Founded in 2003, Birch Gold Group (BGG) is a leading precious metals dealer located in Des Moines, Idaho.
Birch Gold Group largely serves the retirement sector of the U.S. precious metals market, but also handles direct sales of metals to customers across the U.S.
If you're interested in adding physical gold, silver, platinum, or palladium to your IRA or 401(k), you're likely already familiar with Birch Gold or another of their competitors.
The truth is, new gold IRA dealers seem to pop up every week. So why choose Birch Gold? How does Birch Gold Group stack up against these other companies?
In this Birch Gold Group review, we'll examine the company, their offerings, online reviews, customer complaints, fees, and more. Let's get started.
Birch Gold Group Review
Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Birch Gold markets their services to US families across all 50 states.
They've been featured in major media outlets, and advertise heavily on Conservative programs such as Bannon's War Room, Ron Paul's Liberty Report, and The Ben Shapiro Show.
Birch Gold Group's website displays 5-star customer reviews, linking out to third party review websites showing an almost overwhelmingly positive reputation. We've searched the major consumer review sites and internet watchdog groups for any red flags with the company and compiled them here for your review.
Birch Gold Reviews, Complaints, & Disputes
Birch Gold Group has served thousands of clients across the United States in almost two decades of business. It’s fair to find a few negative reviews when dealing with such a visible company with a high volume of customers.
Oftentimes, disgruntled customers go online and leave reviews to file complaints with a business. If a business is less-than-reputable, it's easy to find out through google search.
Birch Gold Group reviews reveal mostly positive customer reviews across the board.
Better Business Bureau: Birch Gold Group has an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB shows 136 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.51 out of 5 stars. The company has eleven complaints filed in the last three years, and the BBB shows that Birch is active in responding and working to resolve any issues that may arise.
Business Consumer Alliance: The Gold IRA firm has an AAA Rating with the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA). The BCA shows seven 5-star customer reviews. Birch Gold has had two complaints filed against them in the last three years, and both have been resolved by the company.
Google Reviews: The world's largest search engine also allows consumers to review businesses online. Google has racked up 279 Birch Gold Group reviews averaging a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating.
TrustPilot: TrustPilot has compiled 144 Birch Gold Group reviews. The company currently has 4.5 out of 5 stars average rating on the review platform.
TrustLink: BGG has 135 client reviews on TrustLink with an average 5-star rating.
Yelp: Birch Gold currently has a 3.4 out of 5 star average rating on Yelp (based on just five reviews).
Another Birch Gold Group complaint I’ve found online is from liberal media sources critical of Birch’s partnership with Ben Shapiro and other conservative influencers such as Ron Paul and Steve Bannon. The company is a proud supporter of The Ben Shapiro Show and long-time advertiser with Shapiro’s media company.
Left-leaning bloggers and journalists have criticized some of the statements made by Ben Shapiro over the years and pressured his sponsors to stop advertising with Shapiro and other conservative news outlet.
Daily Wire advertisers such as Saucey and Calm (two popular phone apps) have stopped sponsoring these politically right-leaning programs. Birch Gold Group, however, has not caved to these pressures and the firm has stuck with Ben Shapiro since 2016.
Over the years, Birch Gold Group has also had their spokesman Phillip Patrick appear on The Ben Shapiro Show, Steve Bannon's War Room, and Ron Paul's Liberty Report.
Below is a recent visit with Ron Paul discussing topics such as inflation, federal spending, currency devaluation, and precious metals' role as a safe-haven asset.
Birch Gold IRA Fees
If you're taking the time to read this Birch Gold review, you already know the benefits of buying and holding physical gold and silver. Rolling over 401(k) funds and buying precious metals with an IRA offers some great tax advantages. However, there are fees involved when opening and maintaining your Gold IRA account.
There is a one-time setup fee, as well as annual costs to maintain a self-directed IRA. If you open an IRA with Birch Gold Group, here's what you can expect.
Setting Up Your Gold IRA
Whether you decide to work with Birch Gold or one of their competitors, gold IRA specialists can facilitate the entire Gold IRA process. This involves working with a self-directed IRA custodian and gold storage company.
Gold IRA Custodian
Most 401(k) providers allow a wide variety of traditional options like stocks, index funds, bonds, and possibly ETFs to select from.
Your 401(k) or other qualifying retirement account likely does not allow you the option to buy physical precious metals. If you want to diversify your retirement into physical gold and silver, you will need to execute a gold IRA rollover.
All this means is that you’re moving a portion of your 401(k) or IRA directly into a new self-directed IRA to buy precious metals. In order to do this, you'll need to find a custodian that handles these accounts.
If this sounds complicated, it's really not. There are several reputable SDIRA firms in the U.S that would be happy to facilitate your gold IRA.
Birch Gold Group has been doing this for almost two decades. They’ve established relationships with all of the top gold IRA custodians and can recommend the best low-cost firms for your new account.
Equity Trust Company
Many of their customers end up working with Equity Trust. The company is a trusted SDRIA custodian, in business for more than 45 years, and their fees are very competitive.
Below are your fees assuming you've chosen Equity Trust as your Custodian.
Annual Custodial Fee
Important Note: Birch Gold Group will waive all initial setup, wire, and maintenance fees on new IRA accounts over $50,000.
If you're planning on investing $50,000 or more, you will pay zero fees your first year. This also includes depository storage fees (more below). Make sure to discuss this promotion with Birch Gold.
Gold IRA Depository
You cannot store your gold IRA bars and coins at home. Retirement funds must be held through a custodian and outside of your direct access.
Otherwise it’s considered a distribution and the IRS may disqualify the IRA status of your metals. The physical gold bars and coins in your IRA must be held in an IRS-approved storage facility.
Birch Gold Group again, can work with the storage partner of your choice, but can suggest one of their partners below.
- Delaware Depository Service Company (DDSC) is highly rated for precious metals IRA storage. They offers both segregated and non-segregated vault storage.
- Brinks is also a top choice for many investors. Brinks also offers both segregated and non-segregated vault storage options for your precious metals IRA. Many choose Brinks due to their wide selection of storage locations across the U.S.
- International Depository Services (IDS) is another trusted gold IRA depository specialist that Birch Gold Group works with closely and recommends to their customers.
Note that these are all private non-bank storage facilities. So while the metals are not in your personal possession, you can rest assured knowing your gold is held outside of the banking system.
Between these three companies, you should be able to find a storage location that is fairly convenient to your location of choice. They are all comparable for storage fees.
Expect to pay $100 annually for non-segregated vault storage or $150 annually for segregated storage of your metals. Any of the three companies above are more than capable of holding IRA metals on your behalf.
Do you need segregated vault storage?
Discuss the pros and cons of segregated vault storage with your Birch account representative. They can help you determine the option that makes the most sense for you and your goals.
Our readers tend to choose the non-segregated vault storage as it's less expensive and still provides excellent security with full insurance on your holdings.
Total Annual Storage Fee
$100 - $150
Birch’s Products and Services
The precious metals firm serves both gold IRA customers and the direct sale and delivery of precious metals to customers in all 50 states.
Birch Gold’s specialty is in facilitating gold IRAs, but their selection of metals goes beyond gold IRA eligible bars and coins and into premium, collectible, and numismatic coins. This is a quick look at some of the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products you can purchase via Birch Gold.
- Gold, silver, and platinum American Eagles
- Gold, silver, and platinum American Eagle (proof) coins
- Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium Canadian Maple Leaf coins
- Gold American Buffalos
- America the Beautiful Silver series
- Gold Polar Bear and Cub
- Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bars and rounds
- Valcambi Combibars
For the collectors, Birch Gold Group can source a variety of coins such as rare pre-1933 coins, Saint Gaudens Double Eagles, Morgan Silver Dollars, Gold Indian Head Eagles, and more.
Gold Buy-Back Program
Birch Gold Group offers one of the best buy-back programs in the industry. If or when you need to liquidate any precious metals from your account, you always have a buyer with Birch Gold.
Some companies tack on additional fees and other charges in order to turn a profit from buying back metals from customers. Compare Birch with other precious metals dealers. In our Birch Gold Group review, the firm has one of the best buy-back programs for your precious metal investments.
Birch Gold Review: Worth Your Consideration?
We recommend Birch Gold Group for a number of reasons. The Gold IRA company:
- Is highly rated across all independent verified consumer review sites
- Has been in business for two decades.
- Has a low $10,000 minimum for their Gold IRAs.
- Is trusted by prominent figures like Ron Paul and Ben Shapiro.
- Excellent promotional offers.
This $10,000 minimum is very modest in comparison to other gold IRA companies. Some of the U.S. precious metals dealers have minimums as high as $50,000 which could disqualify Americans seeking the tax benefits of gold in a self-directed IRA.
You're in good hands with Birch Gold Group. They have streamlined the entire system and have a professional with you for every step of the process.
At the time of this writing, Birch Gold will cover all first year fees and customers can get up to $10,000 in free silver on qualifying accounts.
Birch Gold Complaints: What We Don't Like
A Birch Gold Group review would be incomplete without some criticism. I recently recommended Birch Gold to a blog reader purchasing gold and silver coins for home delivery. Unfortunately, Birch Gold Group also has a $10,000 minimum for all non-IRA cash purchases.
This gentleman was only planning to buy a couple thousand dollars worth of precious metals. He had to go elsewhere since this purchase was below Birch's minimum. This $10,000 minimum is the main reason why I believe that Birch Gold Group is an excellent company for gold and silver IRAs, but not necessarily for the direct buyer looking for smaller purchases.
If you just want to buy a couple thousand dollars worth of gold coins, there are online shops that allow for direct purchase on their website.
For cash purchases, I now recommend Silver Gold Bull. They offer a wide selection of coins and bars - at very competitive prices.
You may also be able to find a local businesses that can better serve your needs.
With Birch, you cannot buy through an online shopping cart. You would have to order through an account rep, which is not as convenient for the small buyer. I would only contact the Birch Gold Group team to open a gold IRA and not for direct purchase of metals.
Birch Gold Alternatives
If you're still vetting gold and silver IRA companies, it's always smart to compare pricing and fees with 2-3 companies before buying. Here are a few other highly rated competitors worth considering:
- Augusta Precious Metals: The company offers a free one-on-one educational webinar and zero IRA fees for up to 10 years. New account minimum is $50,000.
- Goldco: Goldco has a wide selection of metals and offers up to $10,000 in free silver for new accounts. New account minimum of $25,000.
- Noble Gold: The company focuses on low cost bullion at the best prices. Excellent buyback program. New account minimum of $20,000.
- American Hartford Gold: No fee buyback program and up to $10,000 in free silver. New account minimum of $10,000.
We only endorse a short list of gold dealers for our readers. It's important that we fully vet any company before making a recommendations. After sifting through Birch Gold Group reviews online and exchanging emails with a representative from the company, we've decided to partner with the firm and add them to our list.
Birch Gold Group reviews show they've developed a reputable brand over the last 20 years of business. I believe you can't go wrong working with them for your precious metals IRA. Of course, always contact two to three gold firms. Request information and don't hesitate to ask all of your questions.
Have these gold firms work to earn your business. Check the gold IRA companies out for yourself on review sites and consumer watchdog organizations like TrustPilot or the Better Business Bureau. Due diligence now will ensure your gold IRA experience is simple and stress-free.