The American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX) is one of the largest precious metals dealers in the U.S. The company serves more than 1.3 million customers and offers a wide range of products from uncirculated silver and gold coins to platinum and palladium coins and bars.
APMEX is an innovator in the precious metals industry that’s known for putting its customers first.
The company is the only dealer that offers customers a monetary credit when their shipments are delayed and likely the only company that offers a satisfaction guarantee complete with a refund if you’re not happy.
Is APMEX Legit?
APMEX, Inc was founded in Oklahoma City in 2000. Since then, it’s become one of the largest precious metals dealers in the U.S. Its longevity and sheer scale speak to its credibility, but we decided to do a deep dive into the company.
APMEX only sells products that have been verified by its numismatic team. This team consists of experts in coins, paper currencies, and precious metals.
The company has also earned an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Of course, there are a few complaints on the BBB. When a company works with more than 1.3 million customers — even the best company — a small percentage will be dissatisfied. However, the company responds to all complaints and has resolved the vast majority to the customer’s satisfaction. Most of the complaints are about shipping practices.
No matter how solid a company is, it’s important to protect yourself when you buy anything online, especially valuables like precious metals. APMEX.com is a secure website. All information transferred through the website features SSL encryption.
Key Features of APMEX
APMEX has built a massive book of customers and survived the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. It has done so by providing a long list of features you won’t find anywhere else matched with world-class customer support.
APMEX has one of the largest selections of precious metals and currency products you’ll find online. The complete list features more than 46,000 offerings, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins and bars as well as rare paper currency.
You can find all the popular options like American Silver Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, South African Krugerrands, and silver and gold bars on the company’s website. If you’re looking for something more specific — like that rare coin your Dad told you about while you were sifting through change on the kitchen table — you’ll probably find that there as well.
If you want a lower-cost entrance into precious metals investments, you can also purchase circulated coins at discount prices.
Automatic investing programs are commonplace in the stock market. You can use these programs to automatically invest a specific amount of money in a specific asset at predetermined time intervals, taking the “have to do it” out of investing. Unfortunately, these programs aren’t typically available with precious metals dealers.
APMEX is the exception to the rule.
If you want to buy three one-ounce silver coins per paycheck, you can easily set up a recurring purchase with AutoInvest to do just that. This brings precious metals investing to the next level because it simplifies the process of dollar-cost averaging.
Do you have a stash of silver bars, gold coins, or any other precious metal? You can sell your holdings immediately through the APMEX Buyback program. The company has purchased over $1 billion worth of precious metals and paper currencies from the retail community to date, and it has no intention of stopping the program.
Keep in mind that APMEX is a business, and it’s in business to make money. So you’re not going to get top dollar, but you will get a hassle-free experience.
If you want top dollar for your precious metals, you can sell them to individuals on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, but it may take some time to find the right buyer. If you’re more interested in accessing the value stored in your precious metals and rare currencies nearly immediately, consider selling to APMEX.
QuickShip Insured Shipping | Potential Signature Required
Most products you order from APMEX are part of the company’s QuickShip Program. The program offers free shipping on standard orders of $199 and up, and on Citadel orders over $500. If you don’t meet these requirements, you’ll pay a shipping fee that is usually around $9.95.
All orders are shipped through USPS or UPS, and they’ll leave the fulfillment center within one business day of the APMEX receiving your payment under the company’s QuickShip guarantee.
The company is so dedicated to getting your shipments to you in a timely manner that it guarantees its shipping speeds. If your order is delayed, you’ll get a $10 credit to use toward your next purchase.
This is unheard of in the precious metals industry. No other dealer offers free shipping and offers to pay you if the shipment doesn’t get to you on time.
Payment Options (Including Crypto)
No matter how you want to pay, chances are APMEX accepts your preferred payment method. The company accepts traditional payments like credit cards, check, wire transfers, and PayPal. You can even pay with cryptocurrency.
If you’d like to pay with crypto, select the BitPay option at checkout and choose Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), or Ethereum (ETH) as your payment method. The only drawback to APMEX’s cryptocurrency payments is that you must have a BitPay-compatible wallet.
Choose your payment method wisely, however. The company offers a 4% discount if you pay with a check or bank transfer. Choosing any other payment method is akin to throwing away $4 for every $100 you spend.
You don’t have to store your precious metals at home if you’re uncomfortable with doing so. APMEX has partnered with the Citadel Global Depository Service, a low-cost precious metals storage option.
There’s a 0.45% to 0.55% annual fee for the company’s storage services. That’s slightly higher than the average expense ratio of an exchange-traded fund (ETF), although it’s highly competitive in the precious metals storage industry.
Precious metals are often used in retirement portfolios, and for good reason. They tend to have a negative correlation with the stock market. That means when stocks are down, precious metals tend to rise in value, offsetting losses and protecting value. Moreover, precious metals act as a hedge against inflation because the prices of metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium all rise when inflation rates are high.
In fact, silver and gold IRAs have become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re interested in adding precious metals to your retirement portfolio, you can get yours directly from APMEX.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the company’s IRA fees:
- Setup Fee. $50.
- Annual Administration Fee. $75.
- Storage Fees. $15 per month if your portfolio is valued at less than $25,000. Storage fees vary based on value once your portfolio reaches the $25,000 mark.
- Withdrawal Shipping & Handling Fee. $50 to $75, depending on the size of the withdrawal, plus shipping costs.
- Minimum Purchase Amount. $2,000.
- Minimum Buyback Amount. When selling precious metals back to APMEX, the minimum transaction is $1,000.
You are automatically enrolled in the APMEX Club when you place two orders or buy or sell $5,000 worth of precious metals with the company. Your membership level in the club depends on your interactions with the company. Here’s how it works:
- Select. Place between two and five orders or spend or sell $5,000 with APMEX.
- Premier. Place between six and nine orders or spend or sell $10,000 with the company.
- Elite. Place 10 or more orders or spend or sell $20,000 with APMEX.
- VIP. The VIP membership is invite-only and the company shares no specifics on the conditions that result in an invite.
Your APMEX club membership unlocks perks like early access to flash sales, dedicated account managers, priority fulfillment, and even anniversary gifts.
Price & Product Alerts
Investing in precious metals is just like investing in any other asset. You want to make sure you buy assets at the lowest possible price so you can make the most money as the assets rise in value.
Most precious metals dealers require you to keep an eye on the spot price of the metal you’re interested in and place an order when the time is right. With APMEX, however, you don’t have to keep an eye on the market; the company does that for you.
You can set up two types of alerts using the platform:
- Spot Price Alerts. Spot price alerts are perfect if you’re waiting for a specific price to buy in at. You’ll get an alert as soon as the price is met, telling you it’s time to dive in.
- Product Alerts. In some rare cases, APEX may be out of stock of the specific product you want. If that’s the case, set up a product alert and you’ll be alerted when the company receives new inventory.
I haven’t personally come across any other precious metals dealer with a return policy. In most cases, if you’re not happy with what you get, you have to sell it to recoup your money.
However, APMEX has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. That means if you’re not happy with your precious metals purchase for any reason within the first seven days of receiving your shipment, you can send it back for a refund. You only have to eat the shipping costs.
Advantages of APMEX
APMEX has grown to be one of the largest precious metals dealers in the world. The features above speak volumes about the company’s dedication to providing quality services at reasonable prices.
Some of the biggest advantages to working with APMEX include:
- Product Selection. There are more than 46,000 products to choose from on the website. No matter what precious metals and currencies you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it here.
- AutoInvest. You don’t have to lift a finger to invest with APMEX. Simply take advantage of the AutoInvest program and let the company do the work for you.
- No Minimum Purchase. You don’t have to commit to spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to work with APMEX. There’s no minimum purchase at all.
- Quality Customer Service. The company provides world-class customer service. All you need to do if you have questions is make a phone call; a knowledgeable, U.S.-based service representative will be ready and waiting on the other end.
- Tons of Positive Customer Reviews. The vast majority of customer reviews online are positive. Precious metals investors seem to be most impressed with the company’s long list of great products, its customer service, and the speed at which they receive their orders.
- Return Policy. Few if any other precious metals dealers have a return policy. The seven-day return policy with APMEX is a breath of fresh air.
- Intuitive Mobile App. APMEX is the first in the precious metals industry to offer mobile ordering in an app, complete with a portfolio analysis tool and other features like price alerts, special deals for mobile users, and push notifications.
Disadvantages of APMEX
APMEX is a compelling company to work with when you buy and sell precious metals, but no company is perfect. Some of the biggest disadvantages to working with the company include:
- Some Payment Methods Are Expensive. The company removes a 4% automatic discount when you use any payment method other than check or bank transfer. If you use any other payment, you can probably find a better deal elsewhere.
- $199 Minimum for Free Shipping. You have to spend at least $199 to get free shipping. Although this is a disadvantage, shipping terms like these are commonplace in online retail, whether you’re buying precious metals or a new shirt.
- Low Buyback Prices. APMEX is in business to make money and must buy precious metals at a price that allows for profit margins. If you want top dollar for your precious metals, consider selling them to a private party. In some cases, local dealers offer better rates too.
How APMEX Stacks Up
One of APMEX’s largest competitors is JM Bullion. Check out the chart below to see how the two compare.
|Products Offered||Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and rare paper currencies.||Gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, and rare currencies.|
|Transaction Fees||0% for bank transfers and checks, 4% for any other payment method.||Transaction fees packaged as a 4% discount for paying with bank transfer, e-check, or bank wire.|
|Annual Fee on Stored Assets||0.45% to 0.55%, depending on the amount stored.||0.45% to 0.50% depending on the amount stored.|
Buying gold, silver, and other precious metals is an exciting concept. Not only do these assets act as a quality store of value in tough economic times and fight inflation during high inflationary periods, but there’s also a cool factor. Admit it; there are few things in finance as cool as showing your kids the new gold coins that just came in the mail.
If you plan on investing in precious metals, whether for retirement or just to build wealth, APMEX is a great way to go. That’s especially the case if you plan on home storage — which lets you avoid an annual storage fee — and you can qualify for free shipping.
The biggest drawback to the company is the low buyback prices. If you don’t need money right now, you may be better off waiting for the right private buyer to come along and purchase your precious metals at face value.
Nonetheless, there’s no question that APMEX is one of the best precious metals dealers online.