9 Best Gold IRAs Of April 2024

A gold IRA lets you own some actual gold while enjoying the tax perks of a retirement account. But honestly, we wouldn’t suggest this kind of retirement account for most folks. You won’t even find a gold IRA option at any of the big, well-known brokerage firms.

Though some gold IRA companies appear to be open about their charges, we noticed that generally, they ask for gold prices that are quite a bit higher than the regular market rate. We call this added cost “the gold bar spread.” Most of the time, these companies don’t openly talk about this, sneaking in an extra fee for investors.

If you’re set on getting a gold IRA, we’ve outlined the top choices for you. But remember, even the best ones aren’t the greatest places to put your hard-earned retirement savings.

Top Gold IRAs – April 2024

Firm – Over-the-Market Price Spike (cost added per ounce compared to COMEX)

  1. American Bullion – $99.80
  2. APMEX – $161.39
  3. JM Bullion – $165.60
  4. Silver Gold Bull – $119.10
  5. Hartford Gold – $179.70
  6. Rosland Capital – $271.30
  7. Birch Gold – $215.80
  8. Monetary Gold – $165.30
  9. Orion Metal Exchange – $132.30

American Bullion

American Bullion


Gold Markup

Just $99.80 extra per ounce compared to COMEX

Get Started for


No Account Minimum


Why It’s Our Top Pick

Back in 2009, when the financial crisis had everyone worried about the future of the economy, American Bullion popped up, offering a fresh take on investments like gold instead of the usual stocks. They’ve been all about helping folks switch their current 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement stash to gold IRAs since then.

To push this mission, they’ve got heaps of info to guide you into trading your existing assets for gold.

Standing at the top in our research, American Bullion shines as the finest gold IRA provider out there. They boast the smallest markup in gold pricing among the companies we looked into, with no barrier to entry like an initial purchase demand or a minimum account limit, making it a breeze for newcomers or those with limited funds to join in.

Plus, they’re ditching their storage and account keeper charges for your first year. But heads up, they could do a bit better on the customer service front; as of now, they’re just reachable via phone or email, no live chat or bot assistance available.

American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX)



Gold Markup

An extra $161.39 per ounce compared to COMEX

Starting Buy-In


Least Amount to Keep in Your Account


Why It Caught Our Eye

APMEX isn’t just any online shop; it’s one of the biggest virtual marketplaces for all things shiny and precious. Besides gold IRAs, they’ve got a hefty collection of other precious metal IRAs, stocking silver, platinum, and palladium. And they aren’t new kids on the block either – with a 23-year run, they’re the veterans in our roundup.

Working with a diverse group of five custodians to safeguard your gold stash, they give you a bit more freedom to pick a caretaker that suits your vibe and budget – a versatility that no other firm in our research offers.

On top of a decent markup on gold and top-notch customer support that doesn’t leave you hanging, APMEX stands pretty strong. However, keep in mind, you’ve gotta have at least $2,000 to start and maintain your account, which, while not too steep, is still a bit more than what some other places ask for.

JM Bullion

Jm Bullion


Gold Markup

An added $165.60 per ounce compared to COMEX

Kick-off Purchase


Starting Account Balance


Why It’s On Our Radar

Launched in 2011, JM Bullion quickly made a name for itself, even snagging the 95th spot on the top 500 online business list in 2019, as per Internet Retailer Magazine. They’ve got a hefty range of precious metals up for grabs, with the sweet deal of free shipping for orders above $199.

When it comes to safeguarding your gold IRA, JM Bullion teams up with several custodians, giving a special nod to New Direction IRA as their top pick.

One of the cool things about them? You don’t need a ton of cash to start — there’s no initial purchase or account balance to worry about for their gold IRAs. But keep in mind, their gold markup is a bit on the higher side compared to other folks in this list.

Silver Gold Bull

Silver Gold Bull


Gold Markup

A surplus of $119.10 per ounce against COMEX

Start Buying At


Lowest Account Threshold


Why It Stands Out

Silver Gold Bull, living up to its name, is your go-to spot for dabbling in gold and silver investments, not forgetting a neat collection of other shiny assets like platinum coins and various metal collectibles. They’ve been rocking the scene since 2006, showing their mettle in the business.

Jumping into their gold IRA isn’t a hassle, with no starting purchase or account minimum to worry about. Plus, they don’t go overboard with their gold markup, which is pretty fair. You can also expect some solid customer service when you’re with them.

But here’s the snag: your custodian options are kinda limited here, with Equity Trust being your one and only choice. They’re a hot pick for gold IRAs, no doubt, but if you were hoping to shop around for custodians, Silver Gold Bull might not be your place.

American Hartford Gold

American Hartford Gold


Gold Markup

An extra $179.70 per ounce on top of COMEX

Getting Started With


Account Minimum

Not Specified

Why It Made the List

Kicking things off in 2015, American Hartford Gold is kinda the new kid on the block in the gold IRA sphere. They’ve even caught the attention of some celebs like Bill O’Reilly and Rudy Giuliani, not to mention Rick Harrison from Pawn Shop Wars, who openly back them. These guys are all about precious metal IRAs and getting physical precious metals delivered to your doorstep.

Now, diving into the good stuff, you won’t have to worry about a mandatory initial purchase or a set minimum account balance with Hartford’s gold IRAs. And they’re not slacking on the customer service front either, offering a solid trio of phone, email, and live chat to answer your queries.

But heads up, when we gave them a ring during our research, their responses were kinda beat-around-the-bush, which might be a letdown if you’re just starting out. Moreover, their gold markup is a bit steep, and they kinda box you in with Equity Trust as your only custodian option.

Rosland Capital

Rosland Capital


Gold Markup

A hefty $271.30 extra per ounce over COMEX

Jump In With


Minimum Account Balance


Why It’s Noteworthy

Started in sunny California in 2008, Rosland Capital has spread its wings to cities like London, Paris, and Munich. Besides your usual precious metal investments, they’ve got some cool collabs with big names like the British Museum and Formula 1®, crafting unique specialty coins.

Now, Rosland Capital prides itself on keeping things honest and offering top-notch customer service, a vibe that we definitely felt when we checked them out. Despite the steep gold markup, they shine in being upfront about their fees on their website, something we appreciated big time. Give their customer service a ring, and you’ll likely get clear and precise answers to most of your questions.

But here’s the kicker: while the service is good, the nearly tripled gold premium compared to our top choice might make you think twice. And yeah, their charges and the $5,500 starting gate might be a bit too steep for comfort.

Birch Gold Group

Birch Gold Group


Gold Markup

A steep $215.80 extra per ounce beyond COMEX

Starting Investment


No Minimum Account Balance


Why It’s on Our List

Having their roots planted way back in 2002, Birch Gold Group stands as one of the granddads in the industry. Besides getting your hands on gold IRAs, they are pretty big on hawking precious metals, often flaunting nods from celebs like Ben Shapiro and Ron Paul.

During our chat with Birch’s customer support, they were pretty helpful, hooking us up with a gold IRA pro – though we had to twiddle our thumbs for a good 15 minutes before that happened. They’ve got a chunky collection of info on gold IRA investments, although don’t expect a super balanced perspective from them.

Now, one hiccup here is their hefty kick-start investment of $10,000. Thankfully, they loosen up with no fixed account minimum post your first buy. But yeah, brace yourself for some considerable fees, starting with a sizeable gold markup.

Monetary Gold

Monetary Gold


Gold Markup

Adding $165.30 per ounce atop COMEX

Initial Buy-In


Minimum Account Hold


Why It Caught Our Eye

Kicking off in the year 2000, Monetary Gold has held its ground as a seasoned contender in the game. These folks not only provide gold and silver IRAs but also give you a chance to dip your toes in other precious metal investments. And hey, they’ve got your back round the clock with their 24/7 customer service, even throwing in free shipping for newcomers.

Speaking of costs, they don’t go overboard with their fees, flaunting a fairly reasonable gold markup. But here’s the thing, you gotta be ready to shell out at least $10,000 for your maiden purchase and maintain that as your account minimum. Oh, and your custodian options? They play it solo with Equity Trust.

Orion Metal Exchange

Orion Metal


Gold Markup

A bump of $132.30 per ounce on top of COMEX

No Initial Purchase Hassle


Account Minimum

A solid $10,000

What Made Us Notice

Popping up on the scene in 2017, Orion Metal Exchange is the freshest face on our radar. These guys are all about trading precious metals and offering precious metal IRAs. Plus, they’ve got a dedicated team just zeroed in on IRAs, so you’ve got a go-to if tax or retirement queries come up.

While Orion skips the initial buying fee, there’s a catch – you gotta have at least $10k parked in your account, which feels a bit steep. On the brighter side, they’ve teamed up with three custodians, giving you a bit more room to maneuver your choices.

When it comes to pricing, they’re fairly in the game with their gold markup. But, watch out for a sneaky $25 fee tagging along with each transaction, which might just pile up if you’re one to regularly chip into your gold IRA. If you’re just shifting a 401(k) though, this minor charge probably won’t bug you much.

Heads Up: The info about the gold bar spread mentioned here was gathered on March 2th and 11th, 2024. We sized up each company’s pricing against the COMEX rate at the exact minute we grabbed the data.


We rolled up our sleeves and dug deep into the top 20 gold IRA companies to whip up our top picks for gold IRAs.

We didn’t even bother with companies that had less than an A grade from the Better Business Bureau or if they were asking for more than $20,000 just to start with. From there, we sifted through the lot, tossing aside any with sky-high fees or ones that were just a pain to deal with.

Here’s a thing we noticed: even the companies that seemed upfront about their charges had some sneaky hidden fees tucked into their prices. We saw a range of gold per ounce prices, swinging from a hundred bucks to a staggering $650 over the average market value as dictated by the COMEX gold futures market.

This gold spread seemed like the real deal to gauge how much these gold IRA companies were hiking up the prices, so we leaned on it heavily while making our ranks. Simply put, the closer a company was to the COMEX rate, the better we rated them, no love for the high markup players.

What Is A Gold IRA?

Think of a gold IRA as a special kind of retirement account where you get to stash away gold instead of just the usual stocks and bonds. You won’t have a golden treasure chest in your backyard, though! A dedicated custodian takes care of holding and managing your gold stash for you. As the worth of your gold fluctuates, so does your IRA balance, just like it does with stocks.

How Does A Gold IRA Work?

So, you’re eyeing a gold IRA, huh? It’s pretty cool, actually. It lets you trade and store gold in a retirement account that’s got some nice tax perks. To get started, pick a company that catches your eye and they’ll pair up with a custodian to safeguard and keep tabs on your gold – but yeah, they’ll charge a fee for that. And a heads-up, you won’t be getting your hands on that shiny gold personally to stay on the right side of IRS rules.

How Do I Open A Gold IRA Account?

Kicking off a gold IRA account is a breeze. Just find a company that resonates with you and set up an account with them. But here’s the catch – they all have their own set of rules, including minimum investments and fees. While some give you the freedom to pick your custodian, others might not be that flexible.

Gold IRA Custodians

Alright, let’s talk about who’s babysitting your gold in a gold IRA, namely, the custodian. There’s a bunch of them around, but heads up, not all gold IRA providers are gonna let you pick your fave.

Many of these companies nudge you to pair up with their buddy custodians. You see, they get a little something-something (like commissions) from these custodians, which might tempt them to recommend the ones filling their pockets instead of considering what’s best for you.

Choosing Your Own Gold IRA Custodian

Hey, remember, it’s your right to choose who guards your golden stash. Steer clear from companies that don’t give you at least a couple of choices. These custodians have their fee schemes, often kept on the down-low, which can snowball into a hefty yearly cost.

To snag the best deal, don’t just glance at the rate charts. Dig a little deeper and compare the gold price per ounce with the COMEX gold price across various companies. It might be a bit of a hustle, but trust us, it’s worth your time. Picture this: in March 2024, a smarter choice could’ve snagged you 26 ounces of gold for a 50k investment, instead of just 20 ounces with a pricier option.

Quick Heads-Up: Investing in a gold IRA isn’t exactly a golden ticket for your retirement nest egg. Sneaky hidden fees can munch away at your profits. Though gold has a rep for being a steady bet, it can have its roller coaster moments. Before diving in, have a chat with a trusted financial advisor to figure out what works best for your risk appetite.

Gold IRA Advantages

  • Ownership of a physical asset: One of the cool parts of diving into gold investment is the thrill of owning something you can actually touch, a real, physical item. It’s a different vibe compared to holding onto stocks or bonds which, let’s face it, feels a bit more virtual. Regular retirement accounts managed by brokers or automated platforms won’t give you a golden treasure to call your own.
  • Tax advantages: Gold IRAs come with the same tax goodies as your standard IRAs. You can chill without worrying about capital gains tax eating into your golden pie as long as it’s tucked away in the account. Feel like selling some of your gold stash for a neat profit? Go ahead, as long as you keep the earnings in the account. And guess what, you can pick between a traditional IRA, giving you a tax break now, or a Roth IRA for tax-free withdrawals when you retire.
  • Gold purchase and storage are included: The best gold IRA providers have got your back, offering platforms to trade various types of the shiny stuff. They team up with custodians who take care of safeguarding your golden treasures, even ensuring it against theft. So, you can sit back and watch your gold pile grow without any hassles.

Gold IRA Downsides

  • High fees: Let’s be real, Gold IRAs can burn a hole in your pocket with all the fees they tag along. From the get-go with account setup fees to the yearly charges, and even getting nickel-and-dimed when you want to buy or sell gold. Oh, and don’t forget the extra costs just to wire funds and store your gold. Pulling out cash from your account? Yep, that’ll cost you too. These fees nibble away at your returns, making your financial cushion a bit less comfy.
  • Lack of pricing transparency: Gold IRA companies have a knack for being somewhat sneaky with their pricing. They often charge a bit (or a lot) more than the going rate for gold bars listed on the COMEX, and they don’t exactly shout about this markup. Prices vary wildly between companies; some might add a $100 charge per ounce, while others hike it up even more. Considering gold’s hefty per-ounce price tag (around $2000 at the time of our research), even the lower-end markup can feel like a slap in the wallet.
  • Complicated rules and restrictions: Gold IRAs come with a bunch of red tape that you need to navigate to keep the IRS off your back. You’re limited to specific kinds of gold bars and coins, and no, you can’t stash your gold under your bed; it has to be stored with a custodian. This not only racks up another fee but also means you can’t gaze lovingly at your glittery investments whenever you want. It’s a bit of a buzzkill, right?

What is a Gold IRA Rollover?

A gold IRA rollover is basically shifting bucks from your current retirement fund into a gold-focused one, or vice versa. Just a heads-up, make sure to nail this within 60 days to dodge any frowns from the IRS.

401k to Gold IRA Rollover

Considering moving a chunk or maybe all of your 401(k) into a gold IRA? You’ve got a 60-day window to do this without the IRS breathing down your neck. But hey, don’t rush! Take a moment to chew over the fees and the investment avenues open to you before funneling a hefty amount into a gold IRA.

Sometimes, it might just be wiser to transition your stash to a budget-friendly brokerage and throw a bit of your funds into gold ETFs instead of a full-blown gold IRA. To figure out what suits you best, have a chat with a financial guru who isn’t pocketing commissions on gold IRAs.

Should You Buy Gold Now?

Ryan Johnson, a bigwig at Buckingham Advisors, chimes in on the current gold scene: “Historically, gold has had a knack for shining brighter when the Fed is taking it easy and when inflation seems to be on the upswing; not really what we’re seeing now. Plus, just like other commodities, gold can swing either way depending on the mood swings of the U.S. dollar.” So, it’s a bit of a “watch this space” situation.

Gold IRA Tax Rules

Hey, when it comes to tax rules surrounding gold IRAs, the IRS isn’t playing around — they’ve got a bunch of tricky rules and boundaries in place for these self-managed IRAs. The deal is kinda similar to your typical IRAs — you might get a tax break when you put money in, it grows tax-free, and you’ll be taxed when you withdraw cash.

But, here’s the kicker: gold IRAs have some extra layers of rules to navigate. You can’t just stash your gold at home or in a safe you can waltz into anytime; it needs to be under a custodian’s watchful eye. Oh, and you can’t just throw any type of gold in there — only specific varieties make the cut!

Gold IRA Costs and Fees

Alright, we gotta talk about the not-so-fun part of gold IRAs: the costs and fees. Sadly, they’re kinda steep and a bit murky in the retirement game. To be frank, a gold IRA might not be your best bet because of this. You could end up shelling out a lot more, with lesser chances of seeing some decent profit, compared to a more affordable, traditional IRA.

Alternatives to Gold IRAs

Feeling the gold vibe for your retirement fund but not quite sold on gold IRAs? Good news: there are cheaper and simpler options available!

Gold Mutual Funds and ETFs

There’s a bunch of mutual funds and ETFs that have got their eyes on gold. Some shadow the current gold prices by dabbling in futures and options, while others are all about gold stocks. Grabbing these funds in a typical IRA through a normal brokerage account is a no-fuss, wallet-friendly way to get into the gold scene. But heads up, you won’t technically own any real chunks of gold.

Gold Stocks

Why not think about buying stocks from gold mining or trading companies that are out there in the public market? When gold prices are looking good, these stocks often follow suit. Just make sure to do your homework because the company’s performance can swing the stock price too. If you play your cards right with some smart stock choices, you might just see a nice little profit, all while avoiding hefty fees through a standard brokerage IRA.

Gold Investments Outside an IRA

If you’re dead set on having some physical gold in your portfolio, why not just go for it outside of your IRA? You’ll skip the hassle, the restrictions, and the costs tied to gold IRAs. Plus, it frees up your retirement account to explore other investment avenues at regular brokerage firms. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Gold IRA Vs Physical Gold: What’s Better?

If you’re itching to have some gold in your possession, you might be torn between grabbing some tangible chunks of gold or going the gold IRA route. The best choice? Well, it kinda hangs on what floats your boat and your personal situation.

Getting your hands on physical gold can be a bit easier on your wallet when it comes to buying, holding, and selling it. Plus, there’s something pretty cool about being able to see and touch your investment. But remember, owning something shiny might keep you up at night worrying about it getting nicked. Stashing it in a safe or a safety deposit box could keep those worries at bay without burning a hole in your pocket, unlike the fees you’d rack up with a gold IRA.

On the flip side, gold IRAs do have their perks, mainly in the tax department. You get to dodge taxes on any increase in your gold’s value, and there’s no stress about keeping tabs on it since your custodian’s got it covered. But here’s the kicker: the hefty fees linked to gold IRAs might just gobble up any profits you’d gain from those tax benefits. It’s like running in circles, with your gold’s potential value increases just being munched away by ongoing costs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is gold a good investment for retirement?

Dabbling in gold can be an option if you’re keen on sprinkling some precious metals into your retirement stash. Though it’s been a classic shield against financial storms and market shake-ups, you should know that it’s still a bit of a rollercoaster investment. Unlike stocks and bonds, gold doesn’t offer any income or dividends, and its value can dip.

Also, be prepared to shell out for storage, deal with wild price swings, and fork over custodian fees, which can make gold a bit of a bumpy ride for many retirees.

According to Ryan Johnson from Buckingham Advisors, using gold as a sporadic trading option might work, but holding onto it long-term isn’t something they’d recommend. They lean more towards Treasuries, which not only have a chance to grow in value but also bring in some positive cash flow, especially when compared to the expenses tied to maintaining a stash of gold.

What is IRA eligible gold?

In the gold IRA world, “IRA eligible” gold is just a fancy way of saying the gold meets the IRS’s standards to be included in a gold IRA. This could be an official coin minted by the government, or a specific type of gold bullion or coin that ticks all the boxes in a certain IRS section. Oh, and it’s gotta be stored safely with an approved bank or trustee, as per IRS rules

Who holds my gold in a gold IRA?

The custodian of your gold IRA is the one who’s got your gold stored safely.

How much does a gold IRA cost?

Well, the true cost of a gold IRA can be a bit murky due to some hidden fees lurking around. Though a lot of companies will woo you with low account fees, they usually make up for it with a steep markup on gold, not to mention some unclear custodian fees.

During our digging, we found that these markups could skyrocket up to a whopping 12%, on top of other charges. Just to give you a frame of reference, Fidelity, which we reckon is a great choice for an IRA account, only asks for a teeny 0.02% in fees. Quite a difference, huh?