Precious Metals IRA Custodian Reviews

By John Otis

July 5, 2021

As Featured In:

Some links within this article are from our sponsors. We provide reliable, and accurate information. Read our Advertising Disclosure. 

Deciding to move some of your retirement savings into gold or starting to invest in precious metals is a great idea, but it's really only your first step in securing your retirement. Your next logical step is to make sure that you can set up an IRA account and do so in a way that makes you feel comfortable with the buying process.

While you could certainly buy gold at random, the truth is that you need to be able to have a certain degree of trust in the companies with which you work. Taking the time to do some research today on precious metal companies will help you to feel much more secure with the choices you need to make for your future.

The vast majority of people who go into the gold market aren't aware that opening up an IRA can be quite costly. While they may understand that there are costs associated with buying gold, they may not know that the IRA custodians with whom they work can also be a huge source of fees.

These custodians are an integral part of the investing process, partnering with brokers, dealers, and financial advisors to ensure that their clients can make the investments that they need to make. Every custodian has a slightly different fee structure, with some who waive initial fees and others offering discounts for specific types of investments—knowing which firms take which actions is a must if you're looking to invest in a fiscally responsible way.

You're in the right place to start reviewing the best precious metal IRA custodians. These reviews are designed to help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls of investing in precious metals while still allowing you to learn a bit about the companies you consider working with.

Quick Summary


9.6 / 10

  • Top overall choice
  • Excellent customer experience
  • Over 1000 5 star reviews
  • A+ BBB rating
  • $10,000 in free silver offer

8.9 / 10

  • 4.96 overall rating on BBB
  • Excellent customer reviews
  • No cost portfolio review
  • Great leadership team

8.3 / 10

  • In business since 2003
  • Solid reviews
  • Great educators

7.8 / 10

  • Long history
  • $5,000-$250,000 packages
  • Trusted for over 15 years

What To Consider With IRA Custodians

While all of the gold investing companies here are fine companies, it's always good to know how to tell a great company from one that doesn't quite work for you.

It's vital that you learn how to figure out which companies are worth your time when it comes to invest in precious metals. There are, luckily, always a few factors to consider when looking at different investment opportunities.

Consideration #1: Setup and Fee Structure

A custodian's fee structure is always a solid place to start. You'll want to start by seeing if the fee will stay flat or will vary depending on the value of your account and whether or not you'll end up having to pay for the setup and administration of your account.

We've made sure to point out these factors in the top custodians that we have reviewed. As a consumer, you'll want to make sure that you're aware of all of these factors and that you're choosing to invest in products that are actually approved to go in your IRA. Doing so will help you make sure that you'll get the tax advantages of using this type of account.

Consideration #2: Reputation and Presence in the Industry

If you've read our review of the top-rated gold IRA companies, you'll notice that we pay a fair bit of attention to the standings of those companies with organizations like the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

Unfortunately, you won't see those kinds of IRA custodian reviews because they typically aren't quite as 'customer facing'. This does not, however, mean that the reputation of these companies doesn't matter. This simply means that you're going to have to look into a variety of different sources to figure out whether or not you can trust them or not.

If you want to figure out the reputation of a custodian, you'll want to look at raw numbers. Factors like how many customers the custodian has, the number of reputable companies with which they are partnered, and even the length of time they have been in business can tell more of a story than you might think. If you're willing to research, you can find everything you need to know about how these companies are perceived in the industry.

Consideration #3: Product Presentation and Quality of Website

You'll want to spend some time on the company's website to ensure that it's easy enough for you to use. Great websites aren't just pretty - they have easy navigation and present all the information you need in a way that makes sense.

A website that you can't use will be useless, after all, so make sure that you're comfortable with the presentation before you make any commitments.

Consideration #4: Cost-Effectiveness

Most precious metals IRA custodians have various partners in the world that assist them with their clients' investments. Some of these partnerships can work out in a way that's quite financially attractive to customers, with discounts on purchases and even waived fees.

Some of these discounts can make a huge difference in your spending. You may find special promotions like getting three years of setup and storage costs waived or 10,000 in free silver, which can offset some of the costs. Other companies might agree to a lower storage fee rate for the life of your account or even to waive specific fees that might cause you to feel less comfortable with the value of your investments. 

Fees and Taxes

No two custodians are the same when it comes to fee structures. Some will charge flat annual rates despite the fluctuating value of a customer's account, while others have a fluctuating structure that's tied to the customer's account value.

The majority of custodians also have a transfer fee associated with rolling over old accounts into an IRA, which can impact the value of your current savings. As such, we've found it necessary to provide a reasonably comprehensive fee comparison to help the average consumer make sense of the existing players in the market.

The good news is that transfer fees are relatively low, usually ranging between fifty and one hundred dollars for each transfer. These are essentially the industry equivalent of transaction fees, an unfortunate but understandable part of doing business. If you're aware of these fees ahead of time, though, you'll be able to plan for them and feel much more comfortable with their existence.

In fact, knowing about fees and taxes ahead of time is a significant part of being prepared to invest. You should know everything you can about custodians before committing, as there are different custodians out there to fit almost any investor's needs.

As you move forward in your investment journey, you'll begin to see that there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to investing. You'll want to make sure that you deal with a firm that you can not only afford but one that you can trust. Doing so will help you to make cost-effective investments choices that will better prepare you for the future.

What Gold Firms Partner With The Best Custodians?

"Best Overall"

Goldco, which was founded over a decade ago, is one of the older gold firms and specializes in helping customers both buy gold directly and in setting up gold IRAs. This company is well-known for its excellent customer service, with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

The main reason Goldco is number 1 is due to over 1,000 5 star reviews from customers across reputable review sites like BBB, Trust Pilot, and Consumer Affairs. Their reputation is unmatched in the industry. Check out the video below to learn more about Goldco.


  • Over 1,000 five star reviews from customers
  • Currently offering $10,000 in free silver with qualifying accounts
  • Very highly rated by most of their partners
  • No pressure to keep investing
  • Has a BBB rating of A++
  • Has been around longer than most other companies


  • Starting your account cannot be done online

Augusta Precious Metals has been in business for more than 12 years, and is centered around their excellent customer service throughout the entire account setup process. 

Besides Goldco, Augusta has the best reviews on the internet across all platforms. With a 4.96 customer rating on BBB and a 5 star rating on Consumer Alliance, it's hard to beat the reputation that this company holds. 


  • They have impeccable ratings from customers across multiple platforms online
  • They offer a portfolio review at no cost when you first consider them
  • It's very easy and straightforward to start an IRA with Augusta. 


  • They only have gold and silver for IRAs
  • Their investment minimums are high compared to many other companies

Birch Gold Group is a company that's dedicated to ensuring that its clients feel confident in their ability to invest in precious metals. The company provides a fair bit of education for their customers, along with the kind of support that can make anyone feel good about investing.

Founded back in 2003, the Burbank-based company has several high-profile clients and excellent ratings across the board. It also stands out by providing all of its customers with the services of a specialist who can help them make better-investing choices.


  • Specialist assistance makes for a much better-investing process
  • Has several different IRA products, including those that include other precious metals
  • Very dedicated to helping their clients make wise investment choices


  • Setup process is more expensive, and fees tend to be on the higher side
  • There are fees annually for insurance and management

Regal Assets is more than just a gold company. With a portfolio that allows its clients to invest in everything from cryptocurrencies to precious metals, the company is one of the better choices for those who want a little more diversity in their portfolios.

This gives users a much broader base on which to build their future wealth and more hedges against problems in the more traditional investment arenas.


  • Allows you to watch your assets being stored via video
  • Offers the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies
  • Has been around since 2003


  • Not BBB accredited
  • Currently only holds a 2.67-star rating on the BBB

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you define an IRA custodian?

Custodians are essentially the company responsible for securing the investments of your retirement account. These companies are the ones who are responsible for following the rules of the IRS that regulate tax advantages accounts.

Custodians are a necessary part of the process when it comes to helping customers open self-directed accounts and simplifying the process in a way that helps consumers avoid constant contact with the IRS.

2. What are the requirements for an IRA custodian?

Custodians have to hold IRA-approved licenses to operate and are regulated like a 'non-bank. They may consist of several different financial entities. Still, they must act as fiduciary, which makes them always responsible to their clients, and involves keeping their IRA accounts secure and free from tampering.

3. What are the fees that I will likely pay?

There are several different fees that you might see in a traditional account. The most common is an annual maintenance fee, which may run between two and five hundred dollars per year. These fees may or may not included transaction or transfer fees.

4. What is "checkbook-control," and what significance does it have in an IRA account?

This term denotes an account that gives its owner the ability to control everything bought or sold. There are no limits on when an IRA owner can access his or her account, nor are there any on which the contents can be bought or sold.

These accounts tend to be a bit riskier than those controlled by custodians and thus have higher yearly fees, but the ease of use makes them very popular among investors. To have one of these accounts, you must set up a personal LLC to operate the account.

5. What are the regulations IRA custodians must follow?

The IRS regulates these custodians according to specific regulations in the IRC (Internal Revenue Code). All custodians not only have strict fiduciary duties to their clients, but they must also follow stringent security requirements. IRA custodians are also subject to audit by both state and federal auditors.

6. Can I manage my IRA online?

Mostly every reputable IRA custodian service now allows their clients to view their accounts online. Precisely what you'll be able to do online does vary from service to service, of course, and online utility is something you should investigate before you decide to work with any given custodian.

Final Thoughts

Each of the three companies mentioned here are solid options, but ultimately it depends on your needs. Regal Assets might be great if you are considering cryptocurrency, Birch Gold could be your choice if you want to add platinum or palladium on top of gold and silver, and Goldco is the #1 company by far for gold and silver. 

We hope you found this review helpful. Feel free to leave comments or questions below and we'll do our best to get back to you. If interested, you can request a free gold investors kit from Goldco by clicking here or "Visit Goldco" below. Make sure to ask about their current incredible offer for $10,000 in free silver! 

9.6 / 10

  • Top overall choice
  • Excellent customer experience
  • 1000 5 star reviews
  • A+ BBB rating

John Otis

About the author - John Otis

In the modern age of reckless government spending and central bank money printing, my sole objective is to help others protect their savings, retirement, livelihoods, and purchasing power from currency devaluation. Otis Gold has been featured in Financial Times, Yahoo Finance, Kitco News, Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and more. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Welcome!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Never miss a LATEST NEWs!

 Subscribe to our newsletter!