By Doug Young  06 November 2023

Doug YoungWith two decades of personal experience in the precious metals and gold IRA fields to draw upon, I have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you make informed decisions about the best gold IRA companies, and to navigate the world of gold IRAs.

Here, I have thoroughly evaluated 11 different gold IRA companies, carefully considering factors such as reputation, endorsements, compliance, services offered, customer service, educational resources, ease of account setup, ratings, complaints, reviews, fees, unique qualities, pros and cons and frequently asked questions.

My desire is to provide valuable insights and recommendations to help you choose a trustworthy gold IRA partner, backed up by the many years of experience and expertise I have gained in the course of evaluating a vast array of gold IRA companies.

My Top Picks for

My Top Pick



AHG logo blue
Years In Business 11 16 8
BBB Rating
BBB Customer Complaints
22 (closed in last 3 years)
BCA Rating
BCA Complaints
Trustlink Rating
Trustlink Reviews
Dedicated IRA dept
Min Gold IRA Investment $50,000 $25,000 $10,000
IRA Transfer Process as fast as 2 days as fast as 2 days as fast as 3 days
401k Rollover Process 7 to 14 days 14 to 28 days 7 to 14 days
Segregated Storage
Buy Back Policy
New Customer Incentive #1 FREE Gold gift when you open a Gold IRA FREE silver when you open a Gold IRA FREE silver when you open a Gold IRA
New Customer Incentive #2 up to 10 years of custodian and storage fees covered first year fees waived for IRAs above $50,000 Up to 3 years with no IRA Fees; No Transfer, Storage or Maintenance Fees
New Customer Incentive #3 free one-on-one educational web conference with Harvard trained economist
Full Review Full Review Full Review

Gold is widely regarded as a ‘safe haven’ due to its long-standing reputation as a store of value during times of economic uncertainty. Its scarcity, durability, and universal acceptance make it an attractive investment choice.

Investors seeking stability and preservation of wealth often turn to gold as a hedge against inflation, currency fluctuations, stock market volatility and geo-political tensions.

A gold IRA, or Individual Retirement Account, is a specialized retirement account that enables you to include physical gold and other precious metals within your investment portfolio. Unlike traditional IRAs that primarily invest in mutual funds, stocks and bonds, a gold IRA offers you diversification through tangible assets.

Gold IRA companies assist individuals in setting up and managing gold IRA accounts. They provide expertise in acquiring and storing physical gold, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations, and offering guidance on portfolio allocation to help individuals safeguard their retirement savings.

My Nomination of Best Gold IRA Companies in


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#1 – Augusta Precious Metals

ZERO BBB and BCA Complaints Ever

Since its establishment in 2012, Augusta Precious Metals has received ZERO complaints at both BBB and BCA – a flawless record, and in my many years of evaluating gold IRA companies, a feat I have never seen matched.

This unparalleled track record, coupled with their exceptional dedication to education, transparency, and competitive pricing, propelled Augusta Precious Metals to the top of my list.

During my research it was evident to me that in a world where trust is paramount, Augusta goes above and beyond to earn and maintain clients’ confidence. By voluntarily opening themselves up to regular independent compliance audits, they demonstrate their dedication to providing the utmost integrity and transparency in all aspects of their operations. I consider that to be extremely important, and for me it is an area where Augusta score additional points over their competitors.

I could tell that their commitment to their customers doesn’t end there. Augusta Precious Metals firmly believes in being a long-term partner, providing invaluable resources and support for the entire duration of their clients’ accounts. With a primary focus on gold IRAs, they empower individuals with comprehensive education about the economy and the role of precious metals.

Regarding the educational resources that they offer, Augusta’s clients have the exclusive opportunity to engage in a complimentary one-on-one web conference, hosted by an in-house Harvard trained economist. This unique offering, which I checked in depth and am personally able to vouch for, provides access to insights and information typically withheld by many financial advisors. It was clear to see that clients have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about this valuable resource.

Thousands of clients have given them 5-star reviews on respected independent consumer review platforms, a testament to their exceptional customer care and service.

I was impressed the way Augusta Precious Metals has earned respected recognition as an authority in the industry. They have been voted:

  • ‘Best Overall Gold IRA Company’ in 2022 and 2023 by Money Magazine
  • ‘Most Transparent Pricing’ in 2022 and 2023 by Investopedia’
  • ‘Best of’ by TrustLink, a trusted platform for consumer reviews, for 6 successive years

When I looked into the account opening process, I could see that it is swift, seamless, transparent, and meticulously compliant. Augusta employ a proven assembly-style process with comprehensive teamwide support, leaving no room for ambiguity.

In my pursuit to provide valuable insights, I reached out to Augusta Precious Metals’ customer service team and was impressed with how helpful they were. It was then that I discovered how each client qualifies for zero gold IRA setup fees, along with free custodian and storage fees for up to 10 years.

That was also when I discovered that Augusta provides free shipping and transit insurance. I know from experience how important the safe and secure delivery of your precious metals is, and can appreciate therefore how these benefits help to ensure peace of mind.

On the flip side, one thing that I didn’t quite like was the high entry point of $50,000 for new gold IRAs. I considered that a shame, because it will deprive some would-be customers from benefiting from this first-class investment opportunity.

Finally, I was impressed to learn that their credibility and expertise have been endorsed by none other than Hall of Fame Joe Montana’s personal financial advisors. It transpires that for years they have entrusted Augusta Precious Metals with managing his multimillion-dollar retirement savings. In my opinion, such a significant endorsement speaks volumes about the trustworthiness and competence of Augusta Precious Metals.

If you’re seeking the market leader in , as a highly experienced professional in the precious metals field I have no hesitation in recommending that you look no further than Augusta Precious Metals.

Read My Full Review

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#2 – Goldco 

High Percentage of Satisfied Customers

Goldco’s mission is to empower their customers with the knowledge and tools to safeguard their retirements effectively. They strive to make it as seamless as possible for individuals to leverage precious metals, providing protection against inflation, economic uncertainties, and stock market crashes.

Through extensive research, which included me reaching out to Goldco’s Customer Services team, I was able to discover that Goldco supplements their mission by offering comprehensive educational resources and delivering exceptional customer service. It became evident to me that they take pride in tailoring their services to align with each customer’s unique circumstances, retirement goals, and specific needs.

Established in 2006, Goldco initially focused on cash deals for precious metals. Over time, they have evolved into an industry leader, with 80% of their business now oriented towards gold IRAs.

Goldco garners high ratings on independent consumer feedback portals, boasting a remarkable 93% positive comments from satisfied customers. Furthermore, they have earned recognition as one of the top 3 Precious Metals Companies by multiple reputable sites.

I was impressed by how many customers have shown great appreciation for Goldco’s streamlined processes, especially when it comes to opening, rolling over, or transferring funds into a new gold IRA. The company takes care of all the paperwork and liaises with third parties on behalf of their clients, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

I considered it noteworthy that Goldco distinguishes itself by offering one of the most generous promotions in the industry to new Precious Metals IRA customers. They provide a remarkable benefit of receiving 5% of investments between $50,000 and $100,000 back in free silver. For investments exceeding $100,000, this percentage increases to an impressive 10%, with no upper limit.

After careful evaluation, Goldco emerged as a close second in my top picks of the best gold IRA companies. Drawing upon many years of experience and expertise in this field, I firmly believe that Goldco is undoubtedly deserving of consideration for your gold IRA investments.

Read My Full Review

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#3 – American Hartford Gold 

Best Gold IRA Newcomer

Founded in 2015, American Hartford Gold has quickly risen to become a formidable player in the precious metals industry. As someone with years of personal experience in this field, I can attest to the intense competition that prevails. Despite that, American Hartford Gold has managed to stand shoulder to shoulder with their more established competitors, a remarkable achievement in such a short period.

Throughout their rapid growth, American Hartford Gold has consistently provided exceptional service to thousands of satisfied customers, a fact evidenced by their top rankings on independent consumer feedback portals. Notably, their outstanding performance and reputation on Trustpilot have earned them an impressive overall rating of 4.9/5 Stars, denoting excellence. With over 1000 consumer submissions, 91% of customers awarded them the maximum 5 Stars, with an additional 8% giving them 4 Stars.

I consider that this overwhelmingly positive customer feedback is a testament to the unwavering commitment of American Hartford Gold’s three primary executives, Sandford Mann, Scott Gerlis, and Max Baecker, in delivering the utmost in customer service. Through my extensive research, which included an in-depth fact-finding conversation that I had with one of American Hartford Gold’s experienced representatives, I learnt that at the insistence of the company’s executives they promptly and professionally address any complaints or negative feedback they receive.

One aspect that I consider sets American Hartford Gold apart is their dedication to ensuring a smooth and secure transaction process. Whether you opt for cash deals or a gold IRA, your precious metals investments are meticulously shipped, fully insured, tracked, and free of charge. Additionally, the company offers a convenient Buy Back Program, allowing customers to liquidate their assets without incurring any fees. They even provide assistance with shipping, further demonstrating their commitment to customer satisfaction.

I consider that American Hartford Gold’s laser focus on their core business of offering precious metals (gold, silver, and platinum) to Americans, whether inside retirement accounts or as cash deals, is a distinct advantage. By prioritizing their specialized expertise and resources, they eliminate distractions and ensure their customers receive the highest level of service possible.

My conclusion after extensively evaluating American Hartford Gold is that their rapid ascent in the industry, coupled with their impeccable track record and customer-centric approach, make them a compelling choice for anyone seeking to invest in precious metals. As an authority this field, I am confident in recommending American Hartford Gold as a trusted partner for your precious metals investments.

Read My Full Review

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#4 – Advantage Gold 

Excellent Education

Advantage Gold, established in 2014, has swiftly emerged as a prominent player in the competitive Gold IRA industry. Despite being a relatively newer company, their rapid rise can be attributed to their unwavering commitment to excellence and their ability to carve out a solid reputation within the industry.

As someone with much experience in the precious metals field, I personally conducted a comprehensive review of Advantage Gold. That included me speaking directly with one of their Customer Services representatives. My findings revealed that they prioritize customer education, providing a wealth of valuable information about gold investing, gold IRAs, and IRS-approved coins and bullion. Their dedication to educating potential customers is exemplified by their highly regarded ‘First Time Gold Investor Program’, which has received widespread acclaim.

I consider it worth noting that Advantage Gold benefits from the expertise of one of their co-founders, an award-winning writer whose book, available for free download on their website, has been recognized as the #1 Financial Book in America by USA Today.

In addition to their educational resources, Advantage Gold maintains an informative blog on their website, regularly updating it with topical industry news items to keep their customers well-informed.

The company’s outstanding ratings and numerous positive customer reports on leading independent consumer feedback portals further solidify their reputation. Notably, their exceptional performance on Trustlink is unparalleled, as they secured the prestigious title of being voted the #1 Trusted Gold IRA Company for an impressive five consecutive years, from 2016 to 2020.

Advantage Gold’s commitment to customer education, combined with the expertise of their co-founder and their consistent recognition as a trusted industry leader, in my opinion make them an excellent choice for anyone seeking to invest in a Gold IRA.

My considerable expertise in the precious metals field, which includes many years of evaluating different gold IRA companies, has allowed me to thoroughly evaluate Advantage Gold and provide you with a trustworthy review. My intention is to pass on the benefit of my many years of experience in the industry to help others make informed decisions.

My conclusion after assessing Advantage Gold is that their rise to prominence, their commitment to customer education, and their outstanding reputation make them a compelling option for those considering a Gold IRA investment.

Read My Full Review

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#5 – Lear Capital 

Best Online Presence

Lear Capital, a well-established precious metal dealer founded in 1997, has solidified its position as one of the most reputable players in the United States. With decades of experience in the industry, Lear Capital possesses the expertise to assist you in various aspects of precious metal investing, whether it’s acquiring bullion for safekeeping, acquiring premium rare coins, or adding physical precious metals to your IRA.

Their notable online presence and interactivity are no coincidence. Lear Capital has made it their mission to maintain a dominant digital footprint, surpassing any other gold and precious metals company. Their website is actively manned from 9am to 6pm PST every day, providing real-time assistance and frequent updates with the latest information on precious metals, investments, and retirement-related insights.

To ensure exceptional customer service, each client is assigned a personal account representative who offers real-time investment assistance. Lear Capital also provides a secure online ordering facility, making the purchasing process seamless and convenient.

When it comes to IRA options, Lear Capital offers both gold and silver IRAs, allowing for a flexible combination of both assets. They have streamlined the setup process into three straightforward steps, simplifying the journey for clients looking to get started.

Lear Capital’s unwavering commitment to excellence is reflected in their exceptional ratings. They hold the highest ratings at reputable institutions such as the Better Business Bureau and Business Consumer Alliance. Additionally, Lear Capital proudly holds the distinction of being an Authorized Dealer with the PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), further solidifying their reputation in the industry.

As a trusted professional in the precious metals field, I have thoroughly analysed Lear Capital. My aim is to provide an objective and trustworthy assessment, rooted in years of industry expertise, in order to empower individuals to make well-informed decisions.

My conclusion after reviewing Lear Capital is that their long-standing presence, comprehensive online platform, and commitment to exceptional customer service make them a trusted choice for individuals seeking to invest in precious metals. With their range of IRA options and their esteemed reputation, Lear Capital is well-positioned to assist you in your precious metal investment journey.

Read My Full Review

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#6 – Birch Gold Group 

Excellent Ratings

Established in 2003, Birch Gold Group has earned a solid reputation, boasting the highest possible ratings on reputable independent consumer feedback portals. They hold an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau, an AAA rating at the Business Consumer Alliance, and a 5-star rating at Trustpilot, with an impressive overall score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. My extensive research revealed a predominantly positive sentiment surrounding the company, with minimal negative feedback.

Birch Gold Group places a clear emphasis on customer service, stating their mission to educate customers on all aspects of investing in precious metals and prioritizing their needs above promoting their products. This customer-centric approach sets them apart in the industry.

Specializing in Precious Metals IRAs, Birch Gold Group offers a range of options, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, with a minimum investment requirement of $10,000. Their in-house IRA department comprises specialists who provide dedicated assistance in opening a precious metals IRA or facilitating the rollover of existing retirement funds.

With a notable media presence, Birch Gold Group enjoys significant exposure across major news platforms. Their regular appearances on the Ben Shapira Show at The Daily Wire have garnered attention, with the host openly expressing his strong support for the company.

My extensive evaluation of Birch Gold Group has focused on the company’s establishment, reputation, customer service focus, and media exposure. My intention is to provide a trusted, analytical review, enabling readers to make well-informed decisions about their precious metals investments.

My conclusion after analysing Birch Gold Group is that their longstanding presence, exceptional ratings, customer service focus, and media exposure make them a noteworthy choice for individuals considering Precious Metals IRAs. With their comprehensive offerings and commitment to educating customers, Birch Gold Group is well-positioned to assist in navigating the precious metals market.

Read My Full Review

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#7 – Gainesville Coins 

Specialist Coins

Gainesville Coins, in business since 2000, specializes in government-issued gold and silver coins, as well as investment-grade precious metals. Notably, they have even ventured into designing and minting their own silver coins, showcasing their commitment to exceptional craftsmanship.

As members of esteemed organizations such as the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), Coin Net, the American Numismatic Association (ANA), and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Gainesville Coins exhibits a dedication to maintaining high industry standards.

Furthermore, Gainesville Coins proudly holds authorized dealer status with the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), adding credibility to their offerings.

The company’s extensive network extends to major worldwide government mints, including the U.S. Mint, the UK’s Royal Mint, the French Monnaie de Paris, the Royal Australian Mint, the Australian Perth Mint, and the New Zealand Mint. This privileged status as an authorized distributor ensures access to a wide range of high-quality coins.

Gainesville Coins’ ability to maintain a substantial inventory of coins enables them to offer competitive wholesale prices and attractive discounts for bulk purchases. Their online shop operates 24/7, providing convenient access to their offerings. With regular updates to their website, customers can stay informed about new arrivals and make informed purchasing decisions.

Recognizing the importance of secure online transactions, Gainesville Coins has implemented robust security measures. Their website utilizes SSL 128-bit encryption and undergoes daily checks by Norton Secured Malware Prevention and McAfee Secure. Additionally, their verification by Network Solutions provides further peace of mind.

Notably, Gainesville Coins also serves as an authorized depository, boasting an on-site secure vault for storing customers’ precious metals. This partnership with IRA custodians allows them to offer customers a Gold IRA service, further enhancing their value proposition.

My expertise in the precious metals field has allowed me to thoroughly evaluate Gainesville Coins. My intention is to provide an objective and trustworthy review, enabling readers to make well-informed decisions about their precious metals investments.

My conclusion after evaluating Gainesville Coins is that their longstanding presence, extensive range of offerings, commitment to security, and Gold IRA services make them a trusted choice for individuals seeking high-quality government-issued coins and investment-grade precious metals.

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#8 – Blanchard and Company 

Long Established Gold Dealer

Established in 1975 in New Orleans, Florida, Blanchard and Company remains headquartered there to this day. The company boasts a team of experts in precious metals, numismatics, economists, trend analysts, and rarity consultants, ensuring a wealth of specialized knowledge.

Blanchard and Company’s founder, James Blanchard, played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of gold investing in the United States. In an era when government regulations prohibited private individuals from investing in gold, he recognized the value of private gold holdings and spearheaded efforts to overturn these restrictive laws. Through his leadership of the National Committee to Legalize Gold (NCLG), he successfully influenced the repeal of such laws. Today, Americans enjoy the freedom to invest in Gold IRAs due, in part, to Mr. Blanchard’s vision and determination.

The company he left behind continues his legacy, priding itself on providing individualized attention to each customer and educating them on the benefits of investing in gold.

Blanchard and Company offers a streamlined 3-step process for rolling over existing IRAs or 401ks or establishing new Precious Metals IRAs. Firstly, they assess whether your existing IRA qualifies or if you need to open a new one. Secondly, if you require a custodian for holding the precious metals in your Gold IRA, they introduce you to their trusted custodian partner, Goldstar Trust Company, with whom they maintain a longstanding relationship. Thirdly, once your account is funded, they assist you in determining the type and quantity of metals to purchase, tailored to your needs, personal circumstances, and investment goals.

My breadth of knowledge in the precious metals industry has enabled me to assess Blanchard and Company in great detail. By offering an unbiased and analytical evaluation, I hope to empower readers to make knowledgeable judgments regarding their investments in precious metals.

My conclusion after carefully assessing Blanchard and Company is that their longstanding presence, expert team, and commitment to personalized service and customer education make them a reputable choice for individuals interested in gold investing. Their founder’s pioneering efforts have left a lasting impact, and the company continues to uphold his legacy by empowering investors with knowledge and exceptional service.

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#9 – BGASC 

Specialist Numismatics Coins

For readers interested in both investing in numismatic (collectible) coins outside of an IRA and setting up a Gold IRA with the same company, I have conducted an analysis to guide your decision.

While IRS regulations strictly control the types of precious metals that can be added to an IRA, excluding numismatics, BGASC, a specialist numismatics company, recognizes the needs of customers who wish to include precious metals in their retirement accounts. They have tailored their offerings to cater to these specific needs.

When it comes to numismatics, BGASC stands out as the go-to company. Investing in collectible coins can be risky, given the presence of unscrupulous companies that prey on inexperienced investors with the intent to scam them. However, BGASC’s reputation and ratings demonstrate that they are among the reputable entities in the industry.

The company’s impressive credentials speak for themselves. BGASC is insured by Lloyds of London, and their memberships include esteemed organizations such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), and the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE). Additionally, they purchase non-bullion coins in bulk directly from the US Mint, ensuring the authenticity and quality of their offerings.

For those considering a Gold IRA, BGASC offers a minimum investment requirement of $30,000. They provide guidance on the eligible precious metals that can be included in the IRA. Additionally, if you do not already have a preferred partner custodian, they can recommend suitable options.

While I typically wouldn’t recommend BGASC for a Gold IRA alone, as it is not their area of specialization, if you wish to invest in both numismatics and a Gold IRA and prefer the convenience of consolidating these investments under one roof, BGASC would be a wise choice.

My two decades plus of experience in the precious metals field has allowed me to conduct a thorough evaluation of BGASC and to compare them with other precious metals companies. It is my intention to provide an objective and analytical review, empowering readers to make well-informed decisions regarding their investments in numismatics and a gold IRA.

My conclusion after evaluating BGASC is that their expertise in numismatics, their commitment to customer satisfaction, and their reputable standing in the industry make them a reliable choice for individuals interested in working with the same company to invest in both collectible coins and a Gold IRA.

Note: My Rating is relative to how I have evaluated BGASC purely as a gold IRA company. That’s because I have compared them with other gold IRA companies. If my evaluation had been based on BGASC as a specialist collectible coins company, I would have certainly awarded them with 5 Stars.

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#10 – Goldline 

Exclusive Dealer

Goldline has been a prominent player in the precious metals industry since its establishment in 1960, making it one of America’s longest-established dealers in this field.

As a Los Angeles-based company, Goldline boasts a dedicated team of over 160 professionals, including Personal Account Executives who provide individualized assistance to customers in making their precious metals buying and selling decisions while guiding them through the necessary procedures.

Goldline takes pride in being the exclusive dealer for a range of bullion products sourced from leading mints worldwide. They have successfully delivered precious metals valued at over $4 billion since their incorporation, a testament to their commitment to secure and efficient transactions.

Through their trademarked Express IRA® Program, Goldline offers a straightforward 3-step process to get started, with much of it conveniently accessible online. They claim that your self-directed IRA setup and metals acquisition can be accomplished in as quickly as one business day.

I have over a decade’s experience in evaluating gold IRA companies and my aim here is to provide an objective and trusted review about Goldline, allowing you to make informed decisions about your investments in precious metals.

My conclusion after diligently evaluating Goldline is that their longstanding presence, extensive product offerings, and efficient Express IRA® Program make them a reputable choice for individuals seeking to invest in precious metals. Their commitment to customer service and secure transactions further solidify their position as a trusted partner in the industry.

Read My Full Review

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#11 – Rosland Capital 

Supplier of Exclusive Specialty Coins

Rosland Capital, based in Santa Monica, California, has been a reputable player in the precious metals industry since 2008. With a team of around 70 dedicated professionals, they ensure a personalized approach to serving their customers.

In addition to their domestic operations, Rosland Capital has established an international presence, catering to overseas customers through offices in London, Hong Kong, Germany, and Sweden. Their CEO, Marin Aleksov, brings over 20 years of experience in the precious metals industry, further enhancing their expertise.

Rosland Capital takes pride in being the exclusive supplier of numerous specialty gold and silver coins. As part of their commitment to the sporting world, they have partnered with Formula 1 and the PGA Tour to offer fans and customers a range of exquisitely crafted, 100% exclusive coins licensed for collections. These limited-edition coins commemorate historic moments in sports, making them highly sought after by collectors.

To set up one of their Gold or Silver IRAs, Rosland Capital has developed a comprehensive 6-step process. This includes a discussion with one of their knowledgeable representatives, allowing for an assessment of your individual circumstances, determination of your retirement needs, and establishment of your investment goals.

Drawing upon my extensive experience of assessing gold IRA companies, I have conducted a thorough evaluation of Rosland Capital. My objective as an authority in the precious metals field is to deliver an unbiased and analytical review, equipping readers with the necessary insights to make well-informed decisions regarding their precious metals investments.

My conclusion after extensively evaluating Rosland Capital is that their longstanding presence, international reach, exclusive coin offerings, and comprehensive IRA setup process make them a reputable choice for individuals seeking to invest in gold and silver. With their commitment to customer service and their partnerships in the sporting world, Rosland Capital stands out as a valuable partner in the industry.

Read My Full Review

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Best Gold IRA Companies Research and Evaluation

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How I Evaluated The Best Gold IRA Companies

    • I first identified the companies that I wanted to review:
      • I checked out the high profile ones mentioned on TV, radio, and on social media
      • I checked the ones mentioned most frequently on comparison sites
      • I narrowed it down to a list of 11 companies to deeply delve into
    • I checked those companies out at the main independent consumer rating sites such as Better Business Bureau, Business Consumer Alliance and Trustlink:
      • I compared the ratings of each company side-by-side.
      • I checked the number of negative comments and complaints from customers and how the companies had dealt with them.
    • I did extensive research into customer feedback on each company:
      • I looked for mentions of high customer service levels.
      • I looked for recurring topics in both the positive and the negative comments.
      • I checked which companies had the highest percentage of positive reports.
    • I made Mystery Shopper phone calls to each company to find out how knowledgeable and helpful their representatives were
    • I scrutinized each company’s website:

      • I checked for USPs (Unique Selling Points)
    • I created my own scoring system (1 to 5 Stars) and rated each company after taking all the criteria above into account
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Tips For Your Due Diligence

Sifting through the best gold IRA companies out there and choosing a trustworthy, reliable and reputable one to work with is the next step once you’ve made the decision to invest in a gold IRA to protect and enhance your retirement. You’ve worked hard to provide for your latter years and it’s essential to safeguard and grow your savings and investments.

It is equally as important to understand the criteria for choosing the right company to work with and to make enlightened and informed decisions about the company that is right for you as it is to understand the process for setting up your gold ira.

I hope that the following tips, which I have picked up during the course of evaluating many different gold IRA companies over the years, will help you with your research and due diligence:

10 Top Tips For Comparing The Best Gold IRA Companies… and For Identifying Ones You Can Really Trust

gold backed ira

It is essential when researching the best gold IRA companies that you know how to identify one that is reputable, trustworthy and reliable, and one that is able to give you the comprehensive service that you require.

I always recommend that in addition to reading third party reports and ratings you also call some of the companies yourself in order to get a feel for how they operate and to assess how comfortable you feel with them.

Here are what I consider to be some important considerations and questions to ask:

#1 – Does The Gold IRA Company Have Expertise In Retirement Funds as Well as Precious Metals?

If you choose gold IRA companies that have a specialized department and/or staff with expertise in retirement funds it will make the gold IRA set up, transfer or rollover process much quicker and simpler for you since they will be able to take care of everything for you in-house.

My Recommendation: IRA rules and the associated tax implications and benefits can be a bit of a minefield at the best of times, and even more so when a specialised type of IRA such as a precious metals one is involved. For this reason, I can’t stress enough how important it is to work with a company that has expertise in these areas.

#2 – Is The Gold IRA Company Accessible?

It’s best to choose a company that is responsive over the phone and is available to answer your call whenever you feel the need to speak to someone (during normal business hours of course). Your retirement is important to you so it is essential that you are able to get a feel for, and feel comfortable with, both the company and the personnel. It’s difficult to do that by email alone.

Some of the best gold IRA companies will allocate an account representative to you once you become a customer. This is the ideal scenario because they will be acquainted with your account and your individual circumstances.

My Recommendation: Select a company that you can talk to and which has a good track record for customer service. Steer clear of any who appear to be ‘pushy’. You should also be wary of anyone who cold calls you and tries to lure you with all sorts of offers and ‘special deals’.

#3 – How Are Their Gold IRA Fees Structured?

Do they offer flat fees or scaled fees?.. Many new investors realize too late the impact that scaled admin and storage fees have over time. Scaled fees are a percentage of your fund (typically 0.1%).

This will not be so relevant if your account is a smaller one of say, less than $100,000 but if you are investing more than that it is essential. Bear in mind that even if your initial investment is smaller, with inflation and appreciation your account will grow naturally – and so will your fee if it is scaled. Plus you may decide to add further funds at a later date.

A retirement account such as a gold backed IRA is normally a long term investment, and over a period of 10 to 20 years you could end up paying thousands of dollars in fees unnecessarily if they are scaled. I have created the table below to give examples of this:

Investment Balance Flat Annual Fees Scaled Fees @ 0.1%
$250,000 $250 $250
$500,000 $250 $500
$1,000,000 $250 $1000
$5,000,000 $250 $5000

Note: Some of the best gold IRA companies will waive set up fees and storage/admin fees in year one for certain minimum investment levels.

My Recommendation: Choose a company that charges low flat rate admin and storage fees and be wary of any companies who tell you that they offer flat fees just to lure you in, then slip in additional fees later on in the process. Check whether the company you are considering using will waive their set up and first year’s fees.

#4 – What Is Their Gold IRA Account Set Up Procedure and Timescale?

You want the account set up to be as effortless as possible on your part, and without it taking any longer than necessary. Some companies will do pretty much everything for you including completing all the gold IRA paperwork on your behalf and just sending it to you to check and sign. For someone like me who hates filling in forms, this is the ideal scenario!

My Recommendation: When speaking to a Company ask them how much involvement is required by you, what their set up process is and how long it takes. The least you have to do is obviously the better (provided of course you are entrusting an expert to do it for you) and you don’t want it dragging on for too long. Be wary of any companies who are unable or unprepared to give you a timescale. I can recommend from experience that between two and four weeks is reasonable. This will vary according to your particular circumstances and whether it’s a new IRA, a transfer or a rollover.

#5 – How Long Does The Gold Company Take to Deliver Your Precious Metals?

I have learnt from experience that an important part of the process is the delivery then storage of your metals. You want the delivery to be prompt and seamless so that you can then relax in the knowledge that everything has been completed and taken care of.

One of the biggest topics for customer complaints about precious metals companies that I have found crops up consistently, is delivery times. Some can take many months. There have even been incidences of unscrupulous dealers offering lower prices to lure customers away from their competitors by speculating on future spot prices. Then when their gamble went wrong they had to wait (and pray) for the spot price to get to where they projected in order to fulfil the contract.

My Recommendation: Ask the company what their delivery times and terms are. Some of the best gold IRA companies offer guarantees backed up by compensation schemes for late deliveries.

#6 – How Does The Gold IRA Company Store Your Precious Metals?


The Important Differences Between ‘Segregated’, ‘Commingled’, ‘Allocated’ and ‘Non Allocated’ Storage

This is a very important topic and I urge you to take note.

With gold IRAs the IRS rules dictate that up to the age of 59½ you cannot hold the metals yourself and that instead they need to be stored on your behalf at a depository.

I cannot emphasise enough how you should always opt for segregated (dedicated) storage at the depository to ensure that your metals do not get commingled (mixed) or damaged with inferior products that have been sent there by a different company for their customers. Segregated storage is far more safe and secure.

Taking it a stage further there are some depositories that will allow segregated storage of gold but not of silver. This is relevant information you need to know from the gold IRA company that you select because you may decide to include some silver as well as gold in your gold IRA either from the outset or at some point in the future. (Note that the term ‘Gold IRA’ is often a generic term for a Precious Metals IRA). It may surprise you to learn that even some of the best gold IRA companies are unaware that their preferred depository differentiates between gold and silver when it comes to segregated storage!

Beware of unscrupulous dealers who try to hook you in with lower prices based on commingled storage, then try to up sell you on the benefits of (higher priced) segregated storage later on.

You also want to check whether the metals are allocated or non allocated whilst in storage. This is another consideration that I cannot stress enough the importance of. Allocated means that in effect they have your name on them. This would be vitally important in a situation whereby the storage company went out of business because metals that are allocated personally to you could not be grabbed by their creditors.

My Recommendation: Only consider gold IRA companies that offer segregated and allocated storage as standard for all metal types and which include this in their storage fees as a matter of course. Make sure that their preferred depository is of high repute.

#7 – Are The Gold IRA Company’s Representatives Trying To Promote a Particular Type of Coin or Product?

There are pros and cons with both bullion and rare coins. Bullion coins are valued in accordance with the market price of gold. Rare coins are valued in accordance with their rarity and the demand for them. This makes bullion coins a less risky investment even though you could make more profit with rare coins.

It is important to be aware of this and not be railroaded into buying a particular type of coin by the gold IRA companies themselves or by any of their representatives who have their own interests (higher margins and/or commissions) at heart rather than those of their customers. My experience of evaluating many different gold IRA companies over the years has taught me that typically such companies will use the ‘bait and switch’ sales/advertising approach, i.e. they hook you in with promises of special deals and low dealer fees then use clever, influential sales tactics to persuade you to buy higher priced rare coins which give them much higher profit margins.

My Recommendation: Only consider gold IRA companies that have a strong reputation and which do not try to push you into buying one particular type of coin, particularly after advertising a different type. Different types of gold coins

#8 – Does The Company Have a Precious Metals Buyback Program?

There may come a time when you want or need to liquidate your precious metals investment. In these circumstances you will want to get a fair value for them and you will want the procedure to be quick and straightforward. It will obviously be easier if you already have a relationship with the company you use for liquidation and if they are familiar with your account and circumstances. You will want them to take your best interests into account rather than taking advantage of your situation to make a quick profit.

My Recommendation: To quote Stephen Covey, ‘Start with the end in mind’. Check prices and delivery times for selling your metals back to the Company at the outset when you are doing your initial research.

#9 – Are They a Well Established Gold IRA Company With a Solid Reputation?

Only consider Gold IRA Companies that have a good public reputation and have been in business for a number of years, and ones that have been endorsed by independent, reliable sources such as investment magazines and consumer advocacy sites.

My Recommendation: Choose a vendor who is accredited by some sort of trade association or consumer protection organization. This is because they will have had to be vetted by the organization before being accredited and it demonstrates that the particular vendor is showing transparency. This includes disclosing publically full details of any previous customer disputes and an update on if and how they have been resolved.

There are 3 independent resources that have an excellent reputation for providing company performance data and consumer feedback, namely the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) and Trustlink.

These are all third party, neutral websites which promote honest feedback from genuine customers and which have certain security measures in place to detect and prevent fraudulent reports.

My analyses, ratings, comparisons, recommendations and conclusions regarding the best gold IRA companies referred to on this site take all of the information posted on these independent sites into account, as well as, amongst other things, comments, both positive and negative, posted online by consumers who have used the companies in question.

#10 – Keep Yourself Updated On Any Gold Scams Operated By Unscrupulous Gold IRA Companies

My final tip is not in the form of a question to ask the various companies that you’re considering using. Instead it’s a recommendation that you give yourself the maximum protection against fraudsters.

Gold scams have been around for centuries, and with advances in technology and more complex rules and regulations to exploit, nowadays they are harder than ever to detect. For that reason it is essential that you guard against complacency and prevent yourself from being tricked into thinking that all the offers being made to you are legitimate and safe.

Some of the scams around today could put a serious dent into your finances by luring you (unwittingly) into an instant and significant loss.

The following video exposes some of the main gold IRA dealer lies and scams that you really need to be aware of:

My Recommendation: Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Do your due diligence and research into a company’s reputation, compliance system, ratings and customer feedback before doing any business with them.

My Top Rated Gold IRA Company has made compliance and transparency a major part of its business.


  • Choosing the right gold IRA company to work with is vitally important. Unfortunately there are many unscrupulous gold dealers around waiting to prey on inexperienced investors. There have been many scandals and horror stories surrounding the precious metals industry and associated with investing in gold. I hope that if you follow all my recommendations above you won’t get involved in one!
  • I recommend that you don’t rely just on third party reports and ratings for your research and that you call some of the companies yourself in order to get a feel for how they operate and to assess how comfortable you feel with them. Ask them the questions I have brought to your attention above plus any others you can think of that might be relevant to your personal circumstances. If you do that you will soon get a gut feeling about which company or companies you would feel comfortable trusting your retirement to.
  • By knowing the relevant questions to ask it will be easier to flush out the less professional and less equipped ones and those who have their own interests rather than yours at heart. Should you discover that a company tries to evade any of your questions that should raise a red flag.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gold IRAs

#1 – How Does a Gold IRA Work?

gold-iraA gold IRA is a self directed IRA which, in accordance and compliance with IRS rules, allows you to include gold in its physical form. This offers you the opportunity to invest in gold in a very tax effective way and to protect your retirement plan from the ravages of inflation. It can provide the security you need not just for you but for your family and loved ones too.

In my experience, the best of the best gold IRA companies are staffed with experts in all aspects of retirement planning and the IRS rules, particularly those appertaining to including physical precious metals in your retirement account.

Nowadays investing in gold is not a privilege confined to the rich and famous. Anyone has the opportunity to buy gold right now but the only way you could do so as part of your retirement account is to have this very specific type of IRA that allows you to hold physical gold as part of your portfolio.

#2 – Can I Only Include Physical Gold In a Gold IRA?

You’ll be able to hold other precious metals as well including silver, platinum and even palladium. That’s because gold IRA is a generic term. So this account is not just for gold, and most experts recommend including at least gold and silver into this type of precious metals IRA because of the huge growth potential for both of these commodities. In fact you are not just restricted to precious metals either (more about that below).

Many different gold IRA companies have told me that frequently their clients initially contact them about including just gold, and end up including silver too, once they have learnt of its potential.

#3 – Why Should I Invest In a Gold IRA?

This video explains how a Gold IRA can help reduce the impact of global uncertainties on your retirement savings:


This video explains how a Gold IRA can help protect the impact of bank failures on your retirement savings:


  • Protection Against Inflation, Recession and Economic Turmoil

The main reason why you want to invest in a gold IRA is that it’s a fantastic way to protect your retirement portfolio and all of the investments inside of it from inflation and recession. The one thing that happens when our money gets inflated is that it becomes less valuable and this has a knock on effect on the value of all our traditional types of investments.

What do not become less valuable, and historically have never been affected by inflation at all, are gold and precious metals. Precious metals and gold in particular typically go up in value when the economy is struggling and as the US dollar becomes weaker and weaker. So it obviously makes sense to want to have gold as part of your retirement plan to safeguard its value and investing in gold is one of the best things to do to protect yourself against a struggling economy.

rising price of gold

As the value of gold goes up, so does the value of your gold backed IRA. Gold went up in value for 12 years in a row between 2001 and 2012. Although a pull back followed for a few years, by 2020 the price of gold was back up to and beyond its previous all time highs. That is where it still stands today. This demonstrates why gold should be viewed as a long term investment, because the overall trend over time is always upwards. This is also why it is so suitable to be included as part of your retirement plan.

This video explains how a closer look at recent price data shows that we may be starting to see the emergence of so called ‘sticky’ inflation:


  • Tax Benefits

Another factor not to be overlooked with a gold ira is the tax benefit. There are legitimately no tax consequences and no requirements to declare your precious metals IRA to the IRS. Plus there are no tax penalties or implications when you transfer assets to another suitable retirement or investment plan. Your chosen gold IRA company should be able to offer you advice on all of this.

  • You Can Invest In Gold With No Money Down

Transferring or rolling over part or all of an existing retirement account such as a 401k into a gold IRA effectively enables you to invest in gold without having to find the surplus cash to do so. This is because you will be using funds that are otherwise locked away from you and may well be under performing in their current investment format.

So yes, when you choose to invest in a gold Ira you really can diversify into gold investment without having to worry about where to find the funds!

#4 – Can I Include Gold In my Current Retirement Plan?

I have created the following table to guide you on whether your existing retirement plan might allow you to include or add gold to it in different investment formats:

Retirement Plan  

Gold Stocks Allowed?


Gold ETFs Allowed?


Gold Bullion Allowed?


Roth Option?

Possibly Possibly No Yes
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Possibly Possibly No Yes
Possibly Possibly No Yes
Possibly Possibly No No
Possibly No No Yes
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Possibly Possibly No No
Possibly Possibly No No
Possibly No No No
Yes Yes Possibly No
Yes Yes Possibly Yes
Yes Yes Possibly Yes
Yes Yes No Yes
No No No No

Note: ‘Possibly’ means it is at the discretion of the plan provider. Should they not allow investment in gold within your current plan you will need to make a gold IRA rollover.

#5 – Can I Transfer or Rollover My Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Into a Gold IRA?

TSPIf you’ve worked for the Government, either as a civilian or in the uniformed military then you most probably have your retirement savings invested in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). You might be unaware that TSPs give you very limited flexibility to diversify your savings since the government has total control over them. It might surprise you too that your TSP is most probably costing you money.

The good news is that there is a solution. You can easily and simply take the control back from the Government by transferring or rolling your TSP account into a gold IRA. This will enable you to include physical gold and other precious metals in your retirement fund. If this is something that might be of interest to you, I have provided comprehensive information on my page TSP Rollover To Gold: Converting Your Thrift Savings Plan To a Gold IRA.

I would recommend that you research which gold IRA companies have knowledge of and expertise in TSPs if you are considering this option.

#6 – What Is The Difference Between an IRA Transfer and an IRA Rollover?

Irrespective of whether your existing plan is a 401k, 403b, TSP or any other type of IRA or retirement plan it could be transferred or rolled over to a Gold / Precious Metals IRA.

There is much confusion between IRA transfers and IRA rollovers. These are quite different even though a lot of people think they are the same thing. Let me explain the differences here…

What is a Gold IRA transfer?

With a transfer into an IRA account you are in effect closing down one investment vehicle and moving everything from it into one centralised investment place or location. You are aggregating or grouping your investments into a different account that already exists.

What is a Gold IRA rollover?

With a rollover on the other hand you are moving one IRA into a different one.

If you confuse the two processes you could well waste money in fees and lost tax benefits. The better gold IRA companies should be able to guide you and make sure that doesn’t happen.

With both transfers and rollovers you are moving funds from one account to another and the funding scheme is the same. The fundamental difference is that with a transfer you sacrifice one account for another whereas with a rollover the original source account can survive.

Additional funding is another important consideration. With a transfer you have the option to add new funds or just transfer across from an already existing collection of funds. With a rollover you are just taking funds that already exist and rolling them.

Transferring an IRA

Provided the assets go from one custodian to another custodian you can do this at any time with an existing plan. In this scenario the check or transfer is sent by the custodian of your existing account directly to the custodian of your new precious metals retirement account. There is no limit on the amount of transfers you can do.

Rolling Over an IRA

When you already have a 401k or IRA, irrespective of whether it is a Roth or a traditional one, you can choose to rollover just a part of it or the whole of it into a gold IRA. Typically 401k’s are rolled over when you change employment (and you need to decide what to do with the funds that have accumulated in your retirement fund with your previous employment) or when you reach retirement.

A rollover takes place when the proceeds of your existing retirement account are withdrawn and sent to you, and you then deposit these funds into the custodial account of another retirement account. Provided you redeposit the funds within 60 days there are no tax implications or penalties on the withdrawn money. The same money can only be rolled over once in any 12 month period for the tax deferred status of your retirement fund to be preserved.

Tip: There are different regulations involved for transfers and rollovers and there are implications for getting things wrong.

It’s best to choose a gold IRA company which has expertise in the IRS rules and regulations governing retirement plans as well as expertise in precious metals.

This is the one I recommend.

#7 – Do I Have To Transfer Or Rollover The Whole Of My Existing Retirement Fund?

You have the option of making full or partial rollovers or transfers. The choice is yours.

#8 – What Kind Of Investments Can I Include in a Gold IRA?

This is basically going to be a self-directed IRA, so you will have the flexibility to invest in any type of company or stock that you want, as well as precious metals. You don’t have to just buy gold and put it in this IRA. You can put all of your investments in this vehicle. This is the only type of retirement account that lets you keep gold and other precious metals as part of your holdings.

You won’t be able to buy gold as a retirement option any other way, so don’t let this confuse you at all and think that you are only opening this because you’re specifically going to use it just to buy gold.

What most people like to do when setting up this type of retirement account is to buy their gold from a reputable online dealer who also specializes in retirement investing (AKA gold IRA companies). Having just one party to deal with everything makes the whole process much quicker, more convenient and more straightforward. So this is certainly something you want to keep on the lookout for.

#9 – What Types of Bullion Can I Include In a Gold IRA?

You are permitted by the US government, under the terms of the 1997 Tax Payer Relief Act, to hold certain types of bullion and rare coins in a gold / precious metals IRA. The requirement is that the bullion you hold is at least 99.5% pure and that it is held in an approved depository which is in a different location to your IRA custodian.

What Is Gold IRA Approved?

  • American Eagle coins (1)
  • Australian Kangaroo/Nugget coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Credit Suisse gold = PAMP Suisse gold Bars .999
  • U.S Buffalo Gold Uncirculated coins (No Proofs)
  • Bars and rounds as referenced below (2)
  • American Eagle coins (1)
  • Australian Kookaburra coins
  • Austrian Philharmonic coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Mexican Liberated coins
  • Bars and rounds as referenced below (2)
  • American Eagle coins (1)
  • Australian Koala coins
  • Canadian Maple Leaf coins
  • Isle of Man Noble coins
  • Bars and rounds as referenced below (2)
  • Bars and rounds as referenced below (2)
*(1) Coins, including the American Eagle, that have undergone ‘certification’ (also known as ‘slabbed’ coins) are not acceptable in retirement plans at this time.

*(2) bars and rounds produced by manufacturers accredited by Nymex/Comex, LME, LBMA, NYSE/Liffe//CBOT, and ISE-9000 or a national mint. The minimum finenesses for bars are:

Gold: .999+
Silver: .999+
Platinum: .9995+
Palladium: .9995+

All the best gold IRA companies are fully conversant with the types of precious metals that are compliant with IRS requirements.

#10 – Am I Restricted To Just One IRA?

No, which means that if you choose you can have a gold IRA in addition to any other IRA or IRAs that you already have. The total amount that you can invest in any given year does not change however.

#11 – Can I Take Possession Of The Gold In My IRA?

safe keeping

Up to the age of 59½ in accordance with IRS rules your gold must be insured and stored in your name at an IRS approved depository. From that age and above you are entitled to take possession penalty free.

The gold IRA company that you choose to work with should be able to arrange storage at the depository on your behalf and will deliver your metals directly there.

#12 – Do I Have To Pay Any Taxes or Penalties When Transferring To a Gold IRA?

No, there are no such costs associated with transferring a traditional IRA into a precious metals one.

#13 – What About Gold IRA Companies Fees?

Fees can be very reasonable provided you select the right company and you understand what’s involved and therefore know the right questions to ask them. The fees involved cover the initial set up, annual maintenance of your IRA, and insurance and storage of your metals.

I recommend that you choose a company that offers flat annual fees rather than scaled ones (fees that are a % of the value of your fund). That’s because with the latter your fees will be on the increase all the time your fund is appreciating. I also recommend that you choose a gold IRA company that offers segregated storage of your metals and who do not charge a premium for this type of storage, nor an insurance premium for it.

I know from having evaluated many of them over the years that some of the best gold IRA companies may waive the initial set up fees.

I have written more about all this here.

#14 – What Is The Transfer/Rollover Process For Gold IRAs?

This will differ from one gold IRA company to another. To see an example click here: 5 Step Process

#15 – How Long Does The Gold IRA Transfer or Gold IRA Rollover Process Take?

You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the whole process for a gold ira can be completed very simply and quickly (around 2 weeks) if you work with a gold company that also specializes in retirement accounts (a gold IRA company) and can therefore handle the entire process for you.

#16 – How Do I Get Started With a Gold IRA Company and a Gold IRA?

couple on laptop

  • The first step is to choose a gold IRA company that you feel comfortable with. My aim is to educate you as much as possible about gold and precious metals IRAs, about investing in gold in general and the criteria for researching and analyzing the best gold IRA companies. Plus, I have shared with you the results of my own research and experience, and I have made my recommendations.
  • It’s your retirement and future on the line though so I consider it essential that when doing your due diligence into a gold IRA you don’t rely entirely on third party reports and ratings; I recommend that in addition you check out a few of the websites and speak to a few gold IRA companies yourself on the phone to get a feel for them and how they operate.

Relevant Gold IRA Resources

My desire is to share my research and expertise within the precious metals and gold IRA fields to benefit others. I hope you will find the following articles that I have personally written helpful when conducting your own further research into gold IRA Companies and gold IRAs:

Gold IRA

Everything you need to know about Gold IRAs

Why Invest In Gold?

The reasons why including gold in your portfolio is important

The Case For Buying Gold Coins

Tips to help you make the most effective buying decisions

The Prospects For Silver

Why you shouldn’t overlook silver

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need further guidance.


Gold QuotePhysical metals shouldn’t be looked at just as an investment.

You also want to look at them the way you look at your home owner’s insurance, health insurance and auto insurance.

Precious metals are your financial insurance.

My 3 Best Gold IRA Companies

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#3 Best Gold IRA Newcomer Website
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Want more information? Get a FREE Physical Gold IRA Investment Guide delivered direct to your door by my Top Choice Gold IRA Company:

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About the Author: Doug Young

Doug YoungDoug is a highly experienced professional and widely trusted authority in financial investing, commodity trading, and precious metals. With over 20 years of expertise, he helps others make informed decisions by sharing a combination of personal experience, extensive knowledge and meticulously researched information on gold IRAs, precious metals investing and retirement planning. He regularly writes and publishes news items on these topics. He has considerable experience of evaluating Gold IRA and Precious Metals Companies, gained over a period spanning more than a decade.

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