American Hartford Gold Review
Summary: In this American Hartford Gold review, we'll cover their products, custody, customer service, fees, and more. We found that overall they are one of the most trustworthy gold IRA firms out there, have great ratings online, and their price match guarantee really stands out. On the other hand, we found it hard to find pricing information online and their minimum investment of $10K for rollovers is steep for some investors. We gave them 5/5 stars. Jump to the full review.
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Key points from our review:
- Near pristine ratings from online ratings firms: A+ rating with the BBB, 5 stars on Google, and 5 stars on Trustpilot.
- 100% free gold IRA rollover with $10K minimum purchases: plus get free maintenance storage and insurance for up to 3 years. For cash purchases, they have a $5,000 minimum.
- American Hartford Gold charges no additional fees: like most gold IRA providers fees are actually being charged by the self-directed IRA institution (SDIRA) you choose to work with, and are typically around $180 per year (pretty standard in the precious metals IRA space).
American Hartford Gold Pros and Cons
What Is the American Hartford Gold Group?
American Hartford Gold is a precious metals broker that both deals in bullion inside an IRA and outside of it. The California-based company opened its doors in 2015 and has amassed a fairly sizeable clientele since then.
Sanford Mann is the company's CEO. An economist by trade, Mann says he worked as a senior manager in various New York City firms before moving on to open his own company. He was recently featured in Forbes.
Scott Gerlis is the company's Executive Chairman: Gerlis says he comes from a family that wasn't averse to numismatics, particularly of the precious metals variety. How's that for an early start in the industry? Gerlis' professional background prior to opening American Hartford Gold Group involved retail and real estate, two sectors that he still seems invested in.
The other person sharing the wheel is President Max Baecker. Baecker oversees the day-to-day for the company as well as overseeing the company's account executive team. He's helped the company deliver $1.4 billion in precious metals.
AHG is endorsed by Bill O'Reilly of Fox News fame, Rick Harrison, and more.
Overall, a pretty decent company background in a space that's rife with bad actors.
American Hartford Gold Review - Products & Services
While gold and silver held in a precious metals IRA is AHG's main offering, you can also purchase physical bullion or premium coins and have them shipped straight to your door.
Here's the quick breakdown of AHG products and services:
- Gold and Silver IRAs
- Storage and depository services (Typically with the Delaware Depository or Brinks Global Services)
- Gold and silver bullion and investment coins purchases
- IRA rollovers and transfers
Let's go over all the options in more depth.
Gold and Silver IRAs
Through its partnerships with both third-party custodians and storage companies, American Hartford aims to make the process of opening a gold or silver IRA as smooth as purchasing bullion from them for individual storage. One of the company's main products are their gold and silver IRAs. American Hartford offers the option of easily opening a self-directed gold retirement account with considerable exposure to gold and other precious metals.
But what exactly is a gold IRA and what are the benefits of an American Hartford Gold IRA?
Glad you asked, here's the important part:
A gold IRA (also known as a precious metals IRA) let's you invest in physical precious metals within a tax-advantaged Self Directed Individual Retirement Account (SDIRA). With an SDIRA, you can hold alternative assets like real estate, art, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals.
What you need to know about American Hartford Gold IRAs:
- Tax-deferred gains: Like traditional IRAs and retirement accounts, gains are deferred until you withdraw from the account. Rolling over from a current retirement account can be done for free without any tax advantages lost.
- Diversification: Traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation, adding precious metals to your portfolio can be a great way to diversify your investments.
- Control: With an SDIRA, you get to control what you invest in.
- Free rollovers: AHG provides free gold IRA rollovers for accounts over $10,000.
- Own physical gold and silver: Nothing beats owning the real deal! With an AHG IRA, you own the physical gold or silver you buy, and can choose to have it shipped to your front door or storage provider of your choice.
- Rules and regulations: Precious metals IRAs have the same rules and regulations of other IRA accounts and you can only hold precious metals of the finest quality in an IRA.
Based on what we've seen (and we've reviewed quite a few gold IRA companies), their IRAs are some of the best in the business, both due to their general approach and the ease of dealing with their representatives.
How do they stack up against other gold IRA account providers?
Compared to other gold IRA companies, American Hartford easily ranks amongst the best.
Similar to Augusta Precious Metals, they are highly trustworthy, but have low account minimums with Augusta being amongst the highest we've seen at $50,000 to get started. Compared to Goldco, they have great selection, but score higher when it comes to making rollovers painless and affordable.
Similar to US Precious Metals, they have a huge inventory, and compared to Noble Gold they get high marks when it comes to customer service and investment advice.
American Hartford Gold and Silver Coins and Bullion
Regardless of whether you're opening an IRA with them or not, American Hartford Gold Group lets you buy a variety of gold and silver coins and bullion at competitive prices, however it's hard to find pricing on their website.
The company claims that they'll price match guarantee their competitors on any of the products, but there seem to be some disputes over that, which we'll get to soon.
They also offer free shipping on physical gold and silver and will deliver it directly to your front door, registered and insured at no additional cost. Just keep in mind that a home storage gold IRA is not recommended and not exactly legal, either... so if you're here for gold IRA information, we suggest you download their free IRA guide and do it the right way.
While we aren't fans of a complete lack of pricing, we do like a good inventory and American Hartford has an awesome coin and bullion selection.
Their selection of gold coins is hugely varied, including all the staples like the American Gold Eagle, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, American Buffalo and so on. Many known "top-tier" gold bullion and proof coins are also available, such as the Canadian Polar Bear and Canadian Arctic Fox. And, for collectors, multiple issues of 19th-century rare U.S. gold coins are also available.
Their silver coin selection is even stronger. All of the IRA-eligible bullion mentioned above is also available in silver varieties, and quite a bit more. Then there are the Krugerrands, silver rounds from various mints, and a variety of "junk silver" coins. The "junk silver", unlike with many competitors, is very well laid-out, so you'll know exactly what you might expect in this category.
Their bar options right now seem to be limited to the 1oz bar from Sunshine Mint and the Valcambi CombiBar. The CombiBar is also available in silver variety, as are 10oz and 100oz silver bars from various mints.
While we have heard mentions of platinum from the company, there don't seem to be any products listed on the site. Presumably, if you want to include platinum bullion in the IRA you've opened with American Hartford, you'll have to find it elsewhere.
American Hartford Gold uses the Delaware Depository, IDS (International Depository Services), and Brink's as their three storage choices for both bullion ordered for an IRA and otherwise.
They list facilities in Texas, Delaware, Salt Lake City, New York and Los Angeles as available storage options for their customers. You can choose segregated or non-segrated storage from each.
This is a pretty varied choice of depositories, which is nice for bullion holders who like to keep their bullion as close as possible. Though not listed on the website, we know that the Delaware Depository opened another facility in Nevada as of late, which would add yet another location to what is already an extensive palette.
It's not entirely clear if other custody options are available on the request of the customer, although it's worth asking as many gold IRA companies will let the customer choose.
American Hartford Gold has a buyback program which let's clients easily sell their metals back to the company without any fees. You can call AHG and have your metals returned to them and they will refund you on the purchase price. This is a great service as selling physical precious metals can be a huge headache for retail buyers. Having the comfort of knowing that you can quickly and easily sell back your gold and precious metals directly to American Hartford Gold without having to access any third party markets is a huge plus. They confirmed to us over email that they have a strong buyback guarantee as well as a price match guarantee.
From what we've seen, American Hartford has at least three current promotions:
- American Hartford Gold group free coin promotion: The first is a quality free silver coin to any interested party that signs up to their website, even if they don't order anything or open an IRA.
- The second, and by far the more curious one, is their free safe offering. Lots of precious metals brokers, both regular ones and those offering gold IRAs, give you the option of storing the metals they've provided with a partnered depository. The seemingly free delivery of this digital safe is available to U.S. customers and, as American Hartford tells us, its maximum retail value is $699. Presumably, that'd be the largest one. It's a nice-looking safe, and definitely an eye-catching promotion.
- AHG free silver promoition: You can get up to $1,500 in free silver delivered to you on qualifying purchases. We aren't exactly sure what qualifies as "qualifying", but it's worth getting their free guide to learn more.
American Hartford Gold Fees & Costs
No fees on shipping, which is insured
Free for the first year on IRAs with purchases over $50,000
$5,000 minimum for cash purchases
$10,000 minimum account rollover for a gold or silver IRA
Custodian and storage fees:
Varying annual custody and gold IRA storage fees that American Hartford says rarely exceed $180
Gold and silver prices:
Price match guarantee on gold prices.
How To Open An American Hartford Gold IRA
The process of opening a gold IRA with American Hartford Gold is pretty much the same as with any gold IRA company, though they have a few things that they pride themselves over.
Most notably, they say that the account can be set up and ready in three days. Some companies offer a guarantee of a 24-hour setup, while others say you can expect weeks. It's a pretty decent middle ground.
Here's how to set up an account with American Hartford Gold:
- To start, download their investment guide here to answer any questions you might have. An American Hartford Gold representative will then reach out to you, help you get set up, and work with both the custodian and the storage facility in getting the initial paperwork ready.
- Once your account is funded via cash, rollover, or transfer of an existing retirement account, you can select the bullion on your own or ask for tips from the representative.
- Virtually any retirement plan or IRA can be rolled over to fund the new account, though inactive accounts are far easier to roll over than existing ones. Standard funding through cash is also an option.
- When the bullion is purchased, it'll be sent to the depository of your choice, and your new retirement account is ready.
American Hartford Gold Reviews, Complaints, and Ratings From Around The Web
Overall, American Hartford Gold reviews are overwhelmingly positive online as you'll see from our analysis in this section.
In the gold IRA space, It's very common to have swathes of unsatisfied customers that aren't happy about pricing, product quality and so forth once you start dealing in a variety of physical precious metals outside of retirement accounts. Yet somehow, for the most part, American Hartford Gold Group reviews have avoided these woes.
Complaints that we did find mostly have to do with pricing and promotions. Not only were they resolved to the customer's satisfaction, but we also like the friendly tone in which they reply to those issuing a complaint.
- On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), they are accredited and have an A+ rating, along with a 4.93/5 customer rating based on 243 reviews. That's a huge amount of positive feedback, and we're only getting started.
- The Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) gives them an AA rating based on 8 reviews, with 3 complaints closed in a satisfactory manner. On ConsumerAffairs, they have a 4.9/5 score based on 102 ratings.
- On TrustPilot, they have 4.9 out of 5 ratings based on 1,029 reviews. 90% 5-star, 9% 4-star and less than 1% 3-star and 2-star each. Like we said, while the reviews aren't truly spotless, this is quite the overwhelming amount of positive feedback.
- AHG was named the #415 in the Inc. 5000 2021 list of fastest growing American private companies.
- They've received celebrity endorsements from Bill O'Reilly, Rick Harrison, and Lou Dobbs.
Anyone wondering about the company can check the complaints, but there is little doubt that they're reputable.
American Hartford Gold FAQ
Who do we single out? American Hartford has numerous celebrity endorsers that generally fall somewhere between conservative speakers and economic pundits. What about Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump's former lawyer who both endorses the company and uses it for himself? If it's good for the Mayor of New York City... They have quite a few other endorsements and mentions in fairly reputable outlets that you can look into to get a better idea.
Two reasons: selection and transparency. With one of the company's founders saying his family was into numismatics, it doesn't surprise us that the firm has paid much attention to including many high-quality coins that often can't be found easily. Furthermore, we like that they don't group coins together, especially "junk silver" coins, but rather list them individually so that you know the exact coin you're getting.
The website tells us that both the shipping and the insurance attached to it is free. Since insurance on expensive shipments can be a bit pricey, this is obviously a bonus. We're not sure about the promotional safe, but we'd imagine they ship that one for free, too.
Gold and silver bullion make up the bulk of the assets that are stored in the American Hartford Gold IRA. These are assets stored in a third-party insured vault, as opposed to bullion that you'd purchase outside an IRA from the company, which can also be delivered to your doorstep. We believe that platinum bullion is also available for storage within their IRA.
Gold and precious metals IRA companies make money through fees, commissions, and the spread price on purchasing gold and precious metals from spot markets.
The minimum account investment for American Hartford Gold is $5,000 for cash purchases, and $10,000 for gold IRA rollovers or transfers.
Verdict: Is American Hartford Gold Legitimate & Should You Invest?
Is American Hartford Gold legitimate? Yes, in our review, we found that American Hartford Gold is a legit gold and silver dealer with a solid gold IRA offering.
Since they have so many coins of both investment and numismatics value on their site, we'd like to see some more transparent pricing to get an idea of their markup. This seems to be the cause of some of the negative complaints they've received, though far from causing extreme dissatisfaction.
Online reviews of American Hartford are overwhelmingly positive. Seven years in business is not a particularly long time for a gold IRA company, and being able to attract this many positive reviews and celebrity accolades in such a short timeframe is also telling.
The company reveals that they've already processed $1 billion in transactions. Again, once you get to figures like these, dissatisfaction among consumers almost becomes the norm. But that doesn't seem to be the case with American Hartford.
We've seen very little to suggest that doing business with this company is a bad idea, and plenty to suggest that your retirement savings will be in good hands.
We're happy to give AHG 5/5 stars and recommend them to our readers.