Investing News

Best Online Gold Dealers for April 2024

APMEX is the best overall online gold dealer for its solid track record, broad product offering, and more

<p>Getty Images / Busakorn Pongparnit</p>

Getty Images / Busakorn Pongparnit

Fact checked by Michael RosenstonReviewed by Samantha Silberstein

APMEX  (American Precious Metals Exchange) tops our list as the best overall online gold dealer for its solid track record, strong customer service, and broad product offering. With the price of gold hitting new all-time highs to begin the month of March, we evaluated top companies based on their reputations, competitive and transparent prices, customer service, and more to find the best online gold dealers.

Best Overall: APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange)

<p> APMEX</p>

 APMEX

  • Shipping policy: Free for orders $199 and up
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return policy: 7 days (10% restocking fee, minimum $50)



Why We Chose It

With a solid track record, strong customer service, and more than 20,000 products to offer, APMEX (the largest online precious metals dealer globally) is our choice for Best Overall online gold dealer.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Extensive product selection

  • 7-day return policy

  • Robust customer service

  • Solid online reputation

  • Long track record

Cons

  • Different prices depending on your payment method

  • Additional fee to store your gold

Overview

American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) has built itself into a global precious metals powerhouse since its founding in 2000. It’s not surprising that it has the largest selection of precious metals products.

In addition to a wide range of gold and silver bullion and coin products, APMEX also has an extensive selection of platinum and palladium products. Its coin selection is a virtual United Nations, representing coins from the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, and beyond. APMEX is also one of the best sources for collectors, offering a wide variety of coins and old banknotes.

While APMEX doesn’t have the lowest prices around, its significant sales volume allows it to at least be competitive. A major drawback is that they charge different prices for different payment methods. APMEX also offers volume-based pricing and bulk discounts on bullion and coins on purchases. The quantity tiers are 1-9, 10-19, 20-99, and 100+.

Ease-of-use is also a strength of APMEX, with easy navigation to browse products and a quick four-step checkout process. Once you begin an order, you have 10 minutes to finalize the purchase to lock in current pricing.

Another key advantage is APMEX’s free shipping on any order over $199. There is no minimum order requirement. Orders under $199 are charged a $9.95 shipping fee. Insurance is included on all shipped packages. Orders paid by credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrency, and wire transfers may qualify for APMEX’s QuickShip Program, which provides next-day processing for U.S. orders.

If you want your gold stored, APMEX will ship it to Citadel Global Depository Services, one of the world’s largest private storage facilities where it will be stored for an annual fee.

You have many payment options with APMEX, including credit or debit cards, paper checks, bank wire transfers, PayPal, bitcoin, and eCheck. Payments may take up to five days to clear depending on your payment method, but some methods clear faster.

APMEX offers a seven-day return and refund on any order but reserves the right to charge a restocking fee of $50 or 10% of the purchase amount. It also provides customers with a quick and easy buyback process.

APMEX is committed to providing excellent customer service and education. Customers can contact its service center via live chat, email, or phone during business hours but may place orders 24/7 all week long. New investors will appreciate APMEX’s resource center on its website, providing educational information along with current insights on buying gold.

Best Customer Experience: JM Bullion

<p>JM Bullion</p>

JM Bullion

  • Shipping policy: Free over $199
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return policy: Within 5 business days of delivery



Why We Chose It

JM Bullion provides its customers with a user-friendly website, transparent pricing structure, dedicated customer support, and investor-friendly features, making it our choice as the online gold dealer with the best customer experience.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low shipping costs and low free shipping threshold

  • Clean and easy-to-use shopping site

  • Several hundred thousand positive reviews

Cons

  • Doesn’t sell internationally

  • If returned, buyer is responsible for market losses

Overview

Since its founding in 2011, JM Bullion has quickly grown to become Inc.com’s “fastest-growing precious metals company” in the U.S. That growth can be attributed to JM Bullion’s commitment to offering a wide selection of products, transparent pricing, dedicated customer support, and a simple purchasing process.

Its product selection is extensive, with a wide variety of gold, silver, platinum, copper, palladium coins, and bars, priced without commissions or additional fees. Different payment methods have different prices. JM Bullion offers members of the military the same discount it offers on bulk purchases. 

Payments can be made by ACH transfer (up to $100,000), Bitcoin (up to $1,000,000), paper check (up to $100,000), credit or debit card (up to $100,000), PayPal (up to $250,000), and bank wire transfer (up to $1,000,000). Credit card and PayPal payments are charged 4% more and cryptocurrency 1% more via a “discount” for the other methods.

Shipping is free for orders of $199 or more and includes insurance costs. For orders less than $199, you’ll pay $9.95 (more if you upgrade your shipping method at checkout). You can also choose to have their gold shipped free to JM Bullion’s storage partner, TDS Vaults, a high-security depositary with several locations worldwide. 

JM Bullion offers a five-day return policy. While it doesn’t indicate on its website whether there is a restocking fee, you are responsible for market losses. The online dealer has a minimum buyback policy of $1,000. You can visit its website to see its current buyback prices.

JM Bullion prides itself on its dedicated customer support, which is accessible during business hours via live chat, email, and phone.

Best for Gold Coins: BGASC

<p> BGASC</p>

 BGASC

  • Shipping policy: Free over $199
  • Storage: No
  • Return policy: Within 5 business days of delivery



Why We Chose It

As its name implies, BGASC (Buying Gold and Silver Coins) is one of the best sources for buying gold bullion coins sold at reasonable prices, making it our choice for the best online gold dealer for coins.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Best selection of gold coins

  • Competitive pricing on gold coins

  • Excellent customer support

  • Solid online reputation

  • Fast shipping

Cons

  • Limited payment options

  • Limited bullion offering

  • No live chat

Overview

Although BGASC offers a complete lineup of gold products, its primary focus is on selling gold bullion coins. Its selection of coins is vast, prices are highly competitive, and customer service is excellent.

BGASC has managed to build a solid reputation, especially as a gold coin dealer. In addition to a great selection of all the essential standbys—such as American Eagles, Canadian Gold Maples, South African Krugerrands, Pre-1933 U.S. Gold, and Australian Gold Kangaroos—it maintains an extensive inventory of premium and rare medals, coins and paper currency. The study and collection of these rare materials is called numismatics. Additionally, BGASC offers gold bars in all standard sizes. 

The company’s products are also priced very competitively. Its 1 oz. Gold American Eagle Coin was the cheapest of the vendors in this article.

One of the downsides of BGASC is its limited payment options. Currently, it only allows payments with paper checks (maximum of $100,000), PayPal (maximum $250,000), credit and debit cards (maximum of $100,000).

Shipping is free for orders of $199 and over. BGASC offers a five-day return policy and will buy gold and silver from you at the current prices listed on its website.

Customer reviews also praise BGASC’s customer service, touting knowledgeable reps and quick response times (though they don’t have live chat). As with most other online gold dealers, customer service is accessible during business hours. 

BGASC is a Certified Coin Exchange (CCE) member and an authorized dealer for the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).

Best for Buybacks: Money Metals Exchange

<p>Money Metals Exchange</p>

Money Metals Exchange

  • Shipping policy: Free over $199
  • Storage: Yes
  • Return policy: 3 days (5% restocking fee)



Why We Chose It

Money Metals Exchange is tops in this category because it pays the highest buyback prices among its competitors. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Competitive pricing

  • Free shipping on orders of $199 or more

  • Automated monthly savings plan

Cons

  • Purchasing limits apply depending on your payment method and some are very low

Overview

Founded in 2010, Money Metals Exchange has quickly amassed a customer base of more than 500,000 customers. Its customer-centric focus has translated into highly competitive pricing, personalized service, a pathway for new investors, and one of the best online reputations.

Customers can easily navigate its website to shop for coins and bullion by category and weight. Beginning investors can get their feet wet in gold investing with an automatic monthly savings plan starting at $100 a month. They advertise the price to be as low as $105 over spot pricing on a 1oz Gold American Eagle Coin.

Money Metals locks in your price for 10 minutes to allow you to finish entering your information and payment method, which can be bank wire transfer, bitcoin, credit or debit card, money order, PayPal, or check. There is a 4% processing fee on PayPal and card orders. All payment types have different purchase limits. Cards are limited to $1,700, PayPal is limited to $3,000, and ACH is limited to $10,000. Other methods have much higher limits.

Shipping is free on all orders over $199. For orders under $199, the shipping charge is $7.97. Money Metals offers a three-day return policy and may apply a 5% restocking fee on credit card orders. The dealer also offers a buyback program claiming to pay the highest price among its competitors. 

Money Metals offers vault storage in Delaware, Idaho and Massachusetts in Class 3 vaults. Your metals are fully segregated and fully insured. They also provide responsive customer service during business hours via live chat, phone, or email. Its website also has an extensive resource library to help new investors learn and experienced investors stay on top of the market. Money Metals also provides price alerts for investors waiting for their price to buy. 

Best Low-Price Option: SD Bullion

<p> SD Bullion</p>

 SD Bullion

  • Shipping policy: Free over $199
  • Storage: Yes
  • Return policy: 3 days (5% restocking fee, minimum $35)



Why We Chose It

SD Bullion offers low prices compared to the other dealers on this list, and it backs that up with a low-price guarantee.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low-price guarantee

  • Low-cost direct storage

  • Solid online reputation

Cons

  • Three-day return policy

  • Stiff order cancellation fee

  • Product offering somewhat limited

Overview

If a dealer asserts itself as the “lowest cost” online gold dealer in the U.S., it should back its claim with a low-price guarantee and that’s just what SD Bullion does.

SD Bullion offers a full array of precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, copper, and palladium, but its selection of products is more limited than some of its top competitors. For investors looking for the best deal with no brand preference, SD Bullion can’t be beaten.

The company offers free shipping on orders over $199 ($9.95 flat rate for orders under $199). As we’ve already stated, it offers great prices and if a customer spies a price lower than SD Bullion’s, the dealer will match it. 

If payment is not received by the payment deadline, your order will be subject to a market loss fee, a 5% cancellation fee, and any collection expenses incurred by SD Bullion. SD Bullion offers a full array of payment options, including:

  • Bitcoin (up to $250,000)
  • Cashier’s check (up to $20,000)
  • Credit or debit card (up to $5,000)
  • E-check (up to $10,000)
  • PayPal (up to $5,000)
  • Personal check (up to $20,000)
  • Wire transfer ($20,000 and up)

PayPal and credit card payments are charged a 4% processing fee and Bitcoin 1%. If you choose to have your gold stored, you can open a storage depository account and have your gold stored directly with SD Bullion and fully insured by Lloyd’s of London. The cost is free for the first three months; storage fees are as low as $9.99 a month based on the amount stored. 

Returns are accepted within three days of delivery, but refunds are not guaranteed. SD Bullion will determine if it will accept your return request. A stocking fee—5% of the purchase or $35, whichever is higher—is charged, and SD Bullion may require you to cover the cost of any market loss. SD Bullion will purchase your gold, though buyback prices are not published. Payments are issued within one to three days after SD Bullion receives the item.

SD Bullion’s customer service reviews are generally positive, with customers reporting good access to representatives through chat, email, and phone. Many of the comments highlight the speedy ordering process and reasonably quick deliveries.

Best Reputation: Golden Eagle Coins

<p> Gold Eagle Coin</p>

 Gold Eagle Coin

  • Shipping policy: Free over $99
  • Storage: No
  • Return policy: 7 days (5% restocking fee)



Why We Chose It

Established as a family-owned business, Golden Eagle Coins has a nearly unblemished track record with thousands of positive reviews.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • In business since 1974

  • Extensive selection of gold coins

  • Solid online reputation

  • Excellent customer service

  • Seven-day return policy

Cons

  • Limited selection of gold bars

  • No live chat support

Overview

Known primarily for its vast selection of gold coins, including collectible and numismatic coins, Golden Eagle Coins’ started in 1974 and maintains a track record of customer satisfaction that is unmatched.

You can’t help but marvel at Golden Eagle Coins’ extensive selection. In addition to popular coins, such as American Eagles, South African Krugerrands, and Canadian Maple Leafs, investors can also find a great selection of pre-1933 coins, commemoratives, mint sets, and foreign coins from many countries. Golden Eagle Coins also sells silver, platinum, palladium, and copper coins.

Also, you won’t find too many dealers that offer historical currency, such as Confederate notes and Colonial currency. Collectors are also impressed with its selection of ancient Arabic, Greek, Roman, and medieval coins. 

Golden Eagle Coins’ pricing is low and competitive, but not quite as cheap as BGASC or SD Bullion. You go to Golden Eagle Coins for its selection and service, not necessarily for its pricing. 

Golden Eagle Coins offers all the standard payment options, including Bitcoin, paper checks, credit cards, PayPal, and bank wire transfers. There’s a $1,500 purchase limit for credit cards and a $1,500 minimum for bank wire transfers. Other minimums and maximums apply as well. PayPal and credit card orders are charged more as a type of fee.

Standard shipping is free for orders of $99 or more and $9.95 for orders under $99. You can upgrade your shipping speed to priority mail for $14.95 or express mail for $24.94. Golden Eagle Coins accepts returns for seven days following delivery, plus a 5% restocking fee. Gold buying prices are listed on its website.

Though it doesn’t offer live chat, Golden Eagle Coins receives high marks for its customer service from thousands of customer reviews. Response times to phone and email inquiries are fast, and the service is very responsive. Golden Eagle Coins’ online reputation is impeccable. It scores highly on multiple online review sites.

Final Verdict

The online gold dealers above are reputable, reliable, transparent, and fair. But there are significant differences between the top dealers that attract investors for different reasons.

Warning

Not all precious metal dealers are trustworthy. Before you purchase, do your research, be wary of anyone promising easy profits, and learn to spot the signs of a scam.

Many gold investors diversify by buying from several sources. If you’re looking for the widest array of products in all categories, APMEX should be your first stop. If you value an exceptional overall customer experience, you should also check out JM Bullion. Additionally, few gold dealers can beat SD Bullion if you’re most concerned about pricing, while Money Metals Exchange offers top buyback prices.

Compare the Best Online Gold Dealers

Category Shipping Policy Storage Returns
APMEXBest Overall Free for orders $199 and up Through a partner 7 days (10% restocking fee, minimum $50)
JM BullionBest Customer Experience Free over $199 Through a partner Within 5 business days of delivery
BGASCBest for Gold Coins Free over $199 No Within 5 business days of delivery
Money Metals ExchangeBest Overall Free over $199 Yes 3 days (5% restocking fee)
SD BullionBest Low-Price Option Free over $199 Yes 3 days (5% restocking fee, minimum $35)
Golden Eagle CoinsBest Reputation Free over $99 No 7 days (5% restocking fee)

Pros and Cons of Investing in Physical Gold

The appeal of gold has enticed investors for centuries in terms of its value and function within our society. Unlike stocks or bonds, gold’s value is not primarily tied to its monetary worth; it is a tangible asset that serves vital industries such as technology and medicine. Before investors buy gold for their portfolio, they should understand the pros and cons of investing in the precious metal and determine if it’s the right fit for their portfolio. 

Pros

  • Portfolio diversification: Regardless of your risk appetite for investing, diversifying your portfolio is fundamental to managing your finances. No investor can predict the future of the financial markets and the fluctuations they endure. Investors recognize gold as an essential anchor for their portfolios, helping stabilize their finances during market volatility. 
  • Hedge against inflation: Inflation occurs when the dollar’s value decreases and the price of goods increases, causing economic hardship for businesses and consumers. Historically, gold has been an exceptional barrier against inflation. Gold, a finite tangible asset, can increase in value when inflation affects the economy. 
  • Flexible buying process: Despite the cost of gold, buying the precious asset is relatively easy. Investors do not need a brokerage, cash management, or bank account to hold gold. Investors can hold gold in the comfort of their own homes. However, storing it in a safe or a safety deposit box is advisable, but it may increase the overall cost of investing in gold.

Cons

  • Gold is illiquid: While gold may be easy for investors to buy, it’s challenging to sell if cash is needed immediately. It’s also important to note that gold dealers generally purchase gold from the seller at a reduced rate, which means investors may have to sell the asset for less than its worth. If investors need to sell their gold, it would be advisable to research local and online dealers to see what they are willing to pay.
  • Gold does not generate income: Gold does not have any ability to pay dividends or interest. The only type of return gold investors can hope to obtain is through capital gains. However, for investors to expect any capital appreciation, they would have to hold onto the gold investment long-term, and even then, like all investments, it’s not guaranteed that a profit will occur. 
  • Investment and security costs: Investors should expect to pay a premium when buying gold. A premium is a cost above the spot price that a gold dealer charges to make a profit on the sale. Premiums are primarily correlated to the supply and demand of gold. However, there is no regulation regarding how much a gold dealer charges. Aside from the cost of premiums, investors should consider the cost of protecting these precious metals. Standard methods of safeguarding gold include buying a safe and insuring it from theft or damage. These expenses can be costly and eat into any profit an investor hopes to gain.

Why You Should Trust Us

Investopedia collected key data points from several online gold dealers to identify the most important factors for readers choosing the right company to fit their needs. We used this data to review each company for their pricing, customer support, transparency, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right decision for their needs. Investopedia launched in 1999, and has been helping readers find the best online gold dealers since 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Buy Gold Online?

Buying gold online can be as easy as point-and-click. The most reputable dealers have a well-organized website with easy navigation to find and compare products by category (e.g., bullion by weight, coins, out-of-mint coins, etc.). With most dealers, once you find the product you want and start the checkout process your price is locked in for a short period, typically 10 to 15 minutes. You need to complete your purchase before the pricing expires, or you may see the price adjusted up or down based on how the market is moving. 

Can You Store Gold at Home?

Yes, you can store your gold at home (except in the case of Gold IRAs). For those who prefer to keep their gold close to them, the ideal place to store it is a well-hidden, at-home safe. If you do store your gold at home, be sure to check that your homeowner’s insurance covers its potential loss or damage. If not, you may need to purchase additional coverage. 

Is Buying Gold Online Safe?

Buying gold online is as safe as any other transaction you make over the internet as long as you know you’re dealing with a reputable company. As with any online purchase, adequately researching these online retailers is your first and last line of defense against scammers. The best dealers use SSL encryption and are PCI-compliant. Plus, all their shipments are insured for their full value. 

How Do You Choose a Reputable Gold Dealer?

Unquestionably, a company’s reputation is the number one criterion to evaluate and compare gold dealers. The single best measure of a company’s reputation is its transaction history, which can be assessed by customer reviews. Companies with a large number of reviews are typically more established (they have long term track records) or have built up their trust and reputation through a greater number of transactions. 

Additionally, you should look for a proven track record, physical company headquarters, clear return and buyback policies, transparent pricing, and multiple payment options.

Do Gold Dealers Report to the IRS?

Yes, gold dealers report to the IRS. These companies are required to report when a customer makes a cash payment of $10,000 or more, or when they sell a large amount of bulk gold or silver pieces. Gold dealers either report using the IRS form 1099-B or 8300.

Is Gold a Good Investment?

Like any investment, the potential for gold to deliver positive returns varies depending on the time period under consideration. Gold investors have long relied on the yellow metal for the diversification it lends to a well-balanced portfolio. In addition, using gold as a financial hedge during periods of heightened market volatility is also a popular strategy. However, whether buying physical gold or investing in gold using one of the many publicly traded derivatives products, it is important to understand that gold is not an income-generating asset. Unlike stocks and bonds, the returns investors get is based entirely on the appreciation in gold prices.

What Is Gold Bullion?

Gold bullion refers to gold bars or ingots that are made almost entirely of pure gold (typically 99.5% to 99.99% pure). These bars are typically stamped with the weight and purity of the gold they contain by the mints that produce them, making their value easy to determine. Bullion is most commonly used for investment purposes, either as a hedge against inflation or economic uncertainty or for potential price appreciation over time.

Methodology 

We reviewed 13 of the top dealers and applied our criteria of online reputation, length of track record, price transparency, payment options, shipping speed, absence of commissions and hidden fees, and customer service to narrow our choices for the best in six different categories. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Correction—Feb. 29, 2024: This article was corrected to state that Money Metals Exchange’s shipping fees are free for orders over $199.

Learn More About Buying Gold

Read the original article on Investopedia.

Articles You May Like

7 Deadly Dividend Stocks to Avoid at All Costs: April 2024
What Is a Momentum Indicator? Definition and Common Indicators
Ditch These 3 EV Stock Clunkers Before They Drain Your Wealth
Danger Zone: 7 EV Stocks Poised for a Painful Plunge
Palantir Stock at a Crossroads: Analyzing the Risks and Rewards for Investors