How We Test & Review Gold IRA Companies
Published July 27, 2021
Last updated October 15, 2022
Our 5-Step Process
Investing in a gold IRA is a wise choice, but how do you decide which company is reliable and worth your time? We put some of the top gold IRA companies through our 5-step analytical testing process and have come up with the top gold IRA companies comparison review. We’ve done all the research so you can invest worry-free.
We Promise Unbiased Gold IRA Company Reviews
Gold IRA authorities bear no (direct or indirect) involvement in our reviews, and we never accept monetary rewards in return for a good rating.
Our team of qualified professionals backs our extensive research. Each gold IRA company goes through our extensive 5-step process before getting final approval. We ensure all results are only based on an honest comparison, without any personal preference.
We aim at providing you the best possible solution to aid your final decision. Our reviews are based on authentic, reliable, and fair judgment.
Our 5-Step Process to Review Gold IRA Companies
Our 5-step review process consists of the following categories. We review IRA companies on factors such as company reputation, products offered, price point, customer service, and overall third-party ratings. To make it to our list of recommended services, a gold IRA company must acquire aces (or close) in every category. This is how we do it.
- 1. Product Range and Services
- 2. Pricing
- 3. Customer Care
- 4. Company Reliability
- 5. Customer Reviews
Product Range and Services
We skimmed through several reputable IRA gold companies and found that at most following products are offered:
- A gold IRA (individual retirement account) or account rollover
- A silver IRA or account rollover
- Direct purchase of precious metals bullion and coins such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium
- 401(k) rollover
- SERP (supplemental executive retirement plan) IRA
- SEP (simplified employee pension) IRA
In addition to the above range of products, IRA companies also offer a depository service to hold your precious metals. You also have the option to choose your own.
We review companies that offer all or most of these products, ensuring superior quality and transparent communication. We also check for custodial service reputation and fee as that is an extra charge to the client.
- Deal in the best quality precious metals
- Ensure the purity meets the IRA-approved bullion and coins criteria
- Charge a fair price for all precious metals
- Sell low-quality damaged coins
- Charge more for specific animal mascots on coins and claim exclusive rights to them
- Sell ineligible bullion and coins
There are various fees associated with a gold IRA, and we take into account companies that charge a feasible price and offer the best service value.
We first check whether a company charges a flat rate or sliding scale fees. Companies that charge a fixed setup and low annual fee get our vote as it is convenient for the customer. We avoid brokerage firms as they play a middle-man role and only add to the cost.
Companies also charge for the secure shipment and storage of precious metals to an IRS-approved facility. We prefer companies that cover these fees within the annual fee and not make these a separate matter. Also, transaction fees on the purchase of precious metals and other miscellaneous charges vary from company to company, and we prefer the ones with the most affordable fee plan.
- Charge a flat account set up and annual fee
- Have a fee disclosure mentioning all costs related to the IRA
- Run seasonal promotions and offer fee discounts
- Charge scaled account fees which rise as the savings increase
- Don’t properly guide on risks behind the home (or local) storage option
For most people, customer service is the primary window of initial information. We leave no stone unturned to test out the customer care of the companies we choose to evaluate. We ask questions regarding the company’s offerings and policies to determine how well the customer service representatives answer our questions.
We judge on fair treatment, transparency, and if our questions were promptly answered. We inquire about the company’s buyback policy and whether the company provides detailed receipts containing information on the price precious metals are sold at, along with the date, time of sale, and purity. We do this to check whether the CSR is giving out the correct information.
We test customer care agents on attentiveness and willingness to help. Only companies offering excellent customer service make it in our good books.
- Have a dedicated customer support team
- Offer various communication channels such as live chat and email
- Have knowledgeable customer service representatives willing to listen and help
- Lack communication channels
- Agents are aggressive, inattentive and avoid providing correct information
These days, it is effortless to launch a website, but it doesn’t guarantee authentic business practices. We ensure our chosen companies are licensed and dig into the company history.
We also look for crucial information such as location, names of company founders, professionals associations, awards won, and more.
We have a comprehensive list of red flags and only pick companies that don’t conform to any of those points.
- Are licensed with proof present on their website
- Earn respect within the industry through ethical business operations
- Are lauded by clients for exceptional service
- Are unlicensed
- Have 100% positive customer reviews
- Use affiliate marketing programs to purchase positive ratings
There’s no denying that customer reviews can impact a company’s success significantly. This is why some companies go to major lengths to acquire positive customer ratings to keep their businesses afloat, even if done through a fraudulent approach. Such means create challenges for people, especially those who are new to gold IRA investment.
On the bright side, a handful of trustworthy sources provide in-depth reviews based on their analysis and unbiased customer reviews. We use these sources to aid our evaluation.
Online review sites such as TrustPilot, Trustlink, and BBB (Better Business Bureau) have intensive rating procedures based on high standards. BBB, established in 1912, has over 100 years of history grading businesses based on 16 varying factors, and to achieve an A+ rating with the platform is not an easy task. Companies that acquire an A or A+ rating are the ones we focus on.
We check all aspects, including the good, the bad, and the response to clients, before we add the company to our list of top IRA gold companies.
Our Rating System for Precious Metals IRA Companies
We come up with the final scores after inspecting each company with our 5-step process. Every step is broken into sub-parts and assigned a certain percentage based on its importance when we review gold IRA companies. Companies that score high in each category qualify for a place in our list of the best.