters a lifelong relationship with you, and your dedicated account representative works hard to get to know your needs. They also have solid promotions.
For people who need a lower investment minimum, we recommend Noble Gold. Since you only need $2,000 for a direct deposit and $5,000 for a rollover, it's more doable than some other minimums. This company is also ideal for cash purchases, if you want gold on hand in case of emergency.
Birch Gold Group is a good choice for people who appreciate the celebrity endorsement of Ben Shapiro. While not much information has been published about its management, the company does have great reviews from past customers.
Augusta Precious Metals is highly recommended for clients who have a lot to spend. Though they have the highest minimum on the list, they also have the best customer service. Not only do they monitor your account and provide insights for life, but they also have the most robust educational materials.
American Hartford Gold has a mission of being accessible to everyone. So if Noble Gold's investment minimum is still too high, you might appreciate the no-minimum, no-fee setup. As with all of the others, AHG has excellent past reviews and a solid reputation in the community.