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American Bullion is a precious metals company that has been in the industry since 2009. It was founded by two industry experts who wanted to create a company that specialized in precious metals IRAs. The company helps to convert existing retirement accounts into precious metals, and it also has some collectible coins available for purchase.
But is American Bullion actually everything it seems to be? What do customers have to say about their experiences with the company? We've investigated and put together everything you need to know.
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About American Bullion
American Bullion provides IRA services to people in all fifty states. They carry a variety of silver and gold bullion in both coin and bar form. In addition, they sell pre-1933 rare coins from the US and various European countries.
Unlike many precious metals dealers, American Bullion also carries platinum and palladium products. Their goal is to be a one stop shop for anyone who wants to make a precious metals investment.
The company is outfitted with a number of specialized departments, like the IRA Department and the Operations Department. Everyone in the IRA department is an expert in the regulations, paperwork, and guidelines for IRAs. People in the Operations Department are in charge of making sure that your transactions run smoothly.
The company states that they are committed to giving ethical and honest service to every client.
Some of the other company highlights include:
All of these certifications and organizations are impressive, but this is far from the only company to have them.
The company has information online that explains how you can set up your precious metals IRA and maintain it. You can also call to speak with a company representative about whatever questions you have during the process.
The application itself involves just three steps:
All of the necessary forms are available for download in PDF form from the website.
American Bullion is partnered with Strata Trust. When you want to set up a precious metals account, Strata Trust will be the custodian. It's possible that the company can work with another custodian of your choice, but Strata is their preferred option.
All IRAs set up through the company are stored with the Delaware Depository company. Delaware Depository has been approved by the IRS, and the Delaware-based storage facility has several tax advantages. Every vault is insured for up to $1 billion by Lloyd's of London, which is one of the largest insurers in the world.
There is video surveillance and staff monitoring 24/7, as well as high tech security systems. Thanks to the insurance policy, you don't need to worry about losing your investment if anything goes wrong.
In comparison to some other companies, the custodian and storage options are limited. There are some precious metals IRA dealers that offer depository space in several vaults throughout different regions of the US. Some even have international storage. And since Strata is the only custodial company available, you don't have a chance to compare other custodian fees and setups.
If you make a cash purchase, you have the option to have the precious metals delivered directly to your door. There's no need to use an IRS-approved depository. However, if you're purchasing precious metals for an IRA, you are legally required to hold these metals in a licensed depository.
There have been some complaints from people who made cash purchases. They said that American Bullion took a long time to ship their metals to the correct address.
Fees and Pricing
When your account has less than $100,000 in total assets, the company charges an annual fee of $90. Flat fees are preferable to sliding scale fees, since these don't punish you for accruing more wealth. But the maintenance fee is slightly higher than that of other companies, especially considering it doesn't cover the cost of storage and custodial maintenance.
There is a promotion available for new investors, though. If you open an account with American Bullion, they will cover the first year of custodial and storage fees for you.
If your account has more than $100,000 in it, the annual fee becomes $150. This is because larger accounts are more complex to manage, and they also take up more space in the vault.
The maximum possible annual fees for operating an account with the company -- including the cost of storage and custodianship -- are $290. That's not too bad, but it is significantly more than you'll find with a lot of the competition.
Is American Bullion a Scam?
American Bullion is not a scam. The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2011 and holds an A+ rating. They also tend to have good reviews on Trustpilot, with an average of more than 4 out of 5 stars.
However, there are mixed reviews of the company on a few other websites, such as Yelp. There has also been one complaint filed with the BBB in the past three years. Keep in mind that one single complaint is fairly good in terms of customer service.
Let's take a look at the positive and negative feedback.
There are several positive reviews available online. Yelp reviews are mixed, but the company has a 4.4 out of 5 star review on Trustpilot with nearly 200 reviews. 82% of the reviews are 5 stars, while another 11% are 4 stars.
One review stated that the customer had been comparing several different companies in considering a precious metals IRA. American Bullion was the best one he worked with. The company representatives were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and they were helping him convert his existing precious metals into liquid assets that could be used in a precious metals IRA.
Another review was from someone who said that American Bullion was trustworthy and dependable during times of economic uncertainty. It was also easy to sell precious metals to the company without any hassle.
Several reviews mention that the company is honest and dependable. The representatives give people advice for how to diversify their investments and secure their portfolio for the future.
There is just once recent complaint filed with the BBB. This came from a person who said that their elderly father made a purchase with the company and used up his life savings. The man had a cognitive impairment.
The customer noted that the price that their father paid was higher than the spot price on the day that the transaction was made, which caused their father to lose money. The customer's father was confused about the transactions.
When the customer consulted with other precious metals dealers, they were told that the price of their father's gold coins was too high. They went on to say that the spot price of the coins had never been that high in the previous ten years.
The customer concluded by saying that they had asked the company repeatedly to refund the transaction, but that the representatives they spoke to had refused.
The company responded to say that the account was not accurate, and that the customer did not have the full story. The representative explained the reasoning of the customer's father in purchasing the coins. They said that the prices were so high because the coins were rare, which increased their value.
The customer said that the company was being dishonest about their pricing and intentions; the company countered that the customer was trying to slander them. About a month later, the customer informed the BBB that they had come to a settlement with the company.
That is the only official complaint on record, and it's difficult to say who was in the wrong. There is no evidence that the company willfully attempted to defraud an elderly man, though.
One person posted a poor review on Yelp, stating that the company gave them false information about which precious metals were eligible for an IRA. The company stated that the customer needed to buy proof coins. But silver and gold bars can be stored in a self-directed IRA as long as they meet the correct purity standards, and they can also be easier to liquidate.
Another disgruntled customer on Yelp said that they had an extremely negative experience with a rude customer service rep. They were also unsatisfied with the response from the CEO, as the company seemed uninterested in disciplining the representative in question.
One more review came from a customer who said that they were massively overcharged for the American Eagle coins they wanted. They also stated that there was a discrepancy between the price they were quoted and the price they were actually charged. After leaving the review, the company tried to contact the customer to rectify the issue.
The customer didn't want to solve the problem, so the company responded publicly. They said that the customer had made the decision to sell their coins to a competitor, and that they could not be held responsible for the competitor's low price quotes.
Pros & Cons of American Bullion
American Bullion is a legitimate business that has been operating as part of the precious metals industry since 2009. They specialize in IRA-eligible coins, but they also have some rare collectibles available. Despite praise from many customers, there have been accusations that the company overcharges for their coins.
The company justifies their prices because the coins they offer are rare. But it's possible that you'll find the same options available for a lower cost from a competitor. Always make sure that you compare offers before settling on a precious metals investment company.
There are some other precious metals IRA specialists that have more consistent positive customer feedback. They also make it easier to open and maintain an IRA.
Overall, we believe that there is a better option when it comes to your investment.
The above company is our top recommendation after doing extensive research. Feel free to keep doing your own research, or you can visit American Bullion below!