BitIRA cryptocurrency retirement account review
A cryptocurrency-only retirement account with a $195 annual fee and many other fees.
Unlike traditional IRA accounts where you can invest in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds or bonds, with BitIRA you can only invest in cryptocurrencies. However, there’s only a limited number of cryptocurrencies you can invest in and this can cost you way more than a traditional IRA account.
- Consider BitIRA if you want to invest in cryptocurrencies for your retirement.
- Look elsewhere if you want a traditional IRA or if you want a higher variety of cryptos to invest in.
Stock trade fee
Minimum deposit to open
What investments does BitIRA offer?
You can only buy cryptocurrencies in your BitIRA retirement account, but not all of them. Here are your options:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision
- Stellar Lumens
Who is BitIRA best for?
BitIRA is designed for anyone who wants to include cryptocurrencies in their retirement portfolio. Since there are no other assets to buy, such as stocks or ETFs, this can be a complimentary account to the one you already have with another financial service. Some IRA accounts may be eligible for a rollover to BitIRA, but the company doesn’t provide any details on how this works. Reach out to BitIRA to find out whether your account is eligible if you’re interested.
BitIRA fees and cost
This isn’t your standard retirement account. Because of that, BitIRA and its partners charge a variety of fees to manage your account. Below is an overview. But fees will vary for different accounts, so you should speak with a BitIRA specialist who can disclose how fees may affect your unique account.
- Account set-up fee: $50
- Annual maintenance fee: $195
- Storage fees: .05%/month
How do I sign up?
BitIRA allows you to sign up online or by phone. But you must start by contacting BitIRA by phone or email to let a specialist know you’re interested in opening an account.
- Online: BitIRA.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (800) 299-1567
The specialist helps you complete the paperwork, fund your account and initiate rollovers, if you require them. A digital wallet is then set up for you and connected to your IRA. This process may take up to three weeks, but it’s usually faster than that.
To open an account, you must meet requirements that include:
- Valid Social Security number or tax ID
- Valid US address
- Valid state-issued ID
- $5,000 minimum deposit
When you open an account through BitIRA, you’ll provide your:
- First and last name
- Social Security number or tax ID number
- Date of birth
- Address and other contact details
- State-issued ID
- Bank and contribution information
- Beneficiary information
BitIRA lacks proper research tools that you’ll find with other trading platforms. Instead of charts and screeners and such, you get a few educational articles to help you better understand how BitIRA works. This is underwhelming to say the least, but since you have only a few cryptos to choose from, there’s nothing more to expect.
What are the benefits of BitIRA?
Unlike most traditional IRAs issued by banks and brokerages, cryptocurrency IRAs let retirement savers invest in digital currencies on a tax-deferred basis.
- Crypto assets. Add cryptocurrencies to your retirement portfolio. This can help you even further diversify your portfolio to minimize risk and maximize profit.
- Security. Digital currencies operate on blockchains where all transactions are independently confirmed by multiple peers to safeguard against errors or unauthorized changes.
- Tax-free growth. As of May 2021, cryptocurrency is treated as personal property for tax purposes, meaning it can be kept in a digital IRA. Growth is thus tax-free until you withdraw your money. If you open a Roth IRA, qualified withdraws are tax free. For more information, check out our crypto tax guide.
- Decentralized. Digital currencies are decentralized, meaning that authority and influence over their operations is spread across numerous participants rather than a single entity.
- Inflation protection. Cryptocurrencies can be protected from inflation through decentralized management, pre-programmed inflation rates or even deflationary economic models.
- Insured cold storage. Your cryptocurrency is stored in a vault on a hardware wallet that isn’t connected to the Internet, meaning no one has access to your money. If your digital currency IRA is compromised, your assets are protected by BitIRA’s solution.
What to watch out for
Digital currency IRAs can be an effective way to save for retirement. But like any investment, they come with potential drawbacks that include:
- Fees. You’re charged a $50 account set-up fee and a $195 annual account maintenance fee plus additional fees that will vary across accounts.
- Volatility. Cryptocurrency is often more volatile than other assets. Because there’s no regulatory body or intervention from outside institutions, larger traders or “whales” can influence the value of your investment with a single trade. Government regulation can heavily impact crypto’s price as well.
- Inherent value. Some cryptocurrencies have no inherent value, so they pose the risk of becoming worthless while most other asset classes will often be worth at least something.
- No reputation. BitIRA was founded in 2017, so there aren’t many reviews from customers or consumer watchdog websites.
- Minimum deposit. To open a digital currency IRA with BitIRA, you’ll need a deposit of at least $5,000.
Is BitIRA legit?
The company itself is legit. It’s been in business since 2017 and it’s headquartered in Burbank, California. It’s accredited by the Better Business Bureau in 2018 and it earns an A+ rating. But since this is a relatively new company, caution is advised.
BitIRA reviews and complaints
The few BitIRA’s reviews we found online are mostly positive. They praise the company’s professionalism and high-quality service. Those that rolled over their IRA to BitIRA were happy with it and positively surprised how fast and seamless the process was. However, it’s rare to find only positive reviews online and not a single negative one no matter the service. This either means the company is really an exceptional one or you should be cautious.
How do I contact BitIRA customer service?
There are three ways to reach out to BitIRA customer support:
- Online. Use the online messaging form on the BitIRA website.
- Email. Send an email at email@example.com.
- Phone. Call (800) 299-1567.
Compare other retirement accounts
BitIRA digital currency IRAs may be an innovative way to diversify your retirement investments, offering features and flexibility that you won’t find with most bank- or broker- issued IRAs. But opening and managing your accounts is complicated and it comes with fees, making this retirement vehicle better suited for experienced investors.