Birch Gold IRA Review
$10,000 funding minimum
Possibly the most star-studded roster of celebrity endorsements of any Gold IRA provider.
Up to $10,000 in FREE precious metals with qualifying purchases.
Product selection includes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium — excellent for diversification.
Excellent reputation for customer service.
- Waives the first year’s fees on rollovers of more than $50,000.
You have probably heard of Birch Gold Group. Few gold companies are better connected, with more high-profile endorsements and shoutouts from celebrities. It surrounds the brand with an aura of prestige, and they lean into it, emphasizing their physical headquarters located across the street from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.
It might be tacky if Birch didn’t have the record to back up that pedigree … but they do. In business since 2003, Birch is a longtime mainstay of the precious metals industry and a leader in popularizing Gold IRAs.
Reputation, Reviews, and Achievements
The headline of the Birch Gold Group reputation are the high-profile endorsements from the likes of former US Representative Ron Paul and political commentator Ben Shapiro. (Paul and Shapiro even have their own pages on the company website — that’s how much the company trades on those endorsements.)
These endorsements carry a lot of juice, but brand deals alone aren’t necessarily a guarantor of quality of service. It’s important not to get caught up in the shine of celebrity and dig deeper to find testimonials from people who have nothing to gain from giving their testimonial.
Fortunately, the weight of the evidence is in favor of Birch Gold Group. They have over 1,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average score of 4.8 out of 5. They also have over 200 reviews on Google with an average score of 4.8 stars. The Better Business Bureau has given Birch its highest A+ rating, and they score 4.69 stars out of 5 from over 80 BBB reviews.
Overall, it adds up to a compelling picture of a company that is more than just Hollywood fluff. Drawing talent from Citigroup, Dun & Bradstreet, IBM, and more, Birch Gold Group can deliver the goods.
Customers report excellent, attentive, and responsive customer service from Birch Gold Group. They care about their glowing reputation and do their best to earn it. You can receive customer service either through the toll-free number, filling out the contact form on the “Contact” page, or emailing email@example.com.
Bonuses and Incentives
Birch Gold Group offers an incentive of up to $10,000 in free precious metals for “qualifying” purchases.
What qualifies the purchase is the size of the purchase. The bonus precious metals phase in at the following new purchase volumes:
$500 in bonus metals for purchases from $50,000.00 to $99,999.99.
$1,000 in bonus metals for purchases from $100,000.00 to $249,999.99.
$2,500 in bonus metals for purchases from $250,000.00 to $999,999.99.
$10,000 in bonus metals for purchases from $1,000,000.00 or more.
Note that qualifying purchases can either be for a Gold IRA or for personal possession, and there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the number of times you can claim this bonus. This incentive is especially good for people with high net worths who want to make multiple large purchases. If you’re mindful of the price breaks, you can maximize your bonus on each purchase.
Fees and Charges
Birch Gold Group is refreshingly open on its website about its fee structure for a Gold IRA. That’s not to say they foreground that knowledge — there isn’t a “pricing” tab or section on the website. But the fees are disclosed in the Gold IRA FAQ page and break down as follows:
One-Time Account Setup Fee: $50
One-Time Wire Transfer Fee: $30
Annual Storage and Insurance Fee: $100
Annual Account Management Fee: $100
Keep in mind that these fees are subject to change at any time, and you should verify the fee structure with an agent before committing to a purchase or other services. It is a little disquieting that the fees are buried in the FAQ, a section of the website that might not be updated regularly. As always, do your due diligence and be on the lookout for any hidden fees.
It’s also worth noting that if you roll over $50,000 or more upon account opening, your first years’ fees are waived.
Birch Gold Group requires a minimum funding purchase of $10,000 to open a new Gold IRA. This is on the medium-to-low end of funding requirements for new IRAs when comparing Birch to other Gold IRA providers and their minimums.
For context, many financial advisors suggest an allocation of 5-10% of your net worth to precious metals. As such, to justify finding a new Birch Gold IRA, it would make sense to have a nest egg of $100,000-$200,000 in your current retirement accounts. Lots of employees have this much net worth in their retirement account, making a strong case for Birch as a Gold IRA provider “for the people,” not just the elite.
It’s also worth pointing out, however, that $10,000 is currently above the limit for an individual’s annual contribution to all their retirement accounts, so it can’t be funded entirely by a new contribution. You will need some assets in a qualified retirement account that can be rolled over — not a lot of assets, but some.
The “Product” menu tab on the Birch Gold Group website drops down to four subsections — Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium. Already we’re off to a good start. These are all four precious metals that the IRA allows to be held under the tax umbrella of an IRA (given the correct purity, liquidity, and storage standards).
These are all precious metals, but they are separate commodities with different uses and changing supply. As such, their markets move differently. If you want a truly diversified precious metals portfolio, you should really have exposure to all four. It’s encouraging to see Birch Gold Group foreground their access to all four.
Within the four different metals, it gets more complicated. You have a robust selection of options for gold and silver bullion, sub-bullion, and proof coins and bars — American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leads, American Buffalos, Australian Florins, and other more exotic options. However, there aren't that many options — 15 gold, 15 silver.
You have even fewer options under platinum and palladium — platinum Eagles and Florins, palladium Maple Leafs, and assorted bars. It’s not surprising, though — bullion from these lesser (but still valuable) precious metals are less popular, with mints and refineries producing fewer units and in less variety.
All of which is to say — the variety is encouraging, but don’t take this to be an exhaustive list of what Birch has access to … and don’t take it as gospel that they will have access to a particular coin or bar you may find on their website. Clicking through to each product page, you find a brief description … but no “Buy Now” button. Not even a “Call Now for Pricing” button.
These “product pages” are strictly informational. It’s not an eCom site or an up-to-the-minute representation of their inventory, and it’s not pretending to be. Want to know what they really have? You’ll have to call.
As with many Gold IRA providers, Birch Gold Group gives you the option of a toll-free number you can call to speak to a customer service representative. The other onboarding offer is a “Free Info Kit.” When you sign up, a redirect page will tell you that a Birch Gold Specialist will follow up with you to “customize” your info kit. Bottom line — it’s quicker to call them.
The first thing to understand is that even if you open a Gold IRA with Birch Gold Group, Birch will not be your IRA custodian. They are a precious metal brokerage, not a licensed IRA custodian. You will need a third-party company to act as custodian. Birch seems to have no preferred custodian, although they name-check Equity Trust and STRATA Trust in their FAQ.
The representative you speak to when you call Birch will probably have recommendations if you don’t want to think about it too much … but always do your due diligence! Your Gold IRA custodian will have a lot of power to make or break the wealth-building potential of your Gold IRA.
Birch Gold Group offers a number of IRS-approved storage options. One popular option they mention is the Delaware Depository, with its $1 billion in insurance coverage and its industry-best Cloud-based custodial web interface for online asset management. Another popular option is Brink’s Global Service, the largest non-governmental, non-bank precious metal storage service in the world with locations in New York, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles.
Birch distinguishes itself by having dedicated subpages on different storage options, found under the “Precious Metal IRAs” header menu tab. In addition to the Delaware Depository and Brinks, the section highlights the Texas Precious Metal Depository, international depository services, and information about how to visit your physical assets on deposit.
Buyback and Liquidation Policy
Birch Gold Group doesn’t highlight it in its marketing, but it does have a buyback program whereby they agree to buy back products that they sold you. Whether or not they price-match or commit to offering the best deal is unclear and almost certainly on a case-by-case basis.
Education and Client Empowerment
Birch Gold Group prides itself in creating educated, self-reliant gold investors. It starts with the tab on the menu bar labeled “Education,” and there are a lot of resources there. In addition to introductions and the bases, they offer interactive historical price charts and a library of interviews with high-profile financial thought leaders, including Steve Forbes and Peter Schiff.
In addition to the “Education” section, there is a dedicated section for precious metal IRAs, including a quick guide, details on storage options, a Gold IRA FAQ, and an article warning against “home-storage” Gold IRA schemes (not legal). Additionally, there is a “Latest News” section with regular market updates (with a gold-positive spin, of course).
Outside of the celebrity interviews, the Birch Gold Group educational offerings are a little light on video content. It’s a shame, since video is a powerful medium of education and information, especially online. They do have a YouTube channel, but it is rarely updated with new content.
Birch Gold Group doesn’t have any obvious Cloud-based portal for online account management. This is not surprising, since they are not IRA custodians. Once your IRA is created and funded, it will be in the hands of the custodian, and that’s who will provide account management services. If online account management and tracking matters to you, make sure to choose a custodian who offers robust online account management.
If you want the prestige of celebrity endorsements, Birch Gold Group is definitely a strong contender. If you want positive reviews, industry expertise, and a wealth of glowing testimonials and social proof, you could do a lot worse as well. Add to that robust resources to learn about Gold IRAs, an impressive selection of products, and reasonable account minimums, and we’re looking at a force to be reckoned with. Its marketing practices leave something to be desired, but they are par for the course in many ways. The bottom line is this — Birch is famous for a reason. They’ve got the goods, and they deliver them.
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