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Personal Finance Gold

4 Best Gold IRA Companies: Compare & Review Accounts

Investing in gold can be a smart way to diversify your portfolio, reduce your overall risk, and protect your wealth in the long run. Gold individual retirement accounts (IRAs) offer a way to invest in these precious metals while also gaining a tax break.

Many institutions can help set up gold IRA accounts, and it’s important to compare your options before investing. You can review our four top choices below.

Compare the best gold IRA companies

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best Overall
4.9
Best Investment Support
4.7
Best Buy-Back Guarantee
4.4
Best for Long-Term IRAs
4.5

Reviews of the 4 best gold IRA companies

Choosing the right company is important to maximize the benefits of your gold IRA account. Our picks for the best gold IRA companies are as follows:

Best overall: American Hartford Gold

LendEDU rating: 4.9 out of 5

  • A+ rating from Better Business Bureau
  • Simple buyback policy with no liquidation fees
  • Transparent pricing with IRA-approved gold clearly marked
  • Excellent customer satisfaction ratings on BBB, Trustpilot and Google

American Hartford Gold is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has been in business since 2015. The company offers extensive information about precious metals investing and gold IRAs on its website, including the latest spot prices.

Opening a precious metals IRA with American Hartford Gold is simple, and specialists are available via phone six days a week to help walk you through the process. American Hartford Gold regularly runs specials, and the company currently offers up to $5,000 in free silver plus up to three years with no IRA fees.

Best investment support: Lear Capital

LendEDU rating: 4.7 out of 5

  • Has handled $3 billion in trusted transactions
  • Handy online resources including price charts and a precious metals encyclopedia
  • Free IRA set-up and storage available
  • A- rating with the Better Business Bureau

Lear Capital has been in the precious metals business since 1997 and offers a 24-hour risk-free price guarantee. Customers can get specialist support by phone or email; the company also offers a free investor kit.

Unlike some companies that don’t include pricing online, Lear Capital lists the cost of many gold and silver products on its website. Orders can be easily tracked through the website as well. 

As of April 2024, Lear maintains a 4.8/5 rating on Trustpilot, with many customers noting the professionalism of the company’s representatives. 

Best buy-back guarantee: Goldco

LendEDU rating: 4.4 out of 5

  • More than $2 billion in gold and silver placed
  • Highest buy-back price guaranteed
  • Free investor kit and online market insights for customers
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau

Goldco has been in business since 2006 and focuses on gold and silver IRAs. While you must call for pricing, the company provides an online catalog with its gold and silver products. There is a $25,000 minimum to open a gold IRA, though.

The company has earned a number of business and industry awards, and customers have given it high marks in online reviews. Goldco maintains excellent ratings on the BBB, Trustpilot, and Google. Many reviewers note that Goldco makes the process of opening and funding a gold IRA easy.

Best for long-term IRAs: Patriot Gold Group

LendEDU rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Precious metals IRAs have no fees for life for qualified investments
  • Convenient online application available for gold IRAs
  • 5-star rating from Consumer Affairs

Patriot Gold Group has been in business since 2016 and has excellent customer ratings. The company states that IRAs can be set up in as little as 24 hours, and qualified accounts with more than $100,000 invested enjoy no storage, shipping, rollover, or setup fees. There is a $50,000 minimum to open an account

While you’ll need to contact the company for specific pricing information, Patriot Gold Group does maintain a catalog of its gold and silver products online. This can be sorted to easily see which items are IRA-eligible. Customer representatives are available via phone five days a week, and live chat is also offered.

How a gold IRA works

To invest in physical gold with a retirement account, you’ll need a self-directed IRA. These are the only IRA accounts that allow you to purchase hard assets, including precious metals, real estate, businesses, and more. Legally, these IRA accounts need a custodian—a bank or other institution that keeps records of the account, handles disbursements, and reports to the IRS.

To fund a gold IRA, you have two options. 

  1. You can roll over or transfer funds from an existing IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) account, or
  2. You can contribute right to the account—up to $8,000 per year, depending on your age.

Once your IRA is funded, you’ll choose the precious metals you’d like to buy and direct your custodian to make the purchase using your account. It can also recommend a storage facility that meets IRS requirements. Gold in an IRA cannot be stored at home.

You can withdraw money from your IRA at any point, though if you do so before reaching age 59 ½, you will owe a 10% penalty.

You can learn more by reading our guide on how gold IRAs work.

What is the best gold IRA?

Which gold IRA is the best depends on your situation. When considering companies, here’s what to consider:

  • Initial transfer and setup fees
  • Annual management fees
  • Storage fees
  • Availability of customer support
  • Knowledge and investment resources
  • Past customer reviews 

Based on our analysis, American Hartford Gold is the best gold IRA

How has gold performed over the years?

Gold prices have increased over the last few decades, but dips have occurred during that time. As of April 17, 2024, gold’s current value is about $2,391.90 an ounce.

Historically, the stock market has seen greater returns than gold and silver, but since 2000, gold and silver have seen greater returns than the Dow Jones and S&P 500.

Past performance does not indicate future performance, so don’t base your decision solely on historical data. The following section provides several reasons for investing in gold.

What are good reasons for opening a gold IRA account?

Here are common reasons people invest in precious metals, such as gold and silver:

  • To diversify your portfolio: Investing all your money in a single investment or asset is risky. If you have a portfolio without precious metals, a gold IRA can be an option for additional diversification.
  • Protection from inflation: When the U.S. dollar drops in value, so does your purchasing power. Gold investments can protect against this loss. It has historically kept its value even when the dollar’s value weakens.
  • Economic security: If the economy (or stock market) takes a turn, having your money in gold could reduce your losses. Learn more with our gold IRAs for seniors guide.
  • Growth investment: The price of gold has risen steadily over the last few years, including reaching its highest price ever in 2024.

Gold is often considered a safe investment that can withstand severe market fluctuations and downturns, although it can be prone to price volatility. 

Can I only hold gold in my gold IRA?

No. Gold IRAs are self-directed IRAs, so gold bars and coins aren’t the only items you can hold in these accounts. 

Also referred to as precious metals IRAs, you can purchase other precious metals, including silver, platinum, or palladium, or you can put the funds into real estate, commodities, tax liens, partnerships, and more.

However, you can’t invest it in collectibles, antiques, gems, stamps, or life insurance.

Is there a minimum investment to open a gold IRA?

The minimum investment depends on the institution offering the gold IRA. The IRS doesn’t require minimum investments, but it does have annual contribution limits. These depend on your age and can go up to $8,000 per year as of 2024.

What is IRS-approved gold?

Per IRS rules, only certain gold and precious metals can be held in an IRA. With few exceptions, gold must be 99.5% pure and made by a national mint or certified or accredited manufacturer. 

JM Bullion has a list you can use to guide your investments. You won’t be able to use your IRA funds to purchase metals not on this list because they aren’t deemed pure enough.

Look out for gold IRA scams

As you search for a gold IRA company, always do your due diligence. Scams are rampant in the gold IRA business, and falling victim could mean significant loss.

Common signs of a scam include pushy sales tactics, talks of “rare” or “collectible” coins (these aren’t IRS-approved), or murky and misleading contracts. Some companies will also sell fake IRAs, duping you into transferring your funds into an unknown account while others will feign gold purchases, instead funneling the money into their own business.

To safeguard your cash, only do business with a legitimate, credible, and trusted company, including the four we mentioned here.

To avoid gold IRA scams, don’t click on anything. Ignore it and move on. If you encounter a scam, contact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Catherine Valega

CFP®

How we determined the best gold IRA companies

We designed LendEDU’s editorial rating system to help consumers identify companies that offer the best financial products. Our experts spend hours researching these companies yearly to ensure our ratings are fresh and accurate.

We determined our ratings for the gold IRA companies below by reviewing companies based on several factors, including types of metals, costs, company history, and customer experience.

Once we assigned a rating, we identified where each company stood out among its competitors to choose what each company was the best for.

Best gold IRA companies FAQ

Are gold IRAs a good idea?

Historically, gold has been a safe haven in uncertain economic times. For someone looking to diversify their retirement account, a gold IRA could be beneficial. However, like any investment, it’s important to understand the pros and cons. 

Gold IRAs might provide stability, but it lacks the liquidity of other assets. So, consider your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance before investing

What is the minimum deposit for a gold IRA?

Minimum deposit requirements for gold IRAs vary from one company to the next. Typically, you might see minimums ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. 

Always double-check with the specific company regarding their minimum deposit requirements.

How do you know if a gold company can be trusted?

Trusting a company involves considering aspects like transparency, customer service, and industry reputation. A company should have a strong reputation bolstered by positive customer reviews, highly transparent policies, and dedicated customer support.

Recap of our picks for best gold IRAs

Company
Best for…
Rating (0-5)
Best Overall
4.9
Best Investment Support
4.7
Best Buy-Back Guarantee
4.4
Best for Long-Term IRAs
4.5